Tempering the Tantrum

Our expert moms tell the tricks of our trade

The fast-approaching holiday season brings many sources of joy for our families. But all the festivities—and accompanying goodies—have a dark side: tired, crabby kids. When you mix tired kids with new toys and sweets galore, often the result is one giant tantrum.

So we asked our CPT Expert Mom panel: How do you temper your kids' tantrums?

Make 'Em Laugh

I have to decide that I'll do my best not to lose my peace (or "cool") and that I will remain in control of my emotions so that the children don't have their behavior reinforced by my response to them. 

If I'm willing to invest the time and effort, I can coax my kids out of a tantrum by making them laugh. While laughing may minimize the lesson needing to be learned at that moment, sometimes laughter is what everyone needs. It releases those mood-elevating chemicals through the body. I've seen with my kids that a little diversion and laughter can go a long way.

—Michelle Bellavance

Buckle Up

Mostly, I try to ignore them. Otherwise, if we're at home and my son's having a huge temper tantrum, I just pick him up and carry him to his room for a time out. He usually settles down pretty quickly. If we're out and about, he takes his time out in the car. I buckle my son into his car seat and stand outside with my back to the minivan. That works really well.

The important thing is to not give in to a temper tantrum. I confess, however, that to avoid the tantrum, I sometimes give in to the preliminary whining—especially in public!

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