THERE are few things more stressful as a parent than being out with your brood and having one kid flip out. Yep, those little people have one hell of a temper, and when it manifests into a tantrum all bets are off.

It can be downright frustrating to try to wrangle your child in a situation like this, let alone calm them down without folding all of your parental morals. So what’s a mum or dad to do when tempers flair? And how can these tantrums be avoided in the future?

Avoid the tantrum

Now, obviously the winning move here is to avoid the tantrum all together. Luckily there are a few methods you might try to do this. Remember, when it comes to behavioural training like this it is important to exercise repetition. If you only act a certain way sometimes you’re just confusing the kiddies more.

Reward positives

Giving in to your kids when they’re in the middle of a tantrum says one thing: “Tantrums get me what I want.” Instead of perpetuating this idea with them, keep an eye out for their good behaviour and reward that. This is particularly true when that behaviour is related to their tantrum triggers, like sharing toys or eating their dinner.

Consider your responses

How often do you say no to your child’s reasonable requests? Take a few days and consider how often you say no to things as a knee-jerk response, and then evaluate whether this larger portion of negative responses has an impact on your child’s behaviour. Remember that fighting over minor things is often a waste of energy on both sides.

Change the environment

Removing your child from the source of the temper tantrum is a good way to distract them and, therefore, calm them. Sometimes, kids get so overwhelmed and so caught up in their anger that they’re not really angry about anything in particular, just about their powerlessness. And with that in mind…

Give them a little control

Kids are little, and they know it. You would get annoyed too if you didn’t have any power, so why not give them a little? Give kids some control before the tantrum comes along. So if they hate shopping, have them help you choose their favourite snacks, pick their fruit or cereal and so on.