Our physical therapy team is no stranger to childhood meltdowns and knows that two of the most-feared words any parent can hear are “toddler tantrum.” Whether you’re teaching your kids about sharing or they are struggling to keep a positive attitude at their physical therapy appointment, a full-blown tantrum can leave you both feeling worn out. However, there is some good news for the tantrum-weary parents out there! While some kid meltdowns are unpredictable, most can be avoided with quick thinking and a good system in place for your kids. You can learn to foresee future blow-ups and head them off before your kids start to exhibit out-of-control behavior. Keep reading to discover our physical therapist’s expert tips for avoiding major kid meltdowns.
Physical Therapist Tips: 5 Things You Should Never Do When Your Kid Has a Tantrum
1. Don’t Lose Your Cool
While it’s not always easy, you should do everything you can to avoid getting pulled into your child’s frenzied behavior. Instead, try hard to be the calm in the storm by being reassuring and getting to the root of the problem. Your kids need adult support to help them collect themselves and settle down. Yelling or becoming angry will only result in fear, shame and other negative feelings.
2. Don’t Laugh
It’s never nice to laugh at someone who is having a difficult time – so why do it to your children? Your child is already dealing with complex emotions, and laughing may cause them to feel like they are wrong for feeling this way. While being a parent definitely requires a good sense of humor at times, our physical therapist recommends saving the giggles for a more appropriate situation.
3. Don’t Take Things Personally
Sometimes, kids don’t know how to tell their parents how they feel about school, activities like physical therapy or what you’ve chosen to put on the television, but you should never let their blow-up feel like a personal attack. When your kids lash out irrationally over something they don’t like or don’t want to do, remember that they aren’t acting this way to hurt you.
4. Don’t Try to Reason
If your child is in the middle of a temper tantrum before their next physical therapy appointment or refusing to eat dinner, reasoning with them will not make things any easier. The tantrum itself indicates that your child is not acting rationally and that they are incapable of really listening to anyone, even Mom or Dad. Instead of cajoling or bribing them, use simple language and a few carefully chosen words to communicate that you are there for them.
5. Don’t Walk Away
Walking away from your child when they are in the middle of a tantrum can be seriously counterproductive and leave them feeling panicked or afraid. Leaving them to work it out on their own can send a message that they are unloved or unsupported when they are feeling their worst and could lead to abandonment issues as they grow older. However, it is understandable that you may need a break too. So our physical therapist suggests turning around, closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths before returning to provide your child with the support they need.
Benefits of Physical Therapy: Working Toward a Balanced and Tantrum-Free Future
Our physical therapist knows firsthand just how important regular physical therapy sessions can be for early childhood development. While it may be impossible to stop every meltdown from taking place, with the right tools, you can learn to avoid many behavioral issues. To learn more about the health benefits of regular physical therapy appointments for your kids, contact Libre Physical Therapy today, or request a free consult for your child online.