How to tame your... Fire-breathing Dragon!
If your child was a dragon, which would they be and how can you tame them? As part of our 'How to tame your...' series, we're identifying some common personality traits in little monsters everywhere and giving you tips on how to train them!
Have a little one who tends to be difficult to keep happy and calm when things around them get exciting? You've got a fire breather on your hands. Here are a few ideas on how to put out those little fires.
Give them some control
Kids love to feel like they have some control over their decisions, no matter how minute. So instead of always telling them exactly what the plan is, offer them a chance to have some input. For example, instead of telling them it's time for dinner, ask them if they are ready to have dinner now, or would like 10 more minutes of play.
By putting the ball in their court, it can stop them from feeling pressured or out of control and instead, they'll enjoy making a decision for themselves.
Another idea to prevent any sudden outbursts is to actually set expectations prior to leaving the house.
Let them know exactly where you are going and when. By sharing the plan of attack, they won't be so taken by surprise when it comes time to move on or head somewhere new.
Don't reward bad behaviour
Kids who get their way when they have a tantrum very quickly learn to repeat this behaviour (some adults have never grow out of this). As hard as it can be to not give in the first few times, they should soon learn that flaring up and blowing smoke doesn't get them anywhere. Instead, clearly and gently explain what is expected of them, and your calm behaviour may help influence them to settle down as well.
Angry or just hangry?
Take a look at the common triggers for your child's tantrum - more likely than not there will be a common theme. Perhaps they are just hungry and therefore getting 'hangry', or perhaps they are simply tired.
Knowing what sets them off means you can plan in advance, such as bringing along a snack or getting them to take a nap before you head out for the day.