Everyone remembers the two-year-old temper tantrum. Those were totally unpredictable and left you wanting to laugh at how silly they can become. When preteens, teens, and adult children throw a temper tantrum, it just is not that funny. And we all need tips to deal with temper tantrums in older kids when they happen.
Roxanne and Nanci in our office
That has been a big discussion at my office this week. Believe it or not, those tantrums just don’t go away when your child hits the age of 3. Although we would give anything for that to happen. Can you imagine teenage years without a screaming angry child? Sometimes I truly believe my teen just hates the site of my face.
Both my Medical Assistant, Roxanne, and my nurse, Nancy, have been dealing with this lately so we decided to pool our advice and help our fellow Mom’s out.
My Office’s Tips for Dealing with Temper Tantrums in Older Kids
Advice from Nanci, my Nurse
Nanci is your typical Kansas girl with two-kids and three-grandkids so she has lots of experience. She is kind, quiet, and gets straight to the point. Her advice reflects that:
- Wait it out – DO NOT argue back. Even if you bite your tongue to bleeding. Wait until your child is done unloading until you interject. When my 15-year-old was little, I loved the book 1,2,3 Magic that was recommended to me by a counselor. In it, the author describes “parental temper tantrums” in which the child escalates and so does the parent. The child then sees a match and escalates more. The temper tantrum becomes two-sided. Little kids will irritate you but older kids really know how to push your buttons. No matter how difficult it may be, do not interject from a place of anger. It won’t end well.
- When they do take a break, go ahead and ask, “Are you finished?” That way the remaining resentment will come out so you can finally start a calm conversation. It may result in more unloading but at least everything will already be on the table.
Advice from Roxanne, my Medical Assistant
Roxanne is the queen of self-help knowledge, Mom of 4 kids, and Grandma of 1 grandchild. She is always looking to learn more, and may be involved in more “groups” than anyone I know:
- Use ONE-LINERS to respond to your child. Responses would include: I love you too much to argue with you right now. We can talk later. I bet it feels like that now. And for the negotiator child: I do these things for people who treat me with respect.
- When you are prepared with your limits for your child follow with: This isn’t working for me. Set specific guidelines with a specific timeline and expectations.And choose your battles. IF you start, you need to finish. And have the wherewithal to follow through.
My staff are pretty dang smart! Sometimes simply talking to those around you helps a ton. I have had many a positive experience in my exam rooms where I run things by experienced parents and get great advise. And I get great advice from Roxanne and Nanci, too. Having someone from the outside analyze your situation can change things altogether. Give it a try.
For more Blog Posts on Parenting Older Kids: https://doctormome.com/what-is-the-best-punishment-for-a-rogue-new-driver/