Monday, July 7, 2014

Warnings help prevent Tantrums


Yesterday as we were driving home from vacation, I realized a huge practice I use in order to prevent tantrums.  I give the kids 5 minute warnings for almost everything.  If they are sharing the Ipad, and one starts to say, "It's my turn," I usually respond, "Okay, in five minutes it will be your turn."  Not only does this help the child to learn to wait their turn instead of getting things right when they demand, but it also helps the one who has to give up the toy have some warning, so it doesn't take them by surprise.

Taking kids by surprise with change is, I would say, the main cause of tantrums, along with hunger and tiredness.  So, in order to have to deal with less sadness, I usually give five minute warnings for things like: going to bed, leaving someone's house, going on an outing, stopping their computer time or t.v. time, sharing toys, eating dinner, and any change in activity.  I say something like, "Ray, you have five minutes before your friend has to go home."  And magically, this makes it all okay.  Sometimes I give a two minute and one minute warning if I think it's going to make them really sad, and if they are really young.  So try 5 minute warnings if you haven't already.  You'll find it reduces many of the tantrums at your house!

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