From kicking, screaming, whining to crying chaos, tantrums can be very frustrating! But instead of looking at them as a disaster let us consider it as an opportunity for education.
First, we have to clearly understand that it is a normal part of children’s development, especially with preschoolers who are coping with the shift between their preschool and home environment. This occurs when they are tired, hungry, uncomfortable or cannot get something they want.
However,we must remember that tantrums don't feel good to them too. They don't like it either! It is just an expression of their frustrations at the moment and also a call for help on something they can’t understand or they find confusing. For older children it is a learned behavior. That is why we should be there to support and help them to get back in control.
There may not be ways to prevent it but plenty to encourage good behavior even to toddlers who are starting preschool. Teachable moments became a popular idea in education and psychology circles for decades. It’s a simple concept to impart a specific lesson to these kids. Here are some great examples:
- Reward your little ones with praise and attention for doing a positive behavior. Start by requesting them to do a simple task. Make them feel that they are good and responsible and that you are proud of their little accomplishment. Give an extra hug for a job well done!
- Give them some sense of control over little things. Let them choose between an orange juice or an apple juice. Allow them to decide on what they want to wear, may it be a red or a blue T-shirt. Let them figure out how things work, allow them to make lots of new discoveries but let them know that you are there for them. Avoid saying “NO” to everything too.
- Make playtime a chance to establish self-confidence.
- Listen carefully. Teachable moments are spontaneous; it is a conversation with a specific goal. You don’t scold. You don’t lecture. Start the conversation by asking “Why did you that?” “How does this make you feel?” Let the conversation flow and don’t force a particular conclusion. Kids are like adults. They will be more receptive if they feel that they are being heard.
- Setting a good example will give them someone to look up to especially when a tantrum starts to build up, thus, helping them overcome any difficult situation.
With tantrums, the best way to respond is to just stay calm and ignore it! It may take time but it is possible to turn it into something better. What’s great is that a preschool in San Juan Capistrano teaches best practices to preschoolers to collaborate, a value that teaches them to become reflective of their actions and become problem solvers themselves.
Enroll your preschoolers in one of the best educational institution to start them right and instill in them the values and teachings of a quality Catholic education. Give us a call at 949-234-1385 or contact Laura Bullock (Preschool Director) for a tour of the preschool facilities.