Avoid Frustration and Meltdowns For a Better Learning Experience
Learning a new skill is hard! When children are having perpetual difficulty grasping a concept it can lead to frustration and in certain cases an emotional meltdown (queue the tears, yelling, and stomping). Avoiding emotional escalation takes planning, practice, and patience.
But do not lose hope brave parent and/or teacher, there are ways to stop tantrums!
Our kids learning experts here at Cubic Frog® Apps believe knowledge is best gained when children are confident and calm, and oppositely stress can lead to mental blockages. Making it all the more important to finding the best ways to stop tantrums.
Knowing the signs of when your little one is on the road to emotional ruin is important, the sooner you act the better when it comes. And knowing what to do when you’re in the midst of a breakdown can be even more essential.
What to do to stop tantrums? Here’s our 5 favorite keys to the doors of harmony:
1. Remove the Child from the Situation
When it is clear the child is becoming increasingly frustrated and emotional (take note of breathing patterns, fidgeting, vocal changes, etc), remove the child from the task that is causing this emotion immediately. Whatever activity it is, it can be revisited at a later time with more efficiency.
2. Remain Calm
Children will almost always mimic and pick up on your emotions. So it’s essential you keep the happiest, calmest zen pose possible. And we’re talking Oscar worthy performances here.
Focus on ‘de-escalation’; humor and distraction are two very useful tools (ask unrelated questions or tell an unrelated joke). Switching to physical and/or sensory activities activates a separate part of the brain, releasing ‘happy’ endorphins, and helping to calm children. Try dancing, singing, sensory play, or a favorite app which stimulates the senses.
4. Don’t Punish
Consequences and punishment have been shown not to be an effective long term strategy. By punishing a child for their meltdown at that specific moment they only comprehend the consequence for that specific situation. Instead, by teaching a child self regulation and problem solving, they gain control that can be used at any time or type of irritation.
5. Safe Spot
Create a safe spot or an area where your little one knows they can go when they feel unable to manage their emotions. Having different types of sensory stimulation handy in this area is also a great addition (blocks, apps, playdoh, etc).
Like everything in life, in order to stop tantrums we need time, patience, and experience. Think of a meltdown as a hill on a long path of learning. By following the guidelines you ensure the road ahead is a little less bumpy for your little one and you.