Tantrums & Whining: 13 Helpful Ideas to Prevent Them

Posted by in No-Cry Discipline

There are times when you can prevent a child from losing control of their emotions. If you modify the situation that leads up to a meltdown you can often bypass it completely. Here are some things can help prevent tantrums and whining.

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Here are 13 things you can do to keep tantrums and whining at bay:

  • Keep the same nap times and bed time seven days a week, as much as possible. A consistent sleep schedule is critical for keeping your child even-tempered throughout the day.
  • Feed your child frequently. Children have tiny tummies and need regular nourishment to keep blood sugar levels stable. Five small meals, or three meals plus two healthy snacks, keep a child’s moods stable, much more so than three big meals with long periods between them.
  • Give your child toys and games that are geared to their age and ability level. Frustration can lead to tantrums.
  • Warn your child before changing activities to allow him time to adjust, instead of suddenly announcing the fact. (“Five more minutes and then we leave . . . three more minutes to play . . .one more swing, then we’re going home.”)
  • Be patient when putting your child in an unfamiliar environment or when introducing them to new people. Don’t push them to do what’s uncomfortable.
  • Be prepared. If you expect to be running errands all day, or spending time talking with other adults, or if you’ll be standing in long lines, bring along snacks, books and toys in your bag to keep your child occupied.
  • Be thoughtful about scheduling. Asking a young child to be pleasant while you spend an entire day on the run doing errands is a bit much. Schedule a break, such as a quick stop to the park or a play area, when possible.
  • Try to be home at nap time and bedtime. Keeping a tired child on the move invites trouble. This can’t always be avoided but steer clear of it when you can!
  • Help your child learn new skills before you ask him to do them on his own (such as pouring juice, getting dressed, or working puzzles).
  • Keep your expectations realistic; don’t expect more than your child is capable of.
  • Don’t underestimate your child’s abilities. Allow them the opportunities and privileges that are appropriate for their age and capabilities.
  • As much as possible, keep a predictable schedule to your child’s day. When every day is different you might see more misbehavior.
  • When your child becomes overly emotional, keep yourself as calm as possible. Use a soothing tone of voice and a gentle touch, to help your child calm down. Your child can’t do this alone, they need your help.

Tips from The No-Cry Discipline Solution

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