1. How to keep your self-control when your kids lose their self-control.
As difficult as it may be, resist the urge to yell. Instead, be firm and matter of fact. During a child’s meltdown, stay calm and explain that yelling, throwing a tantrum, and slamming doors are unacceptable behaviors that have consequences — and say what those consequences are.
Your actions will show that tantrums won’t give your child the upper hand. For example, if your child gets upset in the grocery store after you’ve explained why you won’t buy candy, don’t give in — thus demonstrating that the tantrum was both unacceptable and ineffective.
2. How to keep your self-control when you don’t get what you want.
Model good self-control yourself. If you’re in an irritating situation and your kids are present, tell them why you’re frustrated and then discuss the potential solutions to the problem. For example, if you’ve misplaced your keys, instead of getting upset, tell your kids the keys are missing and then search for them together. If they don’t turn up, take the next constructive step (like retracing your steps when you last had the keys in-hand). Show that good emotional control and problem solving are the ways to deal with a difficult situation.
Adapted with permission from KidsHealth.