Someone gave me really good advice about what to do when a child throws a tantrum recently, and it’s a little surprising. My 3-year-old throws some doozies, and even my older son can have a meltdown sometimes. For so long, common knowledge said to ignore a child in a tantrum, not in a mean way, but respectfully. Talk in a quiet voice. Don’t lose your cool. Distract them.
But recently, someone told me the best thing to do is turn on the mommy love, even if you’re insanely frustrated. Give the child a great big bear hug. Not a tentative hug. Not a frustrated pat on the back. But a good old squeeze. When my little one was in a fit the other day, I did just that. I scooped her in my arms, kissed her cheeks, hugged her tightly, and miraculously, she began to calm.
Clearly, it doesn’t work every time, but it’s another tactic to hold in your back pocket. According to one child psychologist quoted in Parents Magazine: “Hugs make kids feel secure and let them know that you care about them, even if you don’t agree with their behavior.”