Should We Ignore Kid’s Tantrums?

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Should We Ignore Kid’s Tantrums

One advice we commonly hear when our kids throw tantrums is ‘IGNORE’ them. But should we ignore kid’s tantrums?

Kids only do this for attention.
Ignore them, don’t encourage.
Leave them alone for sometime and they will be fine’.

While this may work in a lot situations, it doesn’t work everytime. Does it?

For me it doesn’t really work. Everytime I face a situation of meltdown with my twins, I feel ‘ignoring’ offends them further. The entire issue gets even more escalated as they turn up the volume further, till it becomes unbearable! They feel neglected and to overcome that they scream even louder!

For us it only gets resolved when I pay full attention to their ‘attention-seeking’ behaviour. I may not give in to their demand but I also don’t leave them alone to cry-it-out.

Should we ignore kid's tantrums?

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Here’s what happens when we ignore attention-seeking behavior like meltdowns or tantrums of kids

1. It gives them the message that our love is conditional. i.e., we love them only if they behave well. If they don’t, all they’ll get is the ‘Silent Treatment’.

Even for us adults, it gets confusing when our partner gives us the silent treatment, right? Then imagine how baffling this could get for kids!

2. We miss addressing the underlying issue/ need.

If we don’t like the way our kid is expressing himself at the moment, ignoring him won’t help much. The underlying need that he is trying to convey won’t magically go away simply by ignoring. It may settle down for a moment but will resurface again.

So what to do instead?
Here’s what I do 

1. Instead of walking away, try to connect.

In the moment of a meltdown, I try to calm him first by listening, hugging, holding him near me. Make him feel ‘seen’ & ‘heard’ . Once he is calm, then try to talk and discuss about the incident.

2. Try to identify the need/cause.

Is the meltdown because he is hungry, sleepy, perhaps overtired ? Or he is bored, scared, hurt, lonely?
Instead of addressing the behaviour, try to address the need first.

If we stay calm and empathetic in the moment, kids feel we are there for them no matter what. Also watching us stay calm, they’ll eventually learn how to regulate their feelings and emotions too.

Children, ofcourse, need our attention! They’re children. What they want more than anything is our acceptance, our unconditional love and our constant emotional presence.

Did you find this post ‘Should we ignore kid’s tantrums’ helpful? Do share how you handle your kids tantrums in the comments below. 

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18 responses to “Should We Ignore Kid’s Tantrums?”

  1. Very valid points Charu. Aptly put. We should never ignore tantrums.

  2. 🙂 I am reliving those days when my boys were in this stage. Nicely written and well explained. There is lots of generational changes in attitudes and expressions. Every generation of parents find out ways to handle the situations they face. Afterall parenting has no rule book. Every decision by parents is always children centric and hence correct at that moment.

  3. These ways are so apt so connect with the child and solve the underlying issue instead of ignoring.

  4. I believe answer to your post’s title should be A BIG NO. I agree 100% to your points. Very valid.

  5. I agree with you. My little son thrown tantrum for toys and not attend online class

  6. jainnehas says:

    That’s true Ignoring is not a solution…

  7. True agre to your post .we need to connect rather than ignore

  8. Deepa says:

    Many times kids do it for attention and its not easy for moms to ignore. You shared some great tips to help other parents.

  9. I completely agree with you. If the kid is trying to seek your attention then give him/her your attention. And try to understand why he/she is doing that.

  10. Such valid points and great tips

  11. Deepti Menon says:

    The points you have shared are valid. Tantrums need to be addressed in the right manner – firmly and openly. Ignoring a tantrum will not make it go away, as you have pointed out.

  12. MeenalSonal says:

    Yes talking to them and addressing the issue at their bad temper help us to bond well with the kids.

  13. So true when you said, when we be calm they will understand too. This works well for me.

  14. Abha Singh says:

    Agree we should never ignore tantrums. Very well put. Unconditional love and acceptance what our kids need more than attention.

  15. Archana says:

    Yes I too firmly believe ignorance of any problem doesn’t lead you to the desired destination. We can win over any issue just by changing the mode of addressing it.

  16. My son is the king of tantrums but I try and be nice and try to ask him whats bothering him rather than ignoring him.

  17. Kiranmayi G says:

    Interesting post! We do assume everything is a tantrum by kids but your post makes anyone stop and rethink for a moment.

  18. Tina S says:

    These are very useful tips for parents. Thanks for sharing, Charu! #MyFriendAlexa #TinasPicks

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