Mom Monday-Stop the Tantrum and Stay Calm

20 Nov

“Please Stop” is what my four year old son yells, when he doesn’t get his way.  Here’s an example of what I discovered during one of our misunderstandings.  I hope it helps you stop the tantrum as well.

Recently we were out in public picking up the girls from an event.  My son began screaming “please stop” as he hit my arm.  He was upset with the fact that we had to pick up the girls and he was tired and wanted to sleep.

Here's how to handle those temper tantrums.

A crowd began to experience his tantrum which made me feel uncomfortable because I knew I was being watched and I felt that I would be judged by how I handled this situation.  I kept telling myself “He’s tired,” to harness patience. After all, we had gone fishing that morning and he had missed his normal 30 minute nap.

As the crowd watched my son continue to yell “please stop mom” and hit my arm, I found myself clamping my jaw shut because I wanted to yell “please stop” back.  My first instinct was to offer the crowd a “people pleasing” excuse.  I was embarrassed and extremely frustrated but still wanted to excuse his misbehavior.  My ego was in overdrive.

While I was waiting for the girls to get out of class, I tried to remember any tips and tools from my parenting classes that would help me in this situation.  Honestly what I realized was that none of my parenting classes ever covered the hitting and screaming step.

I knew that by giving in to his behavior I would be giving him the desired result he was screaming for.  So, I decided to take matters into my own hands right then and there.

I turned around, looked my son directly in the eyes and in a calm, stern voice I told him “You have two choices.  Sit quietly and wait for your sisters or continue to scream and hit and you will not be included in any activities this evening.  What would you like to do?”  He realized then he was no longer in control of the situation, so he quickly picked choice number one.

Like most children and adults my son likes to be in control.  When he feels out of control he will test the waters, which usually comes in the form of a temper tantrum.  When I give in, his behavior gets worse.  I realize that every time I give in I am supporting his behavior.  This “learned” behavior has the potential to carry into adulthood if I don’t correct it now.

A few days later, (after the situation had run its course) I decided to have a family discussion around making healthy choices.  We talked about why it’s not a healthy choice to scream and hit other people when we are upset.

This discussion provided everyone with a framework for addressing our anger in a healthier manner.  I recommend talking about these types of situations as they arise because they are fresh in the child’s mind.

Parenting is an ongoing classroom where we learn from each experience.  This was a profound moment for me because I realized how I teach my children now will carry with them into adulthood.


Crystal Horton is a family strategist that provides proven practical strategies for “thriving” rather than “surviving” in today’s fast paced parenting world.  Crystal’s enlightening, energetic strategies Crystal Hortonare designed to promote a greater sense of family life balance while also opening deeper levels of communication within the family unit. Crystal is married and is the mother of three small children.  She lives in Colorado. To learn more about Crystal, her coaching programs or upcoming seminars visit

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