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A Soft Space
For Child Care providers
Type: For Child Care providers   Skills: Professional DevelopmentSocial & Emotional Skills
Since thereís not one activity that can prevent all the reasons a child may be throwing a tantrum, weíre going to introduce some strategies to help you manage childrenís tantrums. Not only will we discuss how to give children a safe place to express their frustrations and emotions, but weíll also learn how child care providers can document and observe what may trigger tantrums in certain children. This can help you prevent their behavior in the future by learning why and how a child gets to that emotional state. A Soft Space
What We Learn
Create an environment that discourages tantrums
Make sure your childís needs are met
Help him learn to regulate behavior and identify feelings
Give positive attention
Supply List
Patience
How-To
Children throw tantrums because they want your attention. Itís important that you resist giving them attention each time they throw a tantrum. Instead, ensure the safety of the child so that, for instance, they arenít near a bookshelf that can fall over on them or that they are thrashing so hard that they are banging their heads on the floor. You should create a soft, safe area for the kids. You can do that by putting down a soft comforter and pillows in an area. Make sure thereís nothing they can kick over or that can fall on them.

Itís important to explain why you are moving him so that the child knows whatís going on. Say something like, ďI see that youíre upset and Iím moving you because this isnít a safe place for you to show how upset you are. Iím moving you to a place where you can finish being upset in a safe way.Ē Let them know that you arenít giving into their tantrum, but you are still making their safety your first priority.

You should make a chart in a spiral notebook to observe and document the childís behavior. Write down when the tantrums occur, how long they last, along with the severity of the outburst. Make notes on what you observed happening before the child started to have the tantrum. Do this consistently so that you can see a pattern of behavior and recognize the triggers that cause it. Through observation and documentation, youíll be able to avoid tantrums by minimizing the external factors that may trigger a childís tantrums.

If a child has special needs, the provider or adult needs to assess where they are in their development and when it will be appropriate for them to start the process of communicating their needs. The adult can then help facilitate the process by helping the children communicate with simple words and gestures to have their needs met and then helping the children share the clues and the items with other children.
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