Do you find yourself thinking this about your child? If so, here are some things that can help. Antecedent interventions, or things you can do to prior to the tantrum occurring, can be very effective at preventing the disruptive behavior. Instead of being reactive, you can prevent it all together. There is a reason the problem behavior occurs. If you provide what they are looking for prior to the behavior then you remove your child’s need to engage in the behavior. For example, if your child is looking for your attention and you give it to him, you may prevent a tantrum. Below are some guidelines to help. 

 

  • Attend to the good. Watch your child play and comment on what they are doing. Simple comments give your child attention that can help prevent the need for them to scream and cry to get attention.
  • Prompt engagement. If your child tends to find himself in trouble when not engaged in an activity, then make sure to get him started in an activity prior to walking away to start dinner, etc. Save those really preferred activities when you know your attention will be at its lowest. 
  • Provide structure. Put routines in place. Such as what you do when he gets up such as gets dressed, brushes teeth, eats breakfast, etc. This way he will know what is expected. 
  • Give choices when appropriate. Children shouldn’t get to choose everything. However, there are times you can allow them to make smart choices from the options you provide. She has to eat breakfast, but she could choose between two healthy options. He has to get dressed, but he could choose to wear the blue or green shirt. 

 

If you would like more information on how to change troubling behavior, check out our purposeful parenting training here.

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