The simple tantrum taming hack that will actually calm your child down 3 weeks ago

The simple tantrum taming hack that will actually calm your child down

My little boy is currently (still) going through a bit of a tantrum phase.

As in, when things don't go his way, when his sister annoys him, when he can't find his pirate sword, when a crumb breaks off the cookie he is eating, he is now prone to getting pretty angry and tearful and horrible about it.

Which, I know, I know, comes with being little, but sometimes he is acting up so much I feel like maybe I am doing something wrong by not giving him a time-out or being stricter about his tantrums...

And then I came across this little tip on one of my favourite blogs, Cup of Jo, where a reader has replied to a post with how she was able to calm her son's tantrums – and it has (so far!) worked like a charm.

Here is the comment left by Cup of Jo reader Joey:

The most life-changing book I read was Playful Parenting. The main idea was that you need to make time regularly to sit on the floor and PLAY with your children. Doing other stuff with them is great, but doesn’t count as “floor time.” Temper tantrums went from nearly every day to almost never when I started doing twenty minutes of floor time most days when my son was two or three. Now he’s six, and my daughter is three.

I have now tried this with my little boy the last week, as in scheduling in floor time for just me and him (while his sister reads or watches Barbie, Life in the Dream House for the 26th time...). We build Lego towers, or make the train tracks reach all around the room or even sneakily play with his sister's Shopkins or extensive Barbie collection, it doesn't really matter, the point being that I am down on his level, and we are playing, just me and him.

And guess what, it has worked. Not only are we having a lovely mama-and-Luca time when we are playing, but it has definitively reduced the number of tantrums happening throughout the day too. Which I think is because he know maybe feels like he has had my attention all to himself that day, and will get it again tomorrow, and it just somehow keeps him calmer and less emotional.

I know you might be thinking that 'sure, I do floor time too,' as in we always sit down with our kids when they play, but the difference, I think, is that before, I had a tendency to just sit with them, but my mind was other places, sometimes mentally writing shopping lists, other times worrying about something I need to get done in work.

Now, I try to stay in the moment with him when we play, and if I can feel my mind slipping into 'something else' mode, I bring it back to this moment, on the floor with him, and it has really made a difference, I think. Not only to him, but also to me. I feel like a better mama for giving him this time, having me all to himself.

What are YOUR best tried-and-tested methods for calming tantrums? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie