40 Ways to Prevent Tantrums

Page 2

  • Play treasure hunt.

    In a waiting room, grab a few magazines and say, "Who can find a picture of a flower?" The first one to spot it gets to name the next object to find.
  • Plan special deliveries.

    Write a letter to your child -- in pig latin if he's old enough -- and keep it in your purse. You might even enclose a few stickers in the envelope. A younger child may like to play postman and deliver his mail back to you.
  • Get silly.

    Suddenly announce, "Oh, I think I hear the tickle spider coming to see you!" and delicately walk your fingers up her arm.
  • Don't show and tell.

    Have your child close his eyes. Take something out of your purse, and put it in his hand. See if he can guess what it is.
  • "Draw" on your child's back.

    Trace a face with your finger, and see if she can tell which feature you're drawing. Try letters, numbers, or even words. Let her draw something on your back
  • Snag some supplies.

    If you don't have something to draw on at a restaurant, ask the waitress to bring over some paper place mats or extra napkins.
  • Tell a story together.

    "Happily and unhappily" is a wonderful game that my sister-in-law from England taught us. You might say, "Happily, Peter received a card with five dollars in it from Grandma." "Unhappily, the wind blew it down the street," your child says. "Happily, it stopped right in front of his house." "Unhappily, the dog grabbed it and ran off. . ." and so on.
  • Pose a question.

    Have your children respond with words starting with their initials: For example, "What do you like to do, Emily Johnson?" "Eat jelly!"
  • Play hangman.

    Here's a variation on the standard game that you can play with a younger child: Tell him a three-letter word; then make three dashes and have him try to guess what the letters are.
  • Try "I spy."

    Say, "I spy something yellow" or "I spy something that begins with the letter S." Whoever guesses correctly picks the next thing to find. A variation that's easier for young children is to say, "Follow my eyes to something blue" and have them guess what you're looking at.
  • Play with food.

    Bring Cheerios for your baby or toddler to a restaurant, and make a face out of them for her to gobble up.
  • Count cash.

    Take out a dollar bill, and have your child guess how many times the word one appears on each side. How about the number 1? Try coins and other bills. Then let your child quiz you.
  • Fantasize.

    Imagine your dream bedroom. My son's contained a swimming pool, and mine had a fireplace.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment