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How to handle 4 year old temper tantrums

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When my son was 4 years old, he had some wicked temper tantrums. Seriously, he could throw down with the best of them.

It took some trial and error figuring out how to deal with his tantrums. I taught him a breathing exercise, offered hugs, asked him to use his words, or simply walked away after first making sure he was safe, whatever the tantrum called for at the moment.

I also discovered that one way to reduce the amount of tantrums was to eliminate the common triggers for them - hunger, tiredness, and frustration. I reassured him that it was ok to feel angry or sad but it was not ok to be mean to other people or things.

Even though I knew that tantrums were a very normal part of the preschooler stage, it was no less frustrating. Each tantrum required listening to what he was saying, echoing back or validating his feelings, giving him time to cool off, discussing the matter, and having him apologize if necessary.

It's hard for little ones to learn how to handle their emotions appropriately so it's very important we make them feel safe with us.

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