Screaming toddlers are something you just can’t avoid as a parent . . . but that doesn’t mean you have to keep listening to the screaming! After having raised three crazy, tantruming kiddos myself, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. This particular one, however, let’s you stop tantrums in seconds, even if you have one of those intense children who can tantrum for hours.
What is it? Water. Running water can stop that tantrum in its tracks.
I originally came across this idea when I was searching for ways to work with my oldest son, who could literally scream for hours. He could tantrum the entire day, in fact. We had no idea what to do with him until I came across a book called Raising Your Spirited Child. It was amazing. The book is packed with great information, but it was worth the price for this one tip alone.
Running water works wonders with children like my son, who are spirited and can sustain a freak out session for far longer than parents can handle it. However, it works just as well with not-so-spirited kids, as my next two children proved. In fact, this trick even works for adults . . . I’ve used it several times myself!
Running Water to Stop Tantrums
Here’s how it works:
You need some sort of running water. We started with a warm shower, but you can actually do this in the sink, too.
Put your child under the water. If they aren’t keen on having faces wet, don’t worry about the whole body shower, just let them put whatever body parts they feel comfortable with under the spray. If you have a handheld spray head, you can use this, gently moving it down the body, from the neck.
If you’re using the tap, set it to a comfortable temperature and let your child place their hands under the water. They’re not washing up, so they can just turn their hands and watch the water fall over them.
What if your child doesn’t want anything to do with the water? Let’s face it, telling a screaming, flailing toddler that they need to put their hands under water is probably not going to work. The first couple of times, we picked said screaming toddler up and put him, clothes and all, in the shower.
You may need to lift your little one to hold their hands under the tap, as well and that’s easier said than done with a floppy kid. It is definitely worth the effort though.
Have you tried using water to stop tantrums before? How did it work for you? Let us know in the comments.