Almost all children, who continue to tantrum past the age of three, are exhibiting an abnormal amount of tantrums. Most children stop their tantrum behavior after the age of three. Also, most confine their tantrums to the home. Very few children “lose-it” in school. Children learn from kindergarten on to avoid embarrassment. Most five-year-olds figure out early that they don’t want to be seen by their peers laying on the kindergarten floor kicking and screaming in a tirade. It is their introduction to avoiding social embarrassment. Therefore, the control center of the brain, the frontal lobe, is helping them to avoid having a tantrum in the school setting. Observing this, Dr. Wilson set about to devise the Tantrum Intervention.
The Tantrum Intervention gives the frontal lobe a directive to remember so that it will issue control over the tantrum the next time it is about to occur. The message is:
“If I let the Tantrum Monster take control, I’ll end up looking like a little baby. Mom won’t pay attention to me anyway or give me what I want. I need to stop myself.”
The brain’s frontal lobe can and does control tantrum behavior. It just needs (the right thought-schema) to do so. Research has borne out that the primary and most frequent reward for the tantrum is adult attention. With these ideas in mind, it should be clear why touching, talking to, trying to reason with the child who is in meltdown phase only serves to make the tantrum worse.
During a tantrum, the frontal lobe is out of commission, and a primitive, aggressive older brain function is in control. But!!! Amazingly, there is still a brain function that enables awareness of who is paying attention to this tantrum. Given that understanding, the Tantrum Intervention, will seek to hijack that brain function.
Watch a video explanation of how to give your child’s brain this message so that your child can stop themselves from going into tantrum mode. Also download the handouts that are given to parents in the FAST treatment program. Theses handouts explain step by step how to do this.Download Handouts