Tools for Tantrums – Parenting well with Preschoolers

Join us this week in the Good Dads studio as founder and director Dr. Jennifer Baker and J Fotsch jump into the third installment on the challenges and joys of parenting a 4- and 5-year-old children. 

Preschool-age children do not have the capacity to regulate their emotions as grown-ups, and some children throw more tantrums than others. One of the best way to avoid the potential meltdown is for dads to give choices: It offers leeway to strong-willed children so they can feel they have some control over their situation. By negotiating and getting down on your child’s level, parents can teach their children to manage their behavior. In fact, managing children is far more about teaching parents to manage their own behavior above all else.

  • (3:08) If you know a tantrum is likely to happen in the grocery store … where they want something and you’re not going to get that thing for them, then I would say, first of all, avoid taking them to the store.
  • (4:26) Try to forestal those tests of the will, especially the ones that you’re going to lose—because you can’t make a child chew and swallow. 
  • (7:22) So the worst case-case scenario is to give into this … Sometimes you know, you’re tired or you want them to just be quiet, so you just be like, “Ok, fine, three donuts, just get out of my face.”
  • (10:03) Usually tantrums happen around a particular setting.
  • (11:32) You gotta understand—we’ve all had moments when we’re not in a good space, and really, we just need a nap and a snack.
  • (12:58) That’s the thing, though. Kids know when you’re exhausted. They know! … They just sense it.