I have made it a point from an early age to really work on the feelings because I would see him get so mad. His tantrums were getting violent and the stronger he got the more they hurt. I was getting bruises from the kicking and hitting. I reached out to some parents I knew with children who hit and punched during tantrums and was given a few pointers. Best thing I have done to this point is the “take a breath” method. I have no clue who came up with it but I have adapted it into our day and to fit the moments of frustration. It seems to give him the power of his emotions and the ability to calm himself. Sometimes he will do it on his own and sometimes he needs a little guidance.
Yesterday we were in the book store and he was mad because we had to leave and he didn’t want to stop playing with the train set they have (we were there for over an hour). He threw one of the trains at my head. He then was thrashing himself as I was putting him in his stroller and nearly tipped the whole thing over as he was doing so. Once he was in he was thrashing back and forth like a fish out of water so I took him in the hall knelt in front of him and held his hands gently and asked him to breath. he took a breath and said “not working” and I soothingly asked him to take another breath and he did so repeating “not working”. We did this a few more times and then after his last deep breath he did a huge “ahhh” exhale and said “all better”. The process took about 4 – 5 minutes but he ws able to calm himself with guidance.