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Researchers from the Yale Child Study Center (CSC) have created an online tool that helps parents manage children’s tantrums.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, CSC had started developing a virtual program that trains parents to deal with children’s tantrums. Researchers then had no idea that telehealth treatments would eventually become popular because of social distancing measures.
The online tool includes short animated modules with videos that show what usually triggers children’s tantrums and how to handle them. Some of the scenes in the videos show a child throwing a fit because it was already bedtime and a kid having a bad temper at a grocery store because his parents did not buy him candy.
To know whether the tool is effective, CSC researchers enrolled 15 families in the program. These families have children aged three to nine with behavioral disorders characterized by anger and irritability. Researchers asked parents to notify them after completing a module and update their progress on a behavior chart. Afterward, researchers set online meetings with parents to give them feedback to make them feel more confident. During the meetings, the researchers also try to personalize the tools for every family’s specific situation.
After the eight-week training program, the 12 families who completed the online training said their children’s tantrums became fewer, and they managed to have more composure when their kids were misbehaving.
According to Denis Sukhodolsky, senior author of the study, the program has the potential to be rolled out to parents all over the United States. He added that dealing with children’s tantrums is a learning opportunity for parents. He advised parents during such situations to ignore the minor misbehaviors but not the child.