Tantrums are a normal part of child development. Children throw tantrums to seek attention. The attention of their parents, guardians or simply their loved ones around.
Children having tantrums might cry or scream, become aggressive or run away. For young children, tantrums happen when they have trouble with ‘big’ feelings. Older children might have tantrums because they’re still learning to self-regulate and the list may go on.
Tantrums may happen for different reasons. It may happen if the child is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. Tantrums may also happen when the child is upset or frustrated or something is bothering him/her which he/she is not able to express clearly. They can have a meltdown because they can’t get something like a toy or anything of their interest.
Some children throw tantrums too frequently to seek attention. Children with gratification are less likely to do that. A self-discipline child is able to take a stronger stand against a temptations than a less disciplined. So, it is important to impart self-discipline in children and raise a happy child.
Tantrums usually begin in children as early from the age of 12 to 18 months. It get worse between age 2 to 3, then decrease until age 4 and so on. Tantrums are worsened by the fact that the child may not have the vocabulary to express his or her feelings.
How to respond to kids tantrums?
Coping with tantrums requires parental efforts, emotionally and mentally. Parents must learn to balance the difference between the needs and desires and cut on the unwanted demands. The only way possible out to this is to understand the reason behind it.
When kids throw tantrums these 5 steps can help parents to handle the situation in much simple way:
1. Stay calm
This is the best way to respond to a child’s tantrum. Always believe that all children throw tantrums at some point of time but for different reasons. It is a normal behavior. So, if parents observing that the child is throwing tantrum, firstly, they must keep themselves calm and accept this behavior.
Take a pause and breathe. Try to observe and understand the reason why the child is behaving in such manner? What is it that’s bothering the child? Give the child sometime to settle on his own. When the child sees that the parents are staying calm on this kind of behavior he will not throw tantrums for longer. He may wants to talk to you and express or explain the reason. Have quality time-outs together.
2. Respond and don’t react
A parent must respond to the child’s tantrum, with confidence, and donot react to it. An immediate reaction may worsen the situation. Children may feel unwanted. Or they may develop a feeling of not being loved and cared. A poignant feeling may settle in their tiny brains.
For eg: if child breaks a glass instead of reacting or yelling on him, one may respond in a calm manner and say, ” This was your favorite glass and now you have to drink your favorite milkshake in other common glasses.” To respond in a calm manner, it is very important that the parents must be at their inner peace first. A regular meditation can be a great help.
3. Stay close and be emotionally available
The parents must extend emotional support to children on their tantrums and try to calm them down. Don’t take your toddler’s tantrum personally. Try to stay closely focused on them and encourage all their feelings. A small hug creates magic. Hugs make kids feel secure and let them know that you care about them, even if you don’t agree with their behavior. Talk about their emotions and understand the reason behind it.
Some children, out of envy, behave in disparity and try to influence their parents for something that they have observed with some other child and wants to desire the same. They do not express it directly and create chaos to make their parents understand the same without them uttering a word.
4. Try distractions
This is another pragmatic way to lower down the tantrums. A change of location can be effective. Children easily gets distracted when they find other choices of their interests. Try to divert your child in something more appropriate and feasible. Or indulge them in activities where there can be a parent child co-ordination. Like, a child demanding a personal video game can be easily distracted by saying “let’s go to the play area and have the rounds of your favorite game.”
5. Let your child burst out anger
Sometimes children just needs to get his anger out. So let them! (Just make sure there’s nothing in tantrum’s way that could hurt them.) I’m a big believer in this approach because it helps children learn how to vent in a nondestructive way. They’re able to get their feelings out, pull themselves together, and regain self-control—without engaging in a yelling match or battle of wills with you.”
Well, there’s no one right way to deal with a toddler temper tantrum. But having a defined set of rules can be helpful. At the top of the “don’t” list are yelling and hitting, but short-term solutions such as bribing, begging, and giving in are also poor strategies. “If you give in, you are rewarding the tantrum and ensuring that it will happen again and again.
What can I do to help my child behave well?
Foremost, accept your child’s basic personality, whether it’s shy, social, talkative, active, introvert or extrovert. Basic personality is inherited, it changes gradually with learning phase but can’t be transformed completely. Let the child be on his own. He will thrive with his own pace.
Also, one can make a list of important rules and go over them with your child. Develop little routines and rituals, especially at bedtimes and mealtimes. Rules can be related to behavior, etiquettes, mannerism, and expectations. The fewer the rules, the less rule-breaking behavior you may have to deal with.
Try to avoid situations that can make your child cranky, such as becoming overly stimulated, tired, or bored. Don’t criticize your child in front of other people. Describe your child’s behavior as bad, but don’t label your child as bad. Praise your child often when he or she deserves it. Touch him or her affectionately and often.
Children want and need attention from their parents. Do not over react and yell on child’s tantrum. Instead, take a pause, breathe and walk away. Give some time to settle the things. Once, the situation is calmer talk to your child. Grab their attention. All they need is someone to listen to them. Give yourself a NO yelling challenge
Last and not the least, adjust your expectations.
Remember that kids have normal behavior. And they get easily influenced. They act on similar lines, what they observe. So try making an environment what you want them to be like. Eventually, the will fall for it.
When should I worry about toddler tantrums?
Tantrums are a normal part of your child’s development. They happen as a child learns to become more independent. Tantrums happen most frequently between ages 1 and 4, averaging up to one a day. They typically decrease when a child starts school. At this age, they’re talking more, so they can express their needs verbally.
Tantrums usually last between two and 15 minutes. Violent tantrums that last longer than 15 minutes may be a sign of a more serious problem. If your child has lengthy, violent outbursts, talk to your healthcare provider.
If my child throws a tantrum, does that mean I’m a bad parent?
A child’s temper tantrum is not a reflection of poor parenting. They’re a normal part of child development. It is an inability of a child to express his wants in a clearer way. The child wants an immediate attention. There can be a possibility that the child has been influenced by someone. The parent only needs to understand the reason behind it and try to find an alternative or the abiding solution to prevent it from happening again.
What should I do after the temper tantrum?
Once the tantrum is over, you can engage your child in conversation about what had happened. You can talk to your child and discuss what was the reason behind it and what should be done to prevent it from happening again in future. Try to:
Offer praise for calming down: Reinforce your child’s positive behavior and good choices. Children like recognition for good behavior. Be as specific as possible. Instead of, “You were so good,” say, “You did a great job!.” These statements help your child know what behaviors are expected and acceptable.
Acknowledge their feelings: Let your child know you understand their frustrations. Offer to help. Often, children are seeking attention, so acknowledging them can help ease their emotions.
Teach your child to label emotions: Children often don’t have the vocabulary they need. They can’t describe their frustration, jealousy, anger or disappointment. Tantrums are how they express their feelings. Give them the words they need to express themselves: “I see you’re angry now. You’re crying, and your face is red.”
Teach your child how to handle strong emotions: Help your child tp figure out how to deal with a problem without getting panic. They’ll learn that are able to solve some of the problems of their own which boosts their confidence. . They’ll become more independent and less prone to tantrums.
Set a good example: Children are keen observant and they look up to their parents, watching their behavior. Role Model healthy strategies when you’re upset or frustrated. Your child will begin to copy your behavior.
Temper tantrums are normal part of child development. Almost all toddlers throw frequent tantrums, an average of one a day. Temper tantrums often happen because children want to be independent but still seek a parent’s attention. Young children also lack the verbal skills to express their feelings in words.
When temper tantrums erupt, try to stay calm. Acknowledge your child’s emotions. When your child calms down, help them label those emotions and find a better way to respond. If your child has tantrums that last longer than 15 minutes or are very violent, talk to a healthcare provider. And if your child is older than 4 and still having frequent tantrums, it’s also a good idea to speak to your provider.