Have you ever experienced temper tantrums in toddlers?
You’re at the supermarket with your toddler, and suddenly they request something you can’t buy, and immediately you give a negative response. It looks as if hell is about to let loose.
What do you think should be your response to the situation above? Should you scream? Lose your temper too? Flog them? What exactly can you do in a case like this?
You’re about to find out the best ways to navigate temper tantrums in toddlers.
What are temper tantrums?
A tantrum is a young child’s expression of displeasure with their limitations or rage at not being able to attain what they want.
Perhaps your child is having difficulty understanding or completing a job.
Perhaps your child lacks the vocabulary to describe their emotions. Frustration can lead to an outburst, leading to a temper tantrum.
When your child is sleepy, hungry, sick, or going through a transition, their frustration threshold is lower, and tantrums are more likely.
Tantrums can be physical, verbal, or a combination of both. Your youngster may act out, be disruptive, and show other negative behaviors.
They usually act this way because they desire or need something they can’t communicate verbally.
Tantrums are frequently out of proportion to the situation. In other words, children have a tremendous emotional response to what is most likely a minor incident.
You might instruct your child to put away a toy or decline a treated request, for example. Thrashing, yelling, and beating may ensue.
Tantrums are most common between one and four, with up to one per day. When a youngster starts school, they usually diminish. They’re talking more at this age, so they can verbally convey their requirements.
Tantrums typically last two to fifteen minutes. Tantrums that last longer than 15 minutes could indicate a more serious issue.
Consult your primary care physician if your child has frequent, violent outbursts.
Read Also: Teaching Your Children Personal Hygiene
Causes of temper tantrums in toddlers
Tantrums are common among youngsters aged 1 to 2 attempting to communicate a need—more milk, a diaper change, that toy over there—but lacking the verbal skills to do so. When you don’t reply to what they’re saying,’ they get angry and throw a fit.
Temper tantrums are more of a power struggle for older children. By the age of three or four, children have become more independent.
They are more aware of their needs and desires—and want to express them more. What happens if you don’t comply? Tantrum city.
Your child can finally use words to tell you what they need or desire once they reach preschool, but that doesn’t mean their tantrums are ended.
Because your child is still learning to manage their emotions, a minor dispute can quickly escalate into a full-fledged tantrum.
Needing your assistance can be frustrating since your youngster cherishes their increasing independence.
When they do a difficult chore, such as tying their shoes, and realize they can’t accomplish it alone, they may lose it. A wailing, a crying toddler could be the result.
Other things that can cause temper tantrums in toddlers include:
- Temperament determines how quickly and strongly children react to stressful situations or changes in their surroundings. Children who are more sensitive to these things may be more readily agitated.
- Stress, hunger, exhaustion, and overstimulation can make it difficult for youngsters to express and manage their emotions while remaining calm.
- Situations that youngsters cannot handle — for example, a toddler may struggle to cope if an older child takes away a toy.
- For children, strong emotions such as worry, fear, embarrassment, and wrath can be overwhelming.
It’s important to remember that tantrums aren’t a sign of poor parenting; they’re a normal part of the growth process.
Tantrums help children learn to manage their negative emotions.
Sometimes children become overstimulated by their new independence and meltdown.
What to do when your toddler throws a temper tantrum
Staying cool is usually the best response to a tantrum.
Your child may copy your behavior if you reply with loud, angry outbursts. Screaming at a child to calm down will make matters worse.
Instead, try to divert your child’s attention. A different book, a different setting, or making a funny face could all be beneficial.
If you’ve persuaded your child to do anything against their will, offer to assist. If you’ve advised your child not to play in a given place, show them where it’s acceptable.
Other tips include:
Ignore the situation
If your child is having a tantrum, ignore them unless they put themselves or others in danger.
You won’t reinforce their bad behavior if you take your attention away totally. Set a timer for a few minutes to check on them after leaving the room.
Handle aggressive behavior immediately
During a meltdown, is your child yelling, punching, kicking, biting, or throwing things?
Stop them right away and take them out of the situation. Make it clear that causing harm to others is not an option.
If necessary, take away a privilege and place them in a time-out.
However, use time-outs sparingly; the more you use them, the less effective they become.
Prepare for potential temper tantrums
Ensure your child is well-rested and fed before going shopping or on other outings; bring an interactive toy or a book with you, and have them help you pick out a few items.
You might also try the following strategy: Bring paper and a pen, and say, “Let’s write that down,” when your child asks for something.
Make a list, then read back some healthier options after the journey and let your child choose one or two items.
Making a list will divert their attention and make them feel included while also promising a prize at the end.
What should you not do when dealing with temper tantrums in toddlers
Even when we know how to respond to a tantrum as parents, it’s difficult to resist doing the incorrect thing in the heat of the moment — something that doesn’t help but makes matters worse.
Here are some suggestions to help you avoid making a mistake.
Don’t tell your child how to feel
This is a fantastic general rule (that applies to toddlers, preschoolers, and the rest of humanity) applicable to tantrums.
“Don’t be angry” or “Stop becoming so upset!” are examples of comments that not only negate young children’s feelings and experiences but also tell them to feel something different than they do.
Although these words may temporarily stop a tantrum, I’ve seen young children get even more unhappy due to them.
When parents help them define their feelings or express the situation, kids frequently calm down.
Don’t take their actions personal
When your toddler or preschooler has a temper tantrum, she may quickly go all out. So, how does that look? “I despise you!” “I want another mommy” “I’m looking for Daddy, not you!” “Go away!”
It’s never pleasant to hear these things, especially from your child. These are, nevertheless, legitimate expressions of rage for youngsters of this age.
Getting furious and replying in kind — “You’re mean, too” — will do nothing to help your child feel better and aggravate the problem.
To avoid having their child experience (and express, most commonly in tantrum form) disappointment or irritation, parents frequently lie — or, ahem, tell half-truths.
In the short run, it benefits you because the next 10 minutes will be more manageable than they would be otherwise.
However, getting into the habit of depending on these lies establishes a bad precedent in the long run. You must be honest with your child if you want them to be honest with you.
What should you do after a temper tantrum?
After the tantrum is over, you can talk with your child about what happened. You can also talk about how they can avoid tantrums in the future. Try to:
Praise them for calming down
Encourage your child’s good choices and positive conduct. Children enjoy being praised for their excellent behavior.
Make your statement as specific as possible. “You did a terrific job using your inside voice at the store,” remark instead of “You were so good.”
These statements inform your toddler about what is expected and acceptable behavior.
Acknowledge their feelings
Make it clear to your youngster that you understand their annoyances. Offer to assist. Children frequently desire attention, so acknowledging them might help them feel better.
Set a good example
Children look up to their parents and observe their actions. When you’re unhappy or disappointed, healthy model strategies and your child will begin to imitate your actions.
When things don’t go as planned, and you have a tantrum, be kind to yourself.
Raising children is a significant and challenging task that all parents must learn. You’re doing your best, but you can’t have it all.
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