How many times were you out with your child whether at the mall, the supermarket, or anywhere else, and your child simply had a meltdown, laid down on the floor, and threw an uncontrollable tantrum? How many times did your child simply have a temper tantrum while playing, eating, showering, or during any other activity at home?
Children sometimes have temper tantrums at times where we may simply be unable to control them and feel like we – the adults – may have our own meltdown because of the uncontrollable crying, screaming, and kicking.
The good news is that temper tantrums are pretty normal and almost all toddlers go through them at one point or another in their lives. As toddlers grow and learn how to express themselves, if they feel like they are trying to deliver a message to you, and you don’t understand them, they may end up throwing a temper tantrum out of frustration and nothing more.
What is a temper tantrum?
In simple words, a temper tantrum is an emotional outburst because a child is frustrated because he/she did not get what they wanted. Temper tantrums are normal for children ages 1-4 as they are still learning how to handle the burst of emotions they are going through and learning to speak their first words.
What causes temper tantrums?
It is important to know that as innocent as kids may seem, they always test us as parents. For example, you are at the mall, you pass by the dreaded toy store, and your child decides that he/she wants to buy a toy, you say no, and this is when the drama starts. Your child starts screaming, crying, kicking, hitting, biting, and the situation spirals out of control.
Reasons tantrums happen can be very simple, from the child wanting a toy and not understanding why you simply can’t give in, to other basic triggers such as being sleepy, hungry, or not feeling well.
How do we deal with temper tantrums?
The most important thing parents should bear in mind when their child is going through a tantrum is to stay as calm as possible because screaming at your child will only make things worse.
- Distraction: The best technique that works with children during temper tantrums is distraction. If your child is having a tantrum because they want to play with something that is dangerous for example, start giving them other options. Show them other toys they can have, take them out for a walk, sing, dance, try doing anything that may take their mind off what caused the tantrum.
- Reassurance: If your child is upset, not kicking or being violent, hugging or reassuring them that you understand their feelings may help them feel better and calm them down. Try your best to remove them from the situation while explaining that you understand that they are upset but they can’t get whatever they want.
- Let them cry it out: When your child is going through a tantrum, they are simply expressing that they are upset or frustrated, so it is best to let them have their meltdown because nothing you say at that moment will make a difference to them.
- The most important thing is not to give in to your child’s tantrums and give them what they want, because this way you are sending a message that screaming and shouting will help them get what they want.
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Sources used in this article:
- How To Handle a Temper Tantrum- WebMD
- Temper Tantrums- Medline Plus
- Temper Tantrums in Toddlers: How to Keep the Pace- Mayo Clinic
- Temper Tantrums- NHS