Last updated on July 8th, 2021 at 10:32 pm
It’s safe to say that all children throw temper tantrums, at least every once in a while. That’s normal. However, the degree of temper tantrums varies. Some children cry incessantly. Some kick their feet, scream, throw their toys, or throw themselves on the ground.
It can be embarrassing and frustrating when your child acts out while you have guests or are out shopping, but with patience and persistence, tantrums can become less frequent. Your pediatrician or a professional child behaviour therapist are experts you can turn to if you want to learn some effective strategies for dealing with temper tantrums. Even if your children are young, you can help them understand that throwing a tantrum is not the way to get what they want.
Causes of temper tantrums
Parents should look for the underlying reasons their child is throwing a temper tantrum. Not every tantrum or outburst is your child trying to manipulate you to get their way. They may be struggling to understand what’s going on, which makes them emotional. They may be acting out of frustration, disappointment, sadness, or anger.
Sometimes children scream and kick because they want you to help them take control of the situation. They may also be feeling some pain or discomfort that they cannot relay in words.
It’s your responsibility as an adult to find the underlying reason for the behavior. It may be that your child wants to control the situation, or, very often, children just cannot manage their emotions on their own.
Preventing temper tantrums
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to prevent all temper tantrums, but there are several things you can do to stop most of them before they start. Be observant, and look for signs your child is likely to become overwhelmed. This can happen when they’re tired or hungry. If you notice your child is prone to get upset at these times, don’t schedule tasks that will be difficult for them. Make sure your child takes a nap or has a snack before doing activities that maybe aren’t their favorite.
Tantrums can also be a result of improper expectations. For example, grandparents are often indulgent, and your child may get a toy every time they go to the store with Grandpa or Grandma. Your child may expect you to buy a toy for them when you go shopping too. It’s vital to have a talk with your child before these situations arise. Explain what they can expect when you go to the store. Explain what things you are buying and why. Let them know that it is alright to look at toys, but you are not buying toys every time you shop.
Refrain from giving in
While you may feel embarrassed when your child throws a fit because they want you to get them a toy, you should not give in. Although it’s inconvenient, stop shopping, and leave the store. Take your child to a quiet place, and allow them to calm down. Talk with your child, and explain why you are in the store, and why buying a toy is not included in the plan. You can practice active discipline strategies by praising your child for good behavior and giving rewards. You can even use these occasions to teach your child to save for what they want.
It’s completely normal for young children to have tantrums every now and then. It’s part of growing up–but knowing how to deal with temper tantrums is a parent’s responsibility. Positive parenting techniques that prevent tantrums will make your life and your child’s life much happier. After all, everyone needs to learn to express themselves in a healthy way. Teaching that skill to our children comes with the job of being a parent.
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