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You must have seen your toddler showing temper tantrums more than before. This is actually normal. Whenever a kid turns between the age of 18 months to 3 years, they find everything around them to be newer than before. Moreover, they even find it difficult to communicate their problems and needs with their parents or caregivers, because they don’t exactly know how to!
As a result, they might end up choosing some negative behaviours to pass on their problems to adults. Tantrums are often disproportionate to the circumstances. You may call it a natural instinct how they show their displeasure or anger or alarm about their problems by reacting very strongly to a mild situation. Say when you ask your little one to put a toy away, they react by being hyper. They may start screaming or crying loudly or flapping their hands vigorously. In few cases, children get aggressive and break things or hold their breath as part of a tantrum
Reasons behind tantrums
Always remember that tantrums are not a sign of bad parenting; they’re an essential developmental stage Basically, there are a lot of reasons or causes of toddler tantrums but the most common ones include –
- Some children are more prone to tantrums, particularly kids who don’t adapt well to new environments. Children who are intense, hyperactive, or moody generally react more.
- Messed up routine like Stress, hunger and tiredness can make it harder for children to express and manage feelings and behaviour.
- Inadequate speech development
- Repeating or copying the aggressive behaviour of children’s around
- Sometimes Kids show tantrums when they are seeking attention or Wanting something (such as a treat or toy).
Now try finding the real cause by narrowing down the reasons behind child behaviour. This will be the right time to intervene, and take a step ahead to cure the issue. Stopping it all immediately won’t work the best, you have to move step-by-step, because stopping immediately will make them more aggressive.
How to handle when your child throws a tantrum?
Try few strategies during your child’s temper tantrum:
Ignore Paying Attention
ignoring is the best strategy to stop any tantrum. Just pretend that you can’t hear their screaming, and avert your eyes. Just walk away if you have to, but you don’t shower your child with any type of attention.
Stop giving in Your Child During a Tantrum
Most of us give in to our child’s tantrums due to various reasons. We melt down and feel their displeasure is genuine. But the fact is that once you give in to calm them down you validate their stance and give them the license to repeat the same again. You give them the escape route and teach them a bad lesson.
Stay calm: Do know that when you will stay calm even your kid will stay calm, Once your child is mid-tantrum, don’t threaten, lecture or argue with them and don’t victimize them at all. If your kid is younger enough, help them recognize their anger by displaying their actions and it’s after effects.
Stop Warning Your Child Repeatedly
Make sure to not use threats you don’t plan to follow. Repeating your warnings like “Stop screaming right now or you’ll have to sit in the car,” over and over again, without actually doing it show them that you never mean what you say. Try separate room for a time-out if necessary. Also don’t Offer upfront rewards as it will only will only encourage them to throw tantrums.
How to prevent tantrums
There is not any fool proof way to prevent tantrums, but you can always to encourage good behaviour to prevent tantrums.
- Be consistent and stick to routines like nap times and bedtimes during the day. Any child can show temper he or she doesn’t have enough rest or quiet time.
- Give your child enough freedom to make appropriate choices. Avoid saying no to everything. Give them choices like “Would you like to wear your blue shirt or your yellow shirt?” “Would you like to eat mangoes or bananas?” “Would you like to read a book or play with your blocks?”
- Always appreciate their each little effort because it really matters a lot. For example, if your kid is struggling with a toy, look at them and give a gentle smile. Praise their behavior and ask them to be patient!
- Avoid situations likely to trigger tantrums. Try and stay clear of areas with temptations where you know that child can show tantrums like toys shops or treats. if you know that your child will acts up in restaurants, choose places that offer quick service.
- Help your child to label emotions: Children often can’t describe their frustration, jealousy, anger or disappointment. Tantrums are how they express their feelings. Give them the words they need to express those feelings and help them accept them.
Stop judging yourself as a parent because your child has a momentary breakdown . Remember that all children show temper tantrums. Instead, focus on how you handle those tantrums. And remember that at the end of the day you’re also learning as you go.
I am writing 26 post in this series .Do check my earlier post