Information on dealing with a toddler's fits, rages and temper tantrums.
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What are Temper Tantrums?
As frustrating as they are, temper tantrums are a normal part of early childhood. Essentially, temper tantrums are your child’s way of dealing with frustration and disappointment and a way for children to establish some independence.
Coming in a great variety of shapes and sizes, temper tantrums can range from fits of screaming and uncontrollable crying, to great explosions of anger and acting-out behavior. In the throws of a tantrum, children may drop to the floor, kick, scream, or run away, and in some cases, hold their breath, vomit or become physically aggressive to those around them.
What Causes Temper Tantrums?
An important thing to keep in mind is that your child is not throwing a tantrum simply to annoy you; in fact, your child is probably just as distressed and stressed as you are except they just aren’t as good at containing these negative emotions.
If properly controlled, temper tantrums can be kept to a minimum and they need not be a major cause for concern. However, some children do have a lower tolerance for frustration and sometimes parents and their children need a little help.
Help for Temper Tantrums
Consistent discipline, firm guidelines and a loving home environment can help your child to overcome the storms of excessive temper tantrums and bring peace to your household!
Tips for taming Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums do decline as children get older and they learn to develop more effective ways of dealing with their emotions, until then; here are a few things that may help you control your child’s temper tantrums more effectively:
- Never reward the tantrum. Your child will not learn more effective ways of reasoning if the temper tantrums are working just fine. While most parents know this golden rule, it is so often broken because it is often much easier than having to deal with the alternative. However, giving in to your child’s demands and moving the boundaries will cause bigger problems later on and it will make your child uncertain and confused about your authority.
- Where you can, prevent the tantrum before it happens. temper tantrums are more likely to occur if your child is tired, hungry or over-stimulated, so take care of these issues first. Also, learn to be in tune to what your child is feeling. If you sense they are getting frustrated or bored, then distract them of remove them from the aggravating situation before the tantrum happens.
- Learn to identify the tantrum triggers. Certain situations such as such as shopping, mealtimes and the end of play-time are common triggers. Prepare your child well in advance for these times so that they know exactly what to expect. If your child is not allowed something, then you can also keep that thing out of reach or out of sight so that it is not a constant temptation.
- Stay calm, and if you’re not – then just pretend. Getting into a state will only aggravate the situation so the best thing to do is to stay calm. Keep your voice cool and level and your actions slow yet deliberate.
- Be constant in your reaction. If your child knows exactly what to expect then he or she will quickly learn that the tantrum is fruitless. Make sure that there is no reward involved.
- Wait it out. Sometimes the best thing to do is to ignore the tantrum altogether or put your child in time out. Reasoning should be done before a tantrum and will usually be to no avail if done during the tantrum. Once your child has cooled off, then re-explain the situation and a how it could have been handled differently.
- Always reward the good behavior. Make sure you give plenty of praise on those occasions where your child has successfully managed frustration and disappointment.
- Lastly, accept that you cannot directly control your child’s emotions. Your child’s temper tantrums are not a testament to your parenting skills. Rather, judge your parenting on how you are able to handle the situation, leaving room for being human and the odd day where you don’t handle things well.