Why your child has tantrum
A temper tantrum is the emotional equivalent of a summertime storm– abrupt and often intense. One minute you and your child remain in a dining establishment enjoying your dinner, the next minute she’s whimpering, whimpering, and after that screaming at the top of her lungs since her straw is bent. Children in between the ages of 1 and 3 are especially prone to tantrums.
Though you might fret that you’re raising a tyrant, take heart– at this age, it’s unlikely that your child is tossing a fit to be manipulative. Most likely, she’s having a meltdown in action to frustration.
Claire B. Kopp, teacher of applied developmental psychology at California’s Claremont Graduate University, attributes much of the issue to unequal language skills. “Toddlers are beginning to understand a lot more of the words they hear, yet their ability to produce language is so minimal,” she states. When your child can’t reveal how she feels or what she wants, frustration mounts.
Not every show of anger or defiance is a tantrum. Toddlers can retreat, shout, even stamp their feet or go so stiff that you can’t fold them into their buggies, without having temper tantrums. A full-blown tantrum is something special: the psychological equivalent of a blown fuse. Once a tantrum is under method, it is not something that an adult can interrupt or a child can stop to order.
How to deal with a temper tantrum: 7 tips
1. Do not lose your cool. A temper tantrum is not a pretty sight. In addition to kicking, yelling, and pounding the floor, your toddler’s collection might consist of tossing things, hitting, and holding his breath to the point of turning blue. While this might be hard to deal with, you can feel confident that even breath holding is typical habits for a child having a temper tantrum.
When your child is swept up in a temper tantrum, he’s unable to pay attention to factor, though he will react– negatively– to your screaming or threatening. “I discovered the more I yelled at Brandon to stop, the wilder he would get,” states one mom of a 2-year-old. What worked rather, she discovered, was to simply take a seat and be with him while he raged.
In basic, staying with your child during a temper tantrum is a good idea. Stomping from the space– appealing as that might be– can make him feel abandoned. The storm of emotion he’s going through can be frightening to him, and he’ll appreciate knowing you’re nearby.
If you find yourself getting extremely frustrated, some professionals recommend calmly leaving the space for a few minutes and returning after your child has actually stopped sobbing. By remaining calm, you’ll help him cool down, too.
Some specialists advise picking up your child and holding him if it’s possible (if he’s not flailing excessive, for instance), saying he’ll discover your welcome comforting. But others say that method rewards unfavorable behavior which it’s much better to disregard the temper tantrum till your child relaxes.
You may find that a sensibly used time-out is a good service too. Through trial and error, you’ll find out which technique is right for your child. However you opt to deal with the tantrum, consistency is key to making it work.
2. Keep in mind that you’re the adult. No matter how long the tantrum continues, don’t give in to unreasonable needs or attempt to negotiate with your shrieking toddler. It’s especially tempting to collapse as a way of ending a public episode. Attempt not to worry about what others believe– anyone who’s a parent has been there in the past.
By giving in, you’ll just be teaching your child that tossing a fit is a great way to get what she wants, which sets the stage for future conflicts. Besides, your child is already frightened by being out of control. The last thing she requires is to feel that you’re not in control either.
If your child’s outburst intensifies to the point that she’s hitting individuals or family pets, tossing things, or shouting nonstop, pick her up and carry her to a safe place, such as her bedroom. Inform her why she exists (” since you strike Aunt Sally”), and let her know that you’ll stick with her till she can be calm.
If you remain in a public place– a common breeding ground for tantrums– be prepared to leave with your child up until she cools down.
” When my daughter was 2, she had an outright fit at a dining establishment since the plain spaghetti she bought shown up with chopped parsley on it,” recalls one mother. “Although I understood why she was upset, I wasn’t about to let her interfere with everyone’s supper. I took her outside until she cooled down.”
3. Use time-outs moderately. Depending upon the child, using a time-out periodically, beginning at about the age of 18 months, might help him handle his sensations much better when he has a tantrum. A time-out can be valuable when your child’s temper tantrum is specifically intense and other methods aren’t working. Putting your child in a quiet or– even better– dull spot for a short duration (about one minute annually of his age) can be a great lesson in self-soothing.
Discuss what you’re doing (” You’re going to have a time-out so you can relax and Mommy is going to be right over there”) and let him understand it’s not punishment. If he chooses not to stay in time-out, simply place him back in the spot strongly but coolly and set about your business. Beyond making certain he’s safe, don’t interact or offer him attention during the time-out.
4. Talk it over afterward. When the storm subsides, hold your child close and talk about what happened. Go over the tantrum in extremely simple terms and acknowledge your child’s aggravation. Assist her put her sensations into words by saying something like, “You were very mad since your food wasn’t the method you wanted it.”
Let her see that once she expresses himself in words, she’ll improve outcomes. State with a smile, “I’m sorry I didn’t comprehend you. Now that you’re not shrieking, I can find out what you desire.”
5. Let your child understand you love him. As soon as your child is calm and you’ve had a chance to speak with him about his tantrum, provide him a fast hug and inform him that you enjoy him. It is essential to reward good behavior, including your child being able to settle and talk things over with you.
6. Try to head off tantrum-inducing situations. Pay attention to which situations press your child’s buttons and plan accordingly. If she falls apart when she’s hungry, bring treats with you. If she gets grouchy in the late afternoon, look after errands previously in the day.
If she has difficulty making a transition from one activity to the next, give her a gentle heads-up prior to a change. Signaling her to that you’re about to leave the play area or take a seat to supper (“We’re going to eat when you and Daddy are maded with your story”) offers her a chance to change instead of respond.
If you pick up a tantrum is on the method, attempt sidetracking your child by altering places, offering her a toy, or doing something she does not expect, like making a ridiculous face or pointing at a bird.
Your toddler is becoming more independent, so offer her choices whenever possible. Nobody likes being told what to do all the time. Saying, “Would you like corn or carrots?” rather than “Eat your corn!” will provide her a sense of control.
Monitor how typically you’re stating “no.” If you discover you’re rattling it off regularly, you’re probably putting unneeded stress on both of you. Attempt to alleviate up and pick your fights.
7. Watch for signs of overstress. Although day-to-day temper tantrums are a completely normal part of the mid-toddler years, it’s a smart idea to keep an eye out for possible issues. Has there been upheaval in the household? An exceptionally hectic or harried duration? Parental tensions? All of these can provoke tantrums.
If your child’s tantrums appear extremely regular or intense (or he’s hurting himself or others), look for help. Your doctor will discuss your child’s developmental and behavioral turning points with you at routine well-child examinations.
These visits are good opportunities to talk about issues you have about your child’s behavior, and they assist to rule out any severe physical or psychological issues. Your doctor can also suggest methods to deal with the outbursts.
Also, talk with your doctor if your child has frightening breath-holding spells when he gets upset. There’s some evidence that this habits is connected to an iron shortage.