What is Temper Tantrum?
Temper tantrums are unpleasant and disruptive behaviours or emotional outbursts, sometimes fierce and annoying and get over as quickly as it starts. Tantrums are extremely common in toddlers and preschoolers. One moment you and your child are enjoying a meal at a restaurant and the very next moment your child is whimpering, whining and soon screaming her lungs out! When your kid is going through a temper meltdown in response to an unexpressed frustration you could probably be thinking that you are failing as a parent and raising a tyrant.
Temper Tantrum in Toddlers…
Toddlers begin to understand a lot of words they hear yet their ability to express themselves is limited and when they cannot express their feelings frustration mounts. As a result, your toddler is screaming, whining, kicking, hitting, biting and throwing things around angrily. Kids throw tantrums especially when they are hungry, sleepy, tired, uncomfortable or when they don’t get to do something they want. With the development of their language skills, their tantrums tend to decrease.
Temper tantrum in little older kids…
Angry outbursts do not necessarily stop after toddler years. Older kids, too, at times, have troubles handling anger and frustrations! It is important to know what might cause such a temper tantrum in your child and how you can tackle such a situation!
Older kids often throw tantrums because they want independence and control over the surroundings. This often leads to power struggles as a child thinks “I can do it myself” or “I want it, give it to me” and the parents face an arrogant retaliation.
Tantrums should be handled differently depending on why your child is upset. Sometimes, you may need to provide comfort. At times, it’s best to ignore an outburst and distract your child with a new activity.
Ways to handle tantrums…
Tantrums of kids of different age groups should be handled differently. For example kids between the age group of 0-2 years who have not developed their speech yet cannot express their needs and wants. So their tantrums should be handled differently. It is important to observe their behaviour and then divert their attention into something else. It is easy to distract them. So, when your toddler heads toward an unacceptable or dangerous play object, calmly say “No” and either remove your child from the area or distract him or her with an appropriate activity.
Do not raise your hand. Babies and toddlers are unlikely to be able to make any connection between their erratic behaviour and physical punishment. They will only feel the pain of the hit.
Little grown up kids need more understanding and their tantrums should be handled critically. While dealing with stubborn kids one must be authoritative and in full control of the situation. Help them calm down and explain to them how their behaviour is unacceptable. Let them know what consequences their actions would lead to.
House rules are important. As your child grows and begins to understand the connection between actions and consequences, explain to them what you expect of them before you punish them for certain behaviour. As parents, you must be consistent when it comes to disciplining your kids.
Be firm and authoritative in your voice and behaviour. Speak calmly, clearly, and firmly — not with anger, blame, harsh criticisms, threats, or putdowns. Demand an apology and this way your child will learn the bend down and say sorry.
What parents must do…
As parents try not to give in to your child’s tantrum because then they will believe that screaming and throwing a fit will fetch them unnecessary attention. While your patience could be just tested by ugly tantrums, try not to lose your cool. Remember, the key is to ‘keep calm’. Reacting to your kid’s meltdowns with yelling will only teach them to do the same. Staying calm will help you to see appropriate ways to handle the situation.
Don’t forget that kids learn by watching adults, particularly their parents. So avoid using any harsh languages in front of kids. No name-calling and maintain a healthy environment at home. Be a role model to your kids
Learning to deal with frustration is a skill that children gain over time, till then calm down and realise this is a very common trait among kids that should be dealt with patience and by staying firm.
Of course, all these are easier said than done. It’s important to teach your kids how to handle anger and frustration. Our beloved little ones test our nerves because they’re testing boundaries all around them, make them understand but do not give in to their desires. Tantrums generally stop on their own. As kids mature, they gain self-control and learn to cooperate, communicate, and cope with frustration.