Temper Tantrum

Tantrums are an unpleasant but normal part of toddler life. There are very few parents who have escaped the embarrassment of trying to quiet a howling, screaming child while the world looks on and gives advice. What cause these temper tantrums? Well, it could be frustration at the inability to do some task, a lack of linguistic fluency to express the frustration in words, hunger, tiredness, the need to assert themselves, to control their environment or simply, a lack of control over their emotions.

Preventing Tantrums :

  • Give opportunities to vent frustration and anger through alternate methods such as hitting a pillow.
  • Tailor her life to her temperament needs – if she likes routine, give it to her.
  • Avoid situations where the child is hungry or tired.
  • Don’t over-control and don’t always say no. Wherever possible say yes.
  • Stick to whatever you have said.
  • Try and give choices.
  • Anticipate frustration and either help the child out or divert her or soothe her with a song or a cuddle.
  • Praise good behaviour and even natural behaviour.
  • Set a good example.

Dealing with tantrums : –

  • Stay calm. She needs your calming influence and the reassurance of your unconditional love as she has lost control and is often frightened by the intensity of her own emotions.
  • Speak softly – this will help your toddler regain a measure of composure and may also induce her to quiet down because in an effort to she can’t hear you.
  • Don’t resort to physical punishment to end a tantrum.
  • Don’t try to reason or argue as the toddler has literally lost all control.
  • While throwing a tantrum a toddler may hurt himself or may break something of value. Be careful.
  • Restrain them but with lightly.
  • Try distracting her unless she gets angrier at your efforts.
  • Try making humorous faces (again try this only if they don’t make her feel angrier) isn’t it like making fun of the child and her emotions
  • Ignore the tantrum. Let it run its course.
  • Don’t give in to tantrums otherwise you’re only teaching her that if she yells long enough you’ll give in.
  • Call a time out.
  • After its over – forgive and forget. Don’t lecture the child or insist on an apology or administer any punishment.
  • After the child has recovered from the tantrum divert him.

Tantrums are frightening both for the parent and the child. But this display of violent anger is not a forerunner of things to come. Most children grow out of this stage fairly quickly and learn to control themselves better. You can speed this process along with providing safe, alternate ways of expressing anger such as verbally through the use of sarcasm or physically through exercise.

Related Links

Temperaments
Discipline
Toddler Concerns

Toddler Fears