How to Deal With Temper Tantrums and Respond With Love
Photo by Gabe Pierce
Imagine you are in the grocery store with your toddler. You need to go down the snack aisle. As you start going down the aisle, your toddler asks for those fruit snacks shaped like their favorite Disney character. You say no, and say they can have them later. All of a sudden, they burst into a full-on tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. Everyone is staring at you, and all you can think about is “Why is this happening?”
Are you thinking this is me? Well, no worries. Tantrums are a part of having a toddler. In this article, we will discuss how to deal with temper tantrums, especially how to deal with temper tantrums in toddlers. Keep reading to see how to stop temper tantrums.
What Are Temper Tantrums?
Tantrums can come about and be presented in many different ways. They can build to an explosion of aggressive, disorganized behavior. The common ages for tantrums are between ages 1 and 4. This time is usually called the “terrible twos,” but honestly, it can start at any time during these ages. Crying, screaming, stiffening limbs, arching of the back, kicking, falling down, flailing, and running away are all symptoms of tantrums. In some cases, tantrum symptoms can be shown by the child holding their breath, vomiting, and breaking things.
Why Kids Have Tantrums
Toddlers have tantrums because they are trying to express frustration. They are protesting the lack of control they are feeling. It could be due to being tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. The stage where tantrums start to occur is called “terrible twos”. At this time, language development occurs. Children also cannot communicate fully yet, so they tend to get frustrated easily. Toddlers want independence, so they tend to start saying things like “I can do it myself,” but when they realize they can not, the tantrum starts. Over time, dealing with this frustration should get easier. Older children have tantrums too, and this could be due to not developing appropriate ways to express or manage feelings. It’s also important to teach children matters such as gratitude so they don’t continue behaviors like that all through childhood.
How To Stop Temper Tantrums Before They Start
If tantrums could be avoided all the time, that would be magnificent. Sadly they cannot, but here are a few tactics that can be used to help.
Try to give the toddler some control over little things. For example, let them pick what type of juice they want.
Keep the off-limit items out of sight and out of reach of the toddler. That way they are not tempted to touch them, and it won’t even enter their minds.
Distract them. Playing games, reading and watching a show on Playhouse Disney are sure to keep them busy!
Help toddlers learn new skills. Once they learn a new skill and succeed, it’s important to reward them with cheers. All children want to know is that they are capable of doing anything they set their minds to do.
Consider the child’s request carefully when your child wants something. Your response and tone can greatly affect the way they respond.
Know your child’s limits. If you know your child is hungry, it might not be the best time to go for an errand or put them down for a nap.
Reduce their stress. Basically, know what makes them happy.
Tune into your child’s tantrum triggers. Every child is different, and it’s your job, as a parent, to understand them as you are their direct link that keeps their world moving.
Talk to them about emotions. Make sure they know it is okay for them to be upset and express themselves and that there is a way to do it.
How To Deal With Temper Tantrums When They Happen
The first thing to remember is to stay relaxed. Don’t make things worse with your frustrations. Think about what you can do for your child, so they can learn from the experience. You can comfort them by acknowledging their feelings or even ignore them. For example, if they want a parent’s attention, they can learn to self soothe if you ignore them. Kids who pose a threat to themselves should be taken to a quiet safe space, so they can calm down. It’s a time out of sorts and should be continued until the child understands why they are there. You can then talk to your child in a calm manner about why they were upset. The best thing is to stay consistent and deliberate with everything you do. There are many other ways on how to deal with temper tantrums in toddlers.
Remember, temper tantrums are normal for toddlers age 1 to 4. Your child can show different symptoms compared to other children, and there are ways on how to deal with temper tantrums in toddlers. Temper tantrums can be avoided and trying to understand your child can help with that. When you stay consistent with dealing with tantrums, that is how you stop temper tantrums.