Parenting is indeed the hardest job in the world and dealing with a toddler’s temper tantrums can be the most frustrating hurdle. Whether you are at home trying to force your child to munch on their greens or at a mall dissuading them from throwing themselves into the toy store, dealing with a screaming, whining, and kicking toddler who has gone berserk warrants a great deal of your patience as well as your physical, mental, and emotional stability.
Temper tantrums are a normal phase among children 1–3 years old. However, it is sad to note that a lot of parents out there are unprepared for handling such delicate situations. It is imperative to note that parents or guardians alike should be equipped with the right knowledge and emotional preparedness in order to successfully overcome such taxing hurdles while moulding the children with the right set of attitudes and skills in interacting or responding with their environment. Here at Kids Academy, we’ll guide you through the nooks and crannies of everything there is to know about ways of dealing with tantrums and why they happen in the first place.
Tantrums happen, deal with it
As said earlier, tantrums are a common sight among young boys and girls within the age group of 1-3 years old. To have a fundamental conceptual grasp, a tantrum is an episode of extreme and sudden emotional outburst of toddlers. Manifestation of such episodes can range from crying, whining, and screaming to holding his/her breath, stomping, kicking, and rolling. And of course, throwing things and vomiting are not an exception.
Now why do tantrums happen in the first place?
Toddlers, in their young age, are still trying to acquire and develop their emotional, social, and communication skills. They can barely express or convey their thoughts and needs (or wants) and they are still not mature enough to understand and give credence to the concept of compromise. In short, they have a fragile emotional stability and are still basically incapable of thinking rationally over complex issues. Tantrums are a way for children to communicate with their parents or guardians.
There can be a wide spectrum of reasons why your child will be throwing tantrums. These include a wet diaper, sleepiness or tiredness, not feeling well, and frustration. It can also be that your child is hungry or has got scared of something or someone. Knowing these possible reasons will give you a good head start at trying to find out what your child is trying to tell you.
What to do
Don’t rock the boat. Stay calm and keep yourself from being overwhelmed with the situation. Getting angry at your child will only worsen the emotional condition between you and your child so don’t stress yourself. Keep your cool throughout the entire episode while acknowledging your child’s possible reason for their emotional outburst.
Tantrums can also be an episode of power struggle between you and your child. Never give in directly to his/her wants or demands. As a responsible parent, you should be able to clearly evaluate a situation and come up with a justified resolve through a gentle yet absolute approach. In most situations, the best approach is to wait it out. This will give your child the opportunity to self-soothe on their own.
Lastly, you must be consistent and firm with your resolve. This will help give a clear message to your child – a ‘no’ is a ‘no’. Being incoherent in each and every tantrum will only put you and your child in a worse emotional sphere. So, stick with it.
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Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg. He tweets @dennisr_howell.
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