Tantrums In Kids And How To Deal With Them
You are standing in the middle of the road to catch hold of your two and a half year old kid, while he wants to cross the road all by himself- we all have been through such scenarios of tantrums of our kids. However, the tantrums may vary from one kid to another.
Tantrums are indeed frustrating for parents. Be it rare or often, kids have tantrums. It is a part of a child’s development. When a child is uncomfortable, tired, hungry or when he is unable to get something he wants, he catches hold of a tantrum. Tantrums are one of the ways that young children express and manage their feelings. Kids do not have the words to express emotions, they cannot say what exactly they want or need, thus tantrums occur. Kids get frustrated by their inability to perform an activity they are trying to attempt. Also, frustration at the lack of control over their lives leads to tantrums. It is also an attention seeking behaviour from a parent or others, or an attempt to manipulate the situation in some way.
Tantrums are not socially accepted. Such tantrums are problematic for the parents. Tantrums usually take place in public, which is embarrassing. A child’s tantrum challenges parents' ability to remain calm.
Why Tantrums Occur
Temperament – kids who get upset easily are more likely to have tantrums. Feelings – stress, tiredness, hunger, etc. makes it harder for kids to express and manage their feelings and behavior.
Situations – when kids just cannot cope with or handle the situation, tantrums occur. Emotions – certain emotions like shame, anger, fear, worry are overwhelming for kids and thus tantrums come to their rescue .
Before working on our kids, we need to work on ourselves to avoid such instances, then only we can help our kids with their frustrating nature.
Children learn by observation and do what they see, so we need to deal with our own frustrations and anger in an effective manner.
A child behaves according to his age. We cannot expect a 3 year old to behave like an adult. Having realistic expectations of childhood behavior for a given age range reduces frustration for both parents and kids.
Working on our kids' verbal way of expressing their frustration helps us to deal with them effectively. If they are able to express themselves, we can be at ease.
We all crave control, toddlers are a step ahead. Giving toddlers control over little things reduces the frustration level of both parents and kids. Try allowing them simple choices during the day, e.g. do not ask – ‘Do you want milk?’ – Which is most likely to be answered as ‘no’? Instead, try asking – ‘Do you want banana milk shake or almond milk shake?’. The child will win the battle and in turn, we will win the war.
What Should We Do During A Tantrum
We cannot prevent tantrums, but we can do plenty of things to encourage good behavior in our kids. Kids, during a tantrum, do not exactly know what they are doing or what they are up to. Just because they are unable to express verbally what they want or need, it takes the form of a tantrum and their frustration comes up.
We, parents, have an impeccable role to play during a tantrum.
We ought to keep our cool while responding to a tantrum. Our own frustration and anger complicates the problem. We need to calm down first in order to help our child learn to calm down.
Tantrums are normal. We are not bad parents and our kids are not bad children. Shouting at them or hitting them will only make the situation worse. A quiet, peaceful response and atmosphere reduces stress and makes both of us feel better.
A gentle distraction is a good option, switching to our kid’s enjoyable activity or making a funny voice/face, a joke may change the atmosphere and reduce our kid’s frustration. > Tantrums may occur to seek attention. To minimize the tantrum, ignore the behavior of your child and leave the room. Do not talk or react until the behavior stops. You can later on discuss it calmly.
Offer choices when possible. A child who feels independent will be more likely to follow rules when it is a must.
Temper tantrums go hand in hand with growing up. Kids do not plan to frustrate or embarrass their parents. It is their way to express themselves, which they are unable to tell us verbally. We should encourage our kids to use simple words, so that they are able to express– more, drink, tired, eat, washroom, etc. Offering extra attention when our kid behaves well and giving them a hug when they follow directions are the best ways to praise our kid’s good behavior. As their self-control and way of expression improves, tantrums become less common.
Komal Gupta, multiple award winning freelance content writer, has authored 2 solo poetry books- 'Strings Of Emotions' & 'Panoramic Vision'. After quitting her banking job and being a happy stay-at-home mom of a 2.5 years old boy, she is now fulfilling her dream of writing her heart out. She has co-authored over 45 anthologies, and has also written content for Digital Magazines, Upgrading India Official Blog and Happy Motherhood website.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.