Being a parent isn’t just about feeding and bathing your child, sending him/her to school, and teaching him/her about life. It’s also about the little things like learning how to handle annoying tantrums. If you’re a parent, you’re probably all too familiar about the scenario where your kid turns into all shades of red while crying, kicking, stomping, screaming and throwing things around.
Temper tantrums are common among children between one to four years old. During this time, kids are still learning how to communicate and they easily get frustrated when they’re not able to get what they want. Even though it’s normal for toddlers to have tantrums from time to time, many parents still get stressed over it.
Experts agree that some children are more susceptible to having tantrums than others. Those who are moody, hyperactive and intense throw more tantrums than their peers. Kids who are not able to adapt well to new environments or situations are also prone to tantrums. A tantrum can also be a child’s way of testing limitations. In his/her mind, he/she’s probably wondering if Mommy will buy the toy car/doll if he/she screams and cries very loud.
Triggers that can set off a tantrum can be anything from asking a child to drink his/her milk while he/she’s busy playing with his/her lego blocks or bringing him/her to a loud and crowded supermarket. Other situations that can spawn a tantrum include getting ready for school, finishing a fun activity, and fighting with other little kids. When hunger and fatigue are added, this can be a recipe for a disastrous tantrum.
To prevent temper tantrums in children, most parents give the kids what they want. This seemingly effective solution isn’t good in the long run. In fact, it will backfire and make the kid throw even more tantrums. When you give your kid what he/she wants after a tantrum, this reinforces the belief that wailing and screaming make things happen as he/she wants.
The first thing you should do instead is to distract your child. This shouldn’t be too difficult knowing how easy it is to distract children. If your child is about to throw a hissy fit because you’re not going to buy the toy he/she wants, bring him/her outside the store and show him/her anything on the street that can catch and hold onto his/her attention. You can also tell him/her an interesting story that can make him/her forget about the toy. The more creative you are, the more effective this tactic is.
It’s also a must to avoid situations that are likely to trigger a tantrum. For example, if your child is uncomfortable whenever you go out shopping for clothes, leave him/her to your spouse the next time you go out. If your child hates waiting in line, avoid bringing him/her with you when you go to the supermarket for groceries. Keeping the daily routine consistent can also help. If there is going to be any changes, be sure to inform your child at least five minutes before.
See to it that your child is fully rested and well fed before you go out. As mentioned earlier, hunger and fatigue can easily make a child go wild. Moreover, it would also be good to give your child a little bit of control over things. Having him/her decide what toy to bring in the car or what lunch to choose will make him/her feel good about him/herself that he/she has some control over what’s happening with his/her life. This will tone down the occurrences of tantrums.