When your child throws a tantrum, control yourself and try to identify the root cause for his frustration. Try giving him a little space so that he can regain his self-control without harming himself. Giving away incentives for good behavior is also a great way to curb violent or destructive behavior. If things don't get better, consult your paediatrician to check for other issues.
Handling Toddler Tantrums
It’s that part of the day you dread. Your child has just decided to take you to the edge of your patience with his ear-piercing, earth shattering screams and you are just about to set things right…the way you know best…by shouting back even louder.
But if you keep the frustration away for a while, you can really learn a lot from these episodes.
Why Does Your Child Throws Tantrums?
Tantrums are common in kids (boys and girls) till the age of 2 years. Temper tantrums range from simple whining and sobbing to outright screaming, getting violent with objects or people and holding their breath. Some lucky parents get away with having kids that rarely throw tantrums but these are rare cases.
Tantrums are normal in the child’s development cycle and indicate tiredness or sleepiness, hunger or irritability at not getting what they want.1
How Does This Behavior Change Over Age?
As children grow older and especially between their age of 18 months and 4 years, they start slowly learning the ability of handling their heightened emotional feelings without the help of their parents. This happens as cognitive development of the brain is more pronounced.2
How To Deal With Your Child’s Tantrums?
Find Out The Core Reason For Toddler Tantrums
The first thing you might want to do when your child is throwing a tantrum, is to understand the actual reason behind his frustration. As we mentioned above, the reasons may be usually related to food, milk, seeking attention or pointing to discomfort from a soiled diaper.
This is one of the most effective ways of handing toddler tantrums. It is always very important to stay calm when your child is throwing a tantrum. Instead, if you start shouting at your child or try hitting him/her, the situation just worsens. Staying calm also helps in giving your child a peaceful atmosphere, thereby reducing stress for both of you.
Give Some Space
If your child throws a tantrum, just give him/her some space which ultimately helps them in pulling themselves together and regain self control. However, while giving your child some space, do make sure that there’s nothing in his way that could actually hurt him.
Distract Your Child
Distracting your child often works most of the time when he is in the middle of the episode. However, it is recommended that you try some gentle distractions like making funny faces or switching to activities which your child loves a lot.
Offer Incentives For Good Behavior
When you are going out for a dinner to a restaurant, it might be a good time for you to bribe your child a little by promising him a chocolate or allowing him watch a video if he keeps the nagging tantrums at bay. Do not worry, it is perfectly fine for such bribes, as long as they are done at your terms.
When To Seek Help?
Even after trying to deal with your child’s tantrums in all possible ways, there might be instances when even your best efforts fail. If you feel that the situation is going beyond your limits, it is advisable that you consult your paediatrician. In case you have issues handling the situation it is advisable to seek help of your physician to avoid stress from getting to you.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you call your pediatrician or family physician if:
- Your child injures himself or herself or others, or destroys property during tantrums.
- Your child holds his or her breath during tantrums, especially if he or she faints.
- Your child has nightmares, reversal of toilet training, headaches, stomach aches, anxiety, refuses to eat or go to bed, or clings to you.
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