Children tantrums or tantrums, usually called, are temper behavior by children as a way expressing anger and frustration. Tantrums typically occur at age 2 to 3 when toddlers old enough to have a sense “me” and “my wants” but can’t express it because low ability to use words. So they prefer whining, crying, screaming, kicking or breath holding to express their anger.
The trigger could be children’s frustration on physical, mental or emotional challenges of the moment. Physical challenges are things such as hunger and thirst, meanwhile mental challenges are related to a child’s difficulty learning or performing a specific task or difficulty using words to express thoughts and feelings. For example, the toddler crying so loud in front of a crowded store when their parents didn’t approve what they want.
These tempers tantrums are a normal part of development and don’t have to be seen as something negative. In fact, tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express, so as language skills improve, tantrums tends to decrease. However, if the behavior is dealt with incorrectly, the child may learn to use tantrums to manipulate people and to gain attention.
According to The Royal College of Psychiatrists, children’s learning to deal with their emotions is a normal part of growing up. Therefore, during the tantrum, the best ways to deal are:
- Don’t Panic. The main thing to do is to stay calm and not to get upset. Just remind yourself that this is normal, that lots of parents have to deal with it and that you will too.
- Try to distract them. If you are in a situation where you know a tantrum is likely, you may be able to avoid one by distracting your child. For example point out the big red sports car in the road, laugh at the funny picture in the shop display or give them their favorite toy to play with.
- Remember what you are trying to do. You are trying to teach your child that rules are important and that you will stick to them
- Ignore the tantrum. You should calmly continue with whatever you are doing, like chatting with someone else, packing your shopping or whatever. Every so often check to make sure your child is safe. Ignoring your child is very hard, but if you answer back, or even smack them, you are giving them the attention they are demanding.
- Pay attention to any good behavior. As soon as you see any signs of calming down, like they stop screaming, praise them. Turn your full attention back to the child, talk to them with warmth and admiration. If you reward the new behavior like this, your child is more likely to stay calm and carry on being good.
The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with children tantrums, no matter what the cause, is simple and crucial: Keep Cool. Don’t complicate the problem with your own frustration. Instead, take deep breaths and try to think clearly. Furthermore, stay calm and ignore the behavior to the extent possible; don’t punish the child, don’t reward the child; keep the child safe; isolate the child if possible also don’t let the disapproval of other people affect your response to the tantrum are crucial things to be remembered when deal with throes of tantrums.
How about if your child does tantrum in public places ? The worst and most embarassing tantrums are those that take place in public, often the supermarket. BBC Health gave tips by thinking about the following:
- Keep trips as short as possible – be organised about exactly what you need to buy and stick to it.
- Use distraction – take a toy for your child to play with or a book for her to browse. It can also help to have a drink and snack handy.
- Let your child help – ask your child to get cereal, teabags, bin liners and other light non breakable items within her reach. Let her put the items in the trolley or on chechout, too
- If a tantrum does threaten, remain calm – talk quietly to your child, explaining that the behavior isn’t acceptable. You may find you have to leave the shop and go back later, even if this means you leaving your shopping behind.
In other words, in dealing with tantrums the ultimate goal is to teach the child acceptable ways of expressing anger. Remind them that tantrums aren’t appropriate. How parents respond is critical, as a matter of fact parents can learn to calm themselves, state clear rules, notice and compliment appropriate behavior and teach understanding and empathy.