Temper tantrums in children can be challenging. After having 10 children, I know that there is hope for you as a parent and hope that your child will grow to be a responsible adult.
Many if not all children have thrown a temper tantrum at one time or another. The good new is that there are ways to minimize their occurrence.
And, there are ways to train your child not to throw temper tantrums.
What are Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums are most commonly seen in children between the ages of one to three. That being said, when left unchecked and untrained, older children and even adults can throw temper tantrums!
They can include a range of behaviors including:
- breath holding
- throwing up
- refusing to talk
- glaring/angry stares with pouting mouth
Preventing Temper Tantrums
Often there are triggers that can encourage the occurrence of tantrums. Identifying and alleviating these triggers can help prevent temper tantrums.
1. Desire for Attention – Children want and need attention from their parents. Quality time spent playing, training and instructing children, gives them security that comes from being loved by their parents.
2. Hunger – Good eating habits ensure the healthy growth of children. However, when a child is hungry they are also more prone to act out in the form of a tantrum.
3. Tiredness – Good, restful sleep is also important to a child’s health. Think about it, when you are tired, don’t you tend to be irritable and crabby? So do children!
4. Stress – Children are often much more perceptive than we give them credit for. If we the parents are stressed, they pick up on it. They can also be stressed in crowded places where there is a lot of noise. Another example is when travelling and they are out of their normal routine.
Temper Tantrums Can Be Evidence of Selfishness
Often tantrums are thrown in response to needs and desires not being met. If you spend time with your child, you will know the difference and can rule out the triggers mentioned above.
You will also be able to discern if the tantrum is a result of selfishness and being told “no”.
Society tells us that we should meet each and every want our children have. The result? Selfishness and an entitlement attitude.
Children need to be taught how to respond to “no” with love and patience. It is our responsibility as parents to teach them.
They will not learn overnight.
This is on of those times being a parent can be challenging but the results are worth the effort.
Let’s look at some other specifics for handling temper tantrums…
How to Handle Temper Tantrums
1. Identify possible triggers. Begin with triggers mentioned above to minimize the occurrence of tantrums.
2. Be patient. Anger is not the answer and will only make the situation worse.
3. Consistency is key. However you chose to handle the discipline of you children and their tantrums, be consistent. Children feel security when they know the boundaries and the consequences of overstepping them.
4. Set clear, easy to understand limits. As said above, children have a need to know their boundaries. They also want to know the consequences for testing the boundaries. You must be consistent or they will interpret it as weakness and a lack of love.
For example, what to you is an acceptable response when you tell your child to do something? Are you OK with a pouty face but not crying? Is neither acceptable? Clearly communicate this to your child so he/she can understand the boundaries.
5. Praise. When children obey or do something good, perform a task well or show good character (like sharing a toy), be sure to praise them. This shows love, appreciation and builds their sense of self-worth.
There is Hope!
Tantrums can be a forms of crying out for attention, selfishness or a result of certain triggers. The good news is that if handled with love, patience and consistency, your child will learn not to throw tantrums. And, grow to be a responsible adult!
How do you handle temper tantrums? Leave a comment and let me know your insights!