Tantrums are more common among toddlers than you think. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 are still in their learning phase of emotional regulation and can’t communicate properly when their frustration level rises. This inability to control emotions shows itself in the form of tantrums.
Why Do Kids Show Temper Tantrums?
Temper tantrums are characterized as being overly stubborn, crying, screaming, breaking or hitting something, hurting yourself, or breath-holding. Not all babies throw temper tantrums, but they are common at the age of 1-3 when a toddler is still in his initial developmental stages of behavior and processing emotions.
Throwing a tantrum is a way of communicating emotions that young children can’t process in a more acceptable way. So, instead of treating tantrums as a disaster, take them as a way of teaching and showing your child how to control or process their emotions.
Tantrums could be the result of anger, hunger, or an uncomfortable environment. Sometimes, kids show stubbornness when they want something like a toy or candy. Another reason for toddler tantrums could be a language barrier. When a toddler can’t communicate his needs and desires through words in a way that their parent or other adult can understand, they get frustrated and tantrums happen.
How to Avoid Tantrums in a Toddler?
Give him comfort and care:
When your child is going through a sea of emotions, the best way to end it is by giving him the care, attention, and comfort he needs. This emotional comfort helps him to calm down and makes him feel safe and secure.
Distract your kid:
When a child is being stubborn and demanding over something, try distracting your child with something else. For example, if he is demanding to use a cell phone, try taking him outside. Sometimes, simply changing the environment does wonders. So whenever your child is starting to have a meltdown, try changing your surroundings.
Say a complementary “Yes”:
Sometimes, giving a complementary “yes” after saying “no” is a great way of redirecting a child’s mind to something else and doesn’t give him much time to throw a tantrum.
For example, if the child demands to spend more time in the play area. You can say “No, we can’t stay longer, but we can stop at McDonalds for ice cream.” The child will see it as a good trade and it may prevent a tantrum.
Avoid things that trigger temper tantrums among toddlers:
Sometimes, toddlers get triggered by simply saying the word “no.” This can be avoided by staying away from things that sets you up for a tantrum. For example, whenever you take him shopping and you’re not planning on buying new toys, avoid stores that sell toys, or at least keep him away from the children’s section.
Don’t take their temper tantrums personally:
Sometimes, toddlers throw tantrums that hurt your feelings. The key is to be calm and not to take their temper tantrums personally. A toddler can say words like “get out” or “I hate you” during their momentary breakdown, but that doesn’t mean they are attacking you personally. They are just letting their emotions out. Soon, it will be erased from their memory, and you also don’t need to hold on to it into the future.
Dealing with Temper Tantrums: Parenting Guide:
As a parent, you are a role model for your child. If you set a standard of having calm behavior in front of your toddler, it will help him relax when he is having an emotional tantrum.
Here we have compiled 5 key points you can use at any time to keep your toddler’s tantrums in check.
- Don’t think about others. If your child is showing tantrums in a public place or among your friends and family, don’t think they’re judging you or your kid. All kids throw tantrums and if the people around you are giving you a cold look for not handling your child’s temper tantrums correctly, ignore them.
- Have a plan with you for every environment you’re going to. Kids are unpredictable and can throw tantrums anywhere and anytime. So plan according to the situation and environment to prevent tantrums from your child.
- Be an emotional support for your child, but don’t try to overcome or control his/her emotional rage. The best you can do is guide him to behave appropriately.
- Make up your mind that it will take time for your child’s tantrums to end. Help him learn self-regulation skills so he can develop a sense of appropriate behavior.
- Don’t show rapid emotions in response to your child’s acts. Don’t laugh, smile, or get angry. Sometimes, showing particular emotion enhances the impact of a temper tantrum, and it may last longer than you expect. Kids may take laughing as a form of insult or smile as a way of encouragement. So avoid any kind of emotional reaction and act as you prepared for it.
How to Act If a 3-Year-Old Is Being Aggressive and Dangerous?
Your three-year-old will feel very strong emotions, which is completely normal. Toddlers can have temper tantrums and be aggressive at times. That doesn’t mean we, as parents, are doing something wrong.
However, if a child is being destructive and aggressive, we must protect the child from himself and on behalf of others. The key is to help him calm down, which is impossible parents’ emotions escalate, so you must keep your frustration in control and if your child acts aggressive and dangerous, try following 3 steps.
- Remove your child from the environment if his tantrum escalates. Try moving him to a place where he’s alone without anything he can use to harm himself or anyone around him.
- Try giving him a time out spot where he can spend the time of his aggression and make him stay there until his frustration is over.
- If he doesn’t stay at the spot for a fixed time, give him another time out spot and make him complete it this time.
At the end of the timeout, explain to your child the reason he had to go there and ensure that you will do it next time if he shows the same behavior. Don’t be too harsh, but make him aware that being aggressive is not the right way to act out his emotions.
When A Professional’s Help is Needed?
Showing temper tantrums and acting out is not a negative thing. Kids ages 1 to 3 show varied emotions and become moody when things don’t go their way. Most kids stop throwing tantrums when they turn 4.
Although some children continue throwing tantrums after the age of 3, their intensity and frequency usually slow down. Most professionals agree that if four-year-old doesn’t stop engaging in aggressive tantrums, then it is a good idea to seek medical help or counseling.
Dealing with the roller coaster of your child’s emotions and temper tantrums can be exhausting. But it’s important to remember that you are not the only one going through it. Your child is also facing these emotional ups and downs, as it is a sign that he’s growing up, passing through his normal mental and physical development.
In this matter, keep your eye on the good and know that one day your child will be out of this stage and be able to communicate his emotions and challenges. So take his tantrums as a way of learning through his development and remember that in this matter what he needs most is your calmness, attention, and support.