*This article may have affiliate links, which means we may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links we provide (at no extra cost to you). For more details, please read our privacy policy/affiliate disclosure. Thank you for supporting the work we put into this blog!

How To Deal With Child Tem­per Tantrums l tod­dler tantrums what to do l child throw­ing tantrum l tod­dler hit­ting l child melt­down

All of us have been wit­ness to a tem­per tantrum. An infant is cry­ing for a toy. A tod­dler who does­n’t want to take a bath. Or even a pre-school­er who insists on hav­ing the same choco­late pud­ding, as the child sit­ting next to her at lunchtime. As adults, what are we sup­posed to do when kids have these melt­downs that have noth­ing to do with rea­son?. How can we man­age the sit­u­a­tion fair­ly and com­pas­sion­ate­ly?

Definition of tantrums

As the name sug­gests, a “tem­per tantrum” is a flare-up of the tem­per. Dur­ing such a tantrum, the emo­tions take over, usu­al­ly because there is some­thing the child wants and isn’t get­ting. The phys­i­cal man­i­fes­ta­tions of a tantrum may be dra­mat­ic. A child’s face may grow red from scream­ing, cry­ing, kick­ing, and flail­ing. Dur­ing tantrums, chil­dren may hold their breath and even become aggres­sive dur­ing a tantrum. Tantrums usu­al­ly last from 30 sec­onds to 5 min­utes, but maybe up to 30 min­utes.

What is the origin of a tantrum?

Baby Has a Tantrum

How To Deal With Child Temper Tantrums l toddler tantrums what to do l child throwing tantrum l toddler hitting l child meltdown

Usu­al­ly, par­ents can man­age a child’s emo­tions and mon­i­tor their well-being. There are a lot of changes in a child’s life from ages 1–3. Which can be dis­ori­ent­ing and upset­ting and lead to a roller coast­er of emo­tions for a child. They are just learn­ing to express their pref­er­ences and, accus­tomed to being cod­dled by their parental fig­ures, will be very deter­mined as they show what they want and what they do not wish to.

Tantrums are, there­fore, a method of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and although they can be a real headache. They are also a sign of progress in a child’s com­mu­nica­tive abil­i­ties. Besides, at this stage, chil­dren do not have full ver­bal capac­i­ties yet. Mean­ing that they may need to express them­selves through oth­er means, such as scream­ing and kick­ing. The tantrum itself may result from a child’s inabil­i­ty to com­mu­ni­cate with words, which can be a great source of frus­tra­tion. Tod­dlers don’t always have the self-con­trol that they need to keep them­selves from engag­ing in activ­i­ties that are social no-no’s, like bit­ing or throw­ing your belong­ings on the floor. They have lim­it­ed self-reg­u­la­tion, which is need­ed for impul­sive con­trol and expres­sion of emo­tions. Even though they may be able to repeat some­thing back to you, their abil­i­ty to imple­ment it may not devel­op until they are in the ear­ly preschool age.

What is likely to provoke a tantrum?

First is tem­pera­ment. Some chil­dren have stronger reac­tions to sit­u­a­tions that they don’t like, and they are more liable to have tantrums. Also, fac­tors such as stress, fatigue, over­stim­u­la­tion, and hunger can lead to more sig­nif­i­cant dif­fi­cul­ties in man­ag­ing behav­iour and feel­ings. More­over, a par­tic­u­lar­ly frus­trat­ing sit­u­a­tion or strong emo­tions like wor­ry, anger, and shame can over­whelm a child and make him or her espe­cial­ly prone to hav­ing a tantrum.

Are tantrums intentional?

Screaming Toddler

How To Deal With Child Temper Tantrums l toddler tantrums what to do l child throwing tantrum l toddler hitting l child meltdown

For younger chil­dren, tantrums are sim­ply the result of frus­tra­tion, and chil­dren don’t have con­trol over them. Old­er chil­dren, how­ev­er, may have learned to have tantrums as a mech­a­nism to get what they want. If par­ents reward chil­dren for hav­ing tantrums by giv­ing them what they want, then these chil­dren are more like­ly to have them in the future.

The Difference Between Tantrums and Meltdowns

Do you think Tem­per tantrums and Melt­downs are the same? Absolute­ly, NOT! While tantrums hap­pen when the tod­dlers are try­ing to get some­thing they des­per­ate­ly want, melt­downs occur as a reac­tion to feel­ing over­whelmed. Tantrums are usu­al­ly in the con­trol of the kids. They can stop behav­ing in a cer­tain way once they’re reward­ed with what they need, but that’s not the case with melt­downs. The out­come of melt­downs is usu­al­ly exhaustion/ tired­ness or change in the amount of sen­so­ry input. For instance, your child might feel a lot peace­ful when you leave a fam­i­ly gath­er­ing or par­ty.

Preventing and Managing Tantrums

child throwing tantrum l toddler hitting l child meltdown

How To Deal With Child Temper Tantrums l toddler tantrums what to do l child throwing tantrum l toddler hitting l child meltdown

When young chil­dren have tantrums, it can have a severe impact on adults, who them­selves become emo­tion­al­ly affect­ed and don’t always know what to do. Pre­vent­ing tantrums is ben­e­fi­cial to every­one, and there are some con­crete mea­sures you can take to keep tem­per tantrums to a min­i­mum. When a child is hav­ing a tantrum, one of the best things you can do as an adult is to dis­en­gage from the emo­tion­al impact of the child’s behav­iour. You should encour­age your child to use words to tell you what he/she wants; it’s your respon­si­bil­i­ty to teach him/her sim­ple words to describe his/her feel­ings. Don’t expect your child to be per­fect and put rea­son­able lim­its. Dai­ly rou­tines are per­fect for chil­dren as they know what to expect; all should stick to the rules and nev­er change them. Try to avoid long out­go­ings or trips, remem­ber a child can’t sit still for a long time, if you have to, then keep a toy or a book with you, take healthy snacks in case he/she gets hun­gry.

Enough rest and sleep are cru­cial to avoid tantrums. Try to decrease say­ing no, so you won’t frus­trate your child, con­sid­er say­ing yes some­times. And First of all, don’t take it per­son­al­ly! That isn’t always the eas­i­est thing to do – but remem­ber that the child isn’t try­ing to make you angry, but is just hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. It does­n’t mat­ter what peo­ple around you think. Just keep a lev­el head and don’t get wrapped up in the child’s emo­tions. Next, deter­mine what you will and won’t accept. For exam­ple, if your child insists on watch­ing a par­tic­u­lar show while eat­ing din­ner but you’d rather that she not watch TV, what is more, impor­tant to you – that she eat her din­ner agree­ably, or not watch TV? It’s essen­tial to be able to make com­pro­mis­es. Besides, it’s essen­tial to let your child know when you’re about to end an activ­i­ty. This way, he or she won’t get so worked up when it’s time to move on. It’s also essen­tial to give chil­dren choic­es they can grasp. Some­times this means being very spe­cif­ic. Instead of ask­ing them to clean up, for exam­ple, ask them to put their books back on the shelf.

As you are set­ting your lim­its, it’s essen­tial to be as clear, direct, and straight­for­ward as you can. That ends up being less stress­ful for both you and the child as you are telling a child what to do. Be sure to do so with as lit­tle emo­tion as you can. Try to speak com­pas­sion­ate­ly. Ulti­mate­ly, this is eas­i­er for both you and the child. Don’t for­get to give pos­i­tive feed­back. When the child does some­thing good, rein­force it with extra atten­tion and praise. You can hug the child and tell him or her what a good lis­ten­er he or she is. This extra rein­force­ment encour­ages fur­ther sim­i­lar behav­iour.

How to Respond?

So what are you sup­posed to do when a tantrum does hap­pen? First, as men­tioned pre­vi­ous­ly, it’s good to dis­tance one­self emo­tion­al­ly. But apart from that, some­times it’s just a ques­tion of let­ting a tantrum run its course and act­ing in ways that will encour­age the child to return to nor­mal as quick­ly as pos­si­ble. What you can do is not lose your calm when a child is hav­ing a tantrum. As the child is spin­ning out of con­trol, you should remain calm. If you have a strong reac­tion such as frown­ing or get­ting upset, this will just upset the child more and per­pet­u­ate the tantrum. It’s eas­i­er for the child to calm down if you are calm. Also, it’s essen­tial to act with com­pas­sion. That means con­sid­er­ing the sit­u­a­tion from the child’s per­spec­tive. child throwing tantrum l hitting l child meltdown

How To Deal With Child Temper Tantrums l child meltdown l toddler tantrums what to do l child throwing tantrum l toddler hitting l child meltdown

What if you’re hav­ing fun at the play­ground and then decide it’s time to go home? Of course, you would be upset! It’s impor­tant to acknowl­edge that the child is con­fused for a good rea­son and that the play­ground is fun! Instead of reas­sur­ing the child, let him or her know that you can only spend so much time at the play­ground and that the time is up, instead of going straight to the next time that he or she gets to spend at the play­ground, be clear of the lim­its. Con­nect­ed to act­ing with com­pas­sion is rec­og­niz­ing the child’s desires and feel­ings. Acknowl­edg­ing how much the child likes the play­ground, for exam­ple, will help your child because part of the tantrum is let­ting you know how impor­tant some­thing is.

It’s essen­tial to hon­our the child’s feel­ings while also pre­sent­ing a lim­i­ta­tion: “I under­stand how much you like the play­ground, but it’s get­ting dark, and we have to go home!” It’s pos­si­ble to estab­lish these lim­i­ta­tions with­out mak­ing the child feel ashamed or wor­ried. It’s just a state­ment of fact, not a judg­ment. Redi­rec­tion or dis­trac­tion is the best way to deal with a child’s tantrum; it usu­al­ly works with chil­dren younger than two and a half years. Dis­trac­tion helps to teach the child the val­ue of momen­tar­i­ly think­ing or doing some­thing else when the prob­lem appears unsolv­able. Like some­thing your kid likes, such as read­ing a favourite book or going for a walk. You can also ask the child if he or she wants a hug. Offer chil­dren ways to express their frus­tra­tion! It’s some­times just a mat­ter of teach­ing tod­dlers words that encap­su­late what they are feel­ing or, for more phys­i­cal kids, an oppor­tu­ni­ty to take out their aggres­sion by tear­ing paper or throw­ing a pil­low or work­ing through their frus­tra­tion in clay. Nev­er give in to your child dur­ing a tantrum and nev­er pun­ish­es him/her as this may lead to more frus­tra­tion dur­ing the process of self-learn­ing. If redi­rec­tion does­n’t work, make space and time for your­self!. As long as your child is in a safe space, take a time-out to decom­press and recharge. Removal of pos­i­tive par­enter­al helps deesca­late the tantrum in 25–80% of cas­es.

What can I do about public tantrums?

When chil­dren have pub­lic tantrums, it’s best to ignore them. If the sit­u­a­tion esca­lates, take the child to a pri­vate space and do your best to de-esca­late the sit­u­a­tion.  Once the tantrum is over, go back to what you were doing, so the child learns that the tantrum is not a long-term solu­tion to escape.

When is it necessary to get professional help?

child throwing tantrum l toddler hitting l child meltdown

How To Deal With Child Temper Tantrums l toddler tantrums what to do l child throwing tantrum l toddler hitting l child meltdown l toddler hitting

Over time, a child’s self-con­trol should get bet­ter. Usu­al­ly, they start to become less fre­quent as kids approach preschool age. If your child is still hav­ing trou­ble ver­bal­iz­ing, caus­ing harm to them­selves or oth­ers, or if tantrums are get­ting worse, it’s time to con­sult with your physi­cian. Chil­dren are very respon­sive to assis­tance, and chil­dren can become less prone to tantrums over time. Although tantrums are not pleas­ant, they are a man­i­fes­ta­tion of your child’s devel­op­ment, and this self-expres­sion is vital to their suc­cess and well-being. Dr.Eman Sed­ky has med­ical­ly reviewed the arti­cle.  Amazon Baby registry

Final words!

As a par­ent, you don’t have to be hard on your­self based on your child’s tem­per tantrums. Almost every tod­dler has tantrums, and as they grow up, they gain self-con­trol. Even­tu­al­ly, they learn to col­lab­o­rate, com­mu­ni­cate, and deal with exas­per­a­tion. With the tips and tricks men­tioned above, you can eas­i­ly tame your kids’ tem­per tantrums and, in the process, become much more hap­py and coop­er­a­tive par­ents 🙂
error: Content is protected !!
Seize Your Life Today

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!