Tantrums Thrown by Children and How to Handle Them
One of the most difficult and often embarrassing challenges for a young parent is to deal with their child’s temper tantrum. These seemingly spontaneous outbursts of emotions can be extremely disconcerting and parents are often at a loss with how to deal with it.
A screaming, screeching child, whose body undergoes violent contortions in a shopping mall or a public space, while its parents stand helplessly by, is a sight we have all been privy to.
But to understand how to best deal with a tantrum, it is important to first understand what a tantrum is.
Why do children throw tantrums?
Tantrums and other similar behaviour are extremely common in children, especially between the ages of 0 to 3. This is primarily because, at this early stage of their development, children lack the ability to communicate complex emotions.
However, they start to increasingly come in contact with a world that demands such abilities. As a result, children respond to these challenges by seeking to change the rules that the world plays by.
Tantrums thus are a way for children to communicate with a world that they find too tough to deal with. It is also seen that if not treated and dealt with appropriately, tantrums could continue well beyond the age of 3.
While a tantrum might well be a child’s way of seeking attention, it is important that parents take cognizance of the fact that very often a child who frequently has emotional outbursts is experiencing some phenomenon that is beyond its ability to cope.
This might include an extremely hostile environment within the family, constant in-fighting, a bully at school or an authoritarian instructor. A child might respond to any and all of these factors, especially if it believes them to be unsolvable, by violent fits of temper that are designed to attract maximum attention.
Children, who are undergoing any form of emotional or physical trauma, whether at home or at school, might respond in other places by vigorously trying to seek control. Such tantrums if not detected and treated properly, could lead to long term psychological scarring of the child.
Another very common cause for children’s tantrums is poor health. Very young children often find it frightening when their bodies do not respond to the demands of the world. Poor health and nutrition can make kids feel giddy, nauseous and weak throughout the day and create intense agitation.
How to deal with children’s tantrums?
In handling a child’s tantrum, the parents are the most important institutions, because in almost all the cases, the purpose of the tantrum is to gain their attention. As a parent, one must ensure that any dealing with a child’s tantrum is affirmative and positive.
The following steps can help:
- Stay calm. Understand that a child throwing a tantrum is afraid. It looks at you for strength. An angry, irritated or panicked response to a tantrum can generate even more fear in the child’s mind.
- Try and speak to the child calmly, rather than give in to its demands. These demands are often materialistic and are meant only as instantaneous gratification, but mask the real issues the child is going through. It is important that you pacify the child, by speaking calmly and probe for the real underlying issue.
- Take charge of the situation and maintain consistency in how you deal with each tantrum. A child doesn’t respond to mixed reactions positively.
Choose the right pre school for your child to take care of its behaviour management early on and relax on your part for better.