Temper Tantrums – A parents guide to keep peace

Temper tantrums are not a result of poor parenting or of a spoiled child. Tantrums are a way for toddlers to express themselves

Understanding Temper Tantrums

We all feel angry and frustrated as humans but children have primitive vocal skills and high emotional went ups at this stage and hence they might express with hitting, pushing or even biting when they need that extra cookie, a diaper change or that toy lying there. We call this a temper Tantrum or a meltdown.

Sometimes it’s also to test our reactions and see what it results in? Remember that children are experimenting and exploring through their senses? Touch, mouth, shake and grab?  As parents, it’s our most important job to help them to understand their feelings and learn to communicate, in a non- aggressive way.

We must understand that tantrums are a part of every child’s’ development and are usually to show their frustration or feeling of being upset when they are hungry, sleepy, unwell or need a particular object the parent may refuse.

 

temper tantrumsWhen Should I expect my Toddler to show the signs of Tantrums

The period between 18 months to 3 years is a very exciting time for a toddler when he begins to act like an independent individual in this world. So becoming assertive is their new found way out. Though Tantrums do occur most often during a child’s second year. Hence, it’s good to be prepared to handle this challenging yet unavoidable storm!

Most tantrums emerge around the 2-year mark when language skills are at an early stage. As they learn to talk tantrums are much easier to handle with more reasoning and understanding provided.

 

How to help keep peace with Tantrums?

As a parent, I must advise you that no two children show the same response. Some kids will kick and punch, some can have ear piercing screams and some known to hold their breath, almost giving a heart attack to the poor parents. The first reaction is usually to want to disappear from the scene, if only that a real option.

Its good ideas to follow a low-key approach to handle your child’s new milestone. Meltdowns are terrible, nasty things, but they’re a fact of childhood.   Easier said than done, it will require a lot of patience and time on your part. I can vouch on that one. The family needs to stand by the house rules. And here is a sum up of what works for us:

Be watchful –  soon you can guess when a tantrum is brewing, try to quickly step in and distract him with another activity.  Kids have a short attention span and are easy to divert. Use this to your advantage and get them engaged in something and they will completely forget about the meltdown. Going to the balcony to see birds, dogs or other kids in parks worked well for us.

Keep your cool – The first and foremost trick is to keep calm and not show any wild reaction. When we react with upset to our children, they internalize our upset. It makes them frightened and this develops into a long-term association to hit as a response because they don’t understand why we yelled or hit them back.

Always get down to the child’s level – look him straight in the eye so you have his attention and speak calmly and clearly.

Avoid the “fearsome four.” – Hunger, fatigue, boredom and overstimulation, that is. These are usually the prime suspects resulting into a terrible tantrum. Mommies can vouch!

Reduce the need to say “no.” – child proofing and setting clear limits can help here. Instead of saying no you cannot play with the knife, how about, of this knife is too sharp and will hurt you, darling, let’s find some interesting kitchen tools together that are not sharp.

Listen and talk less – Show her that you are there for her. Talking gently and saying “I am not mad at you, you are my baby girl and Mumma loves you”. Keeping warmth in your voice and meaning it will help them calm down.

Vocalise the demand and the reason why you won’t fulfill it. If Kenisha is hungry and cries I would say “Oh you want that biscuit, I see. But it’s almost dinner time and We need to eat food mommy just cooked”

Laugh it off – Laughter releases all sorts of feel-good chemicals in the brain and stifles the stress-causing ones — so do something silly. When Kenisha wont stay still for a diaper change I would put her clean diaper on my head as a cap!

Give a Cold Shoulder – Sometime it could be pretty Dramatic, so if this seems to be the case and as long as your kiddo doesn’t seem especially stressed, try ignoring her when she’s carrying on, and continue with what you’re doing. This can be a highly effective way to de-escalate a tantrum. Just ensure that they are safe and not hurting themselves

Stand your ground – This is the toughest but it really works. Repeating the same words helps to bore their tantrum out. So keep calm and consistent but don’t give in mamma

Give encouragement – And if its your day, the storm will pass before you know it! And if that happens don’t forget to compliment your child and be genuine!

I am hoping that this helps mamma’s to keep the peace together. And if you have some interesting stories to share your special tricks to deal with tantrums, do pen them down.

If you enjoyed reading this article do check out more Parenting articles by me

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  1. When my daughter was reaching 2, I heard words like watch out..terrible two is coming. And I heard it so much that I was actually waiting for the phase but frankly speaking they weren’t that terrible as explained to me. I followed all the points you have mentioned. Kids have their needs and they are not able to communicate they get irritated. Now I have to repeat the when episode as my son will be two in another year.. thanks for the reminder.

  2. I will share this post with one of my cousin who is going through this with her younger one. Also she has this complain that the older one never did this and all my methods to pacify her worked but not with the younger one. So you are right that no two kids are same. this post shall be very useful for her to understand the phase in her younger one.

    • Thanks Aesha. The reason I said so was purely because I know few such cases and when mother’s try n compare. The cause be effect for tantrums vary from child to child