Raising a young child can be challenging, and managing temper tantrums is one of the most difficult tasks for parents. Temper tantrums are normal in children between 3 to 6 years old, but they can still be stressful and exhausting. Fortunately, there are many strategies on how to avoid temper tantrums.
In this blog post, we will discuss what are temper tantrums, why they happen, and how to avoid temper tantrums in the future. We’ll also cover when you should seek help if meltdowns become out of control.
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What Are Temper Tantrums?
Tantrums are emotional outbursts that can occur in children aged 3 to 6 years old. They usually happen when a child is overwhelmed with emotion, and feel like they have no control over the situation. Tantrums can involve screaming, crying, kicking, hitting, or throwing things.
It’s important to remember that tantrums are normal behavior for young children who don’t yet have the ability to regulate their emotions. Try to understand why your child is having a tantrum and help them learn how to cope with their feelings in more appropriate ways.
Types of Temper Tantrums
Toddler tantrums come in two varieties: emotional meltdowns and non-emotional tantrums, sometimes known as Little Nero tantrums.
Fits and temper outbursts in toddlers are not always about trying to control or manipulate parents. An emotional meltdown occurs when the emotional part of the brain (limbic) takes over from the thinking part of the brain (pre-frontal cortex). All children are susceptible to it, even grownups can have an emotional meltdown once in a while.
Young toddlers do not possess the capacity for reasoning or manipulation yet, so they tend to have toddler meltdowns when they’re upset. In older kids, there may be both types of tantrums present – an emotional meltdown combined with a Little Nero type fit where they try to get what they want by throwing fits that their parent has given into before.
It is important for parents to recognize these different types of outbursts and respond accordingly. Understanding why your child is having a particular kind of fit will help you better manage it and prevent future episodes from happening again.
For example, if your child is having an emotional meltdown due to being overwhelmed or frustrated, providing them with comfort and reassurance can help calm them down quicker rather than punishing them.
On the other hand, if your kid is throwing a Little Nero type of fit because he knows he can get away with it, then setting clear boundaries on behavior expectations needs to be done right away so that this type of behavior does not become normalized.
The most common triggers of tantrums include feeling frustrated or overwhelmed by something (like being asked to do something they don’t want), feeling tired or hungry, not getting what they want (such as attention from parents), or being told “no” too often.
When your child has a tantrum, it’s important not to give in to their demands as this will only reinforce the behavior. Instead, try using distraction techniques such as offering another activity or toy which may take their mind off whatever was causing them distress.
If possible, remove them from the situation if it is safe for you both. This will allow them time away from any triggers and give you both some space until they calm down.
Talk to your child about how they’re feeling once they’ve calmed down. Let them know that everyone gets angry sometimes but there are other ways of expressing those feelings than through physical outbursts like hitting or throwing things.
Signs of a Temper Tantrum
When a child is having a temper tantrum, they may display certain behaviors such as yelling, screaming, stomping their feet, clenching fists or jaw, and refusing to listen to reason. They may also become physically aggressive towards others or objects around them.
Other signs include holding their breath until they turn blue in the face and/or flailing their arms and legs uncontrollably.
It is important to identify the signs of a temper tantrum to learn how to avoid temper tantrums in the first place.
How to Avoid Temper Tantrums
Establishing clear expectations and boundaries for your child is an important part of avoiding temper tantrums. When children know what to expect, they are less likely to become frustrated or overwhelmed.
Explain the rules in simple terms that your child can understand and be consistent with enforcing them.
Additionally, provide plenty of structure throughout the day by creating a routine and schedule for activities, meals, playtime, etc.
If you notice that your child is becoming agitated or upset about something, try redirecting their attention away from it. Distract them with another activity or toy that will engage their interest and help keep them calm.
This technique can also be used when dealing with difficult tasks such as cleaning up toys or getting dressed for school. Offer incentives like rewards if they complete the task without throwing a fit.
Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective strategies for avoiding temper tantrums in young children. Praise good behavior whenever possible and reward desired behaviors with treats like stickers or small toys. This will encourage positive behavior while discouraging negative outbursts.
It is also important to set realistic expectations. Do not expect perfection from your child but instead recognize their efforts even if it does not turn out perfectly every time.
Knowing how to avoid temper tantrums can go a long way in keeping the peace. Now let’s explore what you can do if a temper tantrum does occur.
Dealing with Temper Tantrums
Do you know what to do when a temper tantrum occurs? Here are a few tips on how to de-escalate the situation.
Remain Calm and Composed
It is natural for adults to become frustrated or angry when faced with a temper tantrum. Try taking deep breaths and remain as calm as possible. Staying calm will set an example for the child on how they should react during these moments of frustration.
Acknowledging your child’s feelings can go a long way in helping them feel heard and understood. Letting them know that you understand why they are feeling upset can help them move past their emotions than if ignored or dismissed altogether. This also teaches children that their feelings are valid even though their behavior may not be acceptable at times.
Redirecting attention away from what caused the temper tantrum can often help diffuse tension between the parent/caregiver and the child. Suggesting activities such as coloring or playing with toys can provide a distraction while allowing time for both parties to cool down before continuing the conversation.
If the temper tantrums become chronic or severe, seeking professional help may be necessary to ensure that your child receives the best possible care.
When to See Your Child’s Doctor
If your child’s temper tantrums are frequent, intense, or last for an extended period of time, it may be necessary to seek professional help. If the tantrums are causing harm or distress to either your child or other family members, it’s time to book an appointment with your pediatrician.
There are a variety of professionals who can provide assistance with managing chronic or severe temper tantrums in children. These include mental health professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists, pediatricians, social workers, and therapists specializing in behavior management techniques.
Each type of professional has different qualifications and areas of expertise so it is important to do research before making a decision.
When looking for a professional to help manage your child’s temper tantrums, look for someone who has experience working with young children and their families. Ask friends and family for referrals or research online reviews before making an appointment.
Finally, make sure that you feel comfortable talking about any concerns you may have regarding your child’s behavior before committing to working together long-term.
Temper tantrums can be a normal part of toddler development. By following these tips on how to avoid temper tantrums and understanding what triggers them, parents will be better equipped with the tools necessary for successful parenting.
However, it is also important to recognize when tantrums become more frequent or severe and seek professional help if needed.
Raising toddlers can truly be a challenge. With helpful tips, tricks, and strategies from experts in child psychology, we can help you find ways to prevent these outbursts before they even start!
Join us as we explore solutions to avoiding temper tantrums so your family can live happier days together.