What You Need To Know About Children’s Tantrums
Have you, at one time or another, encountered toddler tantrums? I bet you have! It’s a natural occurrence at one stage of growing up, but also a nightmare of every parent. For instance, it’s often the case your kid might want you to buy something, but you simply can’t afford it… In such cases, don’t forget about coupons that might significantly bring down the price of the item in questions – they can be easily found on the Internet and offer you discounts at many popular shops such as Neiman Marcus, so the financial side of your life becomes just a little bit easier. But where do they come from and how can you unravel the mysteries of tantrums of your little ones? Are there any best or worst ways to react to them? We contacted a number of child behavior experts on this issue, and this is what we gathered from them:
UNDERSTANDING TANTRUM STAGES
There are usually five stages to a child’s tantrums: anger; anger and sadness; dropping of anger levels; wanting a cuddle; and finally, moving on.
Your toddler’s tantrums usually begin with anger behaviors such as throwing things around and screaming. Then it’s followed by sadness, often manifested through crying, whining, whimpering. Once those feelings have started to subside, you can start to comfort your child. Before that moment is reached, he or she will most likely reject your attempts at soothing them. Kids are capable of switching gears and changing emotions much faster than adults, and once the comforting part is over, they’ll soon forget everything and move on with whatever they were doing.
TACTICS TO DEAL WITH TANTRUMS
There are many tactics and strategies applied by parents and guardians to deal with their kids’ tantrums when they occur. Some will work better than others, while others will barely work at all. Some of those that seldom work include:
– Yelling and asking questions: Shouting and firing questions at a two-year-old who hardly has the right cognitive resources and language to express his or her feelings while he or she is in the middle of a freak-out mode is not a very wise thing to do.
– Trying to use reason: Don’t bother trying to explain to your hysterically-crying toddler that she shouldn’t peel her banana because mom has already done it. Wait until the emotions have calmed down first.
– Using empty threats: Using word of mouth only and hoping that it’s going to work by scaring your child off is a useless kind of tactic. If you tell your screeching toddler that you’re going to switch off the TV, then just do it!
– Ignoring them: When a child is having a tantrum, they’re often feeling helpless. So, don’t just ignore your kid. That will be like abandoning him or her in a moment of weakness. Try to contain your kid’s anger by being firm and choosing the right moment to comfort when necessary.
Apart from avoiding the tactics that don’t work, some other strategies that you can try to avoid your kid’s tantrums include:
– Giving advance warning: Some kids are just extreme attention-seekers, and unfortunately tend to do it at the most inappropriate of times! For instance, your child may be doing perfectly fine by themselves but when you get an important call, he or she suddenly has to have all your attention. Give an early warning by saying that mom has to pick up the phone now, so it’d be great if he or she could play quietly in her room and not disturb for a moment.
– Naming somebody else responsible: What do you do if your toddler has refused to brush the teeth, for example? If he or she views it as an “order” coming from you, then you can blame it on the dentist! It should take the pressure off your shoulders and add extra importance to the activity as it’s recommended by someone professional.
– Enticing your kid: If your child, for example, won’t come when you call him or her, then make it sound worth the trip. Offer a reward for good behavior. The carrot approach has been proven to work better than the stick in various occasions. Still, this cannot take place every single time, so if your kid becomes too big-headed, a little disciplining is crucial.