Child temper tantrums
Why should I be aware of this?
It is important to realize that temper tantrums are a normal part of growing up. Tantrums are not easy to deal with, and they can be a little scary for us and our child. Using a loving, understanding and consistent approach will help the child through this part of his development.
How does this affect me?
Temper tantrums can leave parents feeling powerless and shaken. A parent's goals should include helping children find better ways of expressing anger than lashing out physically. Punishment is not necessarily the answer and may be completely unnecessary, because most children naturally feel some remorse from within.
All about child temper tantrums
Normally a child throws tantrums when he is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. They can also be because of a kid's frustration with not getting something they badly want.
Tantrums are most common from the age of two when children start acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. Frustration sets in when they cannot communicate their needs to others. Tantrums tend to decrease as language skills improve.
Tantrum is also caused by toddlers’ increasing need for autonomy. They believe they can do certain things themselves, but when they find that they can’t this leads to tantrums.
Reasons for throwing tantrums
- They want to make their own decisions.
- They are not able to express, in words, what they feel.
- They cannot understand what you are telling them.
- They are not able to solve problems easily and are feeling discouraged.
- They are not feeling well.
- They want attention.
- They are hungry, and not able to recognise it.
- They are tired or not getting enough sleep.
- They are anxious, afraid or uncomfortable.
- They are reacting to stress or changes at home.
- They are jealous of a friend or sibling.
What can I do about it?
The best way to avoid tantrums is to keep your cool. Kids can sense when parents are becoming frustrated and can just make their frustration worse. Hitting and spanking don't help. Tantrums need to be handled differently depending on the cause.
Here are some strategies that may help contriol a child's tantrums:
- A child often acts up simply because he or she isn't getting enough attention. Be attentive to his behavior and reward him whenever possible
- Try to fulfill some of his needs for independence and ward off tantrums. Give him minor choices which will not spoil his habits
- Tackle his frustration by replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. This should be possible as children have short memory spans.
- Give him age-appropriate toys and games so that he succeeds in his efforts. Start with something simple before moving on to more challenging tasks.
- Try to accommodate his request if it is not too outrageous
- Some kids are likely to harm themselves. They should be taken to a quiet, safe place to calm down.
- Some temper tantrums cannot be ignored. The following behaviors should not be ignored and are not acceptable:
- Hitting or kicking parents or others
- Throwing things in a dangerous way
- Prolonged screaming or yelling
- Temper tantrums are common, occurring in about 80% of children between the ages of 1 and 4. About 20% of 2-year-olds and 10% of 4-year-olds have daily temper tantrums. 
- If your child continues to have frequent temper tantrums after age 3, you may need to use time-outs. A time-out removes the child from the situation, allows him or her time to calm down, and teaches the child that having a temper tantrum is not acceptable behavior. Time-out works best for children who understand why it is being used.
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