Picture this: You are in a peaceful mood and are shopping for grocery in a store along with your little kid. Suddenly out of the blue, your kid starts to cry loudly in frustration and screams his head off! Before you know it, he starts to throw a tantrum urging you to buy him a chocolate bar. The rage continues to increase till you are embarrassed and feel completely helpless. How to deal with such a situation? It may seem impossible to ignore the kid or pacify him, but it is not so. The child is unable to communicate what he/she wants and it is this frustration that leads to a temper tantrum. Let us look at what triggers tantrums and how to deal with it.
Causes for Temper Tantrums
- The inability to master a new toy or activity often triggers off a temper tantrum in three year olds. Parents need to understand that helping the kid right at that moment forcefully may not help.
- Three year olds may also throw a temper tantrum when they are refused something that they want or something they want to eat that might be unhealthy. It is basically the denial of a request that makes them frustrated and angry, which they vent out as a tantrum.
- Over stimulation like watching too much TV or playing too much video game may also lead to temper tantrums. The child becomes frustrated after watching visual images after sometime, which is why he/she throws a tantrum.
- If a kid is confined to a particular place for a long time, like the stroller or the car seat and is denied any sort of a physical movement, it may irritate the child and he/she may end up throwing a tantrum.
- A sudden change in their routine may upset the kids and they may throw up a tantrum. Some kids may also not like it if they are moved away from someone or something that they are used to and may end up throwing a temper tantrum.
How to Deal with Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums can pose a difficult situation for parents to deal with, but nonetheless is easy once the appropriate method is learnt. The worst you can do is giving in to a child’s temper tantrum. This is very harmful for the emotional growth and maturity of a child and will prove very bad in the long run. It leads to habitual tantrums that can grow beyond childhood. The child may start throwing a tantrum deliberately every time he/she wants something and will expect you to give in to it.
When a child throws the first tantrum, parents should try to soothe and calm down the kid. This includes cuddling and caressing the kid and making him/her stop crying. The child may or may not be responsive. If the child is unresponsive, you need to ignore the child. This does not mean you ignore completely. You need to observe the child, so that he does not end up hurting himself. The child should not come to know you are really keeping an eye on him. Never yell back at the child when he/she is throwing a temper tantrum. If the child throws a tantrum in a public place, take the child away from there immediately. The tantrums subside when the child realizes that whatever he/she does, the tantrums won’t be rewarded.