Picture this: You are trying to shop for groceries in a crowded departmental store. While you have to move from aisle to aisle to search for groceries, your toddler who was calm just a while a while ago, starts to wail and moan about his favorite chocolate bar. You tend to ignore or reply with a firm ‘No’, thinking it would calm him down. Slowly, but steadily, the wails grow into cries and finally, the inevitable happens. He starts to scream in a voice that could crack glass demanding to have that chocolate bar right now, while all you can do is watch helplessly amidst a mass of staring eyes. Sounds familiar? Temper tantrums are very common in toddlers and can be dealt with easily.
A child perceives the world very differently from us. As a baby, he was used to getting attention all the time and loved it when people fussed over him. As time goes by, though the love and affection remains, people don’t really fuss over him the way they used to. This leads to frustration and toddlers get frustrated very easily, as they have very little control over their emotions. Thus, when they ask for something that they want but get a ‘No’ for an answer, they wonder if they have lost their importance and in sheer desperation, vent out the frustration as cries, screams and wails.
Temper tantrums vary from child to child. Some may wail and moan, some may start to cry hysterically, while some bang their heads on the floor and break things. Every temper tantrum can be dealt with, provided you start to accept that it is a passing phase. Punishing, sermonizing, physically restricting a child makes matters worse and the child will only grow more stubborn. Instead, let the child scream, but set limits clearly that he is not supposed to hurt himself or anybody else. You have to understand that a child will not compromise if you rationalize like you do with adults and loosing your own temper will set a bad behavioral example for the baby.
The best way to deal with a temper tantrum is by ignoring them. When the toddler sees that his pleas and cries are unheard, he will himself calm down and ask in a better way. Explain calmly why you think his demand is unreasonable. More often than not, kids understand and even agree for a substitute. So instead of an expensive video game, a decent looking toy should make him happy. Also, make it clear that his behavior was not appreciated and asking in a calm way is more like it. This way, you get to bond with your baby in a better way and it will be easier for the kid to understand himself.