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Understanding and Managing Temper Tantrums in Toddlers

Understanding and Managing Temper Tantrums in Toddlers

As parents, there's no greater joy than witnessing the happiness of our children. But keeping our little ones cheerful is full of challenges. They tend to throw a lot of tantrums considering they are tiny human beings. However, tantrums are normal toddler behavior. This is how they express their disappointment or frustration. They might look adorable initially throwing tantrums, but in the long run, this becomes uncontrollable behavior. Let’s dive right in to understand temper tantrums and how to manage them with the help of childhood psychology.

Why Do Toddlers Have Temper Tantrums?

You may have seen your child screaming, whining, hitting, or crying when things do not go their way. Some of them may throw tantrums often, while others have them sometimes. It is quite common among those between the ages of 1 to 3 years to manage their temper. Tantrums may happen when they are experiencing disappointment.

Tantrums are difficult for parents to manage, becausepreschoolers like them want to control their environment leading to power struggles. When these tiny beings discover that they cannot have or do anything they want, they might throw a temper tantrum.

What Should You Do While a Toddler Throws a Tantrum?

Temper tantrum management is vital for parents in order to help their offsprings channel their anger in a positive direction. The first thing you can do is to keep your cool and be patient with them – it is also a fundamental principle of Gentle Parenting. Focus on understanding why your child is upset or acting that way. Sometimes you may need to provide them with comfort. Other times, it is best to ignore them or distract them with some engaging activity.

An average temper tantrum lasts anywhere between 2 to 15 minutes. To manage the outburst, the basic requirement is to regulate our feelings to begin with. It is easy to take these flare-ups personally and lose your temper. However, this does more harm than good. Here are a few things to keep in mind while trying to manage these fits of rage:

  1. Children have the inherent need to be heard, and a key step is to acknowledge their big emotions and empathize with them.

  2. The next thing would be to stay consistent. Avoid changing your response mid-tantrum. This makes the child believe that throwing a fit is the way to get things done.

  3. Avoid saying “no” whenever possible. No one likes to be constantly rejected, why would a child be any different? Unless it is a safety concern, try to let your child make choices and have their way.

  4. Establish a broad routine. There is always room for unexpected situations, but toddlers strive for known patterns. It eases them and gives them an idea of what to expect.

What Can Be Done After a Tantrum?

The frequency and severity of tantrums reduce as the child becomes independent and has a better grasp of language and vocabulary. Trying to guide or correct their behavior mid-tantrum is a futile task. They cannot process anything other than kindness when they are overwhelmed. However, little actions can prove to be helpful after a tantrum.

  1. Help them label their emotions. Play-based learning, a vital approach to learning at Dibber International Preschools, can be an effective means to achieve this. Try to help them understand what is happy, sad, angry, scared, etc. This helps them convey better the next time around.

  2. Offer praise for calming down. This builds up their confidence.

  3. As much as possible, try to stay calm and regulated. However, understand that emotions are human nature, if you slip up, accept, and apologize to your child. It is amazing how much they understand.

How Can We Avoid Temper Tantrums?

Even though temper tantrums are normal toddler behavior, they should be avoided whenever possible. Here are some ideas that may help you:

  • Give them positive attention – Praise your little ones and give them attention when they do something good. It could be simple actions like finishing their glass of milk or sharing their toys.

  • Provide some independence to your toddlers - Allow them to make some decisions on their own. You can give them choices like which cereal they would like to eat.

  • Keep off-limit items away from children’s reach – Hide away all the candies, sharp objects, or anything that you do not want your preschooler to see. Out of sight, out of mind!

  • Distract them by engaging in new activities – It is amazingly easy to divert the minds of children. Replace their frustration by doing something they like or want to learn. Asking for their help with little things is a terrific way to distract your tiny ones.

  • Consider the demands of children very carefully– Children demand a lot of things, that is how they are. Before rejecting, you should consider their requests carefully. You can also come up with ways to give them what they want as a reward for good behavior.

Toddler tantrums do not last for long. As they mature, they find ways to channel their negative emotions in a positive way if they are provided with a nurtured environment. Mutual love and patience are the best ways to manage temper tantrums and to help them in theirchildhood psychological development.

At Dibber International Preschools, we don’t just carefully handle tantrums but also provide a nurturing environment for your little ones to learnand grow. After all, fewer tantrums mean happier parents, doesn’t it?

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