As children grow from infancy to toddler-hood, their language skills increase. As they struggle with their budding communication skills, they have a tendency to become frustrated due to their lack of vocabulary to express themselves. Knowing that temper tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development, how to avoid them and how to handle them when they happen, will help parents during this stage of the child’s life.
Toddlers throw tantrums for many reasons. Some reasons are a lack of being understood, the child doesn’t understand why something is happening, tiredness or hunger, a disruption in routine, wanting some attention, and something is taken away from the toddler without warning. A tantrum could erupt if the child is watching television, it is time for dinner, and the parent turns it off without warning.
When a child throws a tantrum (or is about to), it is important to know how to handle the situation. Some solutions include ignoring the tantrum, sending the toddler to a quiet place to calm down, removing the toddler from the situation, distracting the child, and acknowledging what the toddler wants and then explain why he/she can’t have it or explain when he/she can have it.
Scream and Shout
There are ways to help avoid tantrums like giving verbal warnings by saying things like, “Dinner is ready, time to turn off the t.v.” or “In a few minutes we will clean up.” Listening to and teaching the toddler how to verbally express him/herself can help. Build the child’s vocabulary in order to provide him/her with the tools needed to communicate effectively and positively. Prevent tantrums caused by tiredness or hunger by being aware of the child’s needs and taking care of them.
Parking lot baby rage
Tantrums will get worse if parents give into the toddler because it teaches the child that he/she can get whatever he/she wants by throwing tantrums. Sometimes it is just a battle of wills.
Having a temper tantrum
Sometimes a toddler has a tantrum because the toddler wants to be independent. It might be better to let the child try to tie his/her own shoes and then ask for help, rather than stepping in and doing it for the child. Parents need to choose which battles they want to fight.
Every child is different. Parents need to discover what works best for their own child. Sometimes it is different for different situations.
Read more early childhood education articles by Kristal Gardner.