Temper Tantrum Survival

My 2 year old daughter is going through the typical stage of throwing tantrums on a regular basis. Whether she is frustrated with me, herself, or even and object she begins to throw out tantrums. I have been down this road 3 times before and probably due up again in another 2 years with our youngest child, but no matter how many times you go through this there isn’t any real way to get used to it.

So with lots of frustration brewing inside of myself I actually Googled temper tantrums and found an article that was real helpful.

When your child throws a temper tantrum, you may feel exhausted and frustrated, but temper tantrums are usually nothing to be concerned about. Temper tantrums are a normal part of the development of children, particularly toddlers. Tantrums are frequently outgrown by the time a child enters preschool, usually around the age of four.

First it tell us why kids throw tantrums

Even the most good-natured toddler has an occasional temper tantrum. They’re a normal part of development and don’t have to be seen as something negative. Unlike adults, children don’t have the same inhibitions or control.

Imagine how it feels when you’re determined to program your oven and aren’t able to do it, no matter how hard you try, because you can’t understand how. It’s pretty frustrating – do you swear, throw the manual, walk away, and slam the door on your way out? That’s the adult version of a tantrum. Toddlers are also trying to master the world and when they aren’t able to accomplish a task, they often use one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration – a tantrum.

Tantrums can be of various types and intensities. They could include crying, screaming, kicking, head banging, back arching, falling to the floor, or even holding one’s breath. People who throw tantrums are said to have ‘lost it,’ and this situation is not limited to toddlers; older children and even adults can throw tantrums when they are overwhelmed by their feelings and are unable to manage or lack the necessary skills to self-regulate.

I sorta knew this but the best part of the article gives tips on how to avoid tantrums or at least you can “reduce” them. Temper tantrums can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Frustration.
  • Wanting to be noticed.
  • Desiring something (such as a treat or toy).
  • Putting off doing something (such as cleaning up or leaving the park).
  • Hunger.
  • Tiredness.

The conflict that toddlers experience is a major cause of temper tantrums. They want to be independent, but they also want their parents’ attention. And they haven’t learned how to cope with strong emotions or disappointments. They frequently lack the verbal skills to express their emotions, so they lash out instead. The best way to deal with temper tantrums is to avoid them in the first place, whenever possible. Here are some strategies that may help:

Make sure your child isn’t acting up simply because he or she isn’t getting enough attention.

To a child, negative attention (a parent’s response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all. Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good (”time in”), which means rewarding your little one with attention for positive behavior.

Try to give your child some control over little things.

This may fulfill the need for independence and can ward off tantrums. Offer minor choices such as “Do you want orange juice or apple juice?” or ” Do you want to brush your teeth before or after taking a bath?” This way, you aren’t in the position of saying, “Do you want to brush your teeth now?” which inevitably will be answered “no.”

Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach, which will make struggles less likely to develop over them.

Obviously, this isn’t always possible, especially outside of the home where the environment can’t be controlled.

Distract your child.

Take advantage of your little one’s short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one. Or simply change the environment. Take your child outside or inside or move to a different room.

Set the stage for success when your child is playing or trying to master a new task.

Offer age-appropriate toys and games. Also, start with something simple before moving on to more challenging tasks.

Consider the request carefully when your child wants something.

Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Choose your battles; accommodate when you can.

Know your child’s limits.

If you know your child is tired, it’s not the best time to go grocery shopping or try to squeeze in one more errand.

Temper tantrums are a normal, albeit annoying, part of a child’s development. Toddlers have one tantrum every day on average. Temper tantrums are common in children who want to be independent but still need their parents’ attention. Young children also lack the verbal skills necessary to express their emotions verbally. Try to remain calm when temper tantrums erupt.

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