We love it when we are able to share the knowledge of other authors with you, our readers. Today we have a guest post from Holly Easterby on How to Deal with Kids’ Tantrums.
HOW TO DEAL WITH KIDS’ TANTRUMS
Holly Easterby is an avid advocate who wants to help parents overcome the daily challenges of parenthood. This is what she usually covers when writing for Bonza Brats. This article is in fact, of this nature as it teaches parents how to handle kids’ tantrums.
Handling kids tantrums is one of the hardest challenges of being a parent. These tantrums are often unexpected and unpredictable, as the child shows strong bouts of emotions. They yell, cry, and swing their limbs for about 30 seconds or longer. There are times when they might become too violent to handle, hitting, pinching or biting anyone who comes their way. Since these moments are a normal part of parenthood, you just need to know how to deal with them. There are a few tricks on dealing with kids tantrums, but it’s important to know what tantrums are, what the causes them, and how to prevent them, too.
Know Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums refer to the physical and emotional breakdowns often exhibited by children aged 2 to 4 years. However, these may show in as early as kids who are a year old in some cases. Tantrums are often the toddlers’ way of expressing how much they want to be independent, showing it by crying, yelling, screaming, holding their breath, or kicking the floor. But as the child grows older, these manifestations slowly fade away on their own.
Causes of Temper Tantrums
Toddlers are still unable to express themselves through words. When they get angry, feel tired and grow frustrated while not being able to communicate with the adults in words, they end up throwing a tantrum.
Moreover, toddlers have an egocentric view of the world. They focus only on what they want. This, combined with their incomplete expressive language skills, usually cause them to grow frustrated, enough to trigger a tantrum. What’s even more frustrating for them is that even as two-year-olds, they already know what complex sentences mean, but they cannot use more than three-word phrases to relay how they feel.
Toddlers are naturally curious. They love exploring and discovering new things. They are observant and fond of imitating actions or things. This is a great attitude among kids as it helps them cooperate with parents when it comes to exhibiting desired behaviors. However, it can be a nightmare when unwanted behaviors are involved. When the parents try to limit their child’s negative behaviors while their child continues to fight for their autonomy in addition to their frustrating language capabilities, a tantrum usually ensues.
Remember though that there could be underlying causes to kids tantrums and you have to rule them out first, especially in the cases of extreme tantrums.
Preventing Temper Tantrums
If you don’t want to go through the long and tiring cycle of dealing with kids tantrums, then you have to learn how to prevent them.
Follow a strict routine for meals and bedtime. Feed your kids on time. Veer away from long outings because tired and cranky kids are usually a disaster to deal with. Supervise their naps.
Keep your kids occupied. Toys, their favorites, are usually effective distractions.
Be realistic in setting your expectations for your child. Remember that it is normal for children to throw tantrums and that no one’s perfect.
Soothe your child away from frustration. Brace them for changes, which might cause their tantrums.
Implement rules and educate your child about following them, or they would have to deal with clear consequences.
Tricks on Dealing with Tantrums
When you can no longer prevent your kids tantrums, you’ll have no other choice but to face them head-on. Here are some tricks on dealing with tantrums:
- Keep calm. Use a soft voice when speaking to the child. If you meet your child’s temper with an equally fiery temper, it will become even more difficult to pacify your child.
- Don’t resort to physical punishment. Avoid it as much as possible, especially when emotions tend to go out of control.
- Find a safe place for a violent child. When your child starts hitting, biting or thrashing, pick them up and take them to a corner so you can talk to them gently. If the tantrum happened to be in a public place, take the child outside or to the car. You can also hold your child and hug him tight to avoid hurting himself or other people. Hugging him tightly may be one way of calming him down. Hugs may remind children that they are safe and loved. The gesture may also help calm yourself down before your temper starts to rise.
- Create a distraction. Some children tend to stop their tantrums once they start playing or doing their favorite activity.
- Let yourself go to be the funniest mother or father in the world. Don’t be embarrassed to sing silly songs, make funny faces, talk to a stuffed toy, or do something unexpected. Be an instant comedian when the situation calls for it. But if your child is the type to grow even more hysterical when they know that you’re not taking them seriously, then leave this method off your list of tantrum tricks.
- Take a time-out. This can be an effective disciplinary method if done right.
- Learn to look the other way. Ignore your child’s drama, but make sure he’s safe during a physical tantrum. When they don’t get the attention that they want, they eventually realize that and calm down on their own.
- Don’t bother arguing with a child having a tantrum. It will only frustrate you and possibly aggravate the situation.
- Don’t make a scene. Don’t coax, command, or bribe the child into calming down. If you continue showering them with too much attention, it will only feel like rewarding their negative behavior. They might think that they can throw a tantrum to get the same amount of attention next time.
- Tell your child that you’re angry. Once your child is old enough to understand what you’re saying, tell him that you don’t like his tantrums but don’t forget to assure him that you still love him despite that.
- Do not give in. This is probably one of the most important things that parents need to remember about dealing with kids tantrums. It’s alright to be unreasonable during his tantrums. It’s so much better than tolerating and rewarding his tantrums by giving in to what he wants. Show your child that his tantrums have no effect on you.
If you can’t seem to hold it any longer, talk to other parents. You can also follow parenting blogs and divert your attention to happier things, such as trying new recipes. It doesn’t hurt to pamper yourself with beauty regimens too, especially after surviving a child’s tantrum. Learn to celebrate every small victory that you achieve with every tantrum that comes your way.
Author: Holly Easterby
Holly’s love for children has seen her featured in many education and children websites, whether talking about healthy snacks, motivating students or children’s fashion at Bonza Brats. Holly loves reading books, and shopping is her way of spending time with her young family. If you would like to catch her, you can via Google+ or Twitter: @HollyEasterby