Temper Tantrums from Beginning to End!
Temper Tantrums can bring your world to a grinding halt. Worse is when it involves self-harm.
Parenting hacks: There is no such thing. Parenting requires a lot of patience and understanding the uniqueness of your child. What works for one child may not work for the other even within the same families. This goes similar to Temper tantrums, which can make parents feel like they have been hit by a tornado. Most parents are unequipped in managing their child’s meltdown or emotional outburst. Many of my clients and mommies on social media platforms have raised questions and seemed worried when it comes to handling their toddler’s tantrums.
Also, when you google to find out answers to your questions the same solutions seem to appear. Or the solutions are outlined in parenting books which might be an arduous task for parents who are not avid readers. That makes me arrive at a quick analysis of why most parents feel so lost when it comes to managing this behaviour.
Adding icing to the cake is the New Normal which has come with a lot of unexpected adjustments. Given the physical constraints of the new normal where children cannot move out and explore their environment, toddlers are left irritated resulting in tantrums.
What are tantrums or the meaning of Temper Tantrums?
Tantrums are observed in the early developmental years when children lack the vocabulary to tell how they feel or are unable to express unpleasant emotions. It is seen when they feel lost control over their environment and wants to explore their individuality.
As adults, we feel agitated or frustrated when we do not get things the way we expected them to be or when things are out of our control. Correspondingly, toddlers feel the same when they lose a sense of control over their environment. They too feel a need to express their frustration and anger over something that’s bothering them. Caregivers must acknowledge their feelings and recognize that toddlers also sail in the same boat.
When adults look at the situation, we see it from our own perspective without accepting the fact that children are still learning. Parents may say “I told you to behave properly” or, “I told you not do that”.As easy as it seems for an adult to expect the child to follow the instructions we have to consider that it not going to be same as we imagined. Noncompliance goes in hand with tantrums.
Temper tantrums usually start at the age of 2 and fade off by age of 4 or 5.
How to stop temper tantrum or temper tantrum management.
Temper tantrums cannot be stopped but managed effectively as it is a normal process of development. Most of the articles point out to the fact that the toddlers have to be fed well and provided adequate rest before taking them out. Others state that positive attention, building a routine, a structure or staying organized, being consistent with your rules, using grounding techniques, making use of time outs and verbalizing their feelings for them can provide some relief to parents.
However, according to the findings of the research, there are two effective ways to prevent tantrums. If followed consistently this can help caregivers as well as parents. These management strategies can be remembered by the acronym R.I.D.D and C.L.A.M.
What is RIDD?
Remain Calm: Although it might be difficult to stay cool because it is better said than done. Try your best to be patient with yourself and your child. Keep your command short for your toddler to follow like “no hitting”, “no biting”.
Ignore: Try to avoid being angry and disregard the Tantrum. Trying to reason with your angry child might not work at this time. You can talk to your toddler later when he has finished whining or crying.
Distract: Try to distract the child by handing him/her a favourite toy or move them out of the situation or premise. You will have to wait until the behaviour subsides.
Do: Avoid giving in to the demands as it may reinforce the undesired behaviour and will make it even more difficult to handle in future.
What is C.A.L.M?
Communicate well: Yelling and arguing with the child when they are throwing tantrums won’t work well. Instead, inquire about how they are feeling. One method is by helping them identify their emotions with the help of flashcards and providing the vocabulary for it. As children grow older parents can teach them how to express their emotions in healthy ways.
Attend to the child’s needs: Even if it is for five minutes, give positive attention to your child. Giving a small task that they can do by themselves and encouraging them, provides a sense of accomplishment to your child.
Let the child share their feelings and listen: Children who hear a “No” from their parents many a time feel frustrated and thwarted. Listen to your child when they have something to share even if you feel it’s silly.
Make naptimes and mealtimes a daily routine as much as possible: Having inconsistent routines can leave your child cranky most of the times. Plan short outings so that your child does not miss out on his sleep or meals. Schedule your day according to your child’s routine.
Parenting can be a bumpy ride with a lot of challenges at every developmental stage. Nevertheless, if temper tantrums continue to persist after age 4, includes self-harm, destruction of property, is identified in multiple settings and poses a serious threat to the child, parents should seek professional help.