How to Deal With Your Child's Temper Tantrums

Temper tantrums range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding. Some kids may experience regular tantrums, whereas others have them rarely.

They’re a normal part of development and don’t have to be seen as something negative. Unlike adults, kids don’t have the same inhibitions or control.

Why kids have tantrums?

Some of the basic causes of tantrums are:

The child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable.

Tantrums are often the result of kids’ frustration when they can’t get something to do what they want, for instance toys or people.

Frustration is an unavoidable but necessary part of life. Kids learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

Tantrums are equally common in boys and girls and usually occur between the ages of 1 to 3. the age when children don’t have the language skills to easily express his needs. It can be frustrating to toddlers because they generally understand more than they can express. Another reason is that your toddler is trying to express his growing independence or his/her increasing need for autonomy, a sense of control over his/her environment.

Being toddlers their need for autonomy and control are more than they can handle. Your toddler wants something or wants to do something by him/herself and realizes he/she can’t have it is the most common tantrum trigger. A toddler is also likely to have temper tantrums if parents react too strongly to his/her difficult behavior.

On the other hand, giving in to toddlers demands to avoid tantrums can also be a cause for more frequent tantrums (and bad for a child’s development).

Behavioral conditions

Some children throw more temper tantrums than others. Some factors that contribute to a this include: the child’s age, stage of development, temperament, stress in the environment, underlying behavioral, developmental or health conditions. Some of these conditions include ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism.

How to deal with tantrums?

The most effective way to handle your child’s tantrums is to ignore it and, instead of responding like a toddler yourself, help your child learn how to handle and express anger and frustration. Pay attention to what triggers tantrums. Then you can be prepared and act on it before it gets uncontrollable.

Frequent tantrums after the age of three should be handled using different discipline techniques. You can start using time-outs. Time outs remove the child from the situation. It allows him/her to calm down and teaches him/her that throwing tantrums is not acceptable.

Growing out of having tantrums

Children usually grow out of having tantrums gradually. A lot of this is because as your child grows older, his/her language skills develop, thus he/she is able to express him/herself better. Your child also becomes more independent and recognizes the benefits of having these skills.

For children with frequent tantrums beyond the age of four, they need to seek outside help to deal with the anger. Temper tantrums that go on or start at an age when your kid begins school may be a sign of other issues such as problems with learning, getting along with other kids, etc.

When to consult your doctor

Consult your doctor if you have concerns about your child’s temper tantrums. For instance, if he/she is over 4 years old and continues to have frequent temper tantrums. You should also see your healthcare professional if your child’s tantrums go to the level where he/she becomes violent and could endanger others or him/herself.

Lastly, you have problems handling your child’s behavior especially if you are concerned that you might hurt your child.