This is a biggie — and is much easier said than done. But experts insist you must keep your cool during a child’s tantrum. “Otherwise, you’ll get into a power struggle and make the whole thing escalate.
Tantrums come in all shapes and sizes. They can include staggering blasts of outrage, dissatisfaction and scattered conduct (when your youngster ‘loses it’). You may see crying, shouting, hardening appendages, an angled back, kicking, tumbling down, thrashing about or fleeing. Sometimes, youngsters hold their breath, upchuck, break things or get forceful as a component of a fit of rage.
Some kids may have tantrums often, and others have them rarely. Tantrums are a normal part of child development. They are the way young children show they’re upset or frustrated.
Tantrums may happen when kids are tired, hungry, or uncomfortable; or because they can’t get something (for example, an object or a parent) to do what they want. Learning to deal with frustration is a skill that children gain over time.
Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when language skills are starting to develop. Because toddlers can’t yet say what they want, feel, or need, a frustrating experience may cause a tantrum. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.
Toddlers want independence and control over their environment — more than they may be capable of handling. This can lead to power struggles as a child thinks “I can do it myself” or “I want it, give it to me.”
What to do?
1. Don’t lose your cool. You may be tempted to stomp out of the room, but that can make your child feel abandoned.
2. Remember that you’re the adult.
3. Talk it over afterward.
4. Try to head off tantrum-triggering situations.
5. Watch for signs of overstress.