We have another guest post to share with everyone. I am so thankful that so many wonderful ladies have reached out to me and have such great topics to talk about and share their advice on. Since I am only a mother to a one year old, there are quite a bit of “life experiences” we haven’t reached yet. Thank goodness, today’s topic, hasn’t hit our household– YET. But, I’m sure it’s just around the corner!
Today we have a fantastic post by Rachel Watson. She is the website manager for OurStart.com. OurStart is a lifestyle blog for women in their 20s and 30s, and they regularly blog about topics related to pregnancy, parenting, weddings, and the workplace. When Rachel is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exploring cute cafes, and playing with her miniature schnauzer.
So, let’s get down to business!
What is a Temper Tantrum?
Before we talk about dealing with temper tantrums, let’s define what a tantrum is. Temper tantrums are disruptive behavior or emotional outbursts. They usually occur when a child doesn’t get what he or she wants. Tantrums are more likely to occur in younger children. Some tantrums can be mild with whining and stomping., while hardcore tantrums can including kicking and screaming. All tantrums are essentially meltdowns or hissy fits. When a tantrum happens, a child is in an emotional distress that is typically characterized by anger and resistance to authority.
Try to Identify the Cause
Not all children have tantrums. I only have one child who is now 12, and she has never had a tantrum. I know of mom’s that had kids that never had tantrums and then a child who did. There is a cause for everything. It does not necessarily mean that their behavior is because of anything you did wrong. But something is causing these emotional outbursts. Is your child craving your attention? Or have they learned to get what they want by demanding it? Do they just lack self-control? Are they getting enough sleep? Try to identify why the tantrums are happening.
If you can identify the cause, you may be able to prevent tantrums from happening in the future. Sometimes it’s as simple as keeping your child on a schedule. That would include bedtimes, eating times, and just basic routines. Some children get out of whack when they get off plan too much or feel they can’t meet the demands of what’s being asked of them.
Have a Plan
Once your child has started continually having tantrums and outbursts, it’s time to come up with a solution. Include your child in the game plan you create. Let he or she clearly know what the consequences will be. Talk about how to communicate feelings properly and to accept that sometimes in life, the answer is “no” even for adults. This empowers your child with a choice. They can choose to behave and communicate properly or suffer the consequences.
Dealing with Tantrums
Here are a few things to do when a tantrum happens.
If possible, ignore the tantrum. Of course, this is not always possible if your child is running away from you across a busy street, or is causing havoc at the grocery store. But when you can and if your child is not in danger, try to not reward your child by giving in and hence showing that outbursts are effective at getting your attention. If your child is kicking, hitting or biting at you, then do not ignore and instead do whatever it takes to get your child under control. Causing bodily harm to you or anyone else is never ok.
When the tantrum is over, explain that screaming, kicking, or yelling is not the correct way to get your attention. Explain that he or she should instead use their words to communicate. When your child is calm, explain healthy ways of communicating that doesn’t involve throwing fits. Talk it out with him or her. Ask how they would feel if you threw a tantrum instead of communicating.
Give A Time Out
Timeouts can be an efficient way of dealing with full-blown meltdowns. If you are at home, this may be easier than if you are out in a public place. At home, have a timeout place without toys present. In a public place, try to find a place for your child to sit down away from distractions and take a quiet breather. At a grocery store, you may be able to have him or her sit in the cart quietly while you wait it out, or in a restroom area. For kids, timeouts can be so dull, that the timeout is punishment enough. Timeouts also give them time, to simply calm down.
Tantrums can be embarrassing when they happen in public. They can also be frustrating for parents wherever they occur. Remember that these outbursts are also frustrating for your child. Help them deal with their emotions by laying down clear ground rules, keeping to a schedule, and communicating clearly. Give timeouts when necessary as a consequence of their behavior, and to give them time to regroup. Make sure to help your child understand how to communicate appropriately by using words. Reward them with praise when you see a positive change in how they handle their anger and frustration. And remember to try your best to stay calm and model how to handle frustrations with your own self correctly. Children will eventually outgrow these tantrums in time.
Even though tantrums can be incredibly frustrating, don’t get roped into believing that you are a horrible parent. Every child goes through these growing pains, and they love you even when they are throwing fits. I hope that these tips can help prepare you for when your child has a temper tantrum next.
What do you recommend we do to help manage the meltdowns that are bound to happen? Share in the comments below!