Know about toddler tantrums, tips for surviving toddlerhood of children and handling toddlers.
Tantrums are a normal stage of toddler development. In some children, they just cross the limits and become intolerable. During this phase, the child cries uncontrollable, screams and yells, may throw things or even vomit. He or she may also try to hit the parents or caregivers if they do not get what they want or their whim is not catered to. Extreme tantrums, bad behavior and intense emotions of the child can put parents at their wits’ end, drain their energy and exhaust them.
It is more common in children who are very sensitive and may occur due to the frustration of not being able to express a feeling or perform something beyond their skills and abilities for the age. As motor skills of the child develop faster than his language skills, he may be just using them to let you know of his feelings. If you are able to channel them properly, these skills can be quite useful in his social life later on. Here are some tips to parent toddlers who throw excessive tantrums:
- Find out what triggers the tantrums. Boredom, frustration for not being able to do something, hunger and too many children around may be some of the triggers. Stay alert when these triggers are there and offer him your help and guidance before being asked, so that the baby does not erupt. When he is trying to do something, try to show him how to do it as a facilitator rather than doing it for him or redirect him to easier activities.
- Watch out for pre-tantrum symptoms such as facial expressions and body language and come to help immediately before tantrums get started.
- Tantrums are of two types - frustration tantrums and manipulative tantrums.
- Frustration tantrums are emotional outbursts of the child, where he needs your empathy, support, help and comfort. It happens during the stage when child tries to do everything ‘himself’. Helping your child in these times will be remembered by the child as a part of his personality and he will fell secure and loved for.
- Manipulative tantrums are tricky as the child tries to get what he wants by hook or crook. Do not indulge him when he throws tantrums. Stand a few feet away from him and make it clear that you will help him, only when he calms down and ask appropriately, in a better way. You need to make the child learn that bad or undesirable behaviors will not get things done for him.
- When a child wants something, which is dangerous, offer him a substitute and explain the reasons, such as a spoon can replace the knife for playing as knife is sharp and may cut child’s hands.
- As the child learns how to express his feelings and use language, tantrums diminish. Tell the child to use alternative ways of expressing his feelings and use good voice and words to make requests, if he wants to get them fulfilled.
- If a child loses control over his temper, try not to do the same thing. If you have low anger tolerance, walk away from the scene, take deep breaths, count to ten, gather your thoughts and react calmly. Remember, it is just a passing phase and normal for his age and will probably disappear by the time the child is 18 months to 2 year old.
- If child vomits or deliberately holds his breath until he passes out, intervene using ‘holding therapy’. Soothe and reassure the child in your nicest voice and hold him in a relaxed and comforting way. He must feel that if he has lost control, you are there to help and calm him. This can be very healthy for his psychological development.