Tantrums, Tears, and Tempers


As kids grow up, most of them learn how to handle strong emotions. Among others, they develop language skills to express feelings like frustration or anger, and they learn how to negotiate with family about what they want.  By understanding what causes tantrums and planning how to respond, you can help reduce them or even stop them from happening.
To determine what is triggering the tantrums, start by looking at what is happening before and after it begins. Consider changes in routines, times of the day it happens, and social situations that seem to trigger it. If you can identify the purpose of your child’s behavior, you can come up with other strategies to address his or her needs to encourage positive behaviors. Here are a few strategies to consider:

  • Provide Structure and Consistency - Children thrive on consistency. For children, the learning process involves rehearsing and repeating. When parents are consistent in their reactions and consequences, children know what to expect
  • Give Choices - By offering a choice you give your child a sense of power
  • Teach Your Child to Name the Emotion - Help your child by introducing new words that can help them to name the feeling and what caused it. For example, "Did you throw your toy because you were mad that it wasn’t working? What else could you have done?
  • Post-Tantrum Parent Behavior - Try to always follow through with the original demand before the tantrum started

Remember to always try and stay calm. Model the desired behavior for your child by controlling your own emotions.

Here you can get more information on how to respond during a temper tantrum.

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