Are you looking for help with dealing with your child’s tantrums? Not sure what you’re supposed to do? How to help? Or how to make it stop?
We’ve all been there. Staring at our child who is chunking toys across the room, kicking you for little reason, punching, crying, and screaming uncontrollably. It’s like a light switch!
One second you are having a normal day and the next your child is resembling something from a horror movie!
I always think to myself “Where in the world is that cute kid from ten minutes ago?”
WHY?!!!! Why do Children Have Tantrums?
Children have tantrums for any number of reasons. Sometimes they are scared, hungry, tired, or overwhelmed by feelings they don’t understand.
Adults have words for these emotions and we know how “fix” our problem. We know what to do when we are hungry and tired. We know that overwhelming feelings might be anxiety or fear. Adults can identify what they are feeling and act accordingly.
Before children can identify solutions to strong emotions, they throw tantrums. It’s just how they cope with the difficult and strange world around them. The tantrum is a mixture of emotion from anger to sadness, all rolled up in one tiny explosive package.
As a parent, it is important that we have compassion and understanding when our children throw a tantrum. If we know the cause, we can offer solutions. If we don’t know what triggered the tantrum, there is only one thing we can do — be empathetic, give them space to get it all out, and respond lovingly.
How to Help your Child in the Throws of a Tantrum
Traditional parenting says that when children throw a tantrum we should punish them for it because their behavior is unacceptable, embarrassing, or somehow disrespectful.
I’m sure a large portion of grandparents (and great-grandparents) are scoffing at the idea that we should respond kindly to our children when they are in the middle of a tantrum. But knowing that the child may not be able to control their emotions makes disciplining them for having too much emotion sound cruel or ineffective.
The next time your child is in the throes of a tantrum try to identify the problem.
Talk it out with them. Ask questions until you find the root of the problem; it could be anything from they are cold/hot to they are upset about a toy.
Just talk it out and try not to ask “What’s wrong” too many times. Instead, be specific with your questions in hopes you will be able to verbalize their problem or help them find the words themselves.
If you and your child can’t figure out why they are upset, hold your child. Young children can regulate their emotions better when they are being held lovingly by a parent.
Give the little one a cuddle and talk to them until the tantrum is over. When it’s all clear, maybe there will be something you can do to help. If not, just know that a tantrum isn’t unusual or a result of a lack of discipline. Do your best to remain calm and it will be over before you know it.
Do you Have a Great Tantrum Tip for Parents?