Tantrums are extremely common in most toddlers and preschoolers. They are one of the various venues through which children deal or showcase complicated feelings. Outbursts help you stay in tune with the feelings of your children and to avoid situations that tend to trigger the child’s tantrums.
Tantrums can come in different ways, and they can be displayed as spectacular explosions of anger, frustration, and disorganised behaviour. Other kids may display outbursts in the form of crying, screaming, stiffening limbs, an arched back, kicking, falling, flailing about or running away. In most cases, children hold their breath, vomit, break things, or even get aggressive as all part of their tantrums.
Tantrums occur commonly in children aged 1- 3 years of age. This is because the social and emotional skills of kids at this age are only just developing. Children most at times, do not have the words to which they can use to express their big emotions, and they may just be discovering that they can change the way the world works. They tend to demand more independence but also fear that may be separated from you.
Older children also tend to throw tantrums as well; this can be the case because they also haven’t learned more appropriately the ways to express or manage their feelings. Some older siblings might be likely to be slower than others when it comes to self-regulation.
For either toddlers or older children, there are things or situations that may arise and lead to them throwing tantrums, below are a few cases:
- Temperament: this refers to how quickly or firmly kids are more likely to get upset with frustrating scenarios; children who get angry or upset easily might be more likely to have tantrums.
- Stress, hunger, tiredness, and overstimulation: These can also make it harder for children to express their feelings and also how to manage these feelings and behavior.
- Situations: There are situations that children can’t cope with, like for example, a toddler might have trouble coping if a toy he/she admires has been taken away by an older child.
- Strong emotions: Strong emotions like worrying, fear, shame, and anger can all be overwhelming for children to handle so these might make them display tantrums.
What to do about tantrums?
There are things parents can do to make tantrums less likely to happen amongst your kids, below are a few:
- Reduce stress: children that are tired, hungry and overstimulated are more likely to experience tantrums, so reducing the workload on them, for instance, can go a long way in managing such children or even preventing them from throwing tantrums.
- Identify tantrum triggers: as a parent, you need to identify the different avenues to which your kids can show tantrums. For example, your child might have tantrums when you’re shopping; you might plan ahead of time or change the environment to avoid tantrums, you might also decide to go for shop[ping while the child is having a nap or while they snack.
It is ideal to know that all children have tantrums, so it is advised that you find ways on how to handle such tantrums and how to respond to tantrums for kids. Always remember also that part of parenting is learning from mistakes.