Temper Tantrums … this is a popular topic for families when they call in to Sleepless in St. Louis. Temper tantrums usually occur between 18 months of age and 4 years of age. Though some parents and teachers think children have temper tantrums just to make your life miserable, this is not the reason.
Why Do Temper Tantrums Happen?
- Children are expressing their frustration.
- Children are developing their voice through receptive and expressive language.
- Children are exploring their power.
- Temper tantrums are developmental. As the child develops language and self-control, temper tantrums often diminish with age.
- Children do not have temper tantrums because they are spoiled.
- Some children are more prone to having temper tantrums because of their temperament.
Temper Tantrums are not about a toy or food. Tantrums are more about having a voice and exploring power. To help prevent tantrums, we should consider the ways in which we give the child a voice and power in everyday situations.
Defusing the tantrum
- Be a little silly! Humor is good as long as it is not at the child’s expense.
- Try to either redirect or distract the child – or leave the scene.
- Empathetically ignore it. Be the beacon of civility for the child as he or she regains a sense of calm.
Can we prevent temper tantrums?
- Be consistent
- Plan ahead
- Encourage language and words (but not during the temper tantrum)
- Give choices
- Use redirection strategies
- Learn to avoid triggers
Have a beautiful reunion! In a time of peace, give children alternatives to tantrums before they begin to sense another one. Following the tantrum, teach and suggest to the child alternate behaviors to expressing his or her feelings.
Join us the first and second Wednesday morning of each month for Sleepless in St. Louis, a 3 AM video hangout where we discuss topics like temper tantrums and more. I’ll share ways to support your child to avoid temper tantrums. Children are looking for a sense of belonging, power, and love.
Watch this recent video segment from KPLR Channel 11 where I share some helpful tips.
Post by Steve Zwolak