Deconstructing a Temper Tantrum

"Understanding that tantrums have a rhythm can not only help parents know when to intervene, but also give them a sense of control."

I just found a Morning Edition episode about the science behind temper tanturms. Not only does it deconstruct the patern and rhythm of temper tantrums, but it also provides suggestions for responding more effectely to them. Here is the full story on NPR.

Being a dad who falls into wanting to fix things, I love the simple suggestion of waiting until after the anger beofre doing anything. I know with my daughter, this works. 

The trick in getting a tantrum to end as soon as possible, Potegal said, was to get the child past the peaks of anger. Once the child was past being angry, what was left was sadness, and sad children reach out for comfort. The quickest way past the anger, the scientists said, was to do nothing. Of course, that isn't easy for parents or caregivers to do.

"When I'm advising people about anger, I say, 'There's an anger trap,"' Potegal said.

Even asking questions can prolong the anger — and the tantrum.

 When you have a few minutes (the audio is 8:28 long) head on over to the NPR blog post, What's Behind A Temper Tantrum? Scientists Deconstruct The Screams and listen to the story.

Post by Jeffrey Pomranka

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