Ways to Handle Your Child’s Tantrum

A temper tantrum erupts when a child becomes so overwhelmed with anger or frustration that she loses all self-control. While every youngster occasionally succumbs to such outbursts, it is the most difficult child who has them most frequently and intensely.

Tantrums are common between 18months and three years of age, a period when a child is rapidly discovering new skills and with them, a tantalizing new sense of freedom. When he is confronted with limits to his independence a child may explode often. Parents often overreact, pleading with the child to stop, shouting or angrily shaking him.

Worse yet, some promise to capitulate if their will simply stop. Soon the child realizes that interesting things happen when he loses his temper.

To reduce and gradually eliminate temper tantrums, you should simultaneously pursue both short and long term strategies. Foremost you should  ignore the tantrum when they happen. Do not try to approach your screaming child, try to reason with him or even speak to him while the tantrum is in progress.

Do not let your expression betray because your child’s tantrum depends on your reaction. You should, however, remain in the room while the tantrum is going on- busying yourself in something else. A tantrum is likely to frighten your child as deeply as it affects you, so your presence is important. If his tantrum bothers others you can simply carry him to some other room where he can carry on in private.

If your child starts to knock things over in his fury, stop him and make him sit in a place. Be calm but a little firm. Do not let him move until he calms down.

When the tantrum is over, offer him reassurance. Sit with him until he has recovered. When he is composed, involve him in some simple activity he enjoys.

An important part of your long term strategy is to identify the things that trigger your child’s tantrum, so that when you see trouble you can step in and offer him help. Be on an overlook for any behavior that suggests progress and let your child know how pleased you are. Even after all this if you feel that your child’s tantrum is increasing rather than diminishing you should seek professional advice.

geeta krishnan