Baby Temper Tantrums

Children ages between one and two years are most likely to start having temper tantrums and it is not something very uncommon. In fact, more than 20% children belonging to the 2 year old age group have temper tantrums every day.

The main reason for having a temper tantrum in kids of this age group is their inability to express their feelings. A 2 year old finds it difficult to explain what he is feeling and thus gets frustrated quickly. The temper tantrum is thus just his frustration coming out and as he grows up and becomes able to communicate clearly, the tantrums will go away. Usually by the time the child reaches the age of four the chances of a tantrum happening become far less.

The following are some of the best methods that can be used to control temper tantrums in children.

Causes of Baby Temper Tantrums

Baby temper tantrums can occur at any time and can be quite difficult to deal with for parents. You might be thinking that your child is in a good mood one second and the next he/she will be shouting his/her lungs out because of a petty little matter. You might think that the child is behaving like a tyrant and is trying to manipulate you in to doing something for him, but it is not that case. The reason for these sudden changes in mood is because of the child’s inability to talk about what he/she is feeling.

Doctors say that kids below the age of two years are able to absorb a lot from their environment through their hearing skills but are not able to communicate what they want through language because of their inability to utter words and form sentences. This inability drives them mad and makes them feel frustrated. This frustration gets the better of them and comes out in the form of a tantrum.

How to Deal With Baby Temper Tantrums

1. Keep a Cool Head

When a baby is having a tantrum, the best method to console him/her is to be patient and deal the situation like an adult. Most parents make the mistake of shouting and threatening the kid who is having a tantrum which almost always results in the child becoming more aggressive. The best course of action when a child is not listening to your reasoning and is continuously trying his best to vent out his frustration is to just sit with him and let him wail. Although you might think that it is a useless thing to do, but this tactic has been found to be quite effective. If you find the behavior of the child too much to handle then you can leave the room and let him be for a while, but do not stomp out of the room as he will feel that you have abandoned him in the time of need. Make sure that you return quickly too when he stops crying.

2. Behave Like an Adult

Tantrums no matter how wild and aggressive can be handled with ease if you just keep telling yourself that you are the adult and has to think reasonably. Many times parents think that by giving the child what he wants would end the tantrum and they are right too but it sets a bad precedent for him and he starts thinking that throwing a tantrum is the best way to get the thing he wants. Thus, when your child starts having a tantrum whether it is at home or at a public place do not give in to his demands and just take him away from the area for a while until he calms down.

3. Neglect Him for a While

Another smart way of handling a tantrum is to ignore the child for a while. Don’t pay attention to his screams and wails for a while and keep yourself occupied in other stuff. Once he finds that his tantrum is having no effect on you, he will calm down quickly. However, do not leave him unattended for long, especially if you are in a public place. In such situations remain with him but do not talk to him or pay attention to his screams.

4. Discuss the Tantrum with Him

Discussing why the child is having a tantrum can be a good way of ending it but only after the child has stopped screaming. Try to talk to him and find out why he was crying so much even if you know the reason. Acknowledge the fact that you understand his reasons for becoming frustrated and tell him that you understand him.

5. Show Him You Love Him

After the child has calmed down and you have discussed the reason for the tantrum with him give him a hug or a kiss on his cheek to show that you love him. By rewarding him for good behavior you will be teaching him a lesson that discussion is the best way to handle matters.

6. Distract Him

The best time to stop a tantrum is to stop it before it happens. You can do this by distracting him from the situation that might result in a tantrum. Look out for the signs of a tantrum and when you feel that your child is about to have one then quickly change the scenario. For instance, give him a toy or take him to the aquarium so that his attention gets diverted from the matter and the tantrum is nipped in the bud.

7. Look for the Root of the Problem

Tantrums can be a result of a problem with the child. If this is the case then they won’t go away until the problem is properly addressed. Therefore, in such situations, finding out the problem area is very important. If you cannot seem to find it yourself then consult the help of a psychologist or a doctor.

8. Take Him to a Park

Another way of dealing with a tantrum is to take the child in a big place like a park and allow him to run and shout as much as he wants. Sometimes, it is best to let the child rage and rant out his frustrations and the best place for him to do that is open air. You will find that the child will calm down soon enough without hurting anyone.

How to Prevent Baby Temper Tantrums

Baby temper tantrums can be prevented by taking care of the reasons that might cause a tantrum. For instance, hunger is one of the biggest reasons for tantrums so keep food on hand when travelling so that you child does not get hungry and starts screaming uncontrollably. Seeking attention is another of the common reasons for a temper tantrum in children. To prevent this from happening, try to spend more time with your kid. This will help in showing that he is loved and not neglected in any way.

Not being able to do something on their own is another possible cause for a tantrum so to stop it just help the child in doing it while assisting him. Don’t do it for him, just be there for him when he is doing it and guide him, this will make him feel relaxed and he won’t have to vent out his frustration in the form of a tantrum.

When to Call the Doctor

Consulting the advice of the doctor becomes necessary in the following situations:

  • You want to find out what is wrong with your child or what you should do to help him.
  • You are unable to ascertain whether you are handling the situation in a proper manner.
  • You are finding it hard to ignore him and always concede to his demands.
  • The tantrums are affecting you and your child in a bad way.
  • The tantrums are increasing in intensity with time.
  • The child has resorted to violence.
  • The child is becoming violent as time goes on.
  • The child is having mood swings which are extremely negative in nature.

The doctor can look into the matter and can find out if the child has a physical disability that is causing the tantrum. Although uncommon, physical disabilities like hearing and visionary defects can result in a tantrum as well. However, in most cases this does not happen and the reason for a tantrum is not a physical problem at all.

You need to remember that tantrums are not a persistent problem and as the child grows older and becomes mature, the tantrums are going to go away on their own. So, do not worry too much about them.

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