Becoming a parent is one of the greatest joys in life. It is a magical feeling to hold your child in your arms for the first time. However, as your child grows up, you will notice certain behavioural changes that can be difficult to control or withstand. Temper tantrums are common in children. A child uses tantrums to vent frustration and anger, which he/she feels toward a person or a situation.
While such temper tantrums may lead you to lose your temper, remember that children do not have the same emotional maturity as that of an adult. Therefore, rather than being strict to your child, here are some ways to deal with temper tantrums.
1. Don’t try to calm your child: Temper tantrums are often attention seeking in nature. Therefore, you will make it worse if you try too hard to calm your child while he/she is throwing such a tantrum. Instead, choose to ignore the behaviour and go about doing your job. However, keep an eye out to check that your child does not do anything to harm himself/herself or others during this time. You should also verbally clarify that such behaviour is not acceptable.
2. Speak softly but with resolve: Many parents seem to think that shouting at their kids helps against temper tantrums. It does not. In fact, the more your child shouts, the more softly you should interact with them. When you shout you give your child the opportunity to shout - they do this so that they can be heard. Instead, be stern. Sometimes offering a choice can help your child feel as if he/she is in control of the situation.
3. Empathize with your child: Seeing the world from your toddler’s perspective is no easy task. This is why parents often think that a temper tantrum is meaningless. However, in most cases, a child’s temper tantrum is rooted in the inability to perform a task or articulate his/her wishes. As a parent, you need to devise alternate forms of communication with your child, so that he/she can express feelings better.
4. Give them some space: Rather than scolding your child for throwing a tantrum, let him/her express their frustration. This is similar to the concept of adults venting undesirable feelings. However, tell your kids to express frustration in a non-destructive way. This approach helps your child become emotionally stronger, as they learn to deal with sadness and anger in their own way, without requiring support from elders.
You need to understand that all children throw temper tantrums at one time or another. How you handle the situation determines how your child will deal with frustration and sorrow in later parts of their life.