Even though temper tantrums are not the worst problems in the world, it can still damage your day. It can also cause a lot of frustrating and embarrassing moments for you when your kid starts throwing a temper tantrum by kicking and shouting in a public place.
Temper and tantrums together form a terrible twosome. Temper tantrums are common in children between the age group of 1 to 5. Some children are more prone to temper tantrums than others. Children with an intense hyperactive nature show more temper tantrums compared to other kids.
So, what is the cause of temper tantrums in children? A temper tantrum is usually considered to be a way in which your kid expresses his/her frustration. It is a part of child development. Most of the time, children do not purposely create temper tantrums, especially those children in the age group of 1 to 5.
Many parents make the mistake of using disciplinary tactics to stop temper tantrums. This only worsens the situation. But, if you reward your children when they throw temper tantrums, it will only promote the children to continue with the tactic. So, that is also not right. Parents should take the necessary steps to educate and encourage good behavior in your child. There are many ways in which parents can stop temper tantrums in children. Talking to children and understanding their needs and requirements is the foremost step parents should take to help in stopping temper tantrums.
Here we discuss 15 common mistakes made by parents when dealing with temper tantrums in their kids.
15 Not Understanding Your Child’s Sense of Security
As a parent, your first duty is to make your child feel secure. When your child makes a mistake or even knowingly misbehaves, your reaction should not be to yell and strike your child. If kids feel that you are going to yell and hit them for their mistakes, then they will try ways to escape from punishment. This can lead to intense issues. Having a tantrum when they know they are about to receive a punishment is a great way to get you to forget what the original misdeed was. This is called deflection, and can work both ways.
A child may try various escape routes like the old-fashioned yelling, hitting and making a loud noise to avoid punishments. If you correct and point out the misdeed sternly and calmly without yelling and hitting, the child will feel more secure and will learn to accept his mistake and will not resort to temper tantrums at such times.
14 Warning Your Children Often
Most parents make the mistake of shouting and warning their children as soon as they start showing signs of throwing a temper tantrum. By warning your child meaninglessly and not following up on what you say can make your child feel insecure and that you don’t mean what you say. Children need to be reminded frequently to be on their best behavior. They have generally short attention spans and may get into trouble without meaning to, so frequent reminders is a great way to avoid tantrums.
If you warn your child of the consequences of their tantrum, make sure you follow through. Threatening to take away a favorite toy, computer time, treat, etc. then make sure you follow through. Don’t let their piteous cries sway you in your resolve, because if you do, the next time problems occur, your child won’t believe your threats and may continue to disobey.
13 Not Differentiating Between Acceptable and Unacceptable Behavior
It is your responsibility to teach your child the difference between acceptable and not acceptable behavior. This should be an ongoing lesson between children and parents, as every child looks to their parent for how they should behave in this world. A parent needs to use more objective ways to teach children what is acceptable behavior rather than creating fear in the minds of the child.
You should not play with your child’s emotions or try to scare them. Spending time with the child and explaining what is acceptable can make a lot of difference in the mindset of children. Once the child knows what is not acceptable, then they will try not to do those things in the future. You need to explain to children in terms that they can understand why something is right or wrong. For instance, if they take a toy that isn’t theirs, ask them how they might feel if it was their toy that was taken.
12 Not Sticking to a Routine Schedule
You should have a daily routine scheduled for your child and follow it consistently. Kids may not realize it and probably whine about it constantly, but they look forward to their routine. The routine makes them feel secure as they know what to expect each day. They are accustomed to their schedule and extreme deviations from their routine can disturb the mindset of your child. This creates frustration and unwanted tension which may be expressed as a temper tantrum. Many children, especially smaller children, don’t have the vocabulary or understanding to express their feelings so they resort to tantrums to express themselves.
To avoid confusion and temper tantrums, you need to communicate with your child about the daily routine changes in advance if you possibly can. You should stick to the usual routine as much as possible and reassure them that things will be okay. All this will help the child to adjust to the changes amicably.
11 Not Paying Attention to the Basic Needs of the Child
Some kids resort to temper tantrums when they are hungry, tired, sleepy or uncomfortable about something. They use tantrums as a mode of expressing their feelings when they do not get something or cannot do what they want. It’s true that sometimes children’s requests seem trivial, but to them, they are very important. Address your child’s concern and don’t just brush them off. When a child feels he is being ignored, sometimes they feel that a tantrum is the only way they can get attention, even if it is negative attention.
When going out with your child, taking a toy or a favorite food will help in keeping your child occupied and help in avoiding temper tantrums. Feeding the child properly and providing enough rest before going out with the child also helps in avoiding temper tantrums. Be smart and reasonable when taking your child out with you. Don’t expect them to behave for hours on end while you go shoe shopping.
10 Not Teaching Your Toddler the Healthy Way to Handle Situations
It is the responsibility of parents to teach their child healthy ways to handle difficult situations. Parents usually make the mistake of providing consolation and giving in to temper tantrums. Don’t give in and try to not to give undue importance. If your child is behaving in a bratty manner and being unreasonable, do your best to ignore the tantrum. Children do this to garner attention, even if it means a reprimand.
Be respectful of your child’s requests, listen to them. Sometimes all they really need is a warm hug and reassurance that you love them and that they are important to you. If your child is sad and needs your attention seriously, you need to help them feel comfortable. But, if your child is just creating temper tantrums to get your attention, you need to help the child understand the mistake and the healthy way to handle their frustration.
9 Giving Into Your Child’s Demands
When your toddler starts creating temper tantrums, you should not give in. Each time when you give in to your child’s tantrums, you are encouraging your child to create more tantrums to get what he wants. Most children will go through a phase when they try out having tantrums. At first, they may be real expressions of frustration and anger and need to be handled gently and with understanding. However, do not give in to what they want. If you do, they learn that they can have a tantrum to get what they want.
If your child starts creating tantrums in public, you should not give in. The best tactic is to simply pick them up and leave the area. When your child has calmed down you should help them understand that creating tantrums is not going to change your mind. You should take it easy and make the little one understand that you cannot agree to their demands.
8 Taking it Personally
Parents should never take temper tantrums of their kids personally. When a child is upset he does not know how to handle it. In most cases, tantrums are just signs of asking for attention or simply the only means a child has to express themselves. Having a child that has tantrums does not make you a bad parent. As noted earlier, most every child will have one at some time, simply due to emotional overload or fatigue.
Your child will test your limits, and see what they can get away with. It is best that you let them know that the answer to that question is: not much! Stick to your guns when the tantrums happen and remain calm. Becoming hysterical and losing your temper will upset your child even more and they will begin to feel insecure. It may be very difficult, but remaining outwardly calm will reassure your child, and also let them know that you are the one in control.
7 Not Offering Alternatives
By not offering alternatives, you are likely to make the situation worse. Parents should always offer alternatives to the child when the child throws temper tantrums. When the child is trying to hit you, show him some other object. For example, you can tell the child that you will not let him hit you. He can hit the pillow if he wants. Also, if a child is having a tantrum, try to distract him with something interesting; give him something different to focus on.
Before going out, talk to your child ahead of time if he is prone to temper tantrums. Tell him that he can have a toy or ice cream, etc. if they behave well and remind him of your deal if he begins to stray from good behavior. Remind him frequently of the reward for behaving well. If he does well, make sure to reward him. If you don’t follow through, your child will have good reason not to trust you.
6 Not Following Through
One of the big mistakes done by parents is not following through after giving the child some deadline or stating some limits before starting the next activity. You should lovingly follow through on your response to the tantrum. If your child wants a toy and you offer ice cream instead, you are rewarding their bad behavior. Tell them you will take away their favorite toy or activity unless they cooperate and behave and set a time limit. If they don’t comply, you’ll have to resort to picking them up and leaving the area if you are away from home. If you’re at home, simply leave the room and refuse to acknowledge this bad behavior. Acknowledging it is giving them the attention they are seeking.
If you don’t follow through, they are confused about your inconsistent attitude and they react strongly. This sometimes culminates in another temper tantrum. You are also making your child feel neglected and this will only make things worse. You must remain consistent in your reactions and reward your child’s good behavior and correct the bad behavior.
5 Not Remaining Calm
When your child throws a temper tantrum, you need to act calmly. Don’t get hysterical and react harshly. Do not scream or throw a tantrum along with the child. This will create more problems. Although some parents have done just that to show their children how silly they look. The action actually shocks the child out of the tantrum, but this is not really a recommended tactic.
You need to take long breaths and remain gentle and calm. Remaining calm is likely to reduce the severity, impact, and the length of the tantrum. As noted before, remaining calm is very important. It shows your child that you are the one in control of the situation. Being stern is going to show your child that you do not approve of their behavior and that you are not going to change your mind. Remaining calm does not mean that should coddle your misbehaving child by begging them to be good. You must remain stern and steadfast.
4 Not Giving Freedom
By not giving a little bit of freedom to your child, you may be responsible for creating temper tantrums. Avoid saying no to everything. Give your child the freedom to choose the books or toys he prefers when leaving the house. If your child always asks for something when you go to the market, go ahead and allow him to choose the cereal he wants or a small toy. Tell him ahead of time what will be allowed and what won’t. This will give the child the feeling of empowerment to make his own decisions, while you maintain ultimate control.
Listening to and understand the feelings of the child will help in avoiding unwanted circumstances. Children need to know that they are heard and that they are important. Parents need to encourage the right choices made by the child and this can create a lot of positive effects and result in a well behaved, independent, kind child.
3 By Not Giving Positive Energy
By not giving positive energy, you are encouraging temper tantrums. Allow your child to have some control over the world. Include your child’s favorite food items in the breakfast to create a good mood in the beginning of the day. Maintaining a positive attitude will help your child to do the same. If they see that you are happy, it will help them be happy as well. Use the power of positive reinforcement throughout the day. Praise your child when they do something good or correctly. Correct your child’s misbehavior with kindness and understanding. Explain what the child did that was wrong and how they could have done it differently.
Including your child in the day to day activities of yours also helps in keeping them occupied and mind free from tantrums. Allow them to ‘help’ you in your daily chores as this gives them a sense of accomplishment and good self-esteem.
2 By Not Being a Good Role Model
If you are not able to control your anger, then you are creating a bad impression in the eyes of your child. Parents should always try to be good role models. If your child sees you consistently lose your temper, yell and scream, or throw things, they will believe that is the way things are supposed to be. They will see no reason not to express themselves with a temper tantrum and yell and scream, and throw things. Of course, you will lose your temper from time to time and it’s okay that your child sees that, but also make sure that your child sees you behave reasonably.
Behaving nicely and politely with elders and in tough situations can make your child learn good qualities in life and can help in reducing tantrums and unacceptable behavior. Children learn by watching and listening. Make sure that what they are seeing and hearing is good.
1 Not Saying Sorry
Learn to say sorry for your mistakes. By not apologizing for something that is your fault, you are creating a situation that can lead to temper tantrums. When a child does something bad, they can have a tantrum to avoid taking responsibility. Parents should always accept their mistakes and apologize. By doing so, you are also indirectly teaching your child to accept their mistakes and not create tantrums. This is not only good for your child, but also for you. This can help in making your child grow as an individual. It is also a good way to build trust with your child as they know that if you do something wrong, they can depend on you to admit your mistake.
Saying sorry is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. The child will try to act more like you and not resort to tantrums to hide his mistakes. It will also help in building the child’s overall good social behavior.