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Temper tantrums

                               

Tempers and tantrums can start at around 18 months. They are very common at around two years of age. Around the age of two, children see the world as a place that should be designed to meet their own needs instantly. If they don’t get what they want, it feels like a disaster, and they can scream, well and cry over what seems like nothing. Tantrums are far less common by about the age of four.

Remember, tantrums are a normal part of your child’s development.  It is an integral part of your child’s growing up years. Tantrums can be quite frustrating for the parents, especially when they take place in public. The good news is that tantrums can be altogether avoided or reduced with the right approach. The following suggestions may help you cope with tantrums when they happen:

  • ·Keep calm. Getting angry and shouting at your child will only make things worse.

  • Find out why the tantrum is happening. It could be that your child is tired or hungry, in which case rest or food might help.

  • Remove your child from the spot so that he is no longer reminded of what he was after. If you are in a busy or noisy place try to go somewhere quieter.

  • Distract your child as soon as the tantrums begin. Try engaging him in other activities. For example, find something else interesting to look at.

  • “Giving in” will not help in the long term.  If you have said “no”, don’t change your mind and say “yes” to end the tantrum. Otherwise, your child will start to think that tantrums pay. For the same reason, it doesn’t help to buy your way out with sweets or treats.

  • Be prepared when shopping. For some reason, tantrums often happen in shops. This can be really embarrassing, and embarrassment makes it even harder to stay calm. Keep shopping trips short.  It can help to involve your child in the shopping by talking about what you need to buy and letting him help you.

  • Try holding your child firmly until the tantrum passes. Some parents find this helpful but it can be hard to hold a struggling baby. It will usually only work when your child is more upset than angry.

  • If at home, ignore him if possible and remove unsafe objects first if necessary.

  • Stay firm and don’t give in for the sake of peace.

  • If none of these work, try to see things from your child’s point of view and understand what they actually want. Try giving them a choice, as this gives your child a sense of control and can be better than simply saying no. Always try to offer a positive way out.

  • If you have to say no to your toddler, try to take the time to explain things to him when he has calmed down. Empathize with your child’s feeling of disappointment. Being on the same side as your child can go a long way to avoiding conflict.

  • If you are at home you can try ignoring the tantrum, or maybe walking away into another room if it’s safe to do so.  Sometimes leaving the toddler to himself also helps as he soon realizes that he is no longer the centre of attention.

  • Once the tantrum is under control, you should make it a point to praise your child. Children respond far more effectively when they are praised or encouraged. Appreciate him for what he has done well with phrases like good job, well done etc.

  • Even though they may no longer be angry they may still be upset, so give them a cuddle and make it clear that you still love them no matter what. 
                                                
                                       Avoiding temper tantrums
     
                   


Tantrums are less likely if you plan ahead.

  • Make sure your child is well rested and not overtired, hungry or thirsty

  • Try to keep to a comfortable, predictable routine

  • Explain rules clearly in advance and keep them simple and consistent

  • Keep your child active and interested with a variety of activites, a safe place to play, and attention and praise

  • Plan ahead to avoid trouble, for example, on a long trip take plenty of food and drink, toys, little surprises and distractions

  • Always keep a few special treats as distractions for a rainy day or bored moment, for example face paints

  • Avoid overexcitement

  • Avoid large fizzy drinks, sweets, and chocolates

  • Make sure your child has enough attention and affection. Make sure your time together is quality time together especially if you work long hours

  • Keep shopping trips and outings as short as possible

  • Try to plan a method that you’ll use to deal with tantrums when they happen and to share the approach with other adults in your household.

  • Give him a healthy balanced diet and include fish in his diet.

  • The “Terrible Twos” are a normal part of growing up. As your child gets older they will learn to deal more calmly with the stresses of everyday life. Plan ahead to avoid the causes of tantrums Remember, they won’t last forever!

 

 



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