A temper tantrum is common among children between the ages of one to four years. These tantrums may last for varying degrees of time, ranging from thirty seconds to a couple of minutes, with intensity gradually decreasing as the time passes. Some temper tantrums can be very violent and often a challenge for parents to manage.
Infant temper tantrum refers to an unplanned and sudden display of anger which is primarily designed to attract attention. Temper tantrum is often associated with spells of yelling, crying along with aggressive behavior. In cases of very violent temper tantrums, the child may bite or hit others, and this is indicative of a more serious problem.
Temper tantrums are a response to blocking the child from doing something that they want to do. Often, temper tantrums are related to obstruction of independence or learning a skill. Children are not able to express frustration or anger and hence they are often prone to have tantrums. Tantrums are often the child’s way of indicating anger and frustration.
Symptoms Of Temper Tantrums In Toddler
Some children are more prone to develop temper tantrums compared to others. It is therefore important for the parents to understand the cause of the tantrum and manage it effectively. Infant temper tantrums are more common during the second year of life.
A temper tantrum may last from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes and the intensity reduces as time passes. Some of the common symptoms associated with a temper tantrum include,
- Crying, screaming or shouting.
- Arching the body backwards so as to tense the body.
- Swinging the arms around in anger.
- Breath holding spasms may occur along with temper tantrums, when the child may hold his breath for prolonged period of time.
- In cases of severe temper tantrums the child may manifest symptoms like kicking or biting, hair pulling, throwing and breaking things, head banging to inflict injury, etc.
Dealing With Temper Tantrums In Toddlers
Here are some effective tips for parents to help manage and prevent the occurrence of temper tantrums,
- Identify the cause for the tantrum. Often children just act up if they don’t get enough attention. Negative attention is also a form of attention, which is adequate for the child. Avoid promoting this kind of behavior. Alternatively, try to compliment the child for his good behavior instead. This will be positive behavior.
- Try to give your child some control over simple things. Simply give your child options from which he can select.” Do you want a chocolate milkshake or a Vanilla Milkshake”? These options allow the child to make his/her own decision and help them think they are in control of their life.
- Keep off limit objects out of sight and reach. This will eventually result in fewer struggles. “Out of sight is out of mind”.
- Your child has a short attention span. Take advantage of this and distract your child.
- Always evaluate your child’s demands rationally. Don’t disregard every request of your child. This can fume the temper tantrum habit.
- Understand your child’s limitation. If the child is tired he is more prone to have a temper tantrum. Avoid trying to tire or irritate the child by doing something unwanted at this time.
Parents’ role in management of temper tantrums is very crucial. These simple strategies will help avert the need for medical intervention.