How to help prevent temper tantrums

Filed under: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Development/Milestones: Babies

Everyone knows what it's like to witness a child's temper tantrum. Even before you had kids of your own, you may remember standing in a grocery store line behind some woman who may have uttered that two-letter word no 2-year-old wants to hear - N-O - only to be met by wailing and whining from the child. Temper tantrums can be hard on parents and kids. Parents get frustrated and embarrassed, particularly if their little darling is acting up in a public place. When children have tantrums, they, too, may be expressing frustration, anger or disappointment. An article on HealthAtoZ pointed out that temper tantrums are a normal part of a child's development as he learns self-control. Emotions are hard for young children to hold inside, and hard for them to express in words. So, when they are frustrated, angry, or disappointed, they often cry, scream, stomp up and down, and may even throw themselves on the floor kicking and screaming. Children have temper tantrums when they aren't getting their own way, to get a grownup's attention, or when they are tired, hungry or feeling helpless. Nearly all children have tantrums between the ages of 1 and 3. After age 3, temper tantrums taper off as children learn to express their feelings. they trust.

You can't prevent all tantrums, but you can reduce the odds of your child having one if you follow these suggestions:
  • Make sure your child is well rested, especially before a busy day or before a lot of activity. Keep a daily routine as much as possible, so your child knows what to expect.
  • Avoid long outings or keeping a child out late beyond her bedtime. If you have a trip, bring along your child's favorite books or toys for entertainment.
  • Encourage your child to use his words to describe feelings.
  • Let your child make choices when possible. If your child resists taking a bath, you can be firm about the bath, but you might ask which toys he would like to pick to bring in the bath.
  • Allow transition time when changing activities. If your child is having fun, he will need some time to switch gears when he must change to another activity. For example, if he's playing as dinnertime approaches, give him a five-minute notice that you will be eating soon.
Now that my youngest has turned two, I hope these suggestions help me prevent some of the tantrums he will likely toss my way. I hope they help you as well.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.