Wondering how to deal with child temper tantrums? Temper tantrums are equally common in boys and girls and then to occur most often between ages 1-3. Some are much worse than others, but they tend to have the same underlying causes regardless of severity.
The biggest one tends to be simply seeking out your attention. If your child can’t have your positive, loving attention, he or she may settle for making you mad to grab your focus that way. After all, you are the central channel in your child’s life through which all needs are met, so your little one considers it critical to stay engaged with you. Welcome to your child’s world.
The good news is that if you can think like your kid does, you’ve got half a chance of preventing the piercing screams, anything-but-kind kicking and bouts of breath-holding before they even start.
So let’s go back to our first point again. Your child wants your attention, so make it a point to give it generously whenever you notice positive behavior. That’s the best way to condition him or her to do even more of what you want because it’s rewarded with the warmth of your tender attention.
And while you’re working on that, also start giving your little one more choices to create a greater feeling of control–even if only over very small things. For example, you could ask, “Would you prefer water or orange juice?” Or, “would you like to take a bath now or after dinner?” Give alternatives whenever you don’t mind being flexible on which choice your child ultimately opts for.
Along those same lines, accommodate your child’s requests whenever you can. Doing so will let you draw lines in the sand elsewhere to maintain the boundaries you really care about without making you look like a heartless dictator of a parent. Pick your parenting battles since you can’t win them all.
But if your tike is still on the verge of a tirade, go for a quick distraction. Kids tend to have very short attention spans, so you might just able to divert them onto something else entirely with a toy, game, tv show, music or anything that engages them quickly. It’d be smart to notice what your child likes and plan ahead to be ready with these items the next time you need a quick maneuver around a gathering tornado of a tantrum.
Of course, there’s only so much you can do, so sometimes you’ve got to deal with another angry explosion of your child’s unchecked wrath anyway. The most important thing you can do when it does happen is to stay calm to avoid escalating it even further. Your child is bound to run out of steam at some point otherwise, especially if it was fueled by a desire for your attention to being with.
So there you have it. Start applying some of these key principles on how to deal with child temper tantrums, and you could soon escape the rough and choppy waters of your current experience to be sailing the smooth seas of parenting once again.