Do you like it when your child has a temper tantrum? Of course your answer is “no”. They can be very annoying and unpleasant for everyone around. Do you ever stop to think about why she/she has them? Perhaps if a parent/caregiver know why children have temper tantrums, it might help those of us who are parents/caregivers know how to better cope with them.
It is very important for parents/caregivers to understand that temper tantrums are natural forms of behavior for young children. Parents/caregivers might also understand that temper tantrums are socially unacceptable and the child will have to learn to deal with anger in a socially acceptable manner.
Temper tantrums generally occur when a multitude of little things or one big thing go wrong. These things are situations or circumstances that the child feels he/she cannot control, understand or verbally express. Specifically, when too much is expected of the child, when mistakes are made or when they are angered result in tantrums. It might be said that temper tantrums are the unsophisticated and unsociable expressions of a child’s frustration or anger.
Now that we have an understanding as to why children have temper tantrums, what can parent/caregivers do to help the child to control her/his temper.
- Set a good example. If you are constantly and consistently losing your temper or control of yourself, the child seeing this will consciously or unconsciously view this as acceptable behavior.
- Be consistent with the child insofar as what he/she can and cannot do.
- Do not give in to a child when he/she has a temper tantrum. If a child learns or sees that getting upset helps her/him get their way, the child will continue to have temper tantrums just for this expressed purpose.
- Try not to get too upset when your child has a temper tantrum. Both you and the child need a “cooling off” period before you try to deal with the problem or situation.
- Let the child know through conversation (not a lecture) that you expect her/him to try to control her/him-self.
- Be a good listener. Let the child know that you would like to talk things over so you can help her/him work through things or the difficulties he/she is having.
With parental/caregiver help and understanding, your child can learn to control her/his temper. Until then, remember that after most temper tantrums children usually are ready to be friendly again.