4 tips to prevent and manage tantrums in children
2 years are one of the most feared ages by parents, since it is around this time when tantrums appear in children. Screaming, crying, hitting, refusal to obey, resistance to parental instructions. There are many childhood behaviors that emerge at this stage and can bewilder and test parents.
Leaving the park, getting into or out of the bathtub, brushing your teeth, getting dressed… any daily activity can trigger a tantrum. And if you don't understand what is happening, it is easy to lose your temper and react in an inappropriate way. Therefore, we want to explain to you what the tantrums in children are due to and how you can prevent their appearance.
Why is there a stage when children throw a lot of tantrums?
Tantrums are a normal part of childhood growth and are related to the cognitive and social development of the smallest. Until this moment, the child exercised a passive role, being cared for and cared for by the parents. Furthermore, he was not yet able to perceive himself as an independent being, with his own desires and interests.
After 18 months this begins to change; the little one becomes aware of himself and wants to express his character and function in a more autonomous way. He "knows" what he wants, but he has no control over his own life. Further, does not have tools to express himself. Thus, when their desires are not satisfied, what remains is to resort to tantrums.
Tips for preventing tantrums in children
This stage can last up to 4 years, however, not all children experience it in the same way. Your own character and the way parents handle tantrums will be decisive. Therefore, we share some guidelines to prevent its appearance.
1. Avoid possible triggers
Maybe you have verified that your son are more likely to have a tantrum when hungry or tired or overstimulated. If so, you can take certain steps to prevent this from happening.
Above all, try to establish a schedule and a routine in your child's life and stick to it. Try not to exceed lunch or nap time and adjust the rest of the activities to these basic needs. Always carrying a snack to offer to the little one can also help.
2. Let him know in advance
When children are immersed in an activity that is enjoyable, it is normal that they do not want to give it up. Therefore, let him know 5 to 10 minutes before you will leave the park or that he will have to stop playing to go to dinner.
Despite this, you can put up resistance, but It will be easier for them to get used to the idea if you give them advance notice of what is going to happen. They are able to understand this.
3. Be flexible
Many of the tantrums arise when adults insist on imposing our will. Remember that your child is beginning to define his character and wants to feel more autonomous. There is nothing wrong with giving you small patches of freedom to decide.
For this you can choose between several options that are within your limits. For example, let him decide in which cup he wants to have breakfast, if he prefers to watch one or the other cartoon, or if he wants to wear the blue or red T-shirt.
There are non-negotiable decisions (for example, buckle up in the car or put on a coat when going outside), but in many others there is room for flexibility.
4. Validate your emotions
Tantrums occur because the child still does not know how to properly manage and express his feelings. Therefore, educating in emotional intelligence is very useful.
When your child experiences an emotion, acknowledge it and validate it. Let him know that you understand how he feels and that he has a right to feel it. In this way, if you offer a space for their feelings, they will not need to express them with yelling.
Discover more: 3 keys to educate in emotional intelligence
Extra considerations about tantrums in children
The above guidelines can help prevent tantrums from occurring. But how to act if they have already been triggered? Above all, avoid losing control of your actions and your words.
Always keep in mind that the child is not trying to humiliate you in public; he is just unable to control his emotions. Opt for empathy and accompany him with love and patience. Take care that his actions do not harm himself or others, but beyond this, allow him to express himself and, when he calms down, receive him without rancor.
Read on: What to do when a child misbehaves?
Tantrums are a challenge
Child tantrums can be tough and challenging for parents, but they too suffer from frustration and lack of resources to express it. For the same, it is the task of adults to act with respect and love, thus being a positive example for the little ones.
Yelling or attacking will only create resentment and harm the child's bond and emotional development. It won't provide any learning or end tantrums. Practice empathy and try to treat your child as you would like to be treated.
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