Contrary to what you might think, tantrums are a natural reaction of children’s developmental process. What matters the most is how well parents can take control of their children’s tantrum for them to overcome this process healthily. The age at which anger is frequent is between 1.5 and 2.5 years. During tantrum, children’s reactions can be listed as crying, insisting on something, throwing themselves in places, hitting their head on the floor or the wall.
By tantrum children want to convey the message of “I can do this on my own” and they want to have control of their environment. Since they can’t speak yet and can’t express themselves, it is a way of expressing their feelings and wishes. Tantrums often occur in children at a time when they are physically challenged. It also comes from their desire to have control over their individuality. If something is has to be done, they want to do it on their own. Children want to make their own choices. These situations cause conflict between the child and the parents, and so children react with tantrums. If the child who wants to play a game in the park, and his/her parents don’t fulfil this request and is prevented, child reacts with tantrum.
If the child receives a lot of attention during tantrum and his/her request is fulfilled, it reinforces the behaviour. As a result, reinforced tantrums increase eventually. In some cases the children react with anger if they aren’t being praised by their parents after displaying a positive behaviour. Just like adults, children can have tantrums when they are hungry or thirsty.
Things to do during tantrum,
- First and foremost keeping calm,
- Parents shouldn’t keep an eye contact with the child, and should make their child feel they’re not interested. Parents should sit somewhere close to their children to prevent them from hurting themselves. Parents should wait child to calm down, and then they should make an eye contact and then show attention to the child.
- When tantrums occur in the crowd, parents should take their children out of that environment and wait them calm down. It wouldn’t be wise to give them a lesson or trying to talk to them when they’re having tantrums.
- Immediately after tantrum, fulfilling the child’s requests or giving him/her something he/she wants will reinforce tantrums. It would be more appropriate to choose waiting instead.
- The child who is having tantrums has the need to be loved. Hugging the child tightly after he/she calms down will make him/her feel loved.
Conditions to be checked by an expert;
- If tantrums take 15 minutes and if it’s repeated 3 times a day.
- If children over the age of 4 have tantrums still.
- If the child displays aggressive behaviours during tantrums and damages his/her environment.
- If you get confused and you don’t know what to do during tantrums.