Toddler tantrums are common whenever your child does not get what they do not want. This situation is more common in toddlers aged 1 to 3. But what exactly are Toddler tantrums, and why does it happen?
This article will answer those questions and guide you on how to deal with toddler tantrums. We will give you a guide on what to do to prevent toddler tantrums. Aside from preventing them, we will also tell you how to handle a tantrum and what to do after a tantrum.
What Is A Toddler Tantrum?
How a toddler tantrum looks can vary depending on the child. Toddler Tantrum usually indicates frustration and huge, pent-up anger.
However, below are some common symptoms that you can see when your kid is having a toddler tantrum:
- Stiff limbs
- Arched back
- Falling Down
- Holding their breath
- Breaking things
What Causes A Toddler Tantrum?
You might be wondering what causes Toddler Tantrums in the first place. However, this situation is common for toddlers aged 1 to 3, and it is a way for children to express their emotions.
Toddlers who are at this age do not know enough words to express and convey their emotions properly. Your toddler may also be trying to influence their environment using their behavior to see how you would react.
Each child has a different temperament, which affects how they respond to what is happening around them. Temperament heavily influences how your kid manages and express emotions.
This factor also affects how your toddler behaves around new people. Depending on your child’s temperament, you may need to use different parenting methods. Children who tend to get upset can throw tantrums more often.
Getting Too Little or Too Much of Their Needs
If your toddler is hungry, they may throw a tantrum because of it. At the same time, overstimulation and feelings of stress can also cause your child to throw tantrums. Another example is when your toddler is tired but is unable to express their feelings.
If your toddler is throwing a tantrum, check if you fulfilled their needs first. Toddler Tantrums are also a way of communication by toddlers who have unfulfilled needs. Otherwise, your toddler may be overstimulated and needs some rest.
New or Stressful Situations can also cause your toddler to have a tantrum. For example, if their older sibling takes away their toy, a toddler may throw a tantrum. This situation is new to your toddler and may cause feelings of frustration that they cannot properly express.
Toddlers who experience new situations can also react with toddler tantrums. If there are new people in your house, your toddler may not recognize them and feel stressed. A great way to handle this is to let your toddler slowly get used to the new guest and providing calming toys or sounds.
If your toddler is experiencing overwhelming emotions like fear or worry, they may throw a tantrum. The best way to handle this is to find the source or reason for their overwhelming emotions. Stopping the source of the emotional stress first is important when handling your toddler.
Aside from this, you also need to be calm when handling your toddler. If your toddler sees that you are as nervous as them, it may amplify their emotions too and cause further stress. Soothing sounds can also help calm your toddler down.
How to Prevent Toddler Tantrums?
There are multiple ways you can avoid a toddler tantrum. While they are not guaranteed to remove tantrums completely, it can help reduce the occurrence of toddler tantrums.
Whenever your kid does positive behavior, reward them for being good. This way, your toddler will understand that positive behavior will lead to rewards. If your toddler understands positive attention, toddler tantrums will reduce.
Give Your Toddler A Choice.
During this age, most toddlers are experimenting with their independence. For example, telling your toddler to brush their teeth directly can give feelings of frustration. Instead, you can make them choose, “Do you want to brush your teeth right now or after you take a bath?”
Provide Entertainment and Distraction
Providing your child ample entertainment and distraction can help reduce toddler tantrums. If your child is busy focusing on other toys or sounds, they may forget the feelings of frustration that they currently have.
Entertainment can also help reduce feelings of boredom, which can cause your child to throw a tantrum. However, keep in mind that overstimulation can also increase the risk of toddler tantrums, so use everything in moderation.
Know Their Needs
A toddler tantrum may also be a way for a child to express their needs. Check if your child needs anything if they are throwing a tantrum. Your child may be hungry or tired from playing too much and needs to be put to bed.
How to Handle A Toddler Tantrum?
First things first, never lose your cool. If you show your child the same amount of frustration they have, they can never learn how to control and express their own emotions. But that doesn’t mean you have to give in to what your child wants.
Determine the cause of the toddler tantrum first. If they are tired or hungry, you can give them a small snack or let them nap. However, if your child is throwing a tantrum because they are refused something, the best way to reduce this behavior is to ignore it.
- If you refuse your child something and they throw a tantrum, ignore them until they calm down.
- After your child calms down, you can resume any activity that you are doing.
- If your child tries to endanger themselves, take them into a safe and quiet place to calm down, especially if you are in public.
- If the behavior is consistent, use time-outs or hold your child firmly for a few minutes.
- Do not give in to your child’s tantrums and give them what they want, as this can only increase the occurrence of toddler tantrums.
- Allow your child to cool off and calm themselves. It can help with emotional growth.
- If your child has negative behavior like hurting other people, set a time limit whenever you put them on time-outs.
If you have a 2-year-old and do not know how to handle their tantrum, you may want to look into other ways to handle toddler tantrums. Here are some steps you can follow to handle your 2-year old’s tantrums.
How to Handle the Aftermath of Toddler Tantrums?
Aside from preventing and handling your Toddler’s tantrums. What comes after the tantrum episode is as important. Rewarding your toddler from recovering or calming down from a toddler tantrum is essential for emotional growth.
Always praise your child after they have calmed down; giving positive reinforcement on handling emotions can help them become emotionally mature later on. Aside from that, always make sure that your child has enough sleep and energy throughout the day to avoid toddler tantrums.
Toddler Tantrum Red Flags
Sometimes, Toddler Tantrum is not just a way of expressing emotions. Some children may cause danger to themselves every time they throw a tantrum. If you find your child showing the following signs often, consult your doctor.
- If your kid is injuring themselves every time they throw a tantrum, it can be an early sign of depression. Kids who often kick objects or punch the wall can cause pain or injury to their hands and feet.
- If your child is hurting other people or objects often, it can be a sign of disruptive behavior. If this behavior happens with almost every tantrum episode, consult your doctor. This method ensures that your doctor finds the root cause of this disruptive behavior before it gets worse.
- If your child is always throwing a tantrum, it may be a sign of a psychiatric problem. Check if your child has more than five tantrums a day or if their tantrum episode lasts longer than 25 minutes. If you find the kids having 25-minute tantrums every time, it can be harmful to your child’s psychological health.
- If your child cannot calm down by themselves whenever they have a tantrum episode, you may need to consult your doctor. Children who need additional help whenever a situation stresses them out means that they need extra help when recovering from stressful situations. This situation can hinder their emotional growth.
A toddler tantrum can be stressful for both you and your child. However, it is important to understand that toddler tantrums are a way for toddlers to express their emotions. Handling the situation calmly can help reduce toddler tantrums as well.
Aside from this, determine the cause of your toddler’s tantrum in the first place. If they have unfulfilled needs, the risk for toddler tantrums increases. However, if they are throwing a tantrum because you did not give them what they want, it is important to not give in to their wishes.
If your child shows symptoms of disruptive behavior and frequent tantrums, consult your doctor. Consulting your doctor also helps find the cause of your child’s disruptive behavior and help them grow emotionally.