If you are a new parent, you must’ve surely asked several experienced mothers or fathers this question: “How do I stop my toddler from throwing a tantrum?” And we’re pretty sure you must’ve gotten different opinions and suggestions about how to do so. Although there are no wrong methods, there are some things that you ought to know before employing any of them. Read our article on how to stop temper tantrums in toddlers to know why toddlers behave this way, and some suggestions to prevent or manage a temper tantrum episode.
Temper Tantrums In Toddlers: An Overview
Many parents will vouch that parenting is not a bed of roses. Along with all the good that comes with it, you’ve to deal with the other side of things that come in the form of tantrums. When your toddler is having one of those temper tantrum episodes, you might feel like a failure. Or you might think that you’re doing something wrong for your child to react in such a manner.
But, rest assured, temper tantrums in toddlers are completely normal. It’s a phase where the child goes through a set of emotions that stems from a place of independence and is not a reflection of your parenting skills. Your child can do some things on their own such as brushing their teeth, eating cereal, or even using the bathroom. When they’re told not to do some things, they struggle to understand why their precious little freedom is curbed, and that’s how temper tantrums develop.
Toddlers don’t have a lot of words added to their vocabulary, so the only way to vent out their frustration is via tantrums. On a whole, these outbursts are rarely severe and they usually fizzle out in a few minutes. So, there’s nothing to be worried about.
At What Age Do Temper Tantrums Begin?
You are likely to notice a sudden increase in temper tantrums when your child is 2 -3 years old. This stage in the child’s development is known as the terrible twos. But, temper tantrums may start even before that phase as each child’s temperament is not the same. At times, temper tantrums may continue even after the terrible twos stage, and for this, you’ll have to consult your pediatrician for further guidance.
Variation In Temper Tantrums
Each child is unique and so is their personality and temperament. The manner in which they exhibit their tantrums is entirely dependent on those two factors:
- If your child is easygoing, they might just walk it off and get distracted by playing with some other toy.
- If your child is more vocal and has a “tell me why” kind of personality, then things can get a bit heated. They will resort to their only way of expression, some of which are screaming or on-the-floor kicking.
How To Foresee A Temper Tantrum
No one knows your child better than you do. And you’ll know when a temper tantrum is on the rise. Here are some general signals for you to know if a temper tantrum is brewing:
- You’ll notice your toddler being more irritable than usual.
- If they aren’t allowed to touch a certain thing, or cannot accomplish a certain task such as tying their shoelaces on their own, you will hear them whining and whimpering.
- They begin crying and it is inconsolable.
- Your child will plonk themself on the ground and start flailing their arms and legs accompanied by intense crying. They might even try to hold their breath.
Causes Of Temper Tantrums In Toddlers
When your child is unable to complete a particular task or someone disallows them from doing something, you’ll notice them feeling frustrated. And that’s the primary trigger for temper tantrums to brew. Other triggers could be:
- Stress, hunger, tiredness, and anxiety – These can make expressing a bit harder than usual.
- Worry, fear, shame, and anger – These strong emotions can be a bit overwhelming for a toddler to withhold.
- Situations where the child has no control. For example, when an older sibling snatches a toy away.
Tips To Manage Your Child’s Temper Tantrums
Foreseeing the signs of temper tantrums is important to manage or even curb your toddler’s temper tantrums. After all, you know your child best and you have a fair idea of their behavior patterns and body language as well. However, there’s no foolproof method to curbing these tantrums, but these are general tips any parent should follow so that they have some sense of control over a tantrum episode. You’ll come up with some of your own tips as well when time progresses and it’s better to share them with other caregivers such as grandparents or nannies so that they are in the know.
- Pay Keen Attention To Your Child’s Moods And Tantrum Triggers: Is your child too tired, or anxious? Then those moods can often lead to frustration. If your child still follows a sleeping schedule, then try not to break it. If they are way past that stage, then ensure that you spend quality time with them. It doesn’t have to be an intense activity, you can read a book together, do some yoga or watch a nice T.V show. The more rest your child takes, the fewer are the chances of your child getting into sudden outbursts.
- Be Moderate In Your Discipline: Discipling your child can be a bit tricky because you don’t want to be too authoritarian or too easygoing. Being extreme on either side of the spectrum can elicit temper tantrums in children, so where discipline is concerned, you have to find that right balance. Have fewer rules and limits, but be firm and consistent in implementing them.
- Inculcate The Art Of Distraction: Children have pretty short attention spans, and it’s quite easy to distract them. If your child decides to ward off into the deep end of the supermarket just because you won’t buy a tin of cream wafers, you can change the topic by asking, “Can you help me decide on this cereal?” or, “Look at that bird over there”. It’s best not to encourage their tantrums.
- Don’t Bribe: Bribery might seem like an easy route for all your child’s temper tantrum solutions. But by doing so, you’re just encouraging them to be even more rebellious. It’ll teach them to break rules instead of abiding by them.
- Practice Time-Out Therapy: Time-out is a technique of ignoring your child’s behavior during tantrums. The idea is to refrain yourself from paying attention to your child for this short period of time. It gives your child a sense of discipline and helps improve their behavior.
You now know how to stop temper tantrums in toddlers and a few ways to deal with them. These suggestions are just a few reference points that will push you to understand your child better. You might employ other strategies because each child reacts differently and you know what’s better for them. For your child’s overall wellbeing, it’s also important that you keep a track of their immunizations. If you need any help in booking appointments with pediatricians, you can do so virtually by using the ImmunifyMe app. The app will also help you get timely notifications for your child’s upcoming vaccinations and appointments.
FAQs On How To Stop Temper Tantrums In Toddlers
What Causes Temper Tantrums In Toddlers?
When a toddler is unable to complete a certain activity by themselves, or when you restrict them with certain limits, that’s where temper tantrums start to brew. They feel that their independence is questioned and hence resort to tantrums as their only form of verbal communication.
At What Age Should A Child Stop Throwing Tantrums?
Temper tantrums usually begin when the child is between 12 to 18 months old. They get severe between 2- 3 years and mellow down after until they’re 4. You’ll have rare occurrences of temper tantrums after they’ve turned 4.
Are My Toddler’s Tantrums Normal?
Temper tantrums in toddlers are completely normal! It’s a stage of emotional development where a child is just being expressive of their feelings. You don’t have to worry about it being abnormal at all.