Toddler tantrums can appear in a matter of seconds – from beaming smiles (cuteness alert!) to shrilling cries (oh well, spoke too soon). This is perhaps how most parents describe their toddlers. However, parents here’s some reassurance. It is entirely normal for your tot to throw tantrums. And phasing by it is completely okay.
Why yes, the toddler tantrum phase can be a rollercoaster ride. One that has steep drops, some extra loops and a whole lot of screaming! So, brace yourselves. Come find out what tantrums are and the best ways to identify them.
Typically, tantrums are a response to a child’s limitations. For example, lashing out in a public place (supermarket, malls etc.), fussing over eating vegetables or creating a ruckus over wanting candy. Toddler tantrums generally begin at the age of 1, peak between 18 to 36 months, and wear off by 4. Beyond this age, however, an occasional outburst is perfectly normal.
The Reason For Toddler Tantrums
According to statistics, nearly 85% of children between 2 and 3 have tantrums. At this age, your child cannot express their true emotions. They are not well equipped to use logic or make rational choices.
According to psychology, there are two reasons for toddler tantrums. The need to be ‘seen’ i.e. for validating their emotions and the need to feel ‘safe’ i.e. a non-triggering environment where they can be comfortable.
Tantrums are your child’s emotional reaction to something, which, let’s be honest, we cannot control. What you can do, though, is manage the situation that could maybe lead to a tantrum in the future. This could help nip them in the bud before an outburst.
How To Recognize A Toddler Tantrum
Each child is unique and will react differently in response to a situation. Say your child is having a particularly fussy day. They refuse to eat what you serve and repeatedly keep doing what you asked them not to do. Maybe they cry out loud for no particular reason.
The trick is to find the root cause behind these tantrums. Hunger and fatigue are two of the most common tantrum triggers for toddlers. Alternatively, maybe your child is not feeling well or is simply upset.
You can keep an eye out for certain behaviors and predict a tantrum beforehand. This will help you remain well-prepared and stay ahead of your child’s needs. If your child is whining, screaming, crying or acting out suddenly, it usually signals a tantrum.
How to reduce the frequency of toddler tantrums?
Let’s be honest, there is no foolproof mantra to deal with toddler tantrums. You may feel tired, frustrated, or burnt-out at some point, and hey, we feel you. However, the reaction is your enemy here. It is best to take a few seconds, compose yourself and respond from a space of compassion.
The best way to put an end to toddler tantrums is first to understand them on a deeper level. Now that we know the reason for tantrums and how to recognize them, know that your little one’s tantrums are manageable. There is nothing to worry about. You can try offering them a snack or putting them down for a nap if you think that is what’s needed.
For mood-oriented tantrums, empathy is the way to go. If you request your child not to play with a sharp object and they get upset about it, you can reassure their safety to help them understand better. It is best to avoid situations that could flare up a tantrum, like going grocery shopping during nap time. If it is an absolute requirement, be sure to carry snacks or toys to keep them occupied.
Toddlers seek your attention, so remember to be kind to them. Praise them for their good behavior and correct them politely if they go wrong. The idea is to deal with toddler tantrums using compassion or distraction as and when needed.
Read this blog on How To Stop Temper Tantrums In Toddlers to know more.