Usually, where there are toddlers, tantrums abound. Whether the cause is a hungry tummy, inflamed throat, jealousy over the presence of new sibling or sudden changes in a parent's schedule, the situation must be assessed with caution and patience. Sometimes, it could be about control.
Toddlers and tantrums–the two words are almost synonymous–well, almost. But they don’t have to be. Not, if you determine that you will not allow them to be.
What are tantrums?
If you have been around many children, you probably think this is a lame question. But ask yourself–what is a tantrum? Tantrums are many things. A tantrum is:
- A form of control–control exercised by a child over his or her parent
- An expression of frustration or fear
- A sign of illness
- A cry for help
- A cry for boundaries and guidelines
How to deal with a tantrum?
How a parent handles their child’s tantrums depends on why the tantrum is being thrown. Is your child sleepy or hungry? Are they scared or frustrated? Are they suffering from a tummy ache, ear-ache, headache or some other form of discomfort? Is the tantrum a cry for attention due to the fact that you spend little time with him or her? Are they jealous of a new sibling? Or are they just fighting for control and want to get their way?
If the tantrum is caused by hunger or the need for a nap or it’s bedtime, the solution is easy–feed them and put them to bed.
If your child is normally easy-going and is not otherwise prone to tantrums or fits, you need to take the time to assess the situation. Ask your child if they are hurting or feeling ill. Check to make sure they are not running a fever, breaking out in a rash, have swelling of the throat or lymph nodes or other symptoms. It could be the onset of an illness or your child falling sick. In such cases, tantrums are a great tell-tale sign that something isn’t right. Here is where or nursing mother or parent, needs to start paying close attention.
If you and your family have experienced changes in your schedule such as job changes, moving or the addition of a new baby, your toddler may throw tantrums as a way of getting attention. In instances such as this, the key is to stop the tantrum before it starts. Take the time to give your child one-on-one attention. Take the time to do a few little extras for your child to make them feel special and loved, while keeping things as normal as possible on a day-to-day basis.
And as for tantrums that are thrown by a toddler or child in an attempt to be in control, you need nip that in the bud and take back control of the situation. This is going to be accomplished by giving your child the EXACT OPPOSITE of what they are expecting to gain by throwing their little fit. This will require you to remain calm and not give in to their demands.
RELATED: How to handle temper tantrums
Light at the end of the tunnel
Most tantrums are thrown by toddlers. And since we all know toddlers grow into children, the tendency to throw tantrums usually disappears with ‘toddlerdom’–as long as you take the necessary and appropriate actions when they do come your way.
We hope this article on toddlers and tantrums help you deal with your child’s varying mood swings, cry for help or need for control.