A temper tantrum is an emotional outburst that often happens in childhood, especially children between 2 and 4. Unluckily, a majority of parents are lack information about what tantrum is and how to handle a kid with temper tantrum, so the condition just gets worse.
There are many factors that cause anger outbursts. Each factor requires different treatment, so parents need to learn what may trigger tantrums in children and how to treat it.
Learn more about temper tantrum including the types, causes, stages, and treatments below!
- 1 What Is Temper Tantrum?
- 2 What Causes Temper Tantrum?
- 3 Types of Tantrum
- 4 Temper Tantrum Stages
- 5 How to Handle Temper Tantrum in Toddlers
- 6 How to Prevent Tantrums
- 7 Toddler Tantrums when to Worry
What Is Temper Tantrum?
A temper tantrum is disruptive behavior. It commonly occurs as a response to frustration or unfulfilled desires. This violent emotional burst often happens in younger children who can neither control their emotions nor communicate what they want.
Tantrum is more likely to happen in children between 2 and 4 and is less common after 5. if it is not immediately handled by experts, there is concern that in the future it will develop into child with behavior problems.
Kid with temper tantrum may scream, cry, and shout. When the situation gets worse, he may roll on the floor, thrashing about and throw things. This misbehavior is potentially harmful, especially when parents don’t take immediate action to handle the tantrums.
In some extreme cases, a child with temper tantrums may hold his breath for a few seconds before resuming normal breathing. Of course, this act can be harmful as the child can be suffocated due to lack of oxygen.
Despite the potentially harmful behaviors acted out by kid with temper tantrum, an emotional outburst is considered natural during early childhood.
At this age, children want to meet their desire or seek attention from parents but they don’t know how to express it. Research shows that a lack of vocabulary to express feelings worsens tantrums.
if parents experience such an incident, they should not get carried away and must be calm. Therefore, it is very important to learn about anger management parenting to handle this situation.
What Causes Temper Tantrum?
Not many parents know that most tantrums are caused by a simple thing—unfulfilled desires. Sometimes, children want something like more milk, snacks, or even toys. But they don’t have enough language skills to communicate with parents.
When they aren’t getting what they want, these kids get frustrated. As a consequence, frustration leads to anger outbursts.
If these problems are not addressed from an early age, then in the next few years, they will most likely become a teenager with anger issues.
Toddler with temper tantrums needs a right to respond from the environment. Parents need to be sensitive in understanding what their children really want. Aside from frustration, the following factors may trigger temper tantrums:
Fatigue can cause temper tantrums. When a toddler is too tired but he cannot take a rest, they begin to scream, shout and cry.
These meltdowns commonly occur during nap time and bedtime. Once the parents notice that it is an exhaustion tantrum, the best action is to get the child in bed immediately.
Sometimes, a child with temper tantrums is just hungry. The toddler, however, cannot communicate with parents to ask for snacks, milk, or food. The chemical reaction inside his body triggers emotional outbursts that make them act disruptive behavior.
In some cases, a lack of attention will cause a temper tantrum. Toddlers like to be the center of attention. Once you ignore them, they try harder to catch as much attention as they can. They begin to cry, run around, and even throw something.
Types of Tantrum
There are at least three types of tantrum that commonly occur in children. The meltdowns may be similar but the way to handle a kid with temper tantrum is different.
If you have a child with a tantrum, here are three common types you should know and how to handle with temper tantrums.
Basic need tantrums
This meltdown is commonly caused by basic needs that are not met. For example, when a child is overtired but he refuses to sleep, tantrums will be likely to occur. Or when he is hungry but he cannot find a food that he wants, a meltdown is about to happen.
Parents can anticipate this tantrum by trying to meet the basic needs such as feel comfortable, eat, and rest.
For instance, parents can travel with a lot of snacks so the toddler won’t be hungry. You can also help the child to express his needs by describing the feeling and provide a solution.
Unlike basic need tantrums, developmental meltdowns are often triggered by frustration when a child is learning.
Learning new skills can make the children angry, overwhelmed, and frustrated especially when they don’t receive enough support. This situation triggers emotional outbursts known as developmental tantrums.
As prevention, parents can make learning times more fun. For example, you can break down the process to simplify the way the children learn. Always be gentle to teach new skills, such as encourage toddler to talk. Don’t spoil the good moment
When they feel more successful, tantrums will be less likely to occur. Besides, you should lower down the expectations. Learning new skills isn’t simple, so you need to give your children more appreciation for what they’ve achieved.
Power struggle tantrums
Many parents find that power struggle tantrum is the most annoying type. As the child grow older, they need a little control to his own life. When he feels that mother or father doesn’t let them control over his life, meltdowns are about to occur.
Kid with temper tantrum of this type usually thinks his parents aren’t on his side, so he tries to show his power through an emotional outburst.
To deal with this type of tantrums, you can let the child to make a decision. For instance, let him choose which clothes or shoes to wear.
You might need to learn to respect their decision, no matter what. If possible, offer some suggestions by saying, “Yes, that’s good but….”
Temper Tantrum Stages
Do you know what’s happening when your child has a temper tantrum? Experts say that meltdowns are a complex process that happens really fast inside children’s bodies and brains.
Knowing the stages might help you understand tantrums so you can handle it quite well. According to experts, there are at least 7 main stages of a temper tantrum.
Though it may sound like a long process, it happens fast so you don’t notice when it starts. Here’s a closer look at the stages:
The first stage is the trigger. At this stage, your child finds that his need isn’t fulfilled. For instance, your toddler already eats all the snacks and he wants more, but you don’t have it. He wants snacks right now.
Anger and sadness
Once they can’t get what they want, the child begins to feel angry. Based on a long-held theory, anger is followed by sadness but other research found that anger and sadness overlap in time. Both feelings are manifested by whimpering, crying, and whining.
Helpful person comes, worse situation
Toddlers can identify helpful people, whether it’s grandparent, aunt, or others. When a helpful person comes and offers a help, the situation gets worse.
Instead of lowering the anger, such attempts make him explode. Their mind is full of anger and it takes control over his body. As a result, he rejects comfort.
Kicking, biting, thrashing
This stage doesn’t always happen in all children but it is more likely to occur in toddler with temper tantrums.
When parents don’t take immediate action to lower down the anger, the tantrum goes to the next level that includes kicking, biting and thrashing on the floor. Some children also hold their breath for a few seconds and resume it.
Ignorance from parents
Parents have tried everything to handle the tantrums but none of them works. On this level, they start to ignore the drama.
This method subsides the emotional bursts and it works. Children who begin to lose attention gradually gain their temper.
Children begin to act normal
At this stage, children realize that they have been so out of control and they try to run up to you. To deal with this situation, a hug and kiss can be a solution.
Say something like “I don’t think it’s fun” or something else that can make them understand what just happened was upsetting.
Everything is normal
Everything is back to normal as your child changes emotions quickly. It’s like nothing happened, though parents may still feel the annoyance from previous tantrums. No matter what, try to forget it as hard as you can and don’t bring it up.
How to Handle Temper Tantrum in Toddlers
Meltdowns are overwhelming, especially when it happens in public places. Unpleasant gazes from strangers just make everything worse, as if you’re a bad parent. What should you do with a kid with temper tantrum?
There are some important things that you can do to handle tantrums in toddlers. Though it may be unstoppable, at least you don’t make it worse. Here are the tips:
Facing a child with temper tantrum can be frustrating, but it’s necessary to stay calm. You may have an urge to get angry at your child but it only worsens the situation.
Remember that tantrums are normal in early childhood. Taking a silent moment helps you reduce tense, so you can take the best action to handle it.
Leave the room
If your child is in a safe place, it can be a good idea to leave the room. Since kid with temper tantrum tries to seek attention, giving loads of attention during emotional outbursts trigger them to do it over and over again.
Instead, go to another room so the episode of drama can be shortened. That’s the simplest way on how to stop temper tantrums. But make sure your child is safe and not destructive.
Give brief and easy commands
It may be rather hard to make a deal with a kid with temper tantrum. But if you should give one, stick to brief and easy commands.
Make sure it is simple and easy to follow so the toddler can catch what you mean. Experts say that it’s effective to divert his attention and lower down the anger.
Switch to other activities
Toddlers are easily diverted. When a specific activity gives them tantrums, you can switch to other activities they can enjoy.
For example, you can ask them to play a game or make a funny face. When you are away from home, simply show something interesting such as pictures or buildings.
How to Prevent Tantrums
Knowing the causes of temper tantrums allows you to prevent its emergence. If you know that hunger usually triggers tantrum in your child, it’s vital to keep them full.
Or if you know that your child isn’t patient to learn new skills, break down the activities to simplify their way in understanding it. Here are some methods to prevent temper tantrums:
Condition the toddler before leaving
Either you want to go shopping or travel, make sure your toddler is well fed and well rested. Fatigue and hunger can trigger temper tantrum, so it’s vital to condition them before leaving the house.
When their tummy is full, a tantrum is less likely to occur. You can also prepare their favorite toys or books to draw their attention.
Give warning in advance
A kid with temper tantrum don’t accept advice and warning. As an alternative, you can give advance warning and advice before you leave.
Besides, children like to know what they can do next, so they will wait for the chance. When they are triggered, you can remind them about the warning and upcoming plan.
Manage your voice
Some children can be triggered by a raised voice of their parents. In this case, manage your voice when asking them to do something. Make it sound like an invitation instead of an order.
Toddler Tantrums when to Worry
Despite temper tantrum is normal, there are some conditions when you need to seek help. Kid with temper tantrum may show serious symptoms such as hitting his head, breaking things, and performing other destructive behavior.
If you are not able to control the kid, that means you need to find help. Other conditions to find help include a child holds his breath until he faints and the child has nightmares. Temper tantrum is disruptive behavior that should be treated appropriately by an expert.
A kid with temper tantrum can be caused by many factors, but the main reason is unfulfilled desires. Since there are different types of tantrums, parents should be able to identify each type so they can do the right treatment immediately.