Having children is a joy and a blessing. Any parent would attest to that as they witness the growing years of the child, how their physical appearances change, and how their personalities get shaped. Yet every parent knows that as the child grows, bouts of temper tantrums are bound to appear, and frequent episodes of this where the child is uncontrollable, frustrating, and even dangerous may leave the parent tired, frustrated, and angry.
Temper tantrums are normal. Getting angry and feeling angry is a normal human emotion, and every child is to experience such emotions in order to learn how to handle them and express anger constructively. If your child is often hard to handle and may leave you clueless about what to do next, fear not, as there are tried and tested ways on how to handle a child’s temper tantrums.
Child psychologists argue that temper tantrums are a result of the frustrations of the child, and is often seen at the age of two, or known as the “terrible twos”. What you can do to prevent temper tantrums is to reinforce in your child the sense of autonomy by providing him choices, such as what to wear, when to brush, what to do first, etc. Another thing to consider is to determine the cause of the tantrum, and see if you can find solutions to remedy it.
If the child is experiencing a full-blown temper tantrum, the first thing you must do as a parent is to keep your emotions at bay. Hurting the child, scolding, or humiliating him can have detrimental effects and send messages to the child that violence is acceptable. One technique you can employ is “time out”, where the child is sent to his room or to a corner to be able to let him sort out his emotions without having an outburst. Employ a time-out of 10 minutes, no more than that, and do not leave the child alone.
Once the tantrum has passed, do not reward the child with the coveted result, as it will reinforce in him that having a tantrum is way to get things. Instead, sit with the child and talk to him, explain why you have done your actions, and try to know the reason behind the tantrum. In doing so, you are reinforcing that you are with the child, and not against him, making him feel that expressing anger is not a bad thing to do.
As the child grows older, he is in a better position to control his emotions, leading to fewer tantrums. It is essential that you, as a parent, learn how to deal with this, to help the child grow emotionally healthy and stable.