Toddlers and preschoolers feel emotions that are the cause of temper tantrums. They feel emotions in a more full-body way than adults do. They get trapped in these emotions not able to articulate how they’re feeling about the emotion and it’s a struggle for them to know what to do about it.
Here’s some of the ways to avoid them happening:
- Be consistent. Establish a daily routine so that your child knows what to expect.
- Plan ahead. Run errands when your child isn’t likely to be hungry or tired.
- Let your child make appropriate choices. Avoid saying no to everything.
- Praise good behavior.
- Avoid situations you have observed trigger tantrums.
- Don’t invalidate your child’s perspective or emotions
- Don’t tell your child how to feel
- Don’t lie to your child to head off a tantrum
- Don’t say that your child’s behavior is making you sad
- Don’t take tantrums and the things your child says before or during them personally
- Don’t use sarcasm
There are ways to help a child cope with anger:
- Teach your child about feelings.
- Create an anger thermometer with 1 no anger at all and 10 being maximum anger.
- Develop a calm-down plan.
- Cultivate anger management skills.
- Don’t give in to tantrums.
- Follow through with consequences.
- Avoid violent means of communicating with them.
Did you know that by giving your child attention during tantrums that you may accidently award the behavior and increase the chance it will happen again? When you ignore some misbehaviors, you can make it less likely your child will do the behavior again. Attention from parents is very rewarding for children. Negative attention happens when you give your child attention for something you don’t like. Think of ignoring as the opposite of paying attention. When you ignore your child, you do not neglect them. Instead, you take all your attention away from your child and their behavior. Ignoring usually helps stop behaviors that your child is using to get attention. This includes behaviors like throwing tantrums, whining, and interrupting. When you are ignoring, you do not look at your child or talk to them. Ignore all protests or excuses to get your attention. The goal is to decrease behaviors you do not like or you want your child to stop. If parents, friends, family, or other caregivers consistently ignore these behaviors, they will eventually stop. These behaviors should be stopped immediately. Other discipline and consequences such as time-out may also be used.