It’s no secret that kids can be challenging. From the minute they wake up until the time they go to bed, parents have to constantly monitor their behavior in order to ensure that everything is on track for optimal child development.
That being said, one of the biggest challenges parents face when raising children is dealing with tantrums. It’s almost as if children know exactly when they are pushing our buttons and how to push them!
While it may feel like you are spending most of your time consoling and soothing a hysterical child, it’s important to also understand why these fits are occurring in the first place.
After all, there must be a reason why your child is doing this so frequently.
Why Do Children Have Tantrums?
If you’re wondering why kids throw tantrums, you’ve come to the right place. Indeed, there are many reasons why a child may be throwing a tantrum. Some of the most common include the following:
- The child is hungry. – The child is tired. – The child might have forgotten to go to the bathroom. – The child might be sick. – The child might feel overwhelmed.
- The child might be dealing with a health issue, like allergies. – The child might have a neurological disorder. – The child might feel that he or she isn’t being heard. – The child might be dealing with frustration.
- The child might be dealing with a developmental delay.
Mistakes You May Be Making When Responding To Children’s Tantrums
Parents who are constantly responding to tantrums are inadvertently teaching their children poor life skills. Indeed, if you are constantly giving in to your child’s tantrums, you are only teaching them that this is the correct way to get what they want.
- Ignoring The Tantrum – If you ignore the tantrum, the child will learn nothing from the experience, and he or she will only continue to throw tantrums in the future. If you want to stop the tantrums, you must address the issues causing them.
- Using Punishment – Parents who try to punish their children for having tantrums are only making the situation worse. Instead of addressing the underlying issues, parents who punish their children will only be teaching them that they can’t throw tantrums and expect to get their way.
- Attempting To Negate The Child’s Emotions – Tantrums are a way for children to release their pent-up emotions. If you try to negate a child’s emotions, they will only grow larger and more uncontrollable.
- Using Time Out – Time out is a punishment that can be very effective in the short term, but it’s not a good long-term solution.
Don’t Try To Discourage Behavior You Don’t Like
As children grow and develop, they will exhibit a wide array of behaviors, from the expected to the extremely challenging. Indeed, there will come a time when you will need to address a child’s behavior, but it’s important to do so in a way that does not shame the child.
- When You’re In A Bad Mood – If you’re in a bad mood and your child exhibits a behavior that you don’t like, you should try not to shame the child. Instead, you should try to focus on your own emotions and recognize that they are not the best way to address the situation.
- When The Behavior Is Natural – It’s important not to shame a child for exhibiting normal behaviors, such as whining or tantrums. Indeed, these are normal developmental behaviors that will pass as the child grows older. If you notice that your child is exhibiting a certain behavior, it’s important to try to understand what’s causing it before you respond.
- When The Child Is Learning – It’s important to remember that when children are young, they are constantly learning, so they will often exhibit challenging behaviors from time to time. If you want to correct these behaviors, you shouldn’t shame the child for exhibiting them. You instead want to gently correct the child’s behavior in a way that does not make them feel ashamed.
Don’t Give In And Don’t Ignore It Either
If you give in to your child’s every demand, you risk making them feel entitled and spoiling them. Indeed, if you give in to everything your child asks for, they will not learn to appreciate what they have. If you ignore these demands, your child will not learn how to communicate effectively with others.
- When You Want To Give In – If you want to give in to your child’s demands, but you know you shouldn’t, you should try to focus on your long-term goals as a parent. You should try to make your child see the value in what you are offering them, and you should try to set appropriate limits with your child.
- When You Don’t Want To Give In – If you don’t want to give in to your child’s demands, but you know you should, you should try to focus on the long-term benefits of your decision. You should try to make your child see the value in your decision, and you should try to set appropriate limits with your child.
Don’t Label Or Shame Your Child
Parents should avoid labeling and shaming their children at all costs. Indeed, labeling a child is the wrong way to address a challenging behavior.
- When Your Child’s Behavior Is Natural – When a child’s behavior is natural, parents should avoid labeling it. For example, if a child is whining, parents should not call him or her a “whiner.” Instead, parents should try to understand why the child is whining and attempt to correct the behavior without shaming the child.
- When Your Child Is Attempting To Learn – When your child is attempting to learn, you should avoid labeling the behavior, even if it’s challenging. For example, if your child is throwing a tantrum because he or she is frustrated, you should avoid labeling the behavior. Instead, you should try to understand what’s causing the frustration and help your child learn how to deal with it.
Don’t Mix Up Rewards And Consequences
As a parent, you should be consistent in your discipline, but you should not be consistent in your rewards. Indeed, if you reward the wrong behavior, you will only be encouraging your child to repeat it.
- When Your Child Is Showing Progress – If your child is making progress but still exhibiting challenging behavior, you should not reward them for their poor choices. Instead, you should try to focus on the improvements your child has made and encourage them to keep it up.
- When Your Child Is Making Poor Choices – If your child is making poor choices, you should not reward them for it. Instead, you should try to focus on the negative consequences of their bad choices and encourage them to change their behavior.
Don’t Mix Up Rewards And Consequences
As a parent, it’s important to ensure that you are not mixing up rewards and consequences. Indeed, these two concepts are very different, and they should be treated as such.
- When You’re Seeking To Reword A Reward – If you’re seeking to reword a reward, you should try to make the reward more specific. For example, you might reward your child for making their bed by allowing them to play with an extra-long video game. You can reword this by specifically telling your child that they can play with that video game after they make their bed.
- When You’re Seeking To Reword A Consequence – If you’re seeking to reword a consequence, you should try to make the consequence more general. For example, if your child is being rude to a friend, you might want to give them extra chores around the house. You can reword this by specifically telling your child that they will have to do extra chores whenever they are rude to a friend.
Suggested Reading For Parents:
Suggested Reading For Kids
Tools to help your toddler understand how to calm down after a tantrum.
It helps children deal with overwhelming feelings.