Temper tantrums in toddlers are one of the most difficult aspects of parenting. Is it natural for your child to have tantrums, or are they an indication of something else?
My son’s frequent tantrums made me angry and want to tear my hair out when he was a toddler. On most days, I couldn’t see how anyone could desire more than one child with all of this loud and aggressive behavior!
As a toddler, it appeared that my kid experienced not only more frequent but also more severe temper tantrums.
Was this a result of my poor parenting? Or is it something else entirely causing my child’s tantrum behaviors?
If you’re dealing with a toddler who appears to be throwing extreme temper tantrums on a regular basis, there are a few ways to tell if you should seek adolescent psychiatry or if you’re simply raising a strong-willed child.
A toddler’s tantrums are difficult to cope with in any case but you can take deep breaths and look for warning signs and if you need to seek professional help.
When To Worry About Temper Tantrums
According to the american academy of pediatrics it’s difficult for a young child to suppress intense emotions. When young toddlers are agitated, they frequently cry, scream, or stomp up and down. You may feel furious, powerless, or humiliated as a parent.
Crying, shouting, tossing, kicking, and hitting are all examples of typical toddler’s tantrum because they activate that emotional part of the brain. While these behaviors are undesirable and should be addressed, they are a typical component of toddler development.
Toddlers are only beginning to comprehend their surroundings. Their language skills however, are still growing. As a result, while they may know what they want, they aren’t always sure how to communicate it.
Because they are unable to communicate themselves, they could become frustrated, which can lead to emotional outbursts.
So, if your child appears to want or need anything in a public place (even irrational things like toys at the shop) and begins to show strong emotions… it’s normal.
What isn’t typical is when young children appear to have severe tantrums for no apparent reason. If they are playing peacefully and suddenly break down, and there are no external causes leading to their anger, you should talk to their physician your child’s temper tantrums.
We may wish for children to act with self-discipline and self-control, but it is our obligation to lead them until their brains grow (and to ‘lend’ them our prefrontal cortex till theirs matures).
How Often Do Toddlers Have Tantrums?
A child can experience a temper tantrum many times a day between the ages of 1-4. If your toddler tantrums are occurring more than five times a day, you should seek expert help.
Either that or start looking at your toddler’s daily schedule. Are they getting enough sleep and going to bed at a reasonable hour? Are they eating healthy snacks on a regular basis?
If your toddler has no regular schedule and every day is a chaotic jumble, you will undoubtedly have a toddler has no sense of control and is far more frequently than other children his or her age. A consistent routine is one of the most important things children need and is the best way to avoid a child’s tantrums.
Typical Length Of A Tantrum
According to Healthline tantrums and big feelings usually last between a minute and 15 minutes in early childhood. While this may appear to be an eternity, it is really rather common.
When negative emotions continue 30 minutes or longer 90% of the time, those are red flags, you should start worrying about your child’s tantrums. This might be a symptom of mood disorders, oppositional defiant disorder or your child may be in physical pain.
Don’t be alarmed if your toddler temper tantrums that lasts more than 30 minutes, just be there for them and provide a safe place to handle their strong emotions as that is still normal part of your toddler development.
If there are other causes such as hunger or fatigue, it is typical for them to have an extra-long tantrum and an effective way to deal your child’s tantrums is to to offer a healthy snack or a hug. Sometimes a quiet place and a change of scenery can help calm down a tantrum.
It’s always a good idea to look for common triggers when intense tantrums happen so you can try to find appropriate ways to prevent the tantrum from starting rather than trying to teach your child a lesson in the midst of a tantrum.
Most of the time, it’s when the tantrums are so long and there’s nothing you can do to help your child that you want to start worrying.
Tantrum vs. Meltdown
Childmind Institute states that a tantrum almost always serves a reason. When it’s time for bed, your child is exhausted and wants a cookie. Or they notice a shiny item in the store and fall in love with it. All of these are perfectly typical scenarios that agitate a child’s emotions.
When they are either provided what they want or diverted by something else, the tantrum generally ends fast.
When a person has a breakdown, their actions appear to be meaningless. It might be due to sensory overload or a general sense of overwhelming. A meltdown is far more difficult to recover from and usually lasts much longer in toddlers and older children as well.
How To Tame A Tantrum
According to parenting for brain stopping a tantrum might appear to be a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. When a child throws a tantrum, it’s the best way is to respond with compassion and understanding the next time this happens.
As a parent, the greatest thing you can do is remain calm ( and being a good role model) and approach them with love and compassion when it comes to your child’s feelings.
Of course, when kids are yelling, screaming, and having a public tantrum (such as at the grocery store), it may seem like an impossible job to keep them calm in the heat of the moment.
To encourage children to quit throwing tantrums, you don’t have to give in to them. If they want something they can’t have, a gentle distraction can help due to their short attention spans. And sometimes all they need is a hug to get through whatever their tantrum triggers were.
How positive parenting encourages healthy brain development In Toddlers
Raised Good states that a child who receives loving and responsiveness is able to focus their efforts on developing a larger prefrontal cortex, which is the region of the brain that regulates emotions. These kids are more likely to grow up to be calm and emotionally stable adults.
Why? Because their early experiences of interdependence and responsiveness lead children to believe that their environment is secure and that they may trust others around them.
Toddler Tantrums, when to worry bottom line
Keep in mind that most child’s tantrums are a normal part of child development. Keep your calm at all times, even if they display aggressive behaviors such as hitting.
You must be calm around them if you want them to settle down. You can’t just yell at them and expect them to quiet down their stress hormones.
You’ll notice your child will have fewer tantrums the older the get and if you use positive behavior to correct the tantrums. The most important thing is to handle your own emotions if you want to see good behavior in your children.