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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Temper Tantrum in Children - Finding a Solution to the Problem

By Andrew Loh

Just imagine how you feel when you want to program your new LED TV and are not able to do it, no matter how hard you try, just because it is too complicated. It is so frustrating and disappointing that you will bang your foot on the floor, throw the manual away or just walk away with anger. Now, here is your version of tantrum, the adult temper tantrum on the show! Just remember that even your children may show temper tantrum, as adults tend to show sometimes. Young children always try to acquire new and fresh skills to make their lives better and productive. However, when they fail to accomplish a certain task, they turn over to the only tool that exists with them to vent their frustrations - a temper tantrum. Frustrations are parts of every child in this world and they are unavoidable, as they try to learn how people, objects and things work in nature.

Temper tantrums in children are very common especially when they are 2 years old . As children pick up important life skills, tantrums tend to decrease. The best way to deal with temper tantrum is to avoid it to happen in the first place. Here are some of the simple methods and strategies that you can use control temper tantrum in children.

Make sure that you are giving enough attention to your children. Your children should not show tantrum, just because they are not getting enough attention from you. A child always requires some sort of attention even if it is negative. A parent's response to an incidence of tantrum should be proper in a way that some kind of attention is necessary even if it is negative. Make sure that you give focused attention to your children that means rewarding your children with attention for an incidence of positive behavior.

Offer some form of choices or options. This will help your children learn independent skills that are necessary for their societal growth. For example, you can offer some minor options like:

  • Do you want to do your homework before or after playing?

  • Do you want milk or juice to drink?

  • Do you want to do your homework before or after watching TV?

If you ask a direct question to your children, their answers would be a definite “no”. Children always focus on one thing or issue at a time. Therefore, you may need to train them to work with different options or choices.

Many a time, distraction could be the best medicine to control incidences of temper. Children always have very short attention span. You can always take advantage of their short attention spans. Make sure that you offer an alternative offer when your children display temper tantrum. A new activity or choice may cajole your children to replace the feeling of frustration and dismay. You can even change the environment.

Children love to learn new skills. They always try to imbibe new techniques and skills while attempting a particular task. In nature, children move from simple tasks to complicated ones. To make this a possibility, you can consider the following:

  • When your child demands something, consider the request very carefully. Consider the merit of the demand. Some of the demands may be outrageous in nature. Take a wise decision before conceding to their demands.

  • Set a limit for your children. Never ever take your children to shopping, if you know that they have the habit of making demands. Ensure that you teach your children why exorbitant demands are bad for them.

Hitting and spanking should never a part of your tantrum correction procedures. Physical tactics and methods are negative and counter-productive. With these procedures, you are sending an indirect message to your children that using physical procedures is perfectly OK. They will use the same procedures when they grow up and become adults. Before you try any of the techniques, just sit down for some time and think over the real problem.

Every incidence of temper tantrum has its own cause. You may need to handle the tantrum based on its merits. If you feel that the reasons are silly and frivolous, then you may need to put your foot down very hard to resist the temptation to accede to the child's unfair demand. On the other hand, if your child has some genuine problems (like tying shoelaces or buttoning the shirt), then you may need to intervene and teach your children how to perform the task.

The main reason for temper tantrum to arise is when a child senses that someone is refusing something to him or her. If parents refuse something, then children may show frustration in the form of temper tantrum. If the demand is genuine and fair, parents can intervene to defuse the situation by distracting the mind to some other things or scenarios.

Temper is natural to all of us. It is so in the case of children too. However, uncontrolled displays of temper tantrum could be a dangerous sign especially if it goes on for a long time. Medical intervention may be necessary for those children, who show long spells of tantrum every day and throughout the week.


Featured Resource

What to Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Problems With Anger (What to Do Guides for Kids)
By Dawn Huebner, Ph.D

Did you know that anger is like fire? It starts with a spark, igniting us with energy and purpose. But it can also blaze out of control, causing lots of problems. If you're a kid whose temper quickly flares, a kid whose anger gets too big, too hot, too fast, this book is for you. What to Do When Your Temper Flares guides children and their parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques.

Engaging examples, lively illustrations, and step-by-step instructions teach children a set of "anger dousing" methods aimed at cooling angry thoughts and controlling angry actions, resulting in calmer, more effective kids.


Featured Resource


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