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


Temper Tantrum in Children - A Simple Guide to Parents

By Andrew Loh

No one in the world is immune from developing temper and anger. In fact, children are just like any other adults. Children are more prone to show anger and temper from time to time. A temper tantrum is a sudden, on-the-spot and unplanned show of anger. It may be an act to get parent's attention. Alternatively, it could also be spontaneous and self-generated as a response to some internal or external stimuli. When your child displays an incidence of temper tantrum, he or she may cry, yell, or swing their legs and hands wildly. Temper tantrum could last anywhere from a few seconds to more than 5 minutes. It could be very wild or it could be serious. Temper tantrum is always more intense at the start and it may dissipate very slowly with the passage of time.

At times, temper tantrum may last for a long time. Such display of temper could very dangerous for a child. Severe temper tantrum is always detrimental to the health of a child. During a serious temper tantrum display, children may hit, bite and even pinch their parent. Violent episode of temper tantrum is a dangerous sign, because children may injure themselves and others. They may not even know what they are doing is wrong.

Temper tantrum may range from simple crying (for a long time) to screaming, kicking, beating, holding breath and rolling on the floor. Temper tantrum is very common among age bracket of 1 years olds to 3 years olds. Temper tantrum is a show of extreme emotions. It is a psychological phenomenon. If temper tantrum is uncontrollable and lasts very long time, then parents may need to seek the help of a qualified physician.

Children's temper differs dramatically - some of them may never show any signs of temper tantrum, while others may experience regular episodes of temper. Getting anger and showing temper are a normal part of the growing process. You may not like to see or view it as a negative process. However, uncontrolled and longer episodes of temper need some treatment. Adults can control and streamline their temper, while children may not possess such a controlling mechanism.

A tantrum is a natural response, when someone or something blocks a child from learning a particular independent or learning skill. At this time, the child may not possess the required skills or knowledge to express his or her disappointment, anger and frustration in any other manner. For example, when your child cannot get what he or she wants, temper tantrum may crop up immediately. Another example may occur when you order your children stop watching TV.

Some children may show excessive displays of temper tantrum than other children. Issues that may make a tantrum more likely to happen are as follow:

  • If your child is extremely tired or sick, then she or he may show temper tantrum for some time. In essence, the degree of tiredness a child experiences is an indicator of future display of disappointment.

  • The age of the child may have an influence on the level of temper tantrum. Children who are in the age bracket of one and four years are more likely to display temper tantrum.

  • The level of stress that your child undergoes also has some influence on the degree of temper tantrum. If your child is undergoing lot of stress, then you can expect them to display temper at regular intervals.

  • Likely physical, mental or emotional problems those are health related, could result in exhibition of temper tantrum.

Even parents' behavior may have some influence on the temper tantrum in children. If they react too harshly or too strongly to poor behavior in children or if they cave into children's excessive demands, then you can expect some display of temper in children.

Most children will slowly grow and emerge out of possessing temper tantrums. As your children grow older, they will learn practical ways to handle and manage very strong emotions that eventually lead to temper tantrums. However, children who still show temper tantrum, even after the age of four may need help from you to deal with tantrum, disappointment and frustrations. If children show temper during school years, it indicates that there are some invisible problems such as learning problems or trouble with their peers. If temper tantrums recur continuously over a period, then parents may need to consult a qualified physician to find out the reasons for temper tantrum. Continue to read Temper Tantrum in Children - Finding a Solution to the Problem


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