How To Deal with Them
Have you ever seen your child from 18 months old to 3 years child becoming sad suddenly, lying on the floor suddenly, crying without any reason, not coming to you when you call them, sudden mood change, change in behavior, Hitting others, Hurting himself or others, throwing away things, etc? These are all called Temper Tantrums. A temper tantrum is a sudden change in your child’s behavior due to frustration, discomfort, irritability, and anger. This is very normal and very common and every child has his way of showing it. Some suddenly become quiet, some just lie on the floor, some make a sad frowning face, some cry often, and some may even hold their breath.
I remember my baby when he was 20 months old, he showed this first sign of temper tantrum. I was lying on my bed with my phone watching youtube videos. He was playing with his toys. There is no one in the house other than the two of us at that time. 15 minutes passed. I was still busy with my phone and he was busy playing. In between, I used to talk a bit to him. He also kept staring at me all the time thinking that I will come to play with him. And suddenly his face changed. He kept a very sad face looking at me every 5 minutes.
I thought this is normal and didn’t take care of it so much. He came to me with that sad face. I asked him what happened but since he can’t talk he kept quiet and went away to another room. I followed him and hugged him, but he started crying when I hugged him or when I held him. I was totally surprised. He had never done like this before. He was running away from me whenever I came close to him. Imagine how a mother may feel when his son is running away from her. I felt very guilty. I know it’s my mistake. My son wants my attention towards him. Since I was busy with my phone he thought I am not taking care of him and felt sad and lonely. At last, I took him outside where he feels happy. After going outside his mood changed and he came back to me. Then, I understood that such a little chubby baby can also feel and show emotions just like we adults do.
At this age, babies develop all kinds of emotions. Their brain is developing in a rapid phase. Since they can’t communicate properly, they show tantrums to make us understand what they want. Once they start to communicate properly, this will go away on its own. Some kids have tantrums very often and some show them very rarely as every child is different.
What Causes Tantrums In Kids:-
1. Emotional Reasons:-
- You may have seen that when you or someone else ask your baby to share something like toys, food, clothes, etc with you or with others, he may run away or make an angry face. And start showing temper tantrums.
- When your baby starts playing with other kids of the same age, you may see tantrums in him as every kid is different and kids fight a lot while playing for toys or food or some other things.
- When you go to a mall or anywhere outside with your child, your child may ask you to buy some toy or food for him which may not be good for him. And when you don’t buy it he may start showing tantrums.
- When your baby doesn’t like the food he is eating or he is not in the mood to eat, and when you force him to eat he may get very irritable and cranky and some children may even throw away the food.
- When your baby starts to go to school, his behavior may be very different. He doesn’t like to go to a new place away from you. He will start crying, getting cranky, mood swings, and irritability.
2. Physical Causes:-
- When your baby is hungry, he doesn’t want to tell you as he is busy playing but since the body wants food, you may see your baby getting irritable or angry while playing or talking with you. The parents need to understand what their child needs and act accordingly.
- If your baby gets too tired after playing so much or if he is very sleepy, then he may start showing tantrums as he will not be able to communicate exactly what he wants.
- If you change your baby’s routine completely or if you take him outside to a new house or new people, then he may feel very uncomfortable and starts to cry. I remember my baby used to cry and vomit so much every time I go to a new place or if someone comes to our house. This all is very normal. Since your child is used to you and the people present in your home, outsiders may look like strangers to him and he may run away from them. This goes on until your baby reaches 3 to 4 years of age where his level of understanding has increased so much that he will be able to understand every situation.
What Parents Can Do:-
1. When you give something your baby wants after your baby shows tantrum to you, then trust me the next time when he wants the same thing he will again show you tantrums because according to his level of understanding, he thinks that he can get anything easily just by showing tantrums. If her is forcing you to give then distract him to other things or tell him politely that it is not safe for him.
2. Never scold your baby in front of people if he is showing tantrums, instead make him understand after he settles down. Scolds and anger of parents can make the tantrums worse and your baby might feel alone and his emotions are affected a lot.
3. Never lose your patience when your baby shows tantrums. Beating and scolding him will never help. Understand that we also show tantrums to others. And you know how angry we get if someone hits us or scolds us for our behavior. Remember that your job is to help your child to learn how to handle tantrums. For that, you should be calm too.
4. Sometimes it’s better to ignore the tantrums or give him some space out. Let him calm down on his own because in the future he has to face many difficult situations and he has to handle it all by himself. Speak to him when he is all settled or talk to him politely. A simple hug and a big kiss on the forehead can help a lot to soothe your child. Just as we elders need a shoulder when we are down, the same thing applies to kids too.
5. Don’t say NO too much:- You should only say no if that thing can really harm your baby’s physical and mental health. Babies at this age want to explore everything and learn what’s going on around them. If you say no they will do it again to understand why you are not allowing them to do it.
6. Whenever your baby behaves well, reward him and make him feel that this is what should be done. This will make him feel that positive behavior is good and he must continue it.
7. Don’t force your baby to do specific work at the time you want him to do it. Let him make a choice. You can ask him do u want to eat food now or later, Do u want to Bath now or later, etc. Give him a little bit of independence?
8. Some children may hit themselves or other things or sometimes people around them during temper tantrums. So make sure there are no dangerous objects around him at that time. Hold him so that he doesn’t hurt himself. Bring him to another room and ask him politely what he wants. Hug him and explain that this is not good behavior and you are a big kid now.
9. You can pre-plan and avoid tantrums in your kids by observing their behavior. Feed them when they want, make sure they get enough sleep, prepare for a transition in your kid’s life and daily routine.
10. Kids often show tantrums when there is a newborn or a sibling in the house. As you spend much of the time with the baby your child may feel lonely and show tantrums. Your child also needs the same attention that you give to your newborn because he is also just a little kid. Engage him in every activity you do.
Remember that your child follows your actions. If you scold him he will also learn o scold. If you beat him he will also learn to hit others. If you be polite and make him understand then he will also follow the same. For every child, his home is the first school where he learns all the values and emotions. The bond between children and parents should be like friends. Laugh with him, speak with him, crack jokes with him, and enjoy your family time. Parenting is not so easy I can understand. It’s not easy to be patient always but if you work on yourself your child will follow you and be a great human being.