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Cocoon Understands Temper Tantrums


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Oh No… Not Again

Your toddlers second temper tantrum of the day shows no sign of stopping, and supersonic, ear-shattering, teeth-jarring screams pierce the air. You would run away and join the circus if only that was a real option. There must be a better way. During the kicking-and-screaming chaos of the moment, tantrums can be downright frustrating and at times embarrassing for parents. But instead of looking at them as catastrophes, treat tantrums as an opportunity for education. 

Dealing with tantrums can be enormously draining and stressful for a parent. Remember to have a sense of humour, keep things in perspective, develop a strategy and accept that it will take time for change to occur.

The Stage is Set

There are many simple causes of tantrums which are familiar to parents everywhere:

Your child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, uncomfortable or pushing the boundaries. In addition, tantrums are often the result of a child’s frustration with the world. They can’t get something (for example, an object or a parent) to do what they want. Frustration is an unavoidable part of their lives and they learn how people, objects and their own bodies work. Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. Imagine not being able to communicate your needs to someone – a frustrating experience that may precipitate a tantrum.

Another task toddlers are faced with is an increasing need for autonomy, Toddlers want a sense of independence and control over the environment — more than they may be capable of handling. This creates the perfect condition for power struggles as a child thinks "I can do it myself" or "I want it, give it to me." When children discover that they can not do it or can not have everything they want, the stage is set for a tantrum. This is also the time your child will test the boundaries set by parents, does no mean no! consistency is key at this stage.

Managing Temper Tantrums

The low-key approach to temper tantrums is suitable for very young children (1-2 years), or for those children whose tantrums do not occur very frequently or severely.

Know your Childs Limits

If your child is tired, it is not the best time to go grocery shopping or try to squeeze in one more errand. Be aware of how your child is feeling.

If you can see a tantrum brewing, step in and try distracting your child with another activity. Identify tantrum triggers. Certain situations – shopping, visiting or mealtimes – might frequently involve temper tantrums. Think of ways to make these events easier on your child. For example, you could time the situation so your child is not tired, eats before you go out of the house, or does not need to behave for too long. At this young age toddlers are trying to control their lives, giving them a choice between two scenarios helps your child make an independent decision this will also help minimise tantrums e.g. help mummy cross off the shopping list or sit in the trolley.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you are faced with a child in the throes of a tantrum, no matter what the cause, is simple and crucial: Keep cool. Do not complicate the problem with your own frustration. Children can sense when parents are becoming frustrated. This may make their frustration worse resulting in an escalated tantrum. Instead, take deep breaths and try to think clearly.

Remember, tantrums usually are not cause for concern and generally stop on their own. As children mature developmentally and their grasp of themselves and the world increases, their frustration levels decrease. Less frustration and more control mean fewer tantrums — and happier parents.

 

Remember to always reward good behaviour. Enthusiastically praise your child when he/she manages frustration well