Communication is the biggest part of dealing with a temper tantrum. Unfortunately in the heat of the moment, communication between a parent and child can be the one thing that is not happening. Young children can be overwhelmed with the same emotions that we all have. They have the disadvantage of not knowing what is the problem, why they feel that way and how they are suppose to deal with it. When the emotions become too confusing, the extreme tempers come out and meltdown happens.
It is not unusual. There is even a term “the terrible two’s” which refers to the age when a child is just beginning to learn to cope with emotions and often doesn’t fair well. Some children experience it earlier and other later. The fact is that parents are the ones who must help their child navigate the minefield of emotional meltdowns.
There are a lot of great reasons to spend an extra amount of time and effort working on emotional control. Children learn emotional control when first encountering social situations as babies. They learn correct manners, the most appropriate ways to deal with anger and disappointment and how to socialise properly in diverse situations. By the time they are entering primary school, they need to have a good grasp on these abilities because of the large class sizes and long days in social situations.
What You Can Do
- Set rules and boundaries
Children need to see that there are rules and boundaries. If the boundaries are always changing, it can be difficult for them to know what to expect and how to behave. If your child is expected to put away his toys, make sure that it is something that is always done. It can be incorporated as routine part of the play. “The toys come out and then when finished the toys go back to their place.” The most important thing is that they know clearly that that is a rule and that it is something that is always done.
- Stick to the rules
This can exceptionally difficult for parents when there are many other caretakers. The domestic helper, grandparents and relatives may have differing ideas about what boundaries should be set. Be clear with everyone about how you want to raise your child and ask them to respect your wishes. Explain that it can make it very difficult for your child when the rules are constantly changing.
- Watch for warning signs
Every child is different. It is what makes them exceptional and also what can make parenting difficult. When a child begins feeling frustrated, is when a parent needs to step in and talk about ways to deal with that emotion. Because each child reacts differently, parents must be especially vigilant. Identify what specific situations are most difficult for your child. For some, new social situations can be most distressing and for others it can be the personal achievement frustrations (like not being able to do something). The signs of an on coming overload of emotions can be clenched fists, shortness of temper, nervous behaviours like nail biting, and an obstinate attitude. Some children do not display any obvious signs but move from one emotion to an extreme temper very quickly. Pay attention and begin talking about emotional control and possible solutions before the temper gets overwhelming.
- Talk about ways to deal with anger and frustration
One of the best ways to deal with frustration is to talk about it when there is a quiet or opportune moment. Read stories that involve similar situations and talk about how the characters dealt with it. There are many good books about anger for little ones. This helps them to understand that these are normal feelings and that there are ways to deal with it without throwing a temper tantrum.Talk about emotions – positive and negative.
At the end of the day, always remember that your child has feelings. They need to be felt and dealt with in an appropriate manner. Just telling a child that they shouldn’t be frustrated with a falling tower of blocks, doesn’t mean that the feeling goes away and it also doesn’t give them any way of dealing with the frustration.What are your thoughts for quelling your child’s temper? Leave us a comment down below.