Temper tantrums are most common when the infant’s rational abilities have started developing, but his language skills have still not matured. Because toddlers can’t yet say what they want, feel, or need, a frustrating experience may cause a tantrum. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.
Tantrums can be downright frustrating, unless one knows how to tackle them correctly. Hence every parent or caregiver must carefully observe the child and see what makes him happy and what puts him off.
Some other behavioural issues seen in children which can develop as an offshoot to tantrum throwing are:
- Interrupting others while they talk or do any work. This is done mainly to gain attention and to assert that his opinions are important
- Playing too rough is also another trait to look out for and remedied at the earliest
- Pretending not to hear people around him and feigning ignorance
Unless these small traits, from the initial days, are tackled they can develop into full-fledged personality disorders in the future.
Some common tips to avoid tantrums or at least lessen them are:
- Give plenty of positive attention
- Try to start giving your toddlers control over little things and decision-making
- Distract your child and keep him occupied; an idle mind would want to seek attention much more
- Help your infant learn and acquire new skills; also praise him and make him feel that he means the world to you
- Keep hazardous or off-limits subjects away from your child’s reach; it will stop him from throwing tantrums to want and get those items
- Use the time-out technique. Involves isolating your child and giving him time by himself, so he can soothe himself down
- Talk it out once the tantrum-throwing fit is over
Responding to a tantrum is a very case-specific task. In most cases, try to explain to your child what is feasible and what is not, instead of using brute force or hitting and spanking your child.
However, this does not mean that you cannot be firm and strict with your child if he is going out of line, is being irrational, or is in a position where he can harm himself.
But make sure to not relent or give way to your child’s demands, as it will set a wrong precedent.
You may wish to, however, consult a doctor or a child psychologist in cases when:
- You often feel angry or out of control when you respond to tantrums
- The tantrums cause a lot of bad feelings between you and your child
- You have questions about what you are doing or what your child is doing
- The tantrums become more frequent, intense, or last longer, and you are giving in way too often
- Your child often hurts himself or others
- Your child seems very disagreeable, argues a lot, and hardly ever cooperates
A doctor will also be able to diagnose any physical ailment that maybe plaguing your infant, causing him to vent out and appear moody and temperamental. Hearing or vision problems, chronic illnesses, language delays, or a learning disability can make kids more likely to have tantrums.