August 26, 2013

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Tantrums may start about 12 months of age when toddlers become more independant.   Part of a parent/caregivers role is to teach your child to manage frustration and express anger in appropriate ways.

Why do children have tantrums?

Tantrums occur when children are frustrated or feel angry. Children often get frustrated when:

  • they are told No
  • they are overtired
  • things do not go the way they expect
  • they do not know the words to say what they want
  • they are unable to manage a difficult task

How to prevent tantrums

  • Put away things you do not want your child to touch, to avoid saying no.
  • Have a few necessary and realistic rules.
  • Let your child know what you are doing and what is going to happen. Thsi way they know what to expect.
  • Keep your child’s routine for meals and sleep times.
  • Keep your child busy with activities where they might otherwise be bored and disruptive.
  • Watch and praise your child when they are behaving well.
  • If you decide to say no to your child’s request, stick to your decision.

How to manage tantrums

  • Use Planned Ignoring –  If it is safe, walk away and pay no attention to your child until the tantrum stops.  Praise them once the child is quiet and behaving well.
  • Tell your child what to do –  Calmly but firmly tell  them what to stop doing and what to do instead. (Stop screaming now and speak in a nice voice.)
  • Time-Out – If tantrum does not stop. Take them away from where the tantrum began into an uninteresting and safe room.  Tell them they must be quiet for 1 minute before they can come out of Time-Out.
  • Return child to the activity – When they have been quiet for a 1 minute time-out, let them rejoin the activity or find them something to do.  Praise them for behaving well.  If tantrum occurs again, repeat time-out.