Temper tantrums are usual for toddlers, and many parents are looking for ways to cope with them. It is sometimes difficult to understand how to manage a tantrum and help your child as a parent. Many of us have wondered about the optimal reaction we should show our toddlers during a tantrum in our parenting journey. What is the healthiest way to overcome tantrums?
What are tantrums?
Sometimes we can feel overwhelmed, and we might not know where to look up information. Research studies and expert opinions are always welcome because of the time investment and research methods applied to ensure accurate findings.
A study by Laura. L Sisterhen and Paulette Ann. W.Wy, from the University of Alaska, defines tantrums as brief moments (rages), during which a toddle shows extreme or even aggressive behaviour based on frustration and anger. Usually, these rage episodes happen when the child is between 12 months old to 48 months old and even older.
Some of the most common triggers are frustration, hunger, fatigue and illness. These rage episodes occur when the child feels a loss of control over what is happening and cannot find a way of coping with the situation. Most children experience at least one tantrum episode per day, and it should not last longer than 15 minutes.
When should we get worried?
Yelling in a high pitch volume
Researchers believe it is time to find some help if the child repeatedly exposes negative behaviour, negative sleeping and eating habits, and excessive aggressive behaviour. The study also discusses the need for a physical assessment by a health provider if the child has too many tantrums daily with extreme aggressive behaviour.
Some possible explanations could be anaemia, tachycardia and mucosal pallor and iron deficiency.
How do we manage tantrums?
One of the biggest questions is how to manage tantrums. The study shows that prevention is the best weapon. This means avoiding things that might trigger a rage episode. Make sure our toddler has eaten, that the child is not tired or sick.
During a tantrum, parents should remain calm, no matter how difficult it might be, and then try to redirect the toddler towards another activity. Sometimes it is helpful to ignore the rage, and it is essential not to accept the toddler’s demands; if they are not connected to basic needs such as hunger or thirst. Distraction and finding a new activity is also encouraged.