Rafael's Blog

How to Handle a Child’s Tantrum

Posted: April 13th 2016

Tantrums are the most common problem in children under five. It is not uncommon for parents to find it difficult to cope with and deal with a tantrum child, especially in public. The following is an explanation of tantrums in children, starting from the definition, the causes, to how to overcome them.

What is a tantrum?

Tantrums are emotional outbursts, which are usually characterized by stubbornness, crying, screaming, yelling, defiance, or anger. When children are tantrums, you may become frustrated and confused about them.

Tantrums are part of normal child development because they are trying to show that they are upset.

Generally, tantrums will occur in the second year of a child’s life, when early childhood language development begins to develop.

This is because toddlers can’t say what they want, feel, or need. However, as language skills improve, this tantrum tends to decrease.

What causes tantrums in children?

This term is used when a child cries, whines, screams, kicks, or hits. This condition usually occurs in toddlers aged 1 to 3 years.

Children who have tantrums are generally irritated, angry, and frustrated. It can also appear because the child feels tired, hungry, and uncomfortable.

This aggressive action occurs because children find it difficult to express what they want and need.

However, you don’t need to worry about this. As you get older, your child’s language skills will increase.

In addition, children are also better able to control their emotions as a stage of early childhood emotional social development.

What are the signs of tantrums in children who are over the limit?

Tantrums are actually normal conditions in children, and can even be considered as part of the development process.

However, parents need to know the signs of tantrums in children who have exceeded the limit. Here are the signs:

  • Has a frequent tantrum
  • Raged for a long time
  • When throwing a tantrum, make physical contact with other people
  • Get angry until you hurt yourself

The signs above can be a risk of emotional upset in children. Therefore, if it is too much you can consult a doctor.

How to deal with tantrums in children?

This situation can happen at any time, from in public to while eating. How to overcome it also depends on these conditions. Here’s the full explanation.

Overcoming tantrums in children while in public

Children with tantrums in public are the most common and often make parents panic for fear of disturbing others. Here’s how to fix it:

#1. Hug him

Children who are tantrums in public places often make parents emotional. But when you see a child throwing a tantrum, a hug is the first thing you can do to reduce it.

Hugs can make children feel safe and know that their parents care, even if you don’t agree with their behavior.

Give a firm hug, not a sweet hug to lull and say nothing while you hold your child.

“Tantrums are a big problem when parents give up too quickly or too often. The reason is, this method is a shortcut to get what he wants. That way, tantrums are the way things are often done, ”says Diane Ryals, a family educator at the University of Illinois.

#2. Prepare all children’s needs

Keep in mind that children and toddlers are more likely to vent when they are hungry or tired. So, if you are going to do some monthly shopping, for example, make sure that your child leaves full and well-rested.

While you are shopping, it’s a good idea to fill your bag with “weapons” to keep your child busy on his own or to use it as a distraction when he shows signs of tantrums.

Bring healthy snacks for children to favorite toys. These things look trivial, but they can be a powerful help in an emergency.

#3. Create ground rules for children

In addition, parents need to establish ground rules when traveling to reduce the risk of tantrums. Before you reach your destination, you can explain to your child that the purpose of going to the mall is only to buy food, not ice cream or new toys.

Frustration is also the reason children love tantrums. If you know the mall you are going to have a candy store or your child’s favorite toy, be sure to take the time to visit that place or think twice about taking a walk there.

Thinking about her possible reactions, consequences, and alternatives doesn’t mean you give up. This means you are being a wise parent.

Overcoming tantrums while eating

Child tantrums can occur at any time, including when your child is eating. Here’s how to fix it.

#1. Let the child explore their food

Sometimes a child’s anger at eating time is caused by a curiosity about the food he is eating.

You can of course feed him when the texture of the child’s food makes it impossible for him to be allowed to eat alone. This type of food is for example porridge or other pulverized food with a liquid texture.

However, there is nothing wrong with trying to give a child’s hand-sized solid food so that it can be held on its own (finger foods).

Besides being able to please children, finger foods also play a role in improving the motor development of early childhood. Children also become familiar with various forms of daily food.

That way, don’t forbid your child to eat alone if he really wants to. You just have to keep an eye on him so he doesn’t choke.

#2. Turn your attention to something else

Even though it seems that you are in a quite difficult situation if your child is tantrum at meals, as much as possible, try to divert his attention to other things that are more interesting.

Either by giving them their favorite toys, talking to them about the fun experiences they have had, or telling them about their children’s favorite fairy tales.

In essence, do a variety of interesting things that can at least reduce or even stop the tantrum when eating.

#3. Remind children about the rules when eating

The habit of tantrums in children that is continuously allowed can make him always rely on tantrums, anger, and crying as tricks to get what he wants.

As parents, always try to be assertive in order to educate children to understand various rules in everyday life.

From an early age, start introducing children to various good and bad things that they can and shouldn’t do.

Including at mealtime, such as eating, having to sit down, chew the food until it is smooth, don’t eat it, and so on.

Prevent tantrum children in public places

Here are some ways you can prevent tantrum children in public:

#1. Prepare toys or other objects

According to the National Association of School Psychologists, tantrums in children tend to occur when they face a change in activity than they normally do.

For example, a child who usually plays during the day, on that day actually comes with you to visit a place. This condition can later trigger tantrums in children.

This change in routine is likely to cause boredom in your child.

He who hopes to play with his friends as usual, must be in an unfamiliar place and face the crowd.

To prevent your child from tantrums because of boredom, prepare toys, reading books, or snacks.

#2. Take time to rest

Another way to prevent tantrums in public is to make time for breaks. Being outside the house and dealing with many people, might make your child tired.

Before he tantrums due to fatigue, make sure the child has time to rest. While outside the house, your child can rest in your arms.

To be sure, you can ask him, “Are you tired? Do you want to carry me? Or you can put it to sleep on the stroller.

You can also recognize whether your child is tired or not by looking at the activity of your child.

If he starts to look inactive here and there, asks lots of questions, and tends to be more silent, this could be a sign that your child is getting tired and needs rest.

#3. Tell children what transitions to do while outside

When you take your child to a place he has just visited, boredom can arise. Especially in places that do not make it free to move.

He may nag you to come home right away. To prevent your child from getting tantrums in public, tell him what activities to do next.

This can give your child an understanding that he will not be trapped in that place for a long time, “After this, we are looking for shoes for you, okay. Keep going home, okay. “

Are there any benefits of tantrums for children?

Even though dealing with a tantrum child is very tiring, there are actually benefits. Here are some important reasons why tantrums are actually a good thing.

#1. Help your child learn

Children with tantrums are struggling and expressing their frustrations, this will help them to control themselves so they can learn something new such as learning to cooperate, communicate, and deal with negative emotions.

Over time, children will understand that tantrums are not the right way to attract parental attention or to force their own will.

#2. Bring children and parents closer

When children are tantrums, let them pass through the turmoil of their feelings. Tantrums are part of the child’s learning process to learn what vocabulary makes their needs met and which ones are not.

When your child is tantrums, you need to stay calm, don’t talk too much, and offer a few reassuring words and a warm hug. That way, your child will learn to accept your decisions and feel closer to you afterward.

#3. Children learn about behavioral boundaries

Children can use tantrums as a weapon to get what they want. However, by being assertive, he will learn that there are behavioral constraints (or demands) that he has to follow.

By being assertive, he will not go on a rampage in the long run as his main weapon when he is upset.

When to call the doctor

Tantrums are behaviors that generally stop on their own as the child develops. However, if your child experiences any of the following, you need to consult a doctor immediately.

  • Parents often feel angry or lose control when dealing with children who are tantrums.
  • Relationships with children are not harmonious or tenuous.
  • The tantrums become more frequent, intense, or last longer.
  • Your child often hurts himself or others.
  • Your child seems very unpleasant, demanding, and almost never cooperative.

You can contact the doctor if the child experiences the above.


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