How do you control your child's temper tantrums?
February 11, 2008 5:22am CST
I know most parents of young children have some experience of temper tantrums. When a child feels frustrated, tired, hungry, or overstimulated he or she may rage, cry, scream, and stamp, kicking and hitting out at anyone or anything close by. But my son(nearly 4 years old) sometimes has no obvious cause for a tantrum. So sometimes make me very angry. How do you deal with it?
• United States
11 Feb 08
Both of my children have some severe sensory issues. This has opened my eyes to a whole new world. Tantrums can be very hard to figure out. Start keeping a diary of his life. Write down every diaper (or toilet time), what clothes, socks, shoes, food, activities...And try to notice the seemingly unimportant details around you, like that nice elderly lady with very strong smelling perfume (that's enough to set off my 7 year old). You may notice a pattern, or at least small details that affect him. Maybe he doesn't like tags in his underwear, or prefers boxers, but isn't old enough to know what's bothering him. Maybe he doesn't like the way his shoes fit, and he wants to play, but everytime he tries to run he is in pain (or at least irritated). Maybe the store was too loud today. Sometimes there are minor medical issues, like ear problems. I never grew out of my eustation (sp?) tube dysfunction. At 24 years old, my ears still do not work properly and with any changes in weather or air pressure, my ears hurt. The problem I have is beyond common in children because their tubes are still too short. A visit to an ENT to rule that out is always a good idea. Pick up a book called "The Out of Sync Child," by Carol Stock Kranowitz. It's an amazing book and should be required reading for all parents. It's about children with sensory processing disorder, but it's very easy to read and can help sort out those sensory moments all people go through.
12 Feb 08
My doctor told me that if my son is having breath-holding attacks or hurts himself or others during temper tantrums, then I need make an appointment to see him. But my son did not like that. He just cry, scream, kicking. So I need know what I can do at home.
16 Feb 08
Here are some tips! At the first signs of a tantrum, try to find and deal with the cause. For example, offer a snack if you suspect your child is hungry, or read a story if he seems exhausted but too agitated to sleep. Give the child your undivided attention if possible. Even if there is no obvious cause for a tantrum, don't get angry. Shouting and smacking will frighten your child and make the behaviour worse. Show that you still love your child in spite of the tantrum. During a full-blown tantrum, it may be hard to get through to your child. As long as the child is in a safe place and not harming himself or others, it may be better to let the tantrum run its course. Stay where your child can see you. If a tantrum happens in a public place, ignore the reaction of other people and try to remove or deal with your child calmly and goodhumouredly. Don't give in to unreasonable demands or buy your way out of trouble with treats. This will make it more difficult to deal with the next tantrum.