Tantrums And How To Solve Them

When a child throws tantrums, we all (I believe) look around embarrassed on how our child behaves. There are reasons why a child throws a tantrum, but there are ways around them, as well as trying our best to solve them.

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Ah the terror of tantrums, you never know when they are going to happen.

I deal with it on a daily basis with my son. You see, in the past, we have always bought a toy to keep him happy. Now every time we go to Walmart, he expects a toy regardless of his previous actions.

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The Story:

The trips to Walmart used to be happy and carefree, but a few days ago, it was not. We had told him that he could only get a toy if he was behaving, but he wasn’t.

This resulted in a massive blowout. We took the toy away, which resulted in him screaming his eyes out, falling on the floor, limp noodle style. I was so embarrassed.

The Response:

So we picked him up, grabbed what we needed, and headed back upstairs to self checkout. While my husband paid for everything, I took him outside, into the mall and sat him on the floor.

He kept crying that he wanted that toy. However, we told him that because of his behaviour, he wasn’t getting it. Cue the waterworks, and cue the picking up again after my husband came to meet me. We ended up walking through the mall to get to the bus loop.

Lukas, was twisting and turning, in our arms, putting his legs up when we adjusted him, hitting us, etc.

When we got outside the mall, we placed him on a bench, and waited for him to stop. We also had to catch the bus at the same time. Kiefer picked him up, handed me the groceries and carried him to the bus stop.

After we got to the bus stop, Lukas had worn himself out, that he started to pass out. As we were walking home, he slept.

During these last few months, Lukas has been refusing naps, which make him more prone to tantrums.

I am not saying that I was a perfect parent, no one is perfect, because perfect doesn’t exist. There are parents out there, who do worse than what my husband and I did that day.

There are some parents, who will not agree with me either. That’s fine. This is my opinion.

In Reality:

A lot of people are going to have their own different opinions on how to solve tantrums, but some of them are not good ideas. When someone hears the word tantrum, they think of children throwing themselves on the floor, because they didn’t get their way.

There are different kinds of tantrums too, such as:

  • Fatigue or frustration tantrums
  • Attention-seeking/demanding
  • Refusal/avoidance
  • Rage tantrums

Fatigue or Frustration Tantrums

When a toddler or preschooler is trying something new, or has done the same thing over and over without results, they will become frustrated. As a child get older, they start to refuse their middle naps, which will cause them to become over tired as the day goes on. There is a way to solve this as well.

In order to solve frustration tantrums, you need to be able to help them solve their problem and continue to show them how to solve that problem. When you encourage or offer help, it shows to your child that whenever there is a difficult path, they can count on you for support.

Solving fatigue tantrums, is different. It might be more difficult, as your child has been refusing their naps, but you might offer them a rest period. It isn’t a nap, but a chance to wind down and relax, to regain their energy. If they fall asleep, they fall asleep.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay 

Attention-Seeking or Demanding Tantrums

Imagine this, you are cooking dinner for yourself and guests, when your child comes in and demands you to play with them. You want to give them the attention, however it isn’t possible in the current situation.

When you tell them no, they start to get upset and continue to demand more. Then, it becomes a power struggle. You wanting to get dinner finished, and them wanting you to pay attention to them.

To solve this issue is to flat out tell them no. Then, when they continue this tantrum, all you have to do is tell them that you love them and place them in a safe place for them to finish. After they finish, you can offer to talk it out.

Refusal or Avoidance Tantrums

Refusal or avoidance tantrums are when you ask your child to do something and they say no. Sometimes its cute when they say it, but other times its a hindrance. Say you are telling them its bedtime, its abrupt, doesn’t give them any warning at all. Children during this age love reminders on how long it is until it is time for their next task, kinda like routines.

To solve this one, you need to avoid asking yes/no questions and give them a heads-up. Kinda like “5 minutes until we leave.”

Rage Tantrums

These tantrums are when they act out kicking, hitting, and screaming. These are tough to deal with especially in public. the story about my son and his tantrum was a mixture of this type and demanding tantrum. Lucky for us, we had to deal with it in public.

The best case scenario in dealing with this tantrum, is not to give in and give attention. Remove them from the situation and try to give them a hug.

This is a method of gentle parenting (here I will post a link to the post I will write about gentle parenting). You are essentially holding them and allowing them to finish what they are doing while also giving positive affirmation.

Tell them it is okay to feel this way, that they have a right to their emotions.

In Conclusion

We, as parents, have to make sure that our children know how to regulate their emotions. Their minds are still brand new, learning as they go along, and any information they retain has to be repeated multiple times. They learn from us.

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