Tantrums are the emotional response of a child between the ages of 2 and 4 to frustration. At times he feels so frustrated and powerless that he needs to express it by crying or screaming.
If you are not sure about handling it well, then this information is for you. You can orient the tantrums towards calm. Know clear examples of how to talk to a child in those critical moments.
Handle tantrums effectively
Yes, it is possible to handle tantrums within a respectful upbringing if you keep the practice aware of the aspects mentioned below.
Be the "thermostat" of the situation
You must regulate the temperature of the moment; stay calm. Responding to childish tantrums with adult tantrums makes things worse.
To do this you need the following:
Ignore the reaction of those who look around. What they say is not the most important thing.
Attend to your little one's need and not your need for control or to emphasize who is in charge.
Most parents or caregivers react moved by one of these two fears and end up "defending" themselves from those who need help.
Especially, in situations where you could hurt yourself. Take him, without violence, to an appropriate and safe place to try to talk or so that he can calm himself.
At home, it will be great to have a Dundy space as an ally. There are sure to be intense moments where your little one will want to release emotions or just be alone.
Identify the trigger
Tantrums are a way of expressing that you are tired, hungry, upset, bored, frustrated.
If the trigger is a NO, try to explain to your language why you can't do it. Avoid giving in to escape the situation quickly. The key is in:
Approach him and let him know that you are using phrases like "I want to help you when you scream, I don't understand well, tell me what happens, what I can do for..."
Help him identify what he feels: "Are you upset? Do you feel hungry?"
With children between 1 and 2 years old it is useful to distract their attention by offering other alternatives, another toy, change of place; show him what he can.
Validate what the child feels
Give importance to their need and show your understanding. Phrases like "I understand you're ... but..." "I'm sorry for your discomfort... let's fix it together..." "sometimes I've felt like you"
The key is to avoid belittling their feelings as "it's nonsense, don't exaggerate, it's not so much, nothing happens."
Losing his favorite toy or candy is just as important to him as losing your car keys or not having the dream job. They are concerns specific to each age.
Consider satisfactory options
Avoid focusing on finishing the moment as soon as possible. It will be key to understand and attend to what happens in the child, so you can offer options or comfortable agreements without changing the "No" already raised.
If appropriate, allow him to choose: "It's time to bathe, do you prefer to do it before or after snacking?"
Turn the page
Children quickly forget what happened and scolding after it has calmed down could lead to confusion.
Between the ages of 4 and 5, you can comment on what happened if it is urgent, congratulate him for finding calm and share other ways of acting in these situations.
We are excited to support you by creating spaces and options conducive to those moments.
Stop demonizing tantrums
Thinking about it predisposes you to expect the worst. Between the ages of 2 and 4, the developing brain does not know how to manage what it is feeling. He needs you willing!
You can look for support guides to exercise good treatment at different stages of development. It's time to normalize respectful parenting. In very extreme situations you may need a specialist.