There’s nothing quite like a full-fledged temper tantrum when you least expect it. Feet kicking all over the place, fists clenched, and plenty of screaming. It doesn’t matter if you’re at home or in front of strangers; a temper tantrum is never enjoyable. In many cases, tantrums occur because children don’t know how to properly express themselves yet.The end result is a tantrum from frustration. While you may not be able to stop tantrums from happening altogether, there are measures you can take to reduce the frequency.
The first step to reducing the frequency of tantrums is identifying why the tantrums are happening in the first place. From there, you can start to find solutions and distractions. Here are some of the most common reasons why tantrums may be occurring.
In some cases, children may start acting up because of recent changes. Whether they changed schools, there was a new sibling born into the family, or maybe you’re moving to a new house— sometimes tantrums and big changes go hand in hand. If you notice that the behavior started right around the time of the change in your child’s life, then it’s a pretty strong indication that that’s likely the cause.
Usually, time will heal all wounds. Be patient, and reassure your child that everything is okay and that they’re still loved despite changes.
In many cases, kids get overstimulated from too much going on around them. Too many sounds, movements, or people around them can leave them feeling like they don’t know how to take it all in.
The end result is feeling like their energy is maxed out. They usually respond to overstimulation by expressing themselves in a nonverbal way, such as crying or screaming. If you suspect that overstimulation may be the case for your child’s behavior, try to keep things calm before bedtime. Too many screens, lights, or music can leave your child feeling like it’s all too much.
The same goes for mornings. Try to gently ease into the day rather than introducing too many sounds or visuals around them immediately after waking up.
Every parent has been there— their child is starting to act disagreeable, so they ask if they are hungry, only to be replied to with a flat-out no. In many cases, even though a child may not think they are hungry, they may, in fact, be. When their blood sugar gets low, they may not feel hunger pains in their tummy; however, their behavior proves otherwise.
Next time your child starts experiencing a mood swing, gently suggest a snack or put something in front of them that they can nibble on voluntarily. Usually, after a few bites, it may just do the trick.