Temper tantrums in children

Almost all children have a few temper tantrums between 1 and 3 years. They've gotten a sense of their own desires and individuality. When they're thwarted they know it and feel angry. Yet they don't usually attack the parent who has interfered with them. Perhaps the grown-up is too important and too big. Also, their fighting instinct isn't very well developed yet.

When the feeling of fury boils up in them, they can't think of anything better to do than take it out on the floor and themselves. They flop down, yelling, and pound with their hands and feet and maybe the head.

A temper tantrum once in a while doesn't mean anything there are bound to be some frustrations. A surprising number of tantrums are a result of fatigue or hunger, or of putting a child into a situation that exceeds his capabilities. If the tantrum is of this sort, a parent can ignore the apparent cause and deal with the underlying problem: "You're too tired and hungry, aren't you? Let's go home and fed and to bed, and you'll feel a lot better."

Frequent tantrums are most often due to the fact that the parents haven't learned the knack of handling the child tactfully. There are several questions to ask: Does the child have plenty of chance to play freely outdoors in a place where her parents don't have to keep chasing her, and are there things for her to push and pull and climb on there? Indoors, has she enough toys and household objects to play with, and is the house arranged so that parents don't have to keep forbidding her to touch things? When parents have to interrupt their play to get her indoors or to meals, do they frustrate her directly, or get her mind on something pleasant?

Parents can't dodge all temper tantrums

They would be unnatural if they had that much patience and tact. When the storm breaks, you try to take it casually and help to get it over. They certainly don't give in and let the child have her way; otherwise she'd be throwing tantrums all the time on purpose. It's not recommended to argue with the child, because he's in no mood to see the error of her ways. Getting angry ourselves only forces the child to keep up his end to the row. Give him a graceful way out. One child cools off quickest if the parents fade away and go about their own business, as if they couldn't be bothered, and other child cools off quickest if he is hugged.

Is punishment necessary?

As a parent, I realized it's in vain to argue with your own child while he has a tantrum. Since my little girl is older, I thought that her bad reactions to some inconvenients will disappear, but this is only a matter of time, and a child's behavior depends totally on parents. Over time, I've learned and applied different methods under different circumstances (and we talk here about tantrums in malls, supermarkets, playgrounds, kindergarten, etc), but I've tried to choose the best of them that fitted my child's personality. 

A parent should manage tantrums as if he was in his child's shoes. As individuals, we don't like to be punished, to be sent in our rooms, to be ignored for a long time, to be yelled at when angry, or to be treated in an agressive way...So, why should we treat our child in a way we don't agree with? If we imagine ourselves in this sort of situations, it wouldn't be too pleasant...I agree with discipline in their education, but when they are at the age of 2, 3 or 4 years old, we should find positive methods to make them calm down in certain situations of tantrums. They'd certainly appreciate sweet words from us; communication and understanding are very important, because tantrums are part of their own development. I know its difficult to keep yourself calm when the child is having a tantrum, but this is the key to success in these situations. 

Organic Baby ProductsWhen the child is having a tantrum, you should leave him alone for a moment, then just give him a hug (you'll see he will calm down) and ask him why was he so angry, what was the reason he acted like that, and how can you help him or what would make him happy at that moment? One of my recent methods is to send my little girl in a room (we call it "the thinking room"), asking her to stay there for a few minutes and think about her bad behavior, then come to me and tell me what was the problem. I'm sure every parent found his own method to reduce tantrums in their children, and, as long as we are parents, we find new ways together.

Punishment is not the key in discipline

Many good parents feel that they have to punish once in awhile. But other parents find that they can successfully manage their children without ever having topunish. A lot depend on how the parents were brought up.

On the other hand, there are also a fair number of poorly behaved children. The parents of some of them punish a lot and the parents of others never do. We can't say either that punishment always works or that lack of it always works. We have all seen children who were slapped and spanked and deprived plenty, and yet remained ill-behaved. Many chronic criminals have spent half their adult years in jail, and yet each time they get out they promptly become involved in another crime.

Good discipline

The main source of good discipline is growing up in a loving family - being loved and learning to love in return. We want to be kind and cooperative because we like people and want them to like us (habitual criminals are people who in childhood were never loved enough tomake much difference to them, and many of them were also abused). Affection is the perfect word for a good discipline.

Text source: Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care -Beanjamin Spock and Michael Rothenberg