A tantrum is a huge emotional and physical release. And for a child, it is a moment of feeling invincible. When you try to control it, you may feel that your child is intentionally defying you.
But, really, they are only trying to cope with their own emotional distress. You might also be concerned that the tantrum is a sign of immaturity or lack of self-control.
In fact, it’s a normal part of your child’s development. Tantrums may last longer in the second year than in the first, but most stop by age four.
And, although tantrums may get worse before they get better, they usually do get better. Most importantly, you need to know that you are not alone!
It’s completely normal for parents to feel frustrated and angry during a tantrum. But there are some things you can do to help both yourself and your child.
The key is to be consistent. Children can get the message that a tantrum is effective. That’s why it’s important to stick to your routine and limit distractions.
In most cases, it’s best to ignore the tantrum completely. Just stand there and wait for it to pass. It may seem hard, but you need to show your child that tantrums won’t work with you.
The main exception is if the tantrum is dangerous or destructive (for example, throwing things). In this case, you need to step in and distract your child.
It’s important not to punish them, though – they’re already in distress! Instead, give them something else to do (such as a toy or drawing).