Hi there and welcome back! Today’s episode is the second episode in our new behavior series, the “is it normal for my kid…” series. And today we are talking about tantrums. Your ears perked up, didn’t they?! Every parent has dealt with a tantrum at one time or another, or maybe even dealt with a tantrum every single day. But what we all parents have in common is that we are not big fans of these tantrums, whether they are little tantrums or the really big ones. From minor tantrums that include the whining, pouting, baby talk, and pretending to be mad face to the bigger tantrums that can last more than a four minutes with crying, screaming, and not following our directions, we want to get rid of these tantrums and never see them again. Am I right?! So, in today’s episode we’re going to talk all about tantrums, especially those mini minor tantrums, so we can get ahold of them and figure out how to prevent them because don’t we just want to enjoy our morning, snack time, playtime, and bedtime routine in ease? I know I do!
And because there’s not a one strategy fixes all behaviors, even though I wish there was, I created my 3 Easy Parenting Hacks to Make Behavior Stop freebie to give you some easy strategies to use to help prevent those unwanted behaviors, like tantrums. Go download it now at www.bit.ly/3tipsfreebie. And like I mentioned last week, I will be opening up my virtual doors soon to provide 1:1 behavior consultation and support for those who live in Alabama, and I’m certain that these mini tantrums is something I’ll be tackling with a lot of parents throughout my 1:1 support. I’ll chat more about that later.
But for now, let’s talk about tantrums. Let’s head to the show!
Tantrums is a very big and popular topic for parents, especially parents of littles around the ages of one to seven. And it makes sense. Tantrums happen, especially with younger children. But even some older children can have tantrums too, they may just look a bit different. Or sometimes, they look exactly the same as a two year-old’s tantrum. It just depends on the kid.
But regardless of how old your child is and what the tantrum looks like, all parents are at least a bit concerned about tantrums.
Will they ever stop?
Will they ever go away?
Will tantrums get worse and worse as my child ages?
Will my child start having tantrums in public?
Will my child start having tantrums at school or with other people?
What will others thing of my child and of me when my kid has a tantrum at the mall, at the park, or at the grocery store?
Is it normal for my kid to have tantrums?
Before we go any further let’s stop and talk about what a tantrum is, what it includes, what it looks like.
Tantrums can be grouped into two bunches: mini tantrums or minor tantrums (which we are talking about the most here in this episode) and major tantrums (some people also call them outbursts or meltdowns). Both minor and major tantrums include more than one behavior, like hitting AND crying or whining AND not following directions.
Major tantrums include those major behaviors that are more serious, more physical, more intense, like aggression or property destruction.
Mini tantrums include minor behaviors that are minor in severity and intensity, like crying, whining, pouting, throwing themselves on the floor kicking their arms and legs. But mini tantrums can also include aggression or property destruction, it will likely just look much more mellow.
What I first want to point out, and what I first want to put into perspective is that little kids are gonna have tantrums. Just realize that, acknowledge that, and accept that. Now, I’m not saying that we can’t prevent these tantrums or minimize these tantrums, but when it comes to these little people we live with and interact with, they are going to have tantrums. Why? Because when they are little they are learning so much, they are learning how the world works, how the world operates, and they are learning how to get the things they need and want.
So, for them, they may not know how to get the things they need or want in a more appropriate way, and we need to teach them that. For them, while they are trying to figure out how to communicate, it may just be easier for them to have a tantrum in order to get the things they want. Or they may simply not know how to get what they want, but tantrums work. It’s communication here. And when it works once, it’s their go-to, it’s the easy thing to do in the future under similar circumstances.
But when a child does have a tantrum he may do it to get access to something (like that piece of candy), to escape from something he doesn’t like (like his chores), or to get attention.
It may be difficult to really pinpoint why a child is having a tantrum. So how do we know what to do? How do we respond?
Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid providing a lot of attention for tantrums. If you gave them an instruction, follow through. And prompt them to ask for items appropriately.
Tantrums happen, they are going to happen especially if you have littles running around. Yet, they can still be frustrating as all get out. So think about what your child is trying to do or get with their mini tantrum and respond accordingly.
If you live in Alabama and want more support with dealing with these mini tantrums, maybe 1:1 support and behavioral consultation is right for you. Like I said, I’ll be opening up my virtual doors soon for this type of work. Questions? Send me a message in Facebook or on Instagram.
And to get some strategies into your hands now, download my 3 Hacks to Make Behavior Stop at www.bit.ly/3tipsfreebie.
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