How to Manage Temper Tantrums

Temper tantrums are a common phenomenon we see in children today. It's a simple way for a kid to get what he/she desires. Temper tantrums may just be an easy way out for the children but they cause utter embarrassment to the parents at times. However, you don't need to worry, there're ways to handle them. You could look at the following for your solutions.

The first thing that you need to look into in order to control these tantrums is the root cause of the problem. Sometimes it happens that there is no problem at all. At times children of growing age find it hard to express themselves. They do not get the right words to put their feelings across. As a result they feel helpless and throw tantrums.

In some cases children may be hungry or bored. Kids with disability and the ones having health problems throw tantrums to expel there dissatisfaction. You too can be responsible for it, as you may be giving in to every wish of your kid. See that you do not get carried away by any unreasonable demands he makes. No extra time at the play ground and purchasing candies from here and there, every now and then are things you can look into. Teach them the concept of limits so that they know where to stop.

Finding a solution to the main cause of the problem can be helpful. But, it does not happen so in all the cases. If your kid is throwing a tantrum, just overlook it totally. If your child persuades you to buy something at the grocery shop, you must walk by. Fully overlook your child's demand in such a situation. Pretend that you didn't notice anything at all. The child will slowly mellow down on not getting any attention.

Diverting your child's attention when you expect a tantrum would be of excellent help. You can try jokes or some interesting incidents to add humor to the circumstance. You may narrate him stories about toy robots. Another important thing that you should remember is to not shout or raise your voice in front of your kid. Any kind of reasoning at this point of time won't help. The child is emotionally vulnerable so he will not even make any effort to understand what you have to say.

Be a little patient and you should be able to tackle the issue.

A Toddler's Temper Tantrum

Even the best behaved toddler has an occasional temper tantrum.  A tantrum can range from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath holding.

They're equally common in boys and girls and usually occur from age 1 to age 3. Some children may experience regular tantrums, whereas for other children, tantrums may be rare. Some kids are more prone to throwing a temper tantrum than others.

Toddlers are trying to master the world and when they aren't able to accomplish a task, they often use one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration - a tantrum.

There are several basic causes of tantrums that are familiar to parents everywhere: The child is seeking attention or is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. In addition, tantrums are often the result of children's frustration with the world.  Frustration is an unavoidable part of kids' lives as they learn how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

Tantrums are common during the second year of life, a time when children are acquiring language. Toddlers generally understand more than they can express. As language skills improve, tantrums tend to decrease.
Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach, which will make struggles less likely to develop over them. Distract your child.

Take advantage of your little one's short attention span by offering a replacement for the coveted object or beginning a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one.

And choose your battles: consider the request carefully when your child wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn't. Accommodate when possible to avoid an outburst.

Make sure your child isn't acting up simply because he or she isn't getting enough attention. To a child, negative attention (a parent's response to a tantrum) is better than no attention at all.

Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good ("time in"), which means rewarding your little one with attention and praise for positive behavior.  This will teach them that acting appropriately makes mommy and daddy happy and proud, and they'll be anxious to do it again and again.

Key to Successful Discipline

Consistency is key to successfully teaching your child right from wrong when disciplining them.  It keeps small misdeeds and bad behaviors from later becoming bigger misdeeds and worse behaviors.

You have to stand firm and mean it when you say, "Turn off the television now"or "no dessert after dinner because you didn't touch your dinner."

Consistency teaches your child there are defined consequences for misdeeds and inappropriate or unacceptable actions or behaviors.   Inconsistency when disciplining makes you directly responsible for your children's misbehavior and doesn't teach them how to be responsible for their actions.

It's also that each partner is consistent with the discipline.  If one parent is too strict and the other is too lenient, the child will key into that and try to manipulate the situation to his or her advantage.

Parents must agree on disciplinary action in advance and make a commitment to one another to be consistent in implementing and following through with the consequences.  This can be especially difficult if the child's parents are separated or divorced.

Though you may not be together anymore, it's imperative that you parent on common ground. Openly and honestly discuss these parameters with your former spouse and your child in advance, so that if discipline is needed, the consequences of such misbehavior are well understood in advance.

Any disagreements between parents should be discussed out of the child's earshot.

Consistency is about being strong and standing firm, even when doing so is extremely difficult or exhausting.  It can sometimes be hard to come home after a hard day at work only to find a hard night of parenting in front of you.

Your child will consistently test the boundaries and 'push the envelope' with you to see if there's any play in those consequences.  By standing firm you are showing there is not and that you expect them to do nothing less than take responsibility for their actions.

Hobbies are Healthy

Hobbies benefit children in many ways. It gives a child an opportunity to express themselves, and it allows them to discover themselves and build self-esteem. They are also great educational tools. .

A child interested in rock collecting learns about geology and science, and a child in writing stories learns about sentence structure and proper grammar. Hobbies teach children to set and achieve goals, solve problems and make decisions.  They can also set the course for what your child becomes later in life as they often turn into lifelong interests or careers.

Children who have hobbies are usually following in their parents footsteps, so set a good example by pursuing your own hobby.  Your child will need space for their hobby, so find an area designated specifically for his hobby so he can work on it. Realize that hobbies can sometimes be quite messy, so be at the ready for messes as they come with the territory.

Be available to your child to provide guidance, support and encouragement.  This is a great time to teach your child strong work habits, such as following directions closely, setting goals, and proper planning and organization.

Show them that nothing worthwhile is ever easy, especially when they begin to become frustrated with their progress.  It's also a good time to teach them about personal responsibility and show them how important it is to properly care for their work area and their 'tools of the trade.'

Children will be more encouraged to work on their hobbies if activities like watching television or playing video games are limited.  It's been noted by experts that by age 15, the average child has spent more time watching television than sitting in a classroom.

Again, here's where setting a good example is crucial.  Instead of watching that four-hour football game on Saturday, turn the TV off and work on your own hobby.  Your child may want to join in or work on their own as a result.

Hobbies are rewarding and enriching parts of our lives, so encourage your child to explore his own interests and find a hobby of their very own.

Play Encourages a Child's Development

We've all heard the term, "Oh, that's child's play." It implies something is easy, frivolous and unimportant in the overall scheme of things.  But to a child, child's play is essential to their mental, social, emotional, and physical development.

Play provides a means for energy to be put to use. It strengthens and refines small and large motor skills, and it builds stamina and strength. Sensory learning develops mostly through play. Play is significant to physical development in that without it the body could not grow and develop normally.

Children possess a natural curiosity. They, explore, learn and try to make sense out of their environment by playing. Parents and educators alike can support this learning activity by ensuring age-appropriate toys, materials and environments are available to the child.

Play enables children to know things about the world and to discover information essential to learning. Through play children learn basic concepts such as colors, counting, how to build things, and how to solve problems. Thinking and reasoning skills are at work every time a child engages in some type of play.

Children learn to relate to one another, negotiate roles, share, and obey rules through play. They also learn how to belong to a group and how to be part of a team. A child obtains and retains friends through play.

Play fulfills many needs including a sense of accomplishment, successfully giving and receiving attention, and the need for self-esteem. It helps them develop a strong sense of self, and is emotionally satisfying to them.  They learn about fairness, and through pretending learn appropriate ways of expressing emotion such as anger, fear, frustration, stress and discover ways of dealing with these feelings.

So encourage your child's play.  Color pictures, make finger paintings, build buildings and imaginary cities with blocks, and built a tent in the middle of the living room and go camping! And as we all know, childhood is fleeting, so let them enjoy being a kid while they are one!

Kick the Thumb Sucking Habit

Thumb sucking is a concern of many parents. Toddlers suck their thumbs because it's comforting and calming.

It's probably something they did before they were born and revert back to it when they are nervous, agitated, scared or ill.  They may also use it to lull themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night.

Parents shouldn't concern themselves unless it continues after the age their permanent teeth begin to appear, around six years old. Experts say that it's the intensity of the thumb sucking and the tongue's thrust that deforms teeth and makes braces necessary later.

Children who rest their thumb passively in their mouth are less likely to have difficulty than children who suck aggressively. If you're concerned, closely monitor your child and analyze their technique. If they appears to be sucking vigorously, you may want to begin curbing their habit earlier.

Punishing or nagging your child to stop won't help because it's usually an automatic response. Attempting to curb it by putting an elastic bandage on his thumb or another method will seem like unjust punishment, especially since they indulge in the habit for comfort and security.

Try to wait it out. Children usually give up thumb-sucking when they've found other ways to calm and comfort themselves. Consider offering them other alternatives to comfort themselves such as a soft blanket or lullaby toy

The key is to notice when and where they are likely to suck their thumbs and offer an alternative.  If it happens while they are tired, try giving more naps.  If they suck their thumb frequently while watching television, try to distract them with a toy that will keep their hands occupied.

Older children may need gentle reminders to curtail thumb sucking while in public, and praise should be given freely when the child finds and uses an acceptable alternative.  Your child's pediatric dentist can offer other suggestions for helping your child kick the thumb sucking habit.

Clear Expectations Make Discipline Easier

Sometimes it can be very challenging to communicate anything with your child.  Setting clear expectations regarding what's acceptable behavior and what isn't will be imperative to successfully teaching your child right from wrong.

If the parameters are muddled or the child learns that in one situation the rules hold true yet in another situation the same rule does not, it makes for confusion and frustration on both sides.

Sit down with your child well in advance and line out the expectations and consequences of misbehaving or a misdeed.  Make it clear that in no uncertain terms is there any room for negotiation at the time of the infraction, and that should such a behavior occur you intend to be firm in your discipline.

Rules regarding your child's safety, health or well-being should have no room for negotiation when being set or enforced.  Other rules can be openly and honestly discussed with your child and an agreed upon action should be forged that both parents and child can agree upon.

If necessary, make a contract between parent and child.  Lay it all out in black and white, in language your child can clearly understand.

For younger children, you might want to develop a good behavior chart within the contract, and for each week that goes by without any infractions being noted, a favorite or special activity might be earned.

The connection between good deeds and special time with mom and/or dad might be just the currency they understand.

But all children need to understand that disciplining them is your way of teaching them what's acceptable behavior and what isn't.

 It may seem as though children fight rules and regulations, but they truly know that such parameters are meant for their well-being, health, safety, and enable them to grow into a mature person capable of making wise decisions.

Chart your Child's Accomplishments with a Chore Chart

It can be very frustrating to ask your child over and over again to complete their chores without them ever getting done.  If this describes your house consider designing a chore chart. Chores might include taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, cleaning their room, yard work or putting laundry in the laundry room.

Each chore has to be done just once or twice a week. Anything more is unrealistic. After your child completes each chore, they can put a check mark on the chore chart.

At the end of each week, it's very inspiring for both parent and child to look at the chore chart and easily see that each designated job was completed.  Just like our 'to do' lists, your child will find great satisfaction in being able to check off each chore as it's completed and take pride knowing they accomplished a set task or list of tasks.

Once you've sat down with your child and discussed and designed a chore chart, it's time to discuss the rewards for accomplishing each task listed.  Perhaps at your home you decide you will give a set sum for each task accomplished.

If you should decide to grant your child some sort of monetary allowance, make sure it's age appropriate and granted on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is 50 cents per year of age.  So your 8 year old child would earn $4.00 per week if each chore on the list has been completed.  If it has not been, they do not receive their allowance.

This is a great opportunity for you to teach your children the value of both earning and saving money, and also giving back.  Perhaps the child can divide their allowance into thirds: 1/3 to spend, 1/3 to save, and 1/3 to use to help those less fortunate than themselves.

You might also want to consider designing a 'bank book' for each portion of the allowance and tuck each into three separate coffee cans or money jars, and that way you and your child will be able to keep track of how much has been saved, how much has been spent, and how much of their allowance has gone to help someone else.

Should you decide to use non-monetary incentives as chores payment, be sure you set clear parameters for your child.  Be sure they understand that two hours each weekend of their favorite video game or going to see a movie with mom or dad is only earned by completing the chore list successfully each week.  You might want to consider writing these on a slip of paper as 'currency' for the child to keep in their 'privilege bank' and they can cash it in with you when they'd like.

Regardless of the method you choose, keep in mind this can be a valuable tool for both you and your child.