Temper Tantrums By: Alison Anderson-Crum Early Childhood Education Lively Technical Center
Common Causes oNot understanding what is being asked of her oNot being understood oNot being able to express feelings or needs oNot being able to solve problems on her own oNot being able to describe an illness oNot being able to do things physically that she wants oBeing uncomfortable or scared oHungry, but not knowing it oTired but not able to sleep oJealous of others regarding things or attention
Number 1: Observe tantrums for patterns. Avoidance of certain places, situations, people, and time of day may help in not triggering a tantrum! So, avoid 5 p.m. at all costs!!
Okay, I am not funny and avoiding a time of day is impossible! So, what now? A tantrum can occur at any time, but, by the end of the day, the children have had enough of the fun already. Save the soothing music and movement activity for the end!
Number 2: Consistent routines help children define their day. If they know what to expect next, they feel more secure and more in control of their own life!
Number 3: Set reasonable limits! No more than five rules and do not expect perfection all of the time. Have consequences if a rule is not followed. However, the consequences must be in line with the infraction..
Age appropriate materials only!! Dont bring in higher level toys hoping to advance them more quickly. it only leads to disruptive behavior!
# 9: Teach her to use words to express her emotions. Use your feeding in and expansion strategies.
Feeding in: a strategy where you provide the childs language
Expansion: Reframing an utterance into a sentence
Being able to express herself will improve communication skills and increase self-control, thus, lowering frustration levels.
Number 10: Be a good role model! Dont scream back. Show that you are in control!
Your staying in control is not only a good example, but, is comforting, too. Believe it or not, a temper tantrum is scary for a child. They have lost control and feel like they are careening over the edge. The caregivers are the anchor.
Handling A Tantrum So, youve done everything to avoid a tantrum and it didnt work… what now?!
PAUSE BEFORE YOU ACT. Take at least thirty seconds to decide how you will handle the tantrum. Four possible ways to deal with a tantrum include:
DISTRACT - Try to get the child's attention focused on something else. If he screams when you take him away from something unsafe, offer him something else to play with. This technique works well with toddlers.
REMOVE - Take the child to a quiet, private place to calm down. This should be a quiet "cooling down" place that is away from other children. Avoid trying to talk or reason with a screaming child. It doesn't work! Stay nearby until you see that she has calmed down. Then you can talk and return to whatever you were doing.
IGNORE - Older children will sometimes throw tantrums to get attention. Try ignoring the tantrum and going about your business as usual.
HOLD - Holding an "out of control" child calmly is sometimes necessary to keep him from hurting himself or someone else. You might also say something like: "I can see you are angry right now, and I am going to hold you until you calm down. I won't let you hurt me or anyone else." Often this approach can be comforting to a child. Again, children don't like to be out of control. It scares them. An adult who is able to take charge of the situation and remain calm and in control can be very reassuring.