How To Properly Handle A Toddler's Temper Tantrums

Helpful hints on how to handle temper tantrums. The toddler years did not get the name the terrible two's for nothing.

Temper tantrums are common for children between the ages of fifteen months and four years old, and tantrums almost always happen when there is a difference between mom or dad and the child. The patterns of the tantrums are very familiar to parents of toddlers. A tantrum or outburst most often occurs when a child is asked to do something, like put up a toy or its time to go. Immediately following the parents request the child answers in a few "nos", and when the child figures out he or she is not going to get their way, it begins. The child usually kicks, screams and anything they can do to reverse your decision. Unfortunately, it seems that these tantrums almost always happen in the public eye. In such cases, remove yourself and your child from the area that is disturbing to him or her.

A good approach to temper tantrums is to ignore them as much as is humanly possible. If you find you are not able to handle yourself and your child is upsetting you so much, that you feel you may result in violence. Remove yourself from your child, place your child in his or her room, and walk away. He or she will realize that they are not going to get their way. It is essential that your child not get his or her own way after a tantrum. Punishing the child briefly and then indulging the child ensures that the tantrums will continue. You are doing nothing more than telling your child that throwing a temper tantrum is the way to get what you want. Giving in even occasionally will prolong the persistent outburst.

The best approach to temper tantrums is to try to prevent them from even occurring. To prevent a child from having an outburst or tantrum, you must understand a child's personality development; you must be consistent in discipline and the most important aspect you must use commonsense in determining what demands and restrictions are reasonable for your child. As a child grows older, parents must teach their children to verbalize their feelings, rather than demonstrate them. As adults we can understand when a child says, " That makes me mad," or " I'm upset", adults can understand better how to handle words more than a display of anger through physical acts of violence.



Some children may take temper tantrums a step further to breath holding spells. If you are a parent that has lived through this experience you will understand the situation. A breath holding spell usually occurs when a child starts crying and then will suddenly hold his or her breath at the end of a cry. After holding their breath for a few seconds they will turn blue and then relaxes and recovers. In more moderate cases, the child may prolong the breath-holding period even longer, and then may become blue, and become temporarily limp and unconscious. As soon as the child becomes unconscious, the reflex system that controls breathing quickly resumes the normal breathing pattern.

The approach to breathe holding is the same as a regular temper tantrum. These episodes are extremely frightening to the child and to the parents, but they rarely cause any damage. If a child does have breath-holding tantrums they will normally last no longer than five years of age.

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