Health Topics

Healthy Living

September 2010
Toddy Tantrum
Farrah Chinoy

You go to a restaurant for a nice quiet meal and BANG! a chid starts screaming his or her guts out for what you consider no reason at all. That’s when you make a silent wish and pray that your child will never behave like that.
A few years down the line and that could be you with the screaming kid, there is no way out- unless, you read and understand the situation.

Toddlers throw temper tantrums for just about anything; shoes feel funny, socks stick to feet, you won’t let them crawl all over the house etc. the explanation for this is very simple. They are just trying to express themselves.Feelings, as we know, are complex and hard to grasp. Adults too have difficulty pin pointing the exact feeling they are experiencing at times. One thing to remember is, that unlike adults, toddlers are mainly expressing the emotion they feel at that time of their lives alone.

Reasons for a Troublesome Toddler
Some of the reasons for your toddler’s temper tantrums could be:
  • Frustration, because they are beginning to express themselves in words but their parents misunderstand them.
  • Hunger, they want to be fed on their terms! Not when you want them to eat but when they want to eat.
  • Exhaustionplays the biggest part for them.At this point they are trying to get used to not just being a pooping- sleeping machine, and that takes energy.
  • Over excitation makes them want to go crazy all over the house and at such a time they are made to play quietly somewhere. All this energy they find in themselves, gives vent to a loud array of noises starting from a simple whine to a full-fledged roar of frustration.
How should you quieten them?
Well, you know now why your toddler is probably throwing a tantrum and that’s all very well, but how can you make him stop? The answer may surprise you, so here goes- Do Nothing! Here’s how you do nothing:
  • Ignore the behaviour even if it is at a public place, at home etc. Once this is done on a regular basis, toddlers come to realise that crying does not get them what they desire.
  • Do not immediately react, when you do, you can try to distract the toddler by giving him something else to play with.
  • Hold the child. It’s a very simple technique; make sure to hold the child tight. This gives them a sense of comfort and you can say something as well; something simple like ‘I love you’.
When the toddler is quiet and behavinghimself, it is important to reinforce that behaviour. Be affectionate to the toddler. Reward him by giving him something he would like. As the child grows older, he will develop an innate sense of what is right and wrong.
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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