Temper tantrums are no fun, regardless of how old your child is. Tantrums may start when your child is a toddler, but plenty of children continue to have them when they reach the elementary school years. The good news is that there are things you can do to help tame temper tantrums! Not everything you try will work the first time, but be patient and consistent and you - and your child - will get through this phase.
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Temper Tantrums and Emotions
Children throw temper tantrums for a variety of reasons. Kids who are tired, hungry, stubborn, or who just lack the skills to communicate his feelings may resort to tantrums. Your child may throw tantrums because he is frustrated and believes a tantrum may help him get his way. If your child throws a tantrum and it works, he may use them on a regular basis to manipulate you. No matter what the reason for the tantrums, here are five things you can do to better this behavior:
- Watch for tantrum triggers. The more you know about what brings on a tantrum in your child, the better off you both will be. Knowing the triggers may help you avoid tantrums altogether.
- Have a talk. At this age, children can discuss tantrums and proper behavior. Talk about how tantrums are inappropriate, and, most important, ineffective.
- Ignore the tantrums. Many times, elementary age children throw tantrums to get attention, so the best way to handle them is to completely ignore them when they happen.
- Teach alternatives. Anger and frustration are normal feelings, but children need to know how to effectively deal with these emotions in a healthy manner. Teach your child what he can do when those feelings arise such as talking, breathing exercises, journaling, etc.
- Reward good behavior. Positive reinforcement is an effective route to helping children move past tantrums. Behavior charts are a good way to help your child understand what is expected of him. Provide good feedback when he handles situations appropriately. You can also set up a behavior chart that rewards him for choosing appropriate outlets.
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You may not be able to eliminate temper tantrums overnight, especially if your child has been getting his way with them for a while. But, with some constancy, and by using some of the tips above, you will successfully tame them in time!