The tantrum phase is one that parents rarely forget. Babies and toddlers are very good at throwing tantrums, especially when least expected. One minute the child will be seated nice and snug in their crib playing with their favourite stuffed animal and the next they will be howling, kicking and crying their lungs out. It may seem that your not-so-joyful little bundle is testing your patience especially when you don’t have much of it, and it is very easy to get annoyed. Being a parent, however, means bearing all that gracefully and patiently.
WHEN DO THEY START?
Tantrums can start as early as the first birthday and last until the fourth year. For most toddlers, they may begin somewhere between their second and third birthdays. You have more than a year of pure drama to deal with!
WHY DO THEY HAPPEN?
Through research and careful observation, scientists and doctors have found that toddlers throw tantrums and rage fits because of the frustration that comes with trying to understand their emotions and feelings.
At that age, they have not fully experienced some feelings and barely understand them. As they try to figure out what they are feeling and the connection between that and what is happening, they will get frustrated and result in a fit of rage. They want to communicate it or at least express it in a way that they understand, but they don’t know how to.
The child’s personality may also contribute to the tantrums, especially when they have a strong and defiant spirit that needs to assert its independence. Some children simply want to take hold of their own lives and actions and any attempt to show any control over them will almost certainly cause an unpleasant scene. For example, if you won’t let them play with something they want to, you are in for some drama. It won’t always help just buying them off with cute little girls clothing
Hunger and fatigue also cause fussiness. This is why your baby will cry and kick before finally falling asleep. You notice that they are calmer and easier to interact with when they are full.
PREVENTING AND COPING WITH THE TANTRUMS
The easiest way to avoid tantrums or deal with them is understanding your child’s personality and working with it. Children who want some independence and control over what they do should not be subjected to too many limits.
You should also watch out for the other four factors that add fuel to the fire; hunger, overstimulation, boredom and fatigue. Remember that your baby will not necessarily crawl up to you and let you know that they are hungry. It is up to you to keep track of their upkeep and know it. Otherwise, the sudden yelps and hurling of toys will be sure to remind you.
Another way of not crossing paths with your baby is avoiding the constant ‘No.’ Try to keep the toddler away from things without saying it too much.
Conclusively, the baby’s emotional development makes them very delicate. This makes it necessary for you to watch how you and other people interact with them. If you understand their personality and keep them well-fed and rested, you will save yourself much drama.