Tantrums: Outwit, Outlast
Temper tantrums can be sudden and fierce. One minute your little treasure is playing nicely and the next minute they're whimpering and whining until it's a full-blown wail. It’s perfectly natural and most little ones are likely to behave this way at times or some even quite frequently. As hard as it may be at times, with a few tips you can handle these situations gently and successfully.
Toddlers under the age of 3 are especially prone to tantrums but even older pre-schoolers can experience these emotional outbursts. When your child can't express how she feels or what she wants, frustration mounts. You’ve probably already worked out various strategies to counter your little one’s temper tantrums – after all you know them best – but if you are looking for additional methods that may be effective, why not try some of these?
“Young children just want to test boundaries and independence. This is completely normal. However it is a parent’s job to lay firm, reasonable and consistent boundaries.” – Simona Maraschin, an educational psychologist based in Cape Town
“The key to a good boundary is consistency. The same rule should always be enforced - as soon as you give in once, your child will know that all they need to do is push harder for you to eventually give in. As difficult as it might be, don't give in - this might mean leaving your trolley of groceries and going home and sorting out the shopping another time.” – Simona Maraschin, an educational psychologist based in Cape Town
Try to avoid tantrum-inducing situations. If he falls apart when he's hungry, carry snacks with you. If he gets cranky in the late afternoon, take care of errands earlier in the day. Your child is becoming more independent, so let him choose his activities whenever possible. Ease up and pick battles carefully.
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