Temper Tantrums

Temper Tantrums Temper Tantrums, a very common problem which every parents face in their lifetime. Temper Tantrums are a child’s way to cope with frustrations or with lack of attention, equally common in boys and girls.

I came to know regarding this from the speech & behavioral therapist during one of the kid’s sessions. I searched the net on the topic and gathered several important points on the characteristics, the reasons of having tantrums including how to avoid tantrums and even doctor’s advice.

Here are some relevant points, which I came across and would like to share with all concerned parents like me…

Characteristics of Temper Tantrums

All young children from time to time will whine, complain, resist, cling, argue, shout, run and defy their teachers and parents. Temper tantrums, though normal at times, can become upsetting to parents because they are difficult to manage and sometimes embarrassing too. Temper tantrums can become special problems when they occur with greater frequency, intensity and duration than is typical for a particular age of the child.

There are nine different types of temperaments in children:

  1. Hyperactive temperament predisposes the child to respond with fine- or gross-motor activity.
  2. Distractible temperament predisposes the child to pay more attention to his or her surroundings than to the caregiver.
  3. High intensity level temperament moves the child to yell, scream, or hit hard when feeling threatened.
  4. Irregular temperament moves the child to escape the source of stress by needing to eat, drink, sleep, or use the bathroom at irregular times when he or she does not really have the need.
  5. Negative persistent temperament is seen when the child seems stuck in his or her whining and complaining.
  6. Low sensory threshold temperament is evident when the child complains about tight clothes and people staring and refuses to be touched by others.
  7. Initial withdrawal temperament is found when children get clingy, shy, and unresponsive in new situations and around unfamiliar people.
  8. Poor adaptability temperament shows itself when children resist, shut down, and become passive-aggressive when asked to change activities.
  9. Negative mood temperament is found when children appear lethargic, sad, and lack the energy to perform a task.

Developmental Issues

At about age 1 1/2 some children will start throwing temper tantrums. These bouts of temper tantrums can last until approximately 4 years of age.

  1. One-and-a-half through 2 years old: Children during this stage will test the limits. They want to see how far they can go before a parent or teacher stops their behavior. At age 2 children are very egocentric and cannot see another person’s point of view. They want independence and self-control to explore their environment. When children cannot reach a goal, they show frustration by crying, arguing, yelling, or hitting. When children’s need for independence collides with the parents’ and teachers’ needs for safety and conformity, the conditions are perfect for a power struggle and a temper tantrum. The temper tantrum is designed to get the teacher or parent to desist in their demands or give them whatever they want. Many times children stop the temper tantrum only when they get what is desired.
  2. Three-year-olds: By age 3 many children are less impulsive and can use language to express their needs. Tantrums at this age are often less frequent and less severe. Nevertheless, some preschoolers have learned that a temper tantrum is a good way to get what they want.
  3. Four-year-olds: Most children have the necessary motor and physical skills to meet many of their own needs without relying much on an adult. At this age, children also have better language that allows them to express their anger and to problem-solve and compromise. Despite these improved skills, even kindergarten age and school-age children can still have temper tantrums when they are faced with demanding academic tasks and new interpersonal situations in school.

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2 Comments

  1. Asha

    Very relevant post. I have this issue often, even at this age of my son.

  2. Like the topic. My son has developed more tantrums now as I think he imitates his brother’s crying.

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