How to Deal with Child Care Tantrums
Even if you believe your child is an angel, there may come a time – usually during enrollment in a child care facility – when they begin to throw tantrums. It’s important to understand that tantrums are very common in children between one and three years of age. And, it’s not so much a sign of bad behaviour so much as a sign of frustration or changes.
Parents tend to notice more tantrums when they put their children into a child care facility because it can be a significant adjustment. You are altering their routine, and young children in that age bracket aren’t able to communicate how they feel about it other than with tears and tantrums.
If you’re dealing with temper tantrums and want to gain control over the situation sooner rather than later, we’ve included some helpful information below.
Reduce Their Stress
While toddlers don’t have to worry about paying bills or running errands, they do carry the stresses of toddler life. When you enrol them in child care, it’s not uncommon for their stress levels to be at an all-time high. The first tip for dealing with tantrums is to try to reduce that stress. In the first week of child care, avoid excessive stimulation.
For example, don’t overload them with fun activities on the weekend when they’ve just had a hectic week. Instead, give them those two days to relax and enjoy indoor activities.
Know the Triggers
If your toddler is prone to throwing a temper tantrum during specific events, it’s helpful to be able to identify them then alter the situation. If, for example, you pick your child up from child care and they throw a tantrum when you’re running errands, then change the order. Run your errands before you pick them up, then go straight home so they can have something to eat and a nap. Often, a snack and a kip are all it takes for that well-behaved child to reappear.
Your child feeds on your emotions, so when their feelings have already reached a peak, you don’t want to add to that. Instead, react to their tantrum with a calm voice and remain in control. Find out what’s wrong through communication, then offer solutions to fix the problem together. Remember, keep your voice quiet and consistent. If you raise your voice to match theirs, you may end up exacerbating the situation.
Be in Control
If your child throws a tantrum because they want something and you give in, that doesn’t stop the behaviour. Instead, it’s showing them that to get what they want; they just need to cry and scream. Be in charge when it matters the most. For example, if you are taking your child into a shop and they spy something they like, it can be a challenge to lure them away from it.
Rather than let them have it, explain why you’re in that shop and why you need to keep moving. Don’t be afraid to leave your shopping trolley in an aisle and leave the shop with your child for a timeout. The shock of that situation is often enough to alter their behaviour.
Changes in child care is normally when parents notice a difference in their child’s behaviour, but it’s not something you can’t get control of. Try any of these helpful tips above. If tantrums continue or escalate long past adjustment periods, see your health provider.