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A public temper tantrum—it’s every parent’s worst nightmare. They can be frustrating, embarrassing, unexpected… and are completely normal. In order to manage a tantrum, it is important to try to understand the cause. This can be difficult because they can be caused by many different things, such as frustration, hunger, fear, anger, stress, sensory overload, and tiredness, to name just a few of the most common.
Here are suggestions that might help to prevent tantrums:
When a child is having a tantrum or meltdown, they are unable to control their emotions. They feel overwhelmed, and often cannot verbally express what they feel. Your response can help determine how long these feelings will last.
Remember to model appropriate ways to handle frustration, like taking deep breaths. Children learn from good adult models. Don’t forget that children are learning so many things. They are learning appropriate ways to behave and to communicate; they are learning self-regulation and how to identify strong emotions. You may need to pick your battles. Decide which behaviors you can let slide, and which behaviors you will absolutely not accept. Then stick to it! Consistency helps children feel safe and secure and helps them make sense of their world.