Every stage of childhood and adolescence has it's pros and cons - the parts that are easier to handle and the parts that leave every parent wondering what they have done wrong! When it comes to toddlers - there is no question that tantrums are something that many parents dread and can struggle to handle especially if your child is in a phase of loving the word no and exerting their independence - this is often coined " The Terrible Twos". The word toddler actually can be used developmentally to define a child anytime from when they are walking properly until the age of 4. Following a successful parent information night recently on tantrums here is Kids On Track's quick guide to tantrums Part 1.
COMMON REASONS FOR TEMPER TANTRUMS
Communication – there is something they are trying to express to you and don’t have the verbal skills to do so.
Frustration – they have been told no and are frustrated; can also be from not knowing how to handle a situation or not being understood; this can also come from being unable to communicate.
Sensory Overload – All children respond to sensory changes in their environment. Some crave certain types of play or activity eg moving around and others can't take too much of certain sensory stimulation eg noise. Whilst these behvaiours are often spoken about regarding children with additional needs in the toddler phase when children are exploring and developing it is VERY common for them to express sensitivities to sensory stimulation. This can also include sensitivities to certain types of foods.
Anxiety / Loss of Control – When a child is having regular tantrums, it can be difficult to work out exactly what is triggering each one. This can be because a child is feeling an underlying sense of anxiety or a lack of control and can be related to changes in their environment or life. If they don't have the opportunities or the forum to express these, it can display in aggressive behaviour and in toddlers that is often tantrums!
Discomfort – Is your child overtired/ hungry/ not feeling well
Next week in part 2 we will look at the best ways of handling toddler tantrums!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!