Toddler Tantrums In 4 Year Olds
Dealing with temper tantrums in 4 year olds can be tricky. Here’s how you can tackle them.
Temper tantrums are not a pretty sight. The whining, screaming and snotting over things can drive even the most patient of parents into a hopeless despair. Even though they are at the very edge of losing their sanity, they always hope that one day their child will get out of it and the antics would be a thing of the past.
However, even after the 4th birthday, the meltdowns keep occuring, stronger than ever before. This leads the parents to think, “Is my child normal?” “Do we need to get some professional help?” The answer to this is yes and no.
How to deal with 4 year old temper tantrums?
Temper tantrums at age 4 usually mean that the child has some fears locked up inside. In such instances, parents need to give the child a safe way to vent out the emotions.
- Send a positive message: Give clear messages about what you expect from the child. Be specific about the instructions being given to them. For example, “I want you go to your bedroom”, or “Say sorry to Grandma right now” is better than saying “I won’t tolerate this” or “We’re going home”. Provide the child with various methods to express his emotional state. Allow the child to use his body in a more positive manner. Give a trampoline or an old mattress for him to play on or take him out to a garden for an hour of game time. Make a “Tantrum table” at home. Make him draw and explain things that are making him angry or frustrated.
- Do not reinforce a tantrum: Do not allow the child to use a tantrum to get what he wants. If he understands that all he needs to get what he desires is only an act of screaming and banging his head, you have lost the war. The child needs to be warned beforehand that making a fuss won’t do any good.
- Learn to say ‘No’: Monitor how often you are saying no. Sometimes it can be stressful on both sides, so it is better to ease up to fight temper battles. If the request is not too inconvenient, it is okay to say yes once in a while.
- Never ignore: Can a parent really ignore a toddler whining? That would depend on the situation and what is causing it. If the reason is only to get the parent’s attention, it is best to leave the child to himself. This will give the child a clear message that such kind of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated any more. Even if you pretend to walk away from him/her, let him/her know that you are nearby and would be available once the child has calmed down. This will give the child time to regain his composure. Storming off abruptly will block all communications and will only escalate the problem.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.