Keeping Tantrums at Bay

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Updated: 3/12/2013 4:59 pm Published: 3/12/2013 4:46 pm

Kicking, hitting, screaming. It's all too common in young children, and you feel helpless to their frustration. "This frustration could be due to not getting his way or what he wants or it could be because he’s trying to learn a new developmental skill. Other reasons can include being tired, hungry, uncomfortable, or just wanting a parent’s attention," Tamara Walker, host of Mom RN said.

"While it may not be possible to prevent every tantrum, parents can reduce the chance of a tantrum by being proactive," she said. "For instance, if you know your child usually has a meltdown shortly before dinner, try to figure out if it is because she is hungry and may need a snack to hold her over until dinner or is she tired because she has stopped taking naps or does she want your attention while you are trying to cook dinner? Once you know the reason for a tantrum, you can take action to prevent it from happening."

"Trying to reason with or talk over a crying or screaming child usually doesn’t work. Make sure your child is in a safe area where she can’t hurt herself or others, acknowledge that she is upset and the reason (if you know it) and then try to ignore the tantrum, if at all possible. If you must talk to your child during a tantrum, instead of raising your voice, try whispering," Walker said.

"Most kids stop having tantrums around the age of 4, which is usually the age when they have developed their vocabulary enough to communicate their feelings and can tell you what is upsetting them."

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