Many parents expect temper tantrums to stop after the toddler years, but parents of four-year-olds are not quite in the clear yet. Temper tantrums can be extremely frustrating to navigate.
In this article, we explore how we can use a few helpful tips and tricks to make them more manageable. If you feel that your child’s behaviour is not manageable or how you would hope it would be, it is important to understand that all children and parents will have different experiences. It is always a good idea to seek support from family, friends or a qualified professional so that you don’t let these concerns become problematic or a cause of stress.
What Causes Temper Tantrums?
It’s easy to think of our child’s temper tantrum as a simple overreaction gone too far, but there is a biology behind the outburst. A temper tantrum can occur when children are too hungry, tired, or uncomfortable in their situation (physically or mentally).
While temper tantrums are a usual way for younger children to show they are upset, by age four, we can start to guide our children to healthier expressions of distress.
Possible Ways to Calm a Tantrum
- Give Space. By four years old, your child is safe to retreat to his or her room for some quiet time to restart. Let them know you will revisit the issue once they have fully expressed their emotions and calmed down
- Change the Scene. Consider a change of scenery or activity if a tantrum gets out of hand. Suggest a walk outside to get fresh air and talk about the situation
- Comfort. After your child has calmed down enough, be sure to discuss what made them so upset, what could be a better way to react next time, and offer suggestions for a compromise. Most importantly, provide comfort and consolation afterwards to help your child feel safe, loved, and heard
Parents: How to Keep Your Cool
Dealing with temper tantrums can sometimes send us into our angry outbursts. The best way to manage these tantrums, however, is with a cool head, which may be a challenge when life’s everyday demands are already piling up. Here are some ways to help you be less reactive to their mood.
- First and the most common is to consider what might be lying beneath this tantrum. What does your child need? A snack? Some quiet time? A creative activity? Be a detective, lead by example, to try and keep your cool.
- Another technique can be as simple as deep breathing. This can help shut off the impulse to react, rather than respond, to an agitated child.
- Another approach is to focus on the situation as a learning opportunity, rather than pressure. If you can almost laugh at the sense of being unable to reason with your child, it can help. They will be modelling on you, so it may end up distracting them from their tantrum.
Dealing with tantrums in a child is a real challenge and not easy. Being a role model of cool and calm behaviour is ideal, but it does take energy and work. Don’t be afraid to speak up and seek moral or professional support, it is all part of learning to be a parent, and that of itself is something to be proud about.
Written by Kaitlan D.
As well as a writer with a passion for education, Kaitlan works in a wellness practice, working with mothers, mothers-to-be and hopeful mothers.
 Better Health. Tantrums. 2018-12
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.