Advice and Tips

Tantrums

Eileen Hays of NSPCC

Studies show that tantrums occur at least once a week in 50-80 per cent of pre-school children.

The facts:

 • Studies show that tantrums occur at least once a week in 50-80 per cent of pre-school children.

 • The major cause of toddler tantrums is conflict with parents –most commonly over food and eating (16.7 per cent), closely followed by being put in a pushchair, high chair or car seat  (11.6 per cent), then by dressing (10.8 per cent).

 • There are peak times for tantrums – more tantrums occur in the late morning and early evening, when the child is probably hungry or tired.At this stage in a child’s life, what may seem weird, irrational or just plain naughty is perfectly normal. And it won’t help – you or the child – to get stressed about it.

 Eileen’s advice: “Out of all the challenging types of toddler behaviour –for example, getting into everything, asking endless questions or refusing point blank to get into the buggy/car seat – it’s the tantrum that gives toddlers a bad name and provides parents with the most headaches.

  Damage limitation

 There are times when nothing less than a miracle will stop your child kicking off – like the moment you realise you’ve left their favourite teddy at the supermarket and it shut two hours ago. BUT parents do employ some tactics to ward off trouble.

 At home

 Toddler-proof’ your home so you don’t have to keep taking things away from your child. As Melanie says, “Look at your home and put away things they may break or can hurt themselves on.Your house may not look pretty but it’s better than shouting at them all day.”

 Out shopping

 When you have time, let your toddler help.“Let them choose some of the items you want to buy, ie, if you want biscuits, let them pick which ones or decide which colour of soap/bubble bath/toilet roll to get,” 

 A friend’s house

 Take a goody bag of toys. “Always make sure you have a supply of toys, books, colouring pencils and food to chew on, especially when you are visiting friends without children, or elderly relatives,”

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