Toddler temper tantrums are one of the toughest parts of parenting. But are your toddlers tantrums normal, or the sign of something else?
What Is a Normal Toddler Tantrum?
When my daughter was a toddler, her frequent tantrums left me frustrated and wanting to pull my hair out. Most days I remember wondering how anyone could possibly want more than one child!
It seemed like my daughter had not only more frequent temper tantrums as a toddler, but more intense tantrums as well.
Was it a a sign of my bad parenting? Or something else?
If you’re struggling with a toddler who seems to through constant temper tantrums, here are several ways to know if you should seek help or if you are just raising a strong-willed child.
Either way, toddler temper tantrums are NOT easy to deal with. For more tips on how to stop the tantrums, try reading How To Easily Stop Toddler Tantrums.
When Should I Worry About a Toddler Temper Tantrum?
A normal toddler tantrum can include the following; crying, screaming, throwing, kicking, and hitting. Although these behaviors are bad and should be dealt with, they actually are a normal part of toddler development.
Toddlers are just starting to understand the world around them. But their language skills are still developing. So while they might know what they want, they don’t always know how to express it.
That inability to express what they want can lead to frustration on their part, which ultimately leads to a temper tantrum.
So if your toddler seems like they want or need something (even unreasonable things like toys at a store) and start throwing a tantrum… that’s normal.
What’s NOT normal is when they seem to have spontaneous meltdowns for no reason. If they are playing nicely and just break down with no outside factors contributing to their anger, then you may need to discuss this with their pediatrician.
How Often Do Toddlers Have Tantrums?
From ages 1-4, a child can have a temper tantrum a few times a day. If the tantrums start exceeding 5 times a day, you might want to seek professional help.
Either that, or start looking at your daily routine with your toddler. Are they going to bed at a decent time and getting enough sleep? Are the eating healthy foods at regular intervals?
If you have no routine for your toddler, and every day is just a choatic mess, you will for sure have a toddler who loses control much more often than other kids their age.
Keep Reading: How to Create A Bedtime Routine For Toddler
How Long do Tantrums Last In Toddlers?
Most tantrums last anywhere from a minute to 15 minutes. And while this can seem like an eternity, it’s actually very normal.
The time where you would want to start worrying is when the tantrums last 30+ minutes, 90% of the time. This could be a sign of an underlying psychiatric issue.
If your toddler has a rare tantrum that lasts longer than 30 minutes, don’t get too worried. It is normal for them to have an extra-long tantrum if there are additional factors like hunger or exhaustion.
It’s really when the tantrums are that long, the majority of the time, is when you want to start worrying.
What’s The Difference Between a Tantrum and a Meltdown?
A tantrum usually has a purpose. Your child is overly tired and wants a cookie when it’s bedtime. Or they see a shiny toy at the store and really want it. All totally normal tantrum behaviors.
The tantrum can usually end pretty quickly when they are either given what they want, or are distracted by something else.
A meltdown is when the behavior seems to have no purpose. It can be from a sensory overload or an overall feeling of being overwhelmed. A meltdown can be a lot harder to come down from and typically last a lot longer.
How Do You Stop a Tantrum?
Stopping a tantrum can seem super tough, but it doesn’t always have to be. Often times, a tantrum needs to be met with patience and understanding.
The best thing you can do as a parent is to stay calm and approach them with love and patience.
Of course, this seems really hard when they are yelling and screaming and crying (especially in public!).
But you don’t need to give in to their tantrums in order to get them to stop. Distraction can go a long way if they want something they can’t have.
And sometimes just a hug and some gentle guidance is all they need.
And when it’s done with their tantrum, praise them for calming down. The more you praise the positive behavior, the more they will use that to get your attention.
Toddler Temper Tantrums
Try to remember that the majority of toddler temper tantrums are a normal part of your Childs development.
Always keep your cool. If you want them to calm down, then you need to be calm around them. You can’t yell and expect that that’s going to make them calm down.
And remember to ignore the tantrum if you are able to. If that behavior works in getting your attention, then they will continue to use it. Not only as a toddler but as they get older too.
And the next thing you know, you have a middle school aged kid still throwing temper tantrums.
Keep Reading: Magic Steps To Calm Any Kids Tantrums
The more you can help your toddler control their tantrums at a young age, the more they will learn self-control as they get older.
You Might Also Be Interested In:
- How To Create a Tear-Free Toddler Bedtime Routine
- 20 Indoor Toddler Activities To Keep Them Entertained
- How To Use Positive Parenting Every Day At Home
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