Outbursts of bad temper

Temper tantrums. Bouts of bad temper usually start about 18 months and are very common in toddlers. Hitting and biting is also common.

One reason for this is that young children want to express themselves, but it finds it difficult. They feel frustrated, and the frustration comes out in fits of bad temper.
Once a child can talk more, they are less likely to have bad bouts. By the age of four, the temper tantrums are much less common. These ideas may help you cope when they happen.

 Suggestions on how to cope

Find out why the bad temper happen

Your child may be tired or hungry, and if so the answer is simple. They could be frustrated or jealous, perhaps from another child. They may need time, attention and love, though they are not very happy.

Understand and accept your child’s anger

Sometimes you feel the same way with them at times, but you can express it in other ways.

Draw the child’s attention

If you think your child is about to start a bad temper, find something to get his attention straight away. This could be something you can see out of the window. For example, you could say, “Look, cat!”. Make yourself sound as excited as you can.

Wait for the child to stop

Losing your temper or shouting will not end the temper. Ignore the looks you get from people around you and focus on keeping calm.

Do not change your mind

Giving in will not help anything in the long term. If you have said no, do not change your mind and say yes to end the period. Otherwise, your child starts to think they can get tantrums at any time they want. For the same reason, it does not help bribe them with sweets.
If you’re home, try to go to another room for a while. Make sure your child cannot hurt themselves first.

Be ready when you shop

Bad tempers often occur in shops. This can be embarrassing, and embarrassment makes it harder to stay silent. Keep shopping trips as short as possible. Try to include your child in the shopping by talking about what you need and let them help you.

Try holding your child firmly until the tantrum are over

Some parents see this helpful, but it can be difficult to hold. It usually works when your child is more ‘upset’ than in a temper, and when you feel calm enough to talk to them gently and calm them down.

For more information, read the following on NHS Direct:

NHS Direct:   https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/temper-tantrums/

Alaw Davies BA Head of Menter Plant y Cwm Enterprise Ltd. Specialist childcare service provider

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