As a parent of more than one child, I can truly say that every child is different. For instance, both of my daughters started their tantrums at different ages, and for very different reasons.
Before I get into the details of when and why my children started their tantrums, and how I dealt with those tantrums, it is important to keep in mind these three key points :
– Almost every child will have tantrums to a certain degree
– Tantrums are a way for children to express themselves
– Often times, there is an underlying reason behind your child’s tantrum
Both of my older children have had varying degrees of tantrums, thus prompting me to implement different strategies in dealing with these random emotional outbursts. Down below I describe my experience with each of my daughters phases of tantrums.
First Child- Hafsah
Prior to Hafsah turning two years old, she was a calm and quiet baby who kept to herself. However, once Hafsah turned two years old, she would have a tantrum almost everyday, and there were days where she had at least three of them! These tantrums would happen at any time of day despite her being fed and well rested.
As I look back to this time, I have to say that it’s no wonder Hafsah had many consistent and frequent tantrums. Right around the time her tantrums started we had just moved into a new house AND I was pregnant with my second child! To make things worse, Hafsah was spending more time at daycare, as I was working full time. ONE of these changes is enough to make an adult throw a tantrum, never mind a child! With all these changes taking place, it made total sense that Hafsah would express her confusion and frustration through tantrums.
Hafsah would scream and jump, and all my attempts to calm her down seemed to fail. I tried talking to her, tried hugging her, I even tried bribing her with treats and toys; but nothing worked. As a first time mom, I felt helpless and hopeless. One day, I just couldn’t take it anymore, and that’s when I put my daughter in her first ‘time out’. I figured, ‘hey, if she’s going to scream and shout, she might as well do it a room with the doors closed so I don’t hear it.’ I let her cry it out in the nearby washroom, and after a few minutes I decided to let her out. Just before I took her out, I knocked on the washroom door and asked Hafsah if she was ready to come out. She suddenly stopped screaming and told me she was ready. With that cue, I opened the door and gave her a giant hug.
Although, I initially labelled this method a ‘time out’, (which sounds like an aggressive word and is a form of punishment) I like to think of it as giving her time to express herself and calm herself down in a separate room away from everybody else – therefore this isn’t a form of punishment, but rather a time for her to recollect herself. And you know what? It seemed to work. In fact it worked so well that I decided to use this method to discipline her as well. Every time she misbehaves in any way, I put her in her bedroom, so she can think about what she has done wrong, and so that she calm herself down. After some time, I receive her from her room and give her a hug. We also discuss how she can do things differently and more effectively when she is in the same situation.
Second Child- Madina
Madina’s second year of life flew by without any major tantrums, or any behavioural issues. In fact, she did not start to have any sort of tantrum until the age of three. Up until that moment, I tried my best to maintain a consistent and predictable schedule for our family, however life is…well LIFE, and with that said, you can’t control everything. Therefore, Madina’s tantrums didn’t start until her baby brother started demanding more attention from me, thus putting me in a position where I had to sacrifice some quality one-on-one time with Madina.
As soon as my youngest child, Idrees, started teething, Madina started to cry and emotionally overreact to the smallest things. For instance, if I told her to put her toys away, she would just start to cry and scream. It did not take long for me to realize that Madina’s tantrums were due to the lack of attention from me, for I was spending majority of my time carrying my son around the house in an attempt to soothe him of his teething pains. With that said, as soon as Madina would start her tantrums, all I did was give her a hug and she would be back to her old self almost instantly. Therefore, her emotional outbursts were a way of communicating to me that she needed more of my attention and some reassurance that I loved her.
Every child is different, as may be the situation your children are in, and the circumstances they may face during their toddler years. Therefore, as parents, it is necessary for us to figure out the underlying cause of our children’s tantrums in order for us to determine the appropriate and the most effective method for our children to cope with these emotional outbursts. © The Muslimah Mommy (2014)
Related Post: How To Say ‘No’ To Your Child – http://themuslimahmommy.com/2014/05/12/how-to-say-no-to-your-children/