Temper Tantrums – 3 years
Are you experiencing temper tantrums with your 3 year old? Many parents do but the problem may not be Oppositiona Defiant Disorder.
Temper Tantrums – 3 years:
Most all parents will see temper tantrums in their three year old from time to time. Whether you have a boy or girl does not seem to play a role in the number of temper tantrums one might expect in three year olds. Studies show that about half of children will have a temper tantrum once a week!
Whether they are “normal” or not, a temper tantrum is very stressing and aggravating to the parent, teacher and others around the child. Embarrassing and challenging, temper tantrums can ruin the nicest shopping trip or visit to grandmas or to the park. One can rest assured in the fact that they are not alone and that it is typical behavior in a three year old. This doesn’t relieve the frustration and aggravation and unhappiness it causes to others around the child.
Learning to handle the temper tantrum as smoothly and quickly as possible is ideal. Temper tantrums become a much more serious problem when the frequency, intensity and duration occur more than is normal for the child’s age. Every parent should educate themselves on the handling of temper tantrums and also how to be on the lookout for extreme temper tantrums in cause, length, severity, and frequency, as this may be a sign of some other disorder with your child.
The parent quickly learns what situations may trigger the temper tantrum. They are basically the same situation in and around a number of events. They child can’t have the scissors or knife (dangerous), more candy, or a friend’s toy that the child wants! The child has to leave the playground, pool, or store when the child does not want to, or the child has to do something (bath, eat, dress) that they do not want to do. In other words, what they want is not what the parent or authority figure has in mind for the child.
How does a parent handle these awful situations and how often is normal for one’s child are two questions all parents will want the answers to.
The easy solution and of course the one which the parent must not do, is to give in to the situation and let the child have their way. Logic tells us all that this is a HUGE mistake. Children will immediately learn that in order to get their way, a temper tantrum will achieve just that!
Although temper tantrums are not totally avoidable in the average three year old, there are good ways and better ways to handle the problem than to give in to the child. After all, every child must learn to obey certain rules and authority throughout his life and now is the time for learning, for the child’s sake and your own sanity.
Being as the temper tantrums are unavoidable does not mean that they cannot be signaling some other problem. This problem could be physical or a developing personality or learning disorder. Assuming you have educated yourself about the normal temper tantrums and positive reinforcing ways to dissolve the tantrum as quickly as possible, you should also be on the lookout for abnormal behavior in the intensity, frequency and duration of these events.
The parents should consult their pediatrician for advice on temper tantrums should they feel they are increasing in any way that is not normal for the age. There are other signs to look for that your doctor may ask you about other behaviors of your child. Depression, lack of self confidence, unable to detach from either parent, or aggression against others are among the questions he may ask. The physician may want to check his eyes and hearing and overall physical condition for other signs of problems. It may be necessary to consult with a child psychologist or child psychiatrist for mental evaluation.
The number one thing a parent should do early on in parenting is educate his/herself as much as possible about the normal frequency and intensity of temper tantrums for your child’s age, how to quickly and firmly dissolve the situation, and what to look for should the temper tantrum be a sign of another problem.
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