Throwing a tantrum is a very normal part of childhood development if it occurs when it’s supposed to. Not all kids will tantrum, but if they do, it typically occurs between 15 months to 3 years of age. A tantrum is defined as a child reacting emotionally to something he wants and cannot have – it’s associated with screaming, crying, throwing things, biting, and/or hitting. More “exuberant” behavior is when a child throws himself on the floor, bangs his head on the floor or wall, and sometimes holds his breath until he turns blue, which can be pretty scary indeed!
Again, parents need to remember that this is normal behavior, to a point. What’s most important is how a parent or caregiver responds to the tantrum which will ultimately dictate how long the tantrum will last or how frequently a child does tantrum. Especially when a child throws a tantrum in a very public place like the mall, during a church service, or at a family reunion, a parent’s first reaction – to get the child to stop as quickly as possible – is not the best one. Obviously, it is the ultimate goal to prevent tantrums in the first place, but if you try to stop a tantrum too quickly, you are ensuring that there will be more.
If you’re raising a child in that tantrum-age “sweet-spot”, it’s very important to remember P.T. Barnum’s adage, “There is no such thing as bad publicity” or Oscar Wilde’s, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
Here’s why. Continue reading