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Who is at fault; Parent or the child?

Who is at fault; Parent or the child?

Temper tantrums are negative behaviour a young child indulges in when he or she cannot get what they want. It is usually seen in toddlers and young preschoolers who cry, yell, throw things, kick, punch and bite.  Children often think these actions will help them to get what they want. This is because they don’t know how to get things done by negotiation, compromising, requesting and other methods used by adults.

Children at this age have limited language skills also poorly developed emotional skills to adopt the mature ways of getting things done.

Remember that the child is not born with this behaviour so what has gone wrong.

Kids with serious temper problems aren't consciously calculating throwing tantrums, but they may have learned, through reinforcement from adults.

The roots of violence can start in as young as one year old child.  Parents and other caregivers do not reprimand a one year for pulling hair or biting etc. The child thinks these are accepted behaviours and uses it when he wants things done.

Invariably parents get fed up of these behaviours and give in to the child. Every time this happens child uses these means of getting things, the more the parents indulge in this more the vicious circle it gets. Till a time comes when parents are no longer able to take this, and also when the child starts going to school and loads of complain come from the school.

Brain research points to the impact of early emotional experiences on brain development, altering both structure and brain chemistry. Early experiences set up patterns of response that can last a lifetime.  

R.Dickstein states that "Tantrums and meltdowns are like fevers-they can be triggered by so many different problems that we can't make them stop until we understand what's triggering them".

In management of temper tantrums, firstly it is important to identify the trigger which causes this. Second is to help him unlearn this response, and instead learn other, more mature ways to handle a problem situation, like compromising, or complying with parental expectations in exchange for some positive reward. That is teaching self discipline.