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The peak age for tantrums is two to three, but they can happen earlier. Many children continue to have the occasional tantrum until they're four or five, or even older, but by this age it's easier to reason with your child and talk things through.|
These outbursts are often called temper tantrums, because of the obvious link with angry feelings that are out of control, but there are other strong emotions your child could be feeling as well.
Frustration - at not being capable of doing something yet (such as tying her shoelaces) or not being able to make others understand what she wants.
The desire for independence - simple things such as strapping your child into her car seat can seem like a deliberate move to thwart her independence.
Hunger and/or tiredness - your toddler is more likely to behave badly when she's in this state.
Being refused something - you may have said no to an ice cream, for example, or another child may not want to share a swing or toy.
Wanting attention - small children love to be the centre of attention, even for negative reasons, so if you've given a lot of attention to previous tantrums, your toddler may try the same again.
Boiling over - there are days when your child may be emotionally overloaded by her angry feelings and a tantrum seems inevitable as a result.
Dealing with tantrums
If the above don't work and a tantrum kicks off, there are ways you can soothe your child.
•Keep calm - it really makes a difference.
•Divert her - it's sometimes possible to distract a toddler before the tantrum really gets started.
•Ignore the behaviour - sometimes, walking away and pretending to take no notice of a tantrum can cool things down (but this is unlikely to work once a tantrum's in full flow).
•Hold your child close and talk quietly and calmly to her - occasionally, this can make matters worse.
•Time out - if you feel you're about to lose your temper too, put your child somewhere safe where you can leave her, although this tactic should only be with children over 18 months old and not for longer than two minutes.
Once a tantrum blows over, don't go on about it. Cuddle and make up.