Tantrums might not be nice to be around, but they’re a necessary part of growing up. With a little care and understanding, you can help your child grow out of it before they start school.
Things your child should be able to do before they start school
- Able to start sharing with other children
- Play and create things using their imagination
- Know how to behave themselves
- Show respect to adults
Helpful tips and activities
Things you can do to help avoid tantrums and encourage good behaviour.
- Tantrums are part of growing up – it’s important for children to have them
- Find out more about ‘control’ and ‘distress’ tantrums – both are different and need to be handled in their own way
- Avoid saying ‘no’ unless really necessary – say ‘STOP’ or ‘finished’ instead
- Distract them to take their mind off the toys they want – it really works
- Explain in a simple way why they can’t run around – when they understand it calms them down
- Get down to their eye level and explain – they’ll take more notice and you won’t have to keep repeating yourself
- Help them calm down without giving in – otherwise they’ll think they got their own way
- Young children usually forget why they were having a tantrum – don’t go over it again later as they probably won’t remember
- Set rules and reward positive behaviour with star charts – kids love seeing how well they did
- Talk about emotions and name them – it will help them learn to control them
Signs to look out for
Things that let you know your child is developing the skills they need.
- Turns and listens when their name is called out
- Shares toys with friends with help from an adult
- Starts to accept that they need to wait or share the attention of an adult with someone else
- Knows when they can’t do something they want – such as run around a shop
Need more help or advice?
Talk to your Health Visitor, they’ll always be happy to answer your questions. Or if they can’t help, they’ll certainly be able to put you in touch with someone who can.