Whims and tantrums in young children

Whims and tantrums in young children

Causes of whims and recommendations for parents

How wonderful it would be if all boys and girls always behaved well and did only what their parents allowed them! Then children would never have to be scolded and punished. Unfortunately, this is impossible: there are no ideal people, and children are no exception.

Children sometimes have seizures of violent manifestations of emotions, during which they fall to the floor, kick the floor, scream, beat others. Understanding the causes of outbursts of bad mood and behavior in children can help parents develop measures to prevent unpleasant episodes.

Outbursts of bad behavior in children tend to occur if the child is tired, hungry, frustrated.

Most often, such behavior occurs as a response to some kind of prohibition from adults (you can’t take any thing, you can’t play in a puddle) or to a refusal to buy a toy, a chocolate bar.

Sometimes such an outbreak can be the result of a conflict with peers: for example, if one of the children takes away a toy from a child, and he does not know what to do in this situation, how to attract the attention of adults, how to express his resentment.

Psychologists identify four most significant causes underlying behavioral disorders:

  1. The child wants to draw attention to himself;
  2. Does not want to obey adults;
  3. Wants to get the better of them;
  4. Takes revenge on adults for being unloved and offended.


In some cases, outbreaks of bad behavior in children are physiological and psychological developmental norms. It is noted that bad behavior appears in the following periods of development of children: two-three years, five years, seven-eight years, in adolescence. During these critical periods, children strive to assert their individuality and draw an invisible line between themselves and those around them. As a rule, during critical age periods, the speech development of children does not correspond to their emotional development. The child cannot verbalize the changes taking place in him, express his feelings and desires. In addition, during these age periods, the nervous system of children is more sensitive, more vulnerable, so he is also prone to outbursts of bad behavior.

“What to do?” – you ask. Try paying a little more attention to your child’s emotions. Try to understand the reasons for their appearance, as well as help the child become familiar with various emotions and how they manifest themselves.

If a tantrum occurs, the following tactics are recommended:

  • If the tantrum began in response to the refusal or prohibition of an adult, parents should not immediately cancel their decision, it is better to firmly say “no” (of course, if the prohibition is really necessary).
  • If the child himself asks to be held, his request should be fulfilled. But any moralizing at this point would be premature.
  • It is not recommended at the moment of the child’s rage to lift him from the floor and forcefully take him in his arms.
  • It is undesirable to leave a child alone during a tantrum. This may not be safe.

However, if the adult himself is in a state of extreme excitement and cannot control his actions, it is better to move away from the child.

Very often, parents in a state of anger either scream at the child or spank him (sometimes, not commensurate with the force of the blow). Subsequently, they experience feelings of guilt and remorse.

Therefore, it is desirable to control our emotions just when we demand it from the child:

  • At the moment of the greatest intensity of the attack, the child may not hear the persuasions of adults, but when the “emotional intensity” decreases, you can try to distract the child, switch his attention to some action or object.
  • And now a few recommendations on how to build a style of your behavior with your capricious child.
  • Show your child an example with your behavior – restrain your emotions, because he imitates you in his behavior;
  • Give the child enough attention, let him never feel forgotten, but at the same time explain to the child that there are times when you have other worries, you need to understand and accept this;
  • Avoid extremes: you can’t allow a child to do whatever he pleases, but you can’t forbid everything, clearly decide for yourself what is possible and what is not, and agree on this with all family members;
  • Remember that for proper emotional development and gaining self-confidence, a child needs 8 to 10 affectionate friendly touches from parents and several approving glances every day;
  • Understand that hysterical attacks are most often associated with the desire to attract attention or arouse pity or sympathy. No need to indulge the child, no need to change your requirements, it is better, when the child rests, to explain to him why you did this and not otherwise.
  • If, despite your best efforts, tantrums happen very often, see a specialist.