The child screams 2 years: we tell you the main thing
Tantrums in two-year-old children. What is the cause of tantrums and how to deal with them?
Children are emotional and perceive the world exclusively sensually. They are not yet able to analyze their actions and act rationally, so everyone treat children’s tantrums indulgently. During active puberty, during the powerful hormonal release, a teenager turns into a bomb, ready to cause a scandal at the slightest opportunity.
And yet, sometimes children’s tantrums suddenly become alarming and even scare parents when they become too frequent and violent. Sometimes you start to worry not even for the emotional health of the child, but for physical health. In bursts of anger, he can hurt himself, after a tantrum he has a headache, flushed eyes, an irritated and torn throat screaming. This is all the more frightening if tantrums start at an early age, in two-year-olds. It is believed that temper tantrums are not peculiar to this age, so what is the reason for this behavior, and if it is somehow possible to fight?
But the view that temper tantrums at this age are not typical is deeply mistaken! On the contrary, for this age such behavior is the absolute norm. This transitional period is called – a crisis of two years.
What do children’s tantrums look like?
A child behaves aggressively whenever he is denied something. Sometimes these are simple demands, such as a desire to eat sweets, or a refusal to have lunch, but more often these demands are completely illogical, absurd, and it is not clear where they come from. A child can get furious that he is not allowed to break something, he may want watermelons in the middle of the night and throw a tantrum about it, or he will not want to go with you on the bus, because it is not the color he wants. Tantrums erupt instantly and last for a long time. Sometimes they run quite severe, with the child beating up everyone around him, pogroms, fumbling on the floor and the like. Often parents are forced to give in to the child’s demands, if these demands are at all feasible.
Another characteristic touch is the inability to distract the child. If earlier it was possible to “switch” his/her mood of caprice, now it is impossible, the child keeps his/her attention firmly fixed on his/her absurd demands and there is no other way to stop the tantrums but to give in.
Why do temper tantrums happen to your child?
The essence of the psychological process that goes on in the head of a child at the age of two is quite difficult to describe. There’s a whole hurricane of forming the basics of personality, the separation of the self from the world around, a gradual understanding of the principles of interaction with others, the desire for independence. But it’s important to understand that tantrums are the result of a child’s attempts to understand what is allowed and what is not, where the boundary of the permitted.
The verification of these very boundaries of what is allowed happens not in the rational way that we understand, through dialogue, but in the way that the child understands at the moment. He simply begins to undermine these very boundaries as best he can, to see which ones will break. Having made an absurd demand, the baby remembers the result. If the reaction is repeated several times in a row, he fixes it in his head as normal. I want and demand something, I roll on the floor and smash objects, break my toys, but I still get nothing. So it is “not allowed” and repeated several times, this situation is fixed in the behavioral standards of the forming personality.
What to do with children’s tantrums?
Firstly, you have to reconcile yourself to the fact of tantrums. They will continue for some time, it is difficult to do anything about it. But the correct behavior of a parent in this situation will quickly negate demonstrative behavior, while the wrong strategy can lead to very bad consequences.
As written above, parents often give in to children , understanding that a concession is the only way to end a raging tantrum. But you should by no means do this! You strengthen the child’s understanding of the relationship “tantrums – desired. You probably know a lot of problem children who throw tantrums and terrorize their parents in every way, despite the fact that they are no longer two years old. Such depravity is the parents’ fault, their wrong parenting strategy.
At the age of two such a child is used to achieve everything by shouting and bellowing, it is not his fault for such an attitude towards his parents. This is just the way he was formed, and he does not know other ways of relating to the world around him.
A good illustration is also when the child’s parents are respected, but with the grandparents behaves completely differently, does not put them at all and oppresses them at the slightest opportunity. This is all from the excessive love of the grandparents, who at one time indulged (and continue to indulge) in hysterical behavior. Don’t blame the kids, don’t get mad at them, they are not to blame for their behavior. But don’t give in to emotional attacks either, if you really love them and don’t want to spoil them.
At the moment of a tantrum, the best course of action is to firmly refuse and ignore all “outbursts. Let all the energy go out, only after the child “moved away” can you start some kind of dialogue with him. It is not so important what you say to him, but he must understand that you love him, that you are not angry and not offended. You just did not allow him this or that, because you care about him and understand better than he does at the moment, what he can and cannot do.
You must be aware that the child is in dire need of protection, which gives him the parental authority. In obedience to the authority of the young person finds so necessary to her peace and can develop harmoniously and correctly. The absence of a person who can show the little terrorist the limits of what he should not go beyond, discourages, disorients the child, frightens and oppresses him. Which leads to more tantrums and another round of destructive behavior.
Only the love and patience of mom and dad will help the little man learn how to behave, so you have to get both. And make sure that the child moves enough. Let energy go into moving games, it will reduce the number, duration and intensity of tantrums.
– We recommend that you visit our section with interesting materials on similar topics “Psychology of Relationships”.
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Terrible two-year-olds: 6 anti-crisis tips for 2-year-olds
Almost all parents know about the crisis of three years. Unruly children who want anything but what mom needs. With trembling fear waiting for three years, moms and dads, who have celebrated or are about to celebrate the baby’s two-year anniversary, suddenly realize that a very insistent, disagree with anything child has appeared near them. And it’s still a year away from his third birthday! What is it? Psychologists say that the crisis of two years is no less interesting than the period of formation of independence in three-year-olds. In foreign literature, there is even a special term “terrible twos,” “terrible two-year-olds. What happens to children at this age, and how to survive it, tells MedAboutMe.
The crisis of two years is an integral part of children’s development.
Any crisis of development and formation of the psyche is caused by a mismatch of desires and opportunities. At age two, the main factors are children developing independence and finding ways to express frustration and disappointment. It is not difficult to determine that a crisis is on its way, and a “horrible two-year-old” will soon appear in the house: yesterday’s cute baby “grows” his own opinion, and the word “no” becomes the main word in the child’s speech. He does not agree with anything, especially logical arguments, and attempts to oppose his wishes cause violent, sometimes hysterical reactions. Remember children falling to the floor or on the ground sobbing under the condemning cries of adults, although there is no clear reason? Chances are, they are just two years old.
Even though two-year-olds disagree with their parents and make “scenes,” don’t take their actions as an act of defiance directed at an adult. They do learn to understand how to act on their own, within what limits they can move, and how to express frustration in language their mother understands. So the adult’s job at this time is to help the baby learn as much as possible and move in the right direction. How?
MedAboutMe offers 6 strategic tips endorsed by psychologists in several countries and tested by moms and dads on their kids (and their nerves!).
Understanding parents is the first step to managing a child’s behavior
Tantrums at this age most often appear in a situation where they can’t do something on their own, although they really count on it. Opening the fridge, pouring milk into a cup, putting on a shoe, reaching for the cat. The list could be endless. The baby sees how easily, in passing, parents handle it, and thinks he, too, can handle this uncomplicated task himself. And he doesn’t.
At the peak of disappointment, children feel deceived, disappointed, they do not yet know how to express these feelings in words or socially acceptable methods (and to ask for or accept help – it means again admitting that they are not self-sufficient!). And hysteria begins.
To begin with, realize that tantrums are a normal developmental stage for all children. Rather, you should be worried if the child does not have anything similar to attempts at independent activity or opposition to the wishes of adults (although all in due time, and the crisis of two years may be half a year too late). By the age of four, these phenomena will pass with the right reaction to them, and motor skills will be sufficiently developed to actually do something independently, and speech skills to express their desires and feelings in words.
Managing your baby’s tantrums
These almost “stormy” outbursts, explosions of feelings and emotions are equally exhausting for both children and parents. Fortunately, there are tactics to defuse the atmosphere at its peak.
Experts say that during a tantrum, it is very important that parents remain calm and do not allow the conflict to escalate (progress). It is very important to keep your emotions under control (and it’s time to start learning how to do this). At the age of two children are just trying to manage their parents’ feelings, and it is important to show them that they should not do that, and to suggest a socially acceptable way of expressing their emotions.
Don’t raise your voice, don’t laugh or contradict the child at such times. Avoid eye contact unless you are sure there is no evaluative judgement even in a glance. Wait in silence as the child begins to calm down, and the hysterical displays will “go away. This tactic makes it possible not to perpetuate bad behavior.
At the end of the tantrum, provide the child with the feeling that you are confident in yourself, in the situation, and can show you how and what you should have done: “You wanted to take the book yourself, and you couldn’t move the chair, and so you started to get very angry. Next time I will help you to move the chair, and you will take the book by yourself. You don’t have to shout, you just have to say that you want to get the book, but the chair is heavy. It is clear that not all children at the age of two will be able to say the book and the chair. But they can show it in gestures. And it’s important to the child now that Mom and Dad understand his needs and are willing to help (but not do everything for him).
Talk to him in a calm tone, telling him how best to express his feelings instead of yelling and crying. Reassure your child that he is loved in spite of this behavior, and turn his attention to other activities.
How to stop tantrums in public places
It’s one thing to wait out a temper tantrum in your apartment. It’s quite another if children embarrass a parent and create chaos around them, starting tantrums in the street, in the store, at the clinic. The first thing you need to realize is that this behavior of a child does not mean that you are a bad and unfit parent. Most people around also went through this stage, and are well aware of your feelings. And the minority who feel the need to comment on the situation can and should be ignored. Perhaps it’s just that they weren’t raised well.
Start by removing the main character from the scene – take the child to a quiet place: around the corner, in the car, on the street. Hug and hold him until the end of the tantrum, then talk gently and confidently in the same way as at home. Don’t give in to his demands, even for the sake of preserving public tranquility. There is a high probability that you will reinforce the negative behavior by giving away the coveted candy or buying a toy, and the next time the toy will be demanded in exactly the same way.
The main thing that the child must learn is that tantrums don’t work. Neither at home, nor outside of it.
Recognize the symptoms in time
The chances of tantrums increase if the child is tired and sleepy, hungry or overexcited: that’s why children on the floor are most often seen in supermarkets. They are overexcited by the abundance of noise, visual stimuli, they are tired, and the products on the shelves whet their appetite – all the ways of negative influence at once.
It’s natural to monitor for symptoms that indicate fatigue and hunger, and anticipate tantrums. Offer your toddler a snack on time, lie down to sleep or play quiet games before he gets to the stage of a potential tantrum.
Discipline and choice: a delicate balance
Of course, a child must be educated and taught discipline. Otherwise, how else will he learn to make good choices and avoid bad decisions? But it’s also important to give your child a sense of control over his life, at least in small things to start with.
Offer children a choice: Which shirt to wear today, the green one or the red one? What to have for afternoon snack – apple or cottage cheese? Important: Try to avoid open-ended questions, at the age of “terrible two-year-olds,” this is a sure way to cause confusion and then resentment.
Help your child develop independence.
After all, he’s going to have to start living on his own at some point. And the “terrible two” period is the first step to living independently. Help your child go through this stage with positivity and confidence that he is loved.
Try to live this stage with joy. Help the child in the formation of his or her personality, regret that it is not so easy, express acceptance and love. And help in overcoming disappointment and frustration when something so important does not work out. Now is the time to show by your own example how to cope with negative feelings: take the child for a walk after a tantrum and run around the playground, arrange a pillow fight, give him the opportunity in physical activity to express the accumulated negativity and return to a calm development. After all, tantrums, as we said, arise from frustration, and children during this period really have a hard time.