Big Kid Tantrum: Is This Normal & How Can Parents Manage It?

By Irina Chris, Parent Herald November 02, 01:52 am
Little girl throwing a 2-hour-and-a-half tantrum.
(Photo : Supernanny/YouTube)

Parents often hear that tantrums are normal for toddlers but how about if your child is beyond 3? Most moms and dads are alarmed that there might be something wrong with their kid. However, understanding where it's coming from is important.

Katie Hurley, child, and adolescent psychotherapist said that people expect that tantrums would disappear after the toddler years. Apparently, that is now how the dynamics work.

Tantrums for older kids often come from unspoken fears, anxiety, sadness and frustration. Positive Parenting Connection learned that it was a result of emotional overload.

Big kids with tantrums do not imply that they are sick children. Experts firmly believe that these tantrums are manifestations of fear, which they don't know how to handle.

It can be alarming to parents, yes. But it must be understood that what the child need is not for mom and dad to control their feelings, rather help them learn to manage it by themselves.

Children should not be isolated, shamed or punished for having tantrums. To manage these tantrums, children need to feel the positive connection to their parents.

Sarah Coyne wrote in her article of her plans in raising the awareness of those negative feelings her child might have been feeling. To identify a sense of helplessness, disappointment, injustice, fear and shame with the hope that in doing so her child will learn to handle them in a helpful way and manage to resolve them.

She believes that anger is a human tool. It is the catalyst for change, healing and growth, only if the child knows how to own it and takes charge of it.

It is also important that parents understand that what should be stopped are behaviors and not the feelings. It is okay to feel mad but what is not proper is to hurt someone or destroy something because of the uncontrolled emotions.

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