I used to think that the average age when children began to have temper tantrums was around three or four. Whenever I witnessed a child in the grocery store or in the mall having a fit, they were usually around this age. I often wondered at what point a cute little baby becomes a terror. I have seen children on the floor screaming to the top of their lungs and kicking, one kid started throwing cereal boxes on the floor, and another tried to tilt the grocery cart over. Each time the tantrum started because the child could not have their way.
I have recently learned that my assumption about when temper tantrums begin was wrong. The truth is that tantrums begin much earlier than three or four years old. Granted some children are perfect angels as babies, they then turn into a completely different child a few years later. Understandably all children will throw a tantrum at some point. However, parents should be concerned about the frequency of tantrums and the severity. Severe tantrums do not begin overnight. Generally these children started having tantrums as early as six months old. Few parents know how to handle their childs tantrum.
Disciplining a baby can be difficult for two reasons. The first reason is that parents discover that it is hard to see pass the cuteness of their baby. The first time a baby throws a tantrum the parents may not know how to handle the situation. They may even think that it is funny. Admittedly, I once chuckled at a nine-month old having a tantrum. However, the child was not mine therefore I did not have to deal with the lasting effects. Parents who notice that their baby frequently has fits because they cannot get their way should avoid thinking the situation is humorous.
The second reason why disciplining may be difficult is because some parents do not know the best way to discipline a baby. It is easier to discipline an older child because they understand privileges being taken away or time-outs. Although difficult to train babies, it is not impossible. Some educators make claims that children under a year old do not understand discipline. Life experience has taught me different. Baby temper tantrums can be controlled. Waiting until the child becomes older to curtail tantrums is not always effective.
Children need to be trained infancy. A magazine article interviewed parents who were experiencing behavior problems with their young children. Over half the parents admitted that they failed to discipline and set boundaries when the children were babies. They waited until the child became five or six to set rules. By then it is too late. The child has already been accustomed to getting its way. These same parents also admitted that their children threw tantrums as babies, instead of correcting the baby, they ignored it. Ignoring the tantrums will not make them go away. As the child becomes older they get into the routine of falling out, kicking, and screaming.
There are ways for parents to control temper tantrums in children under a year old. Children who are prone to throw tantrums usually start around six months old. The first time may not be a big deal; the baby could simply be having a bad day. If the baby continually has tantrums, the parent should take action. Baby tantrums usually consists of screaming, kicking, scratching own self, and falling out. The baby may try and throw themselves out of their parent's arms. Sometimes ignoring the tantrum will help. If the child sees that they are not getting the desired response or attention, they stop. However, in situations when a tantrum lasts several minutes, ignoring may not be an option.
The parent should pick up the baby and place he, or she on their lap. If the baby squirms frantically or tries to hit, the parents should restrain their arms and try to calm them. Do not loosen grip until the child calms down. It is important for parents not to become upset. Your added frustration on top of a temper tantrum will make the situation worse.
It is easy for parents to give in to a temper tantrum. For example, if the tantrum started because the parent took away an item that they baby wanted to play with, it is tempting to simply give the baby the item to calm them. Resist this urge. Children need to learn early that they cannot have everything they want. Giving in to fits of angry gives the message that tantrums are the way to get what you want. Temper tantrums cannot be curtailed overnight. The key is consistency. As the baby becomes older they will gradually learn what behavior is acceptable, and which is not acceptable.