Temper Tantrums & Mental Health of Kids at Home

With kids at home for a year now, their temper tantrums are increasing and many parents are struggling to manage them. Here are a few pointers that may be useful for us (parents) to ensure that we don’t cause more damage to their health and happiness…

DON’Ts

Do not disrespect your child’s perspective or emotions 

It may seem like a small issue to you but for your child it means a big thing. Don’t say things like “why are you making fuss over such a small thing.There’s nothing to get so upset about.” They will end up rebelling or feeling more angry otherwise.

Do not tell your child how to feel

Don’t make comments like Don’t be angry,” or “Stop getting so upset!” They may cause children to get even more upset in response. In contrast, however, they frequently calm down when we parents simply help identify their feelings.

Do not lose your temper 

It’s important to model the behavior you want to see for your child. If you lose it and start yelling and throwing an adult-style tantrum of your own, your child will see this type of behavior as something that’s acceptable at your house.

DO’s 

Ask what’s wrong

Kids just want to be heard, and throwing a tantrum is often the best way they know how to express themselves. Taking your child seriously by asking what’s wrong and actually listening to the response can help. Hold your child and give them your full attention so they have time to explain.

Give clear explanations instead of just saying “no”

Many parents just say “no” and “because I said so” instead of explaining the reason why, but that’s frustrating for kids. You don’t have to give a long-winded explanation, but providing a reason for your actions will help the child make sense of things and feel more in control of the situation.

Help your child feel loved no matter what 

Sometimes kids throw tantrums because they just want some extra love and attention. Withholding love is never a good policy when it comes to disciplining a child. No matter what, your child should know that you love them no matter what. Hug your child and say “I love you,” even if you’re very frustrated with their behavior.

Connecting kids to nature, naturally.

“Children who grow up closer to nature are said to be happier,” says studies.

I come from an era where technology had not set in our lives as much as it is today. So outdoor activities like planting trees, recycling paper waste to productive methods of usage, and just being out playing in the mud, making houses with twigs enhanced our creativity.

As a mother of a 2.5-year-old, I feel it is pertinent to introduce kids to nature and outdoor activities as much as possible. Besides making children happier and reducing their stress, here are few other reasons why connecting your kids to nature can be useful for their physical and mental development. 

  • It stimulates their different senses – Nature may seem less stimulating than your son’s violent video game, but in reality, it activates more senses—you can see, hear, smell, and touch outdoor environments.
  • It promotes their creativity and imagination – This unstructured style of play also allows kids to interact meaningfully with their surroundings. They can think more freely, design their own activities, and approach the world in inventive ways.
  • It fuels their curiosity – Nature creates a unique sense of wonder for kids that no other environment can provide. The phenomena that occur naturally in backyards and parks everyday make kids ask questions about the earth and the life that it supports.
  • It builds their confidence – The way kids play in nature has a lot less structure than most types of indoor play. There are infinite ways to interact with outdoor environments, from the backyard to the park to the local hiking trail or lake, and letting your child choose how he treats nature means he has the power to control his own actions.
  • It teaches them to be responsible – Living things die if mistreated or not taken care of properly, and entrusting a child to take care of the living parts of their environment means they’ll learn what happens when they forget to water a plant or pull a flower out by its roots.
  • It encourages physical activity – Most ways of interacting with nature involve more exercise than sitting on the couch. Your kid doesn’t have to be joining the local soccer team or riding a bike through the park—even a walk will get her blood pumping.

So while screen time is the easier, more popular choice, it’s important to set aside time for outdoor play.

– Meherangiz Sharma, Mother of a 2.5 year old girl