Tantrums, paddies, fit, bad mood, kick off, fuss, carry on……………………………...no matter what the terminology you use everyone has an opinion.
Are they really tantrums of misplaced feelings? When an adult becomes over emotional, we don’t say they are having a tantrum, we state what they are feeling and why, so why don’t we do this with children?
Is it because we believe children don’t understand their feelings, is it because we don’t feel there is always a reason behind it or is it because we don’t value and child’s reaction as much as an adults, after all it is ‘ only a tantrum’ isn’t it?
How did you react last time you were upset? Someone made you angry? Someone really hurt you? Yet how do we expect children to react?
Children’s emotions and feelings are valid and just because they may seem trivial to our adult world to that child they mean everything and they should count and be valid.
Children need to learn to regulate their emotions and how they react to situations, not be labeled or dismissed.
All behaviours whether it is a child or an adult have a reason. Its vital we support children to understand their feelings and show their feelings are valid. Not only will this help the child to understand better coping mechanisms it also builds a bond as you are validating how they feel. Yes even with very young children reactions have a trigger and starting early to help them understand emotions and reactions is so important.
Children express themselves in this way for several reasons but no matter whether it is a cry for help or a need to be heard it is up to us, the adults to listen and help the child understand how to manage their reaction.
So how do you react? Do you label it as a tantrum and dismiss their reaction? Or do you realise every reaction has a trigger, validate their feeling and work with the child to find the cause, show acceptance and help them to move forwards?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.