The tantrums are another chapter in the evolutionary development of the little ones. They usually appear around the age of 2, when the child begins to discover the world around him. In that exploration of the world, begins to understand that it is not the center of everything and experiences various emotions that he still cannot control.
At this stage, children's impulses are very strong. To that are added the few experiences lived, which makes not have enough capacity to tolerate frustrations. Furthermore, his speech and language skills are still very limited. Thus, anger, frustration, anxiety or sadness can only be expressed through kicking and tantrums. And many times, parents can only ask ourselves over and over again: why kids have such a hard time calming down when they have tantrums.
During the emotional outburst that children go through while having a tantrum, it will be the adults around them who will have to respond calmly, with patience, and with various strategies that give the child 'hope' to get out of this process. In doing so, many times it is not possible for the little ones to overcome the tantrum, and that is because the ability of adults to help can be limited by the biological development that the little ones have reached at that time.
According to parenting consultant Tina Bryson and neuroscientist Dan Siegel, the brain can be divided into two zones that, in turn, must be strongly connected and work together. These are:
- The lower area. The impulsive
This area, which involves our most primitive brain, is made up of the limbic system and the amygdala. These are reactive, that is, they are units that have impulsive interests. It can be said that it is the 'infantile', impulsive and instinctive system of the individual.
- The upper area. The reasoner
It refers to the outer cortex of the brain. It is one that allows to inhibit impulses, have perspective, process emotional stimuli and respond to them.
In this way, during a tantrum the emotions explode and it will be the amygdala (the lower area) that comes into play.
The child's brain is not yet like that of an adult, so it will be unable to use the necessary connections for the outer cortex (the upper area) to appear on the scene and thus be able to adopt perspective on the situation and be able to calm down.
In other words, when they have a tantrum, children experience a collapse of the limbic system, and they do not get those necessary connections, nor tranquility. Hence It takes so long for them to calm down when they have tantrums.
The critical first step in managing tantrums and tantrums will be understanding the trigger that caused them. Sometimes these episodes are premeditated, and in these cases We will have to respond through clear limits and their consequences, without neglecting logic when implementing them.
Instead, most of the time in tantrums the biology of the brain is involved. With this in mind, adults must make other, more effective decisions when trying to calm children.
1. Calm our own emotions
Parents must regulate their own emotions to see the situation clearly. Once this happens, children will feel safe to calm down, since it serves as a mirror. That is, if the father remains calm, the little one through modeling will calm down.
Once the adult and the child have connected and the situation has been claimed (it is not enough to ask for it to calm down; it is necessary to connect) it will be necessary to reflect on what happened and negotiate the consequences.
3. Distract the child.
To decrease the dominance of the primitive brain we can activate the external zone with card games, word guessing, etc. All kinds of games that can be used by the child to activate his mind and connections.
When the child is in conflict and his lower brain collapses, it may be a good idea to entertain him with physical exercise such as playing ball, running, jumping, etc. Getting into motion will be beneficial.
5. Change the environment
In the event of a tantrum, changing stimuli can work. To do this, you can go outside or change to another room that implies another environment for the child.
You can read more articles similar to Why Kids Find It Hard to Calm Down When They Have Tantrums, in the category of Conduct on site.