For young children, temper tantrums are a normal part of life. Hunger, fear, fatigue, or feeling ill are all triggers that can cause a temper tantrum—an outburst characterized by screaming, crying, or often both. The world can be overwhelming for children, and their inability to express themselves when they want something may lead to a tantrum, which can be both stressful and frustrating for caretakers.
If you’re interested in a career as an early childcare assistant, you’ll be providing assistance to teachers in supporting the development of young children. You’ll organize activities, ensure that children feel safe and nurtured, and provide a stimulating environment within which children can grow. However, you may also deal with the occasional temper tantrum. Below, explore more about temper tantrums, why they happen, and how to handle them as an early childcare assistant.
The Science Behind Temper Tantrums Explained for those in Early Childcare Assistant College
Temper tantrums manifest as a child’s physiological response to a detected threat. Understanding a few neuroscience terms can help to further understand why they occur. Both the amygdala and the hypothalamus are involved in causing a child to have a temper tantrum. The amygdala is a part of the brain that processes certain emotions such as anger and fear. The hypothalamus is responsible for controlling some bodily responses like temperature and heart rate. When a child detects a threat, their amygdala is responding, and the hypothalamus incites a tantrum.
If you have an early childcare assistant diploma, it’s important to note that while young children may not be able to control their ability to respond to a tantrum, you have the capacity to help them work through it. Find out how below.
Preventing Temper Tantrums: A Brief Guide
Although sometimes impossible to prevent, there are a few strategies that you can use throughout your career to discourage a tantrum from occurring. First, you’ll want to make sure that children have a consistent routine. Consistency helps children know what to expect, preventing triggering feelings such as fear from arising. Additionally, make sure to praise children when they do something well. This inspires confidence, which will boost their mood and discourage a tantrum from arising. You can also give children a choice whenever the opportunity arises, such as by letting them decide which snack they want. This helps them to feel that they are in control rather than feeling like they can’t express themselves.
When a Temper Tantrum Occurs, Here’s How to Deal With It
Even when you try to prevent a tantrum, you’re still bound to work with children who experience them after graduating from early childcare assistant college. The best way to respond to a tantrum is to remain calm yourself. Raising your voice or panicking will typically only make the behaviour in the child worsen. During a tantrum, you can try to distract a child by pointing something out, reading them a book, or telling them a story. You can also try to hold a child to calm them and make them feel more secure. If none of these methods work, sometimes, the best option is to wait a tantrum out. It will eventually pass, and then you can comfort the child, provide support, and help them to move on.
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