Why Toddler Tantrums are Good
As frustrating as they can be, temper tantrums are actually good. Parents magazine reminds us of 10 reasons why those challenging tantrum moments are an important part of your toddler’s emotional health and well-being.
Better out than in
“It helps if we let our kids tantrum without trying to interrupt the process so they get to the end of their feelings. ‘Crying is not the hurt, but the process of becoming unhurt,’ explains Deborah MacNamara, Ph.D.
Crying may help your child learn
When a child is struggling, “expressing their frustration helps them to clear their minds so they can learn something new. ‘Learning is as natural to children as breathing,” says Patty Wipfler. ‘But when a child isn’t able to concentrate or listen, there’s usually an emotional issue that’s blocking his progress.'”
Your child may sleep better
“Sleep problems often occur because we parents think the best approach to tantrums and upsets is to try to avoid them. Allowing your child to get to the end of her tantrum improves her emotional well-being and may help her sleep through the night.”
You said ‘no,’ and that’s a good thing
“Saying ‘no’ gives your child clear boundaries about acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Sometimes we may avoid saying ‘no’ because we don’t want to deal with the emotional fallout, but we can stand firm with our limits while still offering, love, empathy, and hugs. Saying ‘no’ means you aren’t afraid of the messy, emotional side of parenting.”
Your child feels safe to tell you how he feels
“In most cases, children aren’t using tantrums to manipulate us or get what they want. Often your child is accepting the no, and the tantrum is an expression of how he feels about it.”
Tantrums bring you closer together
“Let her get through the storm of her feelings without trying to stop or ‘fix’ them. Don’t talk too much but offer a few kind, reassuring words. Offer hugs. Your child will soak up your unconditional acceptance and feel closer to you afterwards”
Tantrums help your child’s behavior in the long run
“These are all common signs that your child is struggling with his emotions. Having a big tantrum helps your child release the feelings that can get in the way of his natural, cooperative self.”
If the tantrum happens at home, there’s less chance it will happen in public
“‘The more we ask our children to ‘keep it together’ at home and in public, the more the tension bottles up inside of them,’ says Michelle Pate. ‘The more we can find time and space to listen to our child’s feelings of upset at home, the fewer bottled-up feelings they’ll carry along with them on every excursion.'”
Your child is doing something that most people have forgotten how to do
“It’s hard for adults, and particularly men, to find the sense of safety and connection to really let go of our feelings. So let your child have that mood-enhancing tantrum while her emotions still flow freely.”
Tantrums are healing for you, too
“Our child’s upset can trigger memories of how we were treated, which we may not even be conscious of. Parenting can be a healing path for our own emotional challenges when we get support and a chance to be listened to ourselves.”
For more great info on the good side of tantrums, click here.