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How To Deal With Kids' Destructive Tantrums

February 10, 2022 7 min read

How To Deal With Kids Destructive Tantrums

Kids by nature will have tantrums, but when they become too destructive, it can be hard for parents to know what to do. In this article, we will explore some of the most common causes and how to deal with your kids' destructive tantrums.

Types of Kids Tantrums

There are many types of kids' tantrums, but some of the most common include:

1. The "I'm not going to do it" tantrum

This usually happens when a child is asked to do something they don't want to do, like clean their room or take a bath. They may become angry and refuse to do the task, or they may become argumentative and refuse to listen to anyone.

2. The "I want this, not that" tantrum

This happens when a child wants something they don't have, like a toy they're not allowed to have or a piece of candy they're not supposed to have. They may become angry and refuse to do anything, or they may become destructive and refuse to obey any rules.

3. The "I'm too tired" tantrum

This usually happens when a child is too tired to do something, like go to school or do chores. They may become angry and refuse to do anything, or they may become argumentative and refuse to listen to anyone.

4. The "I don't want to" tantrum

This usually happens when a child doesn't want to do something, like take a bath or clean their room. They may become angry and refuse to do anything, or they may become destructive and refuse to obey any rules.

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Common Causes of Destructive Tantrums:

There are many reasons why children may experience destructive tantrums. Some of the most common causes of destructive tantrums include frustration over not being able to communicate effectively, feeling overwhelmed or anxious, feeling left out or misunderstood, and feeling overwhelmed by new or difficult situations. In order to best deal with a child's destructive tantrum, it is important to understand the underlying cause and to help the child find ways to manage their feelings.

1. Feeling overwhelmed or frustrated

Kids feel overwhelmed or frustrated when they're experiencing a destructive tantrum. When kids feel overwhelmed, they may feel like they can't control their emotions or that everything is too hard. When kids feel frustrated, they may feel like they're not getting their way or that everyone is against them. Both of these feelings can lead to more destructive behavior.

If you're a parent, it's important to understand what's going on with your child during a destructive tantrum. You can help them feel less overwhelmed and frustrated by providing support and understanding. You may also need to take some steps to help your child regulate their emotions. For example, you may need to help them calm down and focus on the situation at hand.

2. Feeling left out or excluded

When kids feel left out or excluded, they may become destructive in order to feel a sense of control. This can lead to tantrums, as kids try to assert themselves and regain a sense of balance. It's important to recognize the signs of feeling left out or excluded and to provide a supportive environment for your child. In most cases, simply spending time together will help ease the child's feelings of isolation.

3. Having a low sense of self-esteem

Kids who have a low sense of self-esteem often have a difficult time coping with frustration and disappointment. When they feel down, they may lash out at others or themselves in destructive ways. This can lead to problems at school, at home, and in relationships.

There are many things parents can do to help their kids build a strong sense of self-esteem. They can provide positive reinforcement for good behavior and support the child when she feels upset. Additionally, parents can help their children understand that tantrums are not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that something is wrong. Together, parents and kids can work to address and solve the underlying issues that are causing the tantrums in the first place.

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4. Having strong emotions they cannot communicate

When kids have strong emotions they cannot communicate, destructive tantrums can occur. Destructive tantrums are characterized by a child's refusal to comply with adult requests, breaking or throwing objects, and yelling or screaming. These outbursts can be frustrating for both parents and children, as the tantrum often prevents cooperative tasks from being completed.

There are several things that parents can do to help manage destructive tantrums. First, it is important to keep in mind that children are not always aware of their emotions. 

Second, it is important to remember that children are not always capable of understanding the consequences of their actions. When children are throwing objects or screaming, they may not realize how their actions are affecting others. It is important to take a step back and let the child know that their actions are not going to get them what they want right away.

Third, parents can try to establish limits on what the child is allowed to do during a tantrum. For example, parents can tell the child that they can't throw objects or scream until the tantrum has ended. This way, the child knows that their actions are not going to get them what they want right away. Parents can try to set rules about what the child can and cannot do during a tantrum.

When parents try to reason with the child during a tantrum, they may not understand why they are acting the way they are.

Instead, try to empathize with the child and understand why he or she is upset. This can help the child feel understood and less frustrated. Additionally, parents can try to provide positive reinforcement for good behavior. This can help the child feel that he or she is doing something right and can help him or her to build a strong sense of self-esteem. Additionally, parents can help their children understand that tantrums are not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that something is wrong.

5. Feeling overwhelmed by new or difficult situations

When kids feel overwhelmed by new or difficult situations, they may lash out in destructive tantrums. Some common situations that kids find difficult are moving to a new school, dealing with new playmates/classmates, or doing house chores daily routines.

Parents can help their kids by providing support and encouragement. They can help their kids understand that these new situations are tough, but they will manage them. Parents can also help their kids develop strategies for dealing with difficult situations. These might include talking about the situation with their kids ahead of time, breaking the situation down into smaller parts, and setting up a calm and comfortable environment.

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How to Deal with Kids' Destructive Tantrums

There are several things you can do to help your child overcome their destructive tantrums.

1. Understand that tantrums are a form of communication

When children have tantrums, they are communicating their feelings and needs. Tantrums can be frustrating for parents, but they are an important part of a child's development.

2. Make sure there are enough outlets for your child to express themselves

When your child is having a destructive tantrum, it can be hard to know what to do. Make sure there are enough outlets for your child to express themselves. This means finding things for them to do that are fun and constructive, like playing a game, painting, or going for a walk.

3. Avoid reacting to tantrums in a negative way

It is important to remember that reacting to a child's tantrum in a negative way will only make the situation worse. Try to remain calm and understanding while addressing the problem. Explain why the tantrum is happening and what can be done to calm the child down. If necessary, enlist the help of a family member or friend to help diffuse the situation.

4. Try to provide your child with constructive feedback after a tantrum has subsided

It can be difficult to keep your cool when your child is having a destructive tantrum. However, providing constructive feedback after the tantrum has subsided can help them learn and grow from the experience. Try to avoid giving them unneeded criticism and instead focus on providing helpful information and suggestions.

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Tips for Preventing Kids' Destructive Tantrums

When it comes to tantrums, prevention is always better than cure.

Here are some tips for preventing kids' destructive tantrums:

1. Establish ground rules from the get-go. Make sure your child knows what is and is not allowed during a tantrum. This will help them better understand why the tantrum occurred in the first place.

2. Avoid reacting. If you react to a kid's tantrum, they will only feel like they're getting the reaction they want. Try to remain calm and non-confrontational. This will help diffuse the situation. 

3. If you ever plan to use punishment to correct a behavior, avoid using physical punishment, such as spanking, when possible.

4. Try to provide your child with constructive activities, such as puzzles or games, to occupy their time when they are having a tantrum.

4. If you find that your child is having a particularly difficult time controlling their temper, talk to a therapist or other mental health professional about how to help your child cope.

If you're experiencing destructive tantrums with your kids, it's important to understand when it's time to seek help. Destructive tantrums can be a sign of a more serious issue, such as ADHD or a mood disorder. 

If you think your child may need help, don't hesitate to reach out to your therapists.

Kids' destructive tantrums can be frustrating and embarrassing, but with patience and understanding, they can be overcome.

How about sharing your experience? How do you deal with your kid's tantrums that are destructive? Please don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below. You might just help a co-parent with your insights.


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