He yells at you, hits you in a public place in front of everyone, curses his older brother or throws his hand on the ground forcefully, ignoring the consequences.

It is the endless tantrums of children, which they do unconsciously sometimes and deliberately more often, manipulating the emotions of their parents to achieve whatever they want.

They are our smart kids.

When a child has a tantrum, parents know they need to intervene immediately, but they are often unsure of the best strategy to follow, especially if the child acts like this frequently and nothing seems to be working for him.

And when parents struggle to adjust their children's behavior every day and seem to have exhausted all the cruel and emotional tricks, it can have a negative impact on everyone in the family.

So this 7-part guide provides parents with a comprehensive look at the causes of inappropriate behavior and frequent tantrums in children, and how they can be dealt with scientifically according to the Childmind Institute.

Why do children do inappropriate behavior?

There are many causes for children to have tantrums.

Among them are the reasons beyond their control, the expected and health reasons, and others that are related to certain things that they do not prefer, and they are as follows:

  • Haven't Developed Skills for Dealing with Big Emotions

    When children have frequent outbursts of irritability, it may be a sign that they haven't yet developed the skills they need to deal with emotions like frustration, anxiety and anger.

    Dealing with such large emotions in a healthy, mature way requires a variety of skills, such as impulse control, emotional self-regulation, the ability to solve problems, negotiate, communicate wants and needs to adults, and know what is appropriate or expected in a given situation.

  • Unwillingness to be bound by rules and boundaries:

    Other children may act out to everyone's liking because they don't want to be bound by boundaries and rules in the family, they prefer challenging everyone to doing what they ought to do, or they may ignore instructions or try to evade non-voluntary matters.

  • Behavior related to a specific time, person, or tasks:

    You may also notice patterns of behavior that appear to appear at certain times of the day such as at bedtime, while doing certain tasks such as doing homework or with certain people such as siblings.

  • Place-related behaviour:

    You may also notice that your child behaves abnormally when he is at home but not when he is at school, or vice versa.

  • Natural behaviors that indicate the maturity of children:

    Sometimes tantrums and some other types of behaviors are a normal and even healthy part of childhood.

    They are a sign that the child is becoming more independent, and they are indications that the child is testing boundaries, developing skills and opinions, and exploring the world around them.

Tantrums as a learned behavior

Parents sometimes feel that tantrums and other unacceptable behaviors are intentional or manipulative by their children.

However, clinicians who specialize in child behavior agree that tantrums in general are not intentional behavior on the part of the child, but may be what is known as "learned behaviour".

This means that children learn that having a tantrum gives them the outcome they want.

While a child who begins the process of losing control of their emotions may not do so consciously in the first place, they may resort to it because they haven't learned a better way to solve problems or communicate their needs.

But when well-meaning parents respond to these tantrums by trying to fix whatever is causing the problem, by pleasing the child or giving him whatever he asks for;

Unfortunately, this reinforces tantrum behavior, making children more likely to persist in tantrums and reducing the likelihood of developing more sophisticated ways of managing their feelings.

How do you respond to unacceptable behavior?

When children behave inappropriately, parents often feel helpless.

You may have tried different methods of discipline, but without the great success you hoped for.

In fact, trying many different strategies for managing disruptive behavior can sometimes be part of the problem, since children respond best to fixed boundaries that are constantly reinforced.

But if you haven't seen progress before, don't be discouraged, because parents have more power than you might realize when kids are out of control.

By using certain strategies recommended by child psychologists who specialize in behavior management, you can begin to improve children's behavior and even improve the parent-child relationship.

Effective strategies for responding to your child's inappropriate behavior during the anger stage itself:

  • Don't give up:

    Resist the temptation to end your child's tantrum by giving him what he wants when he's outraged;

    Because it will teach him that he can give generously and that tantrums work well.

  • Stay calm:

     responses, whether harsh or emotional, tend to escalate a child's aggressiveness, whether verbal or physical.

    But by staying calm, you are also passing on to your child the kind of behavior that he must acquire later.

  • Ignore negative behavior and praise positive behavior

    Ignore simple bad behavior, because negative attention such as scolding a child or telling them to stop can reinforce their actions instead.

    You should also praise good behavior so that the child has a conditional association between the behavior he is doing and what he will get.

  • Use consistent consequences:

    Your child needs to know the consequences of negative behaviors such as "time out", as well as the rewards for positive behaviors, such as spending time on an iPad.

    You have to show him that you will pursue these consequences every time.

  • Talk to him after he calms down:

     Don't try to argue with an upset child.

    Make it your goal to encourage the child to practice negotiation when he or she is not angry.

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