Fresh Ideas to Handle Bedtime Tantrums !
16-05-2017 | Posted By: Admin | 1189 View(s)
Many parents complain about their kids’ bedtime tantrums and want a real solution for the same. But before getting a solution, parents must know the reason behind the tantrums. If you see from a child’s angle, the tantrums might look like Avery sane and normal reaction. Especially when most of their fun activities at home, are not approved by the parents. No one likes to hear ‘no’ every time. And it’s not possible to make kids realise how their fun activities like running around, climbing bookcases, jumping on fragile things can be harmful to them or destructive for household things as well.
The brain’s frontal lobe in humans is the part that helps in self-control, planning, controlling logic, processing emotions, judgment and reasoning. In small children this part of the brain is underdeveloped. So at the end of the day, they get frustrated. Sometimes the bad temper and irritability are purely due to tiredness. They can’t control their emotions, and cannot talk about it like adults. Therefore, they express themselves by throwing tantrums, which they can easily do. For this reason, even paediatric experts and researchers say that tantrums or bedtime tantrums are normal behavioural traits in children.
Tantrums can be divided into three kinds, temper tantrums, exhaustion tantrums, and frustration tantrums. Among these, exhaustion tantrums are seen during bedtime or naptime. These happen mainly due to fatigue or overtiredness. When exhausted, kids simply throw tantrums and resist sleep, although sleeping is the only thing they require in such situations.
Following are the Best Tips for Handling Bedtime Tantrums:
Your child should be well-rested. Once you start noticing your kid’s sleep cues, you can easily keep him/her away from overtiredness. When your child looks glassy-eyed, yawns repeatedly, and rubs his/her eyes, consider these actions as sleep cues. As every child is different in some way, there can be other unique cues that you might instinctively notice. Once these start happening, try to get the kid to bed without wasting time. When there is enough rest there won’t be exhaustion; therefore no tantrums.
Maintain a Sleep Schedule. It’s very important to give kids choices; this helps them in developing their confidence and sense of freedom. However, do not let your kid choose his/her sleep or nap times. For this, you must set up and maintain a steady bedtime (or naptime) schedule on a regular basis. But you can always offer options like what kind of bedtime story the child would like to listen, or which storybook to read, etc.
Be smart; do not lose your cool. It’s true that at times the tantrums can make you go crazy, but remember you are the adult in such situations. So remaining calm is the matured way. It’s also the smart option because sometimes children throw tantrums simply to get some reaction or annoy you. When parents don’t give any irritated reaction, kids calm down quickly.
Do not negotiate or encourage manipulations. Just stick to a good bedtime schedule that you have decided. You must not negotiate the timings with your little one. And also do not agree to their demands of changing the sleep timings, expressed via tantrums. If you lay down your arms, your child will know that their tantrums can manipulate you. And indirectly the kid will be encouraged to repeat such behaviours more often.
Keeping things straight and simple is the best policy. As mentioned earlier your child is not yet very good with things like logic, judgment, reasoning, etc. So reasoning with kids and giving them logical explanations about the significance of quality sleep makes no sense. Therefore just coolly give clear-cut reasons, like if the kid doesn’t go to bed, he/she will not have enough energy to go to so-and-so’s place or play later.
Make the kid aware of what’s happening next. Normally children get exhausted during transition periods, that is, the transition from one particular activity to another. Here instituting a countdown before there’s a change from one activity to another, is a great idea. For example, say, “Three more minutes, and then we’ll have lunch. So the change in activities might not tire them, instead mentally prepare them for the same.
Another reason for bedtime tantrums can be separation anxiety. Many children feel insecure at nights and get scared. Therefore when left alone to sleep they cry, try staying close to you, and simply scream. Here it’s not okay to sneak away or quietly leave when the kid is calm for some time because this can scare and irritate them when they suddenly realise you have left. The below points can help you here:
Understand the reason for the tantrum and teach the kid self-comforting techniques. You can use self-calming music/sounds and rocking movements. A comfort object can also be useful here. Make the kid feel safe by assuring him/her that you’re close by and will be back soon. Acknowledge your child’s feelings.
When the child starts crying, avoid responding the right away. But also don’t keep the poor thing waiting too long. You initially can start with a two-minute wait, and then extend it to five minutes or a little more. So gradually your child will understand that you’ll always come back. This eventually helps kids in relying on their parents. Try out these exclusive tips, and eradicate the problem of Bedtime Tantrums from the roots!