Causes of Anger Seizures in Children?
When children have tantrums, they are often approached with wrong interventions and process control becomes difficult. When the child is angry, he may cry and harm himself, his surroundings and his belongings. Parents may feel helpless in the face of the child’s anger. Sometimes the parent who is deeply upset about the child’s situation may agree to do anything he wants to calm him down. Sometimes, in the face of the child’s anger attacks, the parent may also become tired, act intolerant and angry.
Response to anger can sometimes be given with punishments and restrictions. However, all these methods do not make it easier for the child to vent his anger and learn to express himself in a healthy way. Incorrect emotional, behavioral and physiological responses in anger may cause the child to use anger as a method to get what he wants.
So why do children develop tantrums? What should be the parent’s approach to anger? What kind of communication should be established with the child in times of anger? What kind of communication and parental attitude should be applied to prevent tantrums? You can find the answers in the rest of our article.
Why Do Children Develop Anger Seizures?
Anger-oriented reactions in children are often used for false learning, modeling, and getting what they want. Crying is the way a child communicates with his/her environment and primary caregiver from the first moment he/she is born. In the first period of life, the baby tells his needs by crying. The primary caregiver or another person makes the baby’s cry meaningful over time.
The parents begin to distinguish between hunger cries, diaper changes, sleep, safety and similar needs. The child calms down when he sees that the message he has loaded on crying is correctly understood and answered by the caregiver. In this way, a secure bond develops between the baby and the caregiver. As the child grows and gains new skills such as walking, speaking, feeding on his own, he is separated from the caregiver. This separation begins between the ages of 1.5-2.5 years.
This period is often called the 2-year-old syndrome. And in children, tantrums attack during these periods. The most important reason for these attacks is the child’s need to expand the life limits and rules built from birth. The child wants to be autonomous and to have this autonomy accepted by the parent. The child wants to take responsibility, to make his own decisions, to make his own choices, in accordance with his age.
If the child’s attempts at autonomy are suppressed and blocked by the parent, the child’s cry reflex in infancy accompanies anger in this period. Behaviors of stubbornness, resisting, holding on, throwing oneself from the ground to the ground, harming oneself and the environment can be seen. When the child feels that he is not understood, he becomes angry. At the same time, if the child does not establish a secure bond with the parent, he develops anger. Negligence is also seen in children who are neglected, neglected, and whose needs are not met on time and adequately.
Neglect here is both physical, emotional and behavioral. The child wants to see the love, attention and care he needs from the family. Anger can be seen in children who cannot spend active time with the family, who are placed in the second or third plan within the family, and who are ignored. When the child does not know how to deal with problems and does not get the necessary support at the right time and under the right conditions, he becomes angry. In cases where anger does not work, the child may turn inward.
You can also benefit from our article on 2-Year-Old Syndrome and What Families Should Know.
How Should the Approach of the Parents Be at the Time of Anger Seizure in Children?
When the child’s anger is severe, continuous and unpredictable, families feel intense helplessness. Anger attacks, especially in outdoor environments, increase the stress and anxiety levels of families. The parent or caregiver tries to calm the child so as not to disturb or be criticized. In order for the child to calm down, erroneous methods such as giving what he wants, scolding, getting angry with him or punishing him can be applied.
The child feels the helplessness of the parent’s body language, words and behaviors. He may be persistent in his behavior, thinking that he is getting close to getting what he wants. So, how should the parent’s approach be during a tantrum in children?
The child should be given a safe space where he can control his anger.
When the child is angry, the family should give the child space to vent his anger. However, the child should not be left alone in the moment of anger. In one corner of the area, the parent must be at a point where the child will notice. Talk to the child by going down to the child’s height and establishing eye contact. The tone of voice should be lower than the child’s voice, calm and soft. Over time, the child’s voice and behavior will harmonize with the parent’s voice and behavior.
“You are angry right now and I will wait here until you calm down. The message “I am here to hug you and listen to you whenever you want” should be given to the child. When the child sees the unconditional acceptance and love of the family, he can calm down and embrace the family much more easily.
Children Shouldn’t Show Their Strength During Anger Seizures
During this period, families should stay away from negative emotional reactions and should not try to show who is the authority. It is not possible for the child to struggle with his parent, who is much stronger than him in every way. The child is already aware of this. The fact that the family tries to show this to the child in a concrete way will lower the child’s self-worth. The showdown can take place physically, emotionally, or behaviorally.
For example; such as walking on, tugging at the child’s arm, using violence, shouting, threatening or teasing. These behaviors may situationally reduce the symptoms of tantrums in children, but they are harmful to the child in the long run. The child may think that he has succumbed to his parents, that he is powerless and helpless.
Self-confidence and self-perception are damaged. Moreover, it can also normalize the use of power as a way of solving problems. Instead, parents should model their children’s attitudes and behaviors how they can solve problems constructively.
Child’s attention should be drawn in a different direction to deal with stubbornness
One of the most difficult issues for families is attachment and stubbornness. The child’s insistent saying no, insistence or stubbornness puts families in a difficult situation in most cases. Instead of being stubborn with the child on issues that he insistently refuses to do, his attention should be drawn in a different direction. It helps to direct his attention to an object around, to a favorite toy, and to talk about a different subject that will attract his attention. After the child has calmed down, it can be returned to the same topic to talk.
Child’s trust should not be broken, and promises that cannot be fulfilled should not be made.
One of the most common mistakes children make during a tantrum is to make promises that cannot be kept. Parents use this behavior to distract, distract, and calm the child. However, every promise that is not kept for children damages the trust of their parents.
Failure to keep promises made to the child results in the child no longer believing his parents’ words after several unsuccessful attempts. Therefore, these words are useless in recurrent tantrums. The family’s promises to the child, apart from tantrums, do not create the expected motivation and excitement in the child.
How Can Anger Seizures Be Prevented in Children?
Children can learn to get things done by crying behaviors. In fact, we teach them that. Parents or other caregivers can fulfill the child’s wishes as long as the child is silent. If the child learns from infancy that crying is a method of obtaining wants and needs, he will use it in the long term. Over time, these cries turn into clasps, throwing themselves to the ground.
Crying Shouldn’t Be Reciting What You Want
In a sense, it increases the effect of crying on the other side with accompanying behaviors in order to get what they want. The way we respond to the child’s crying behavior will ensure that this behavior is stopped or reinforced. Whether you encounter tantrums in children at home or in a social area, your reactions should be similar.
As long as you manage to keep your calm in response to the child’s angry state, after a while, his blood pressure will also calm down. Talking with the child about his feelings, thoughts and wishes regularly and giving him the right to choose and decide prevents the development of anger. Giving the child age-appropriate responsibilities and appreciating their achievements and efforts also make it easier to deal with anger.
Active Time Should Be Spent With The Child, Healthy Communication Within The Family Should Be Developed
Spending active time with the child, chatting and playing games by staying in the here and now strengthens communication. Getting the opinion of the child about the issues in the family in a way that is appropriate for his age increases his self-worth. All of these include healthy family communication and healthy parental attitudes. Again, the family’s methods of coping with problems and communication styles also enable the child to take a model.
For this reason, it is necessary not to fight in the presence of the child as much as possible and to manage anger in a healthy way. If there has been an unintentional argument or fight next to the child, the parents should definitely resolve the problem and reconcile with the child. In this way, the child learns how to deal with problems and how to solve problems. Thus, the frequency of tantrums in children is reduced.
The Child’s Feelings, Thoughts, Desires, and Choices Should Be Respected
It is not directed towards the wishes of the child, the reasons should be explained to the child instead of giving short answers such as no. When the child knows why his wishes are not fulfilled, he calms down much more easily. Again, nothing should be imposed on the child against his own will. Impositions will cause the child to develop resistance to it. You will wear this! you will eat this! White t-shirt or yellow instead of imposing sentences like? Options such as which one would you like to wear should be presented.
The variety of options should be such that it does not confuse the child and does not complicate the choice. Options and alternatives can be increased in line with the child’s age.