Here is a fascinating study on temper tantrums that appeared in NPR. Thanks, Shenanigans, for the tip!
Green and Potegal found that sad sounds tended to occur throughout tantrums. Superimposed on them were sharp peaks of yelling and screaming: anger.
The trick in getting a tantrum to end as soon as possible, Potegal said, was to get the child past the peaks of anger. Once the child was past being angry, what was left was sadness, and sad children reach out for comfort. The quickest way past the anger, the scientists said, was to do nothing. Of course, that isn’t easy for parents or caregivers to do.
Interesting. Eli is still tantrum-prone and I tend to help her move from the anger phase to sadness as quickly as possible. Perhaps I feel that way because I don’t want to disturb people around us when she throws a tantrum in public. Now I ask her, “¿Necesitas un abrazo?” “Do you need a hug?” Usually, she nods yes and cries into my shirt.
What do you think of this study? How do you respond to temper tantrums?