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My friend has a 4-year-old who is very sulky and throws frequent tantrums. When he was 2 or 3, it was kind of cute. But now that this little boy is 4, my friend is wondering if he is getting too old to slam doors, cry and stomp around when he does not get his way.
How old were your kids when they outgrew this type of behavior? Did you need to intervene in any way to help ease them out of their hysterics and deal with emotions more maturely?
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A child who is tantruming is having a hard time regulating their emotions. Learning to be in control of our emotions takes time and can be more difficult for some children than others. Truthfully, some adults still have tantrums so i don't think there is any clear age where it stops but it usually reduces somewhat after the age of 4 or 5 years. The important thing is that kids learn that the tantrum itself doesn't get them what they want. Helping children understand their emotions by noticing and naming them can be very helpful eg 'I can see you are feeling very frustrated because you wanted ......'. Its important to validate your child's feelings and this will help them learn to regulate better as they get older...hopefully.
I think children in first 2 – 3 years of their life show more tantrums because it is easier to express their emotions through actions. Once they develop good vocabulary and verbal expressions, their tantrums gradually subside. Your friend can help the child in learning non-physical or verbal ways of expressing anger or frustration.
Sometimes, children observe adults slamming doors or yelling (in their surroundings or in their favorite television shows). They start considering it the right way of showing emotions and simply copy it.
Another thing that might be reinforcing the tantrums in a subtle way is extra attention given by the parents when he is throwing tantrums. If the child is in a safe environment, ignoring the tantrum and not giving in to any demands associates with the behavior outburst can be effective in considerably reducing this behavior.
My son is almost 4 and a half and he still throws the occasional tantrum. But when he does throw them, I don't engage, let him calm down and once he's rational (did I really use the word "rational" to describe a 4 y.o? Lol) I ask him to think about what he did, and how that affected him and the rest of the family.
It wasn't easy, it took may be ten odd times of me having to just push down my anger and address his behavior calmly before he started to realize tantrums were just not going to cut it.
More info would be helpful though: What triggers his tantrum and how often does he throw them? Is it just at home or outside too? and what does he do?