Are temper tantrums normal for a 6 year old child?

As a BetterHelp affiliate, we may receive compensation from BetterHelp if you purchase products or services through the links provided.

This blog post will explore whether temper tantrums for a 6 year old is normal. We will also explore what are temper tantrums and the causes of these tantrums. 

We will also explore the various interventions that can be brought about in the home to teach both parents and child to manage tantrums. 

Are temper tantrums normal for a 6 year old child?

Yes, temper tantrums are normal for a 6 year old child. Usually temper tantrums are normal for children until they turn about 10-12 years old and are a normal part of your child’s development.

Tantrums are most common between ages 1 and 4 and typically decrease when a child starts school; however, that does not mean that tantrums will cease.

There might be moments where your child might struggle with their emotions, especially at the age of six that can cause temper tantrums. 

Children at the age of six normally know how to express themselves quite well however, they might struggle with controlling their emotions and regulating them which might be the cause of your child’s tantrums. 

While tantrums are normal, there are instances when tantrums can be a cause for worry. A few signs to look out for that might indicate psychological distress include:

  • Aggression toward you, a caregiver, or an object during his/her tantrums could be indicative of disruptive behaviour disorder.
  • Harming themselves deliberately during a temper tantrum by biting or scratching themselves, banging their heads against a wall could be a sign of emotional and mental distress. 
  • Having more than five tantrums a day may indicate serious psychiatric problems.
  • Temper tantrums that last more than twenty-five minutes, it may be a sign of another underlying problem. 
  • When they cannot calm him/herself down after a tantrum

If you notice any of these signs, talk to your child’s paediatrician to see if there could be an underlying problem and they can also refer you to see a child psychologist.

What are temper tantrums?

A temper tantrum refers to when a child has an unplanned outburst of anger and frustration and manifests in terms of physical and verbal outbursts, 

Tantrums might include them acting out, being disruptive and generally displaying unpleasant behaviours that are often disproportionate to the circumstances. 

What are the possible causes of temper tantrums?

Possible causes of temper tantrums include:

Wants and needs

Your child might throw temper tantrums because of their wants and needs and think that the only way they can get what they want is by throwing a tantrum.

Causes include:

  • Wanting attention.
  • Wanting something (such as a treat or toy).
  • Avoiding doing something (such as cleaning up or leaving the park).
  • Hunger.
  • Tiredness.

Lack of the ability to regulate their emotions

This is often seen in older children who are above the age of five, where they are unable to understand emotions as well as express their emotions and their experiences so they lash out. 

This also arises because they haven’t yet developed coping skills to deal with strong emotions or disappointments. 

Frustration

As a young child becomes more independent, they want to do more than they can physically and emotionally manage and this can be frustrating to the child and lead to tantrums. 

Transitions

As the child grows older they experience transitions from home to day care, school- all of which can be new and scary to them. This can lead them to throw tantrums especially when they have learned that tantrums allow them to avoid such new situations. 

Environment stress

Often children’s behaviour is a reaction to the environment around them. They might throw tantrums when they 

  • Don’t understand what you want them to do
  • Are worried or upset
  • Feel stress in the home

This does not mean that the parents are at fault, however, it could indicate that there are certain things that both children and parents will need to learn to manage tantrums.

How can parents manage temper tantrums of their child?

If your child is throwing a tantrum, here are a few things you can do to manage it:

  • If you sense a tantrum starting, try to distract your child by inviting them to look at something  interesting or engage them in an activity they enjoy. 
  • Stay calm,  don’t threaten, lecture or argue with them. 
  • Ignore the tantrum to show them that this behaviour is  unacceptable and won’t get them what they want.
  • Keep them in sight even when you ignore them. If you are in the middle of the store or in a public place, make sure that you can see them and try to remove them from that space into a quiet environment where you can help them calm down. 
  • Remove any dangerous objects near them so they don’t hurt themselves. 
  • If you and your child have learned any realtation techniques to help them calm down such as deep breathing, assist them in the practice at that moment while holding them close to you.

What should I do after the temper tantrum?

Once the tantrum is over, you can engage your child in conversation about what happened. 

  • You can start by first offering praise for calming down tis will reinforce good and positive behaviour. Be as specific as possible and say, “You did a great job using your inside voice in the store.” This can help your child know what behaviours are expected and acceptable.
  • Acknowledge their feelings by letting them know that you understand their frustration and offer to help them or offer to hear them out. 
  • Teach your child to label emotions by helping them and educating them about emotions because for them emotions like frustration, jealousy, anger or disappointment are difficult and confusing. 
  • Teach your child how to handle strong emotions without getting upset such as deep breathing, writing it out, or talking about it. 
  • Model positive behaviour in the face of stress because children learn the most by watching their parents- s when you engage in breathing exercises, labelling emotions etc- do it with them and learn together, 

How can a parent prevent tantrums?

There is no foolproof way to prevent tantrums, but there are plenty of steps you can take to encourage positive behaviour in even the youngest children to prevent tantrums.

Educate your child about emotions

This means you and your child sit down together and make it a regular practice to learn and label emotions, how they feel, and how it manifests in our body and behaviour. 

You can engage in various emotions worksheets as you and your child learn about it together. 

Regulate emotions

Another part of becoming emotionally literate is to apply learning to regulate emotions. Teach your child various breathing techniques and other coping techniques to help regulate their anger. 

Consistency is key

Change is often difficult for children, so try to introduce them to change gradually and with proper rationale that they can understand. Establish a daily routine so that your child knows what to expect. 

Stick to the routine as much as possible, including nap time and bedtime- that allows them enough time to rest as well as time to eat. 

Plan ahead. 

In the case of changes, make sure that you plan your day in a way that allows your child to follow their meal and sleep schedule. If you’re expecting uncertainty, pack a small toy or snack to occupy your child especially in public spaces. Have a babysitter that they like on call. 

Let your child make choices.

When your child is age six, they will want to be more independent and make their own decisions and choices.  Avoid saying no to everything. 

Give your toddler a sense of control, by letting them make choices or be part of decision making “Would you like to wear your red shirt or your blue shirt?” “”What movie should we watch every night?”

Praise Positive behaviour. 

Give your child a hug or tell your child how proud you are when he or she manages to regulate their emotions rather than throw tantrums. 

Treat them to a reward such as ezra tv time or extra dessert when they behave in positive ways especially when it is connected to tantrum behaviours. 

Avoid triggers of  tantrums. 

This means that, if your child is someone who gets distressed in crowded spaces- do not take them there, instead take them to places where there is minimal crowd and teach them to become comfortable in these spaces before moving into bigger crowds. 

If your toddler acts up in restaurants, choose places that offer quick service like drive thrus or other fast food chains. 

Make an effort to understand what triggers tantrums- it could be as simple as the wrong type of clothing or an uncomfortable pair of shoes. Make notes of these triggers and make changes so that there is limited exposure. 

Conclusion

This blog post has explored whether temper tantrums for a 6 year old is normal. We will also explore what are temper tantrums and the causes of these tantrums. 

We have also explored the various interventions that can be brought about in the home to teach both parents and child to manage tantrums. 

FAQ related to Are temper tantrums normal for a 6 year old child?

At what age should a child stop having tantrums?

A child should stop having tantrums after age 10, with some tantrums before this age as a result of their inability to regulate their emotions which is quite normal. 

What is normal behaviour for a 6 year old?

By age 6, kids’ behaviours are mostly focused on exploration and becoming independent. They will try to show how big they are, and do things that might be dangerous. They might see out peers more than family and also learn from their mistakes at this age. 

Is it normal to lose your temper with your child?

It is very normal to lose temper with children because even parents find it hard to control your temper sometimes. It is  part of being human. 

How do you fix a relationship with a child after yelling?

If you have lost your temper with your child, the first thing you can do is to focus on repairing the relationship with your kids by apologising and accepting that you were wrong to yell at them- this is a good opportunity to model positive behaviour. 

References

Why Do Children Throw Tantrums? An Explanation for Every Age. Cadence education. 19th December 2019. Retrieved on 12th Dec 2021. https://www.cadence-education.com/blog/parents-corner/how-to-deal-with-temper-tantrums/

Temper Tantrums. Clevelandclinic. Retrieved on 12th December 2021. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14406-temper-tantrums

Temper Tantrums. Kidshealth. Retrieved on 12th Dec 2021. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/tantrums.html

Tantrums. Ages 5-10. Centre for Health and Safety Culture. (2020). Retrieved on 12th Dec 2021. Retrieved from https://www.ParentingMontana.org.

Temper tantrums in toddlers: How to keep the peace. Mayoclinic. Retrieved on 12th Dec 2021. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/tantrum/art-20047845

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.