Annie recently shared an NPR article called What’s Behind A Temper Tantrum? Scientists Deconstruct The Screams.
The opening paragraph really got me: scientists want to study TANTRUMS?! Can I get a HELL YES? Study on, people:
Children’s temper tantrums are widely seen as many things: the cause of profound helplessness among parents; a source of dread for airline passengers stuck next to a young family; a nightmare for teachers. But until recently, they had not been considered a legitimate subject for science.
Now research suggests that, beneath all the screams and kicking and shouting, lies a phenomenon that is entirely amenable to scientific dissection. Tantrums turn out to have a pattern and rhythm to them. Once understood, researchers say, this pattern can help parents, teachers and even hapless bystanders respond more effectively to temper tantrums — and help clinicians tell the difference between ordinary tantrums, which are a normal part of a child’s development, and those that may be warning signals of an underlying disorder.
The key to a new theory of tantrums lies in a detailed analysis of the sounds that toddlers make during tantrums. In a new paper published in the journal Emotion, scientists found that different toddler sounds – or “vocalizations” – emerge and fade in a definite rhythm in the course of a tantrum.
The jist of the piece is that scientists are saying the best way to deal with a tantrum is to leave your child alone while she’s angry, and then be there to comfort her once the anger phase passes. They acknowledge that for many parents this is easier said than done, which has me wondering — how do you guys cope with tantrums? What do you think of this advice?