Hysteria in a child: advice from a psychologist for parents

 In this article, we will take a closer look at the processes of the flow of children's whims and tantrums, and also talk about what and when parents need to do.

Hysteria in a child: advice from a psychologist for parents

Children's tantrums: norm or pathology

Whims in childhood are absolutely normal, but hysteria is already a way of manipulating and achieving benefits. Any situation and the emotions associated with them, both negative and positive, can provoke a fit of tantrum in a child.


This is due to the fact that the nervous system has not yet been formed, and  emotional intelligence has not yet been developed. This means that the child does not know how to cope with emotions. They simply overwhelm him, and unable to cope with himself, the child can use the tantrum to get what he wants.If you are thinking about whether seizures are quite acceptable, then you should rely on age.


Tantrums in a child at two years old are caused by a variety of situations, for example:


  • fright or fear of something;
  • the approach of foreign adults;
  • feeling unwell;
  • fatigue, both physical and emotional;
  • lack of sleep.

In the first years of life, crying in children is the only way to express dissatisfaction. After all, they still don’t really know how to speak, and if they know the words, then it’s still impossible for them to convey their feelings through them. Often children at this age want to learn something new, but they still do not succeed. This can also cause discontent, a surge of emotions.


And at this age, the crisis of three years begins to approach in children. According to Vygotsky, this is a period of active mental development, at this moment the personality "enters the stage" for the first time. The kid realizes for the first time who he is and declares: "I myself." Hysteria at this age may be the only way to try to defend your "I".


Tantrums in a child at the age of five are normally not so frequent. This is a period of calm development of the psyche, and most often you can negotiate with the child. Manifestations of frequent tantrums at this age may indicate a neurosis provoked by the peculiarities of parent-child relationships.


If tantrums are present in the behavior of a child from 4.5 to 6 years old, this is an occasion to consult a  child psychologist . If this is left to chance, the child may make a tantrum the only acceptable way to get what he wants when something is forbidden to him, or if expectations do not match reality.


In the course of the crisis of seven years, similar moments may again appear, but they will rather be characterized by stubbornness, and the hysteria will again be associated with the goal of achieving autonomy.


It is important to understand that constant tantrums in a child is an occasion to think and help his nervous system to return to normal. Usually, when attacks are repeated more than 5-7 times a day, the baby is very difficult and takes a long time to calm down, cannot switch attention.


Age crises of 3 and 7 years normally last about a year each, during these periods you need to be attentive and sympathetic to the forever balanced state of the baby.


The child has a tantrum: what to do

How to calm a child with a tantrum? It is this question that usually worries dads or moms who are faced with screams right here and now. After all, the baby often cannot calm down on his own. He needs adult help and support.

You must understand that in many ways, a favorable outcome of events depends on your reaction to what is happening. It depends on how calmly and reasonably you react, whether tantrums will be repeated from time to time or this case will remain single.

An alternative option is to switch attention before the baby starts screaming. Therefore, if you see that negative emotions are about to make themselves felt, try to immediately distract your son or daughter. For example, change activities, remember something good, or treat your baby to something tasty.

But such methods usually work only as long as the cry has not risen. But if you are already in the very epicenter of a small "hurricane", then you will have to change tactics.

1. Keep calm

The main thing that is required of you is to control yourself. Remember that your children take an example from you. Keep calm, don't panic. The more calmly your reaction will be, the faster your calmness will be transferred to the child.

What should never be done:

  1. Start the educational process.   When someone is overwhelmed with emotion, they are focused on their problem and most likely will not even hear your words.
  2. Raise your voice.  Shouting can scare the baby even more. The situation will only get worse.
  3. Apply physical force.  At best, you will simply scare your son or daughter a lot, and at worst, you will cause physical harm.
Sometimes screaming seems to work. Because in fear, children stop screaming. But in fact, such a reaction can cause much more serious injuries.

2. Maintain personal boundaries

Very often, when a baby cries, the mother's first desire is to hold him tightly to her. But not all babies perceive close contact well during a tantrum. Of course, the baby may need your hugs. Try to hug. But if you suddenly met even the slightest resistance in response, then it is better to keep your distance. But you don't have to go too far.

If the attack is caused by fright or fears, then, being alone, the child will be even more frightened.. Therefore, it is better to stay in sight, let the baby know that you are ready to support and console him if he needs it.

3. Stand your ground

If the tantrum is caused by some kind of prohibition, as is the case in most cases, never go along with the screamer. Children quickly remember that they get what they want after their cries. Hysteria is the way to achieve your goal. Moreover, hysteria always has an ultimate goal of profit.

Of course, these attacks will recur as soon as the child wants something, so it is important here to make it clear that this behavior is not acceptable. To try to change the nature of the behavior, you can offer some kind of alternative. For example, eat that same candy, but after dinner.

At the same time, it is important to form an understanding that a favorable outcome of events has nothing to do with hysteria. Therefore, try to explain to him that you yourself came to such a decision.

4. Have an educational conversation

When the tantrum is over, you can discuss what happened. Wait 10-15 minutes for the emotions to subside. But no more, otherwise the baby may no longer remember his cries. Speak calmly and clearly about the situation. Name emotions, for example, “you were upset / angry”, “you were offended / hurt”. So it will be easier for the child to understand what he felt.

Discuss the situation, explaining what can and cannot be done. And end the conversation in a positive tone, with a kiss or hug, so that the child does not have the feeling that he is to blame for something, or that he is not loved.

How to wean a child from tantrums

If a child throws tantrums all the time, then the question arises of how to wean him to do this. Most kids outgrow their tantrums when they see their parents not responding. That is why crying should not bring the desired to the child. That is, you should not indulge his whims.

If you respond correctly to seizures, but they do not go away, it is worth analyzing the general situation in the child's life.

Causes of tantrums are often mistakes in education, for example:

  • overprotection;
  • excessive severity;
  • wrong ratio of rewards and punishments;
  • violation of personal boundaries;
  • lack of love and attention.
Also, the reasons can be physiological:

  • fatigue and lack of sleep;
  • excessive loads;
  • hunger;
  • pathology of the nervous system; other illnesses and ailments.

If you have ruled out all these factors, but the whims have not stopped, it is better to seek help from a specialist. Classes with a child psychologist will help not only understand the problem, but also improve the relationship between you and the child. And in most situations, it is the parents who need therapy, because the correct development of the child depends on your behavior.

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