CASE STUDY 1
Fourteen-month-old Cassandra wanted her mother to pick her up, but mother was cooking dinner. Cassandra threw herself onto the floor and started howling. Her mother told her quietly and firmly that her dinner would be ready in a few minutes and to stop crying. She did not pick her up.
Cassandra wasn’t getting what she wanted so she kicked her feet and waved her arms, screaming louder. Mother left the kitchen. The crying subsided and Cassandra, still sobbing, stood up and toddled into the living room where she found her mother. Immediately Cassandra fell down on the floor and started screaming again.
Her mother moved into the hallway and the crying subsided again. As soon as Cassandra found her mother, she sat down and started screaming again. Her mother moved back into the kitchen. She did this several times until Cassandra stopped crying.
|Tantrums only work when there is an audience.|
|Parents need to pay attention to their child’s mood. If a child appears to be getting frustrated, they should work on alleviating it before it gets out of control. (Children get frustrated when they are hungry or tired. Choose other times to take a child shopping.)|
|You cannot reason with a toddler. Simply tell the child 'NO" firmly before moving, where possible, to another location.|
|Tantrums need to be discouraged immediately so they don’t become a habit. Never give in to a tantrum for the sake of peace.|
|Always require an apology from a child so they know they have done wrong. Explain what is the accepted behavior, then show affection when they stop the negative behavior, so they know you still love them.|
|When a tantrum occurs in public, immediately remove the child from the area. A screaming child in a store is very aggravating to other customers. The child can be disciplined once out of the public area. One effective method is to place the child in their car seat (if the car is not hot inside), telling them they need to stop screaming before you take them back to the store again. Close the vehicle door. Stay within the child’s sight but outside the vehicle. Do not respond until the child stops.|
|Praise a child when they display acceptable behavior.|
|If you cannot control your anger as an adult, then you need to get help. You can choose to be a good role model.|
CASE STUDY 2
Zac was 10 years old and used to getting his way. He always threw tantrums when he was small and his parents didn’t know how to control him.
He knew that at 10 years old, he was now too big to throw himself onto the floor, but he had mastered the art of manipulation in other ways. If his parents “crossed” him, he would stomp out of the room, kick the furniture and slam doors. He would cuss at his teachers and was physically aggressive with other kids. He developed a reputation for being the hot-tempered bully.
He didn’t have any friends and his life was quite lonely, which only exacerbated his anger and jealously. His parents became afraid of him.
|Children learn from their parents. Parents need to look at their own methods of dealing with frustration and consider anger management classes if they are unable to control their own behavior.|
|It is imperative that parents work at maintaining a peaceful home.|
|Parents need to keep open lines of communication so their children can express their frustration before it gets to boiling point.|
|Boys especially need to be taught to express their emotions without lashing out.|
|Children who can work through their anger are much more likely to express themselves assertively rather than aggressively as adults.|
|Praise a child when he or she handles emotions without losing control.|
|Ensure a child gets lots of time for physical play so that pent-up frustration has a chance to dissipate.|
|If a child is losing his or her temper more than 2-3 times a day, then seek professional help.|
CASE STUDY 3
Hunter was a 17-year-old boy with a chip on his shoulder. His parents had divorced and both had remarried. This previously happy-go-lucky young man felt cut off from both his parents since they had started over with new lives and new families. He didn't fit anywhere and rarely spoke with anyone. His teachers were concerned for him and said to him, “If you do not find some productive purpose for your life, Hunter, you will end up in jail.”
Several months after graduation, Hunter was in a car wreck. Both he and his passenger were killed. It was a very sad day for his parents and for the teachers at his school. They wondered what they had missed and how they could have created a different outcome for Hunter's life.