We have all been there.
Whether with our own children or as innocent bystanders in the checkout line at our local grocery store. We have all seen a child have a complete meltdown, which almost always leads to an embarrassed look from the child’s parent or caretaker. However, these types of tantrums are not all bad and can actually help your child in many ways.
1. Stress Relief
Crying is a natural way to relieve stress. Our tears contain a stress hormone called cortisol. This means that producing tears is one of our body’s ways of expelling stress and improving our emotional well-being. Crying is not necessarily about being hurt emotionally or even physically, but more of a way to cope.
2. Better Sleep
If a child is suppressing their feelings of discontent, then these emotions will often bottle up and create problems in other areas of the child’s life. One common area that is affected is the child’s sleep pattern. When a child is emotionally regulated, they have a much easier time going to sleep and staying asleep through the night.
3. Improve Their Learning Process
Children often cry when they are frustrated by an activity. Because children are constantly learning, it can be very difficult for them to encounter a problem that they do not yet know how to solve. It is also incredibly difficult for them to fully express their frustrations since they have only barely begun to communicate with you. Expressing their frustration through crying is a positive reaction because it allows the child to release all of those negative emotions. Typically, once the child is done crying, they will return to the problem with a renewed sense of determination and continue trying to find a solution.
4. Lifelong Emotional Regulation
As your child grows older, they will learn to express their emotions in ways other than crying and throwing a tantrum. The child will often find communication to be a better solution to relieving their stress or solving their problems. However, in order for them to reach this point of mature decision making they will need to throw a few tantrums because it is simply the only way that they know how to deal with any issue.
As a parent, you should try to accept your child’s tantrums as the emotional development process that they are. Of course, you may still get a bit embarrassed if a tantrum happens in front of a crowd of strangers, but you are certainly not the first parent to be put in that position and I can promise that you will not be the last. Keep reminding yourself that these tantrums will subside eventually, and that they will only bring you and your child closer together.
More Information from Elmwood Pediatrics:
For more information on child development and what you should expect, please contact the outstanding pediatricians at Elmwood Pediatrics today by calling (585) 244-9720.