Dealing with Tantrums

Toddler having temper tantrum

It is common for young children to have tantrums at times. When children are deaf or hard of hearing, they may have tantrums if they do not have the words to express what they need, want or feel. In these situations, their behavior is “communication.” As your baby’s communication with you grows. many of these tantrums will disappear.​

Behavior Management Becomes Easier As Communication Strengthens 

We need to avoid attributing too many behavior problems to being deaf or hard of hearing. 

We can use many of the same techniques that we use with any child to help them behave well by using the following tools. 

Identify Trigger Behaviors  

Watch for warning signs in your child, and respond to them.  

  • If it has been a long time since a meal, try a snack.  
  • If you have been very busy, give your baby some attention before the tantrum can start. 

Ignore the Behavior  

Ignore the behavior if your baby's tantrum seems to be the result of wanting more attention than you are able to give.  

  • If you have made sure that nothing serious is wrong, then ignoring can be a powerful way to help your toddler to calm down. 

Remove Your Baby from the Situation 

If your little one "melts down" over not getting a new toy at the store, calmly remove the child from the store. If the situation or setting is interesting/fun to your child, then having to leave will be a strong message: "I can't behave this way in here." 

Help the Child Calm  

Hold the child gently against your body and breathe slowly and quietly, giving you both a chance to calm down. Small children often cannot calm themselves, but adults can help them. 

Look for Opportunities for Positive Interactions 

Forgive the tantrum as soon as it is over. Catch your toddler smiling, or looking at something, or vocalizing and respond quickly with a positive interaction. 

Your child will find that positive attention is much more interesting than having a tantrum, unless the tantrum itself is the best way of attracting your attention.  

Stay calm, ignore as much as you can, and make other times more interesting. Most of all, keep on learning to communicate.