Observe the child in natural situations.
If a tantrum is not observed, the adults may want to set a limit to see how the child responds. Observe how the child responds when a time limit is set for an activity or the child is told to stop an action. What does the child do to try to not get upset?
The child seeks another activity, goes to the adult for comfort, or seeks a preferred object. Some children will just tantrum and rely on the adult to help them calm down.
Help early childhood educators and parents understand the importance of helping the child build his own self-regulation mechanisms. Provide suggestions for how they can reduce their physical support so the child can substitute ways that he can control behavior (a blanket, toy, “take a breath,” “stomp your feet, then relax”).
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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