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PlaygroundEquipment Blog
Monday, March 10, 2014

Toddler Tantrums: Easy Solutions with Playground Equipment

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Alone or with friends, children can have fun with playground equipment!
When you first held your little baby in your arms, you were sure that everything was right in the world. The moment was perfect. You couldn't wish for anything more at that point. Fast-forward to a couple of years and you're singing a different tune. Of course, you still love your child to the moon and back but whatever happened to that little angel quietly sleeping in your arms? Whatever happened to that perfect moment you have etched in your heart and mind? Whatever happened to peace and quiet? If your days are starting to feel more like a battlefield than serene playtime in the playground, toddler tantrums are probably to blame.

The problem
Unplanned and sudden displays of anger known as tantrums are (unfortunately) a normal part of toddlers’ behavior. They can last anywhere between 30 seconds and two minutes, with the most intense moments happening at the start. It varies from child to child but most children aged two and three will have at least one tantrum per day. But even with all that crying and yelling and the fury of arms and legs, tantrums are not just means of getting your attention. Anyone can have tantrums (even you), but they are most common in children between the ages of one and four years old. Only when tantrums get so violent to the point that a child is a danger to themselves and others should you really be concerned because this may signify the presence of a more serious problem.

Why does it happen?
At the heart of every tantrum you're dealing with tantrums in 4 year-olds or autism tantrums, is a normal response from a child that didn't get their way. Don't mistake this for simply being bratty though! Children, most especially the younger ones, have not yet developed skills that would allow them to deal with anger healthily so experiencing even the littlest bit of frustration sets them off. Still, even with normal toddler tantrums, some children are more prone to having tantrums than their peers, depending on how old they are, their stress levels, how tired they are, and the presence of other mental, emotional, and physical problems. You also have to keep in mind that the manner by which parents and adults behave during toddler frustration tantrums affects the child as well. If you react too strongly or easily give in to the child's demands, trust that you'll have more difficulty in dealing with temper tantrums of toddlers in the long run.

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Playground equipment give children opportunities to explore

What you can do about it?
If your child is already knee-deep in a tantrum, there's very little you can do to remedy the situation. In fact, there's pretty much nothing you can do about it. It's like trying to defuse a bomb that's already gone off. What you can do is to let your little one ride out the tantrum, waiting nearby to show them that they are not alone. You can also hug it out with them, holding them until they regain their senses though this may mean you'll be on the receiving end of a few punches until your kiddo simmers down. Once the child is back to their adorable little selves, wipe away those tears (yours included) and take the time to talk to them about what just happened. It may not look like it but a toddler is going through a stressful period, transitioning between times when they had your attention 24/7 and now that they have a little bit more independence. It's so stressful that simply not having Mr. Teddy beside them will set off tantrums in 3 year-olds. Being the adult, it is up to you to be more understanding of what they are going through. Aside from talking to them about their concerns, be observant and be mindful of the triggers that push your toddler into throwing a fit. Oh, and you'd do well to spend a little bit more time in a playground. 

Will playground time help take care of a tantrum?
Adding playtime to curb a tantrum may seem like rewarding bad behavior but it's not. It's more about  putting your child in the best kind of environment to lessen tantrums or prevent them from happening at all. 
You have your happy place, right? The same is true for your little one. It is hard to be upset when you’re having fun, after all. To make playtime even more effective, choose a playground that incorporates elements your child absolutely loves. Does your little darling adore slides, for instance? Then make sure playtime involves some sliding activity each time as much as possible. Doing not only something fun but something they love will stoke your child even more, putting them in the best kind of mood for countering tantrums. (Teenage tantrums are a different beast altogether and would require a different course of action.)

The Promised Land that is the Playground
Have you ever seen a sad kid in a playground outdoors? No? Have you ever seen a sad kid in an indoor playground? Still no? Save for a few instances of fights breaking out that calls for terrible twos tantrums, a playground is a haven for children. For starters, there are tons of things to play with. If the playground is big enough, children won't encroach on each other so the likelihood of tantrums is lessened. Should two children decide that the other is in their way, parents and other adults can quickly step in to defuse the situation by taking their respective toddlers to different parts of the playground? Just imagine what it could be like if you have residential playground equipment. It would greatly come in handy when you're dealing with toddler tantrums at home because you have an entire area you can use as a great distraction. And boy, do you need a distraction. Distractions work because they redirect the child's attention away from the cause of their frustration so a tantrum can subside more quickly. Playgrounds are able to do this because they are designed to be captivating to a toddler, so colorful and interesting it makes a child forget it was ever upset.

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Playground equipment builds social skills

For your peace of mind
To a kid, there's nothing better than a playground. No matter what kind of playground equipment you may have, to a kid it all translates to nooks and corners to be explored. Given that everything seems right to a child when they are in a playground, it is not surprising for one to think that the playground is their best friend. But the truth is, it is mom’s and dad's. Just imagine life without commercial playground equipment. 

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