- What is happening when my sweet little babies are taken over by beings from other dimensions?
That's what it feels like.
It feels like something came through a portal and took over my child.
- Well, nothing took over your child, even though it seems like that.
- It feels like it.
(upbeat music) Nico, he's got a few triggers, few triggers.
- That set off the tantrums?
- Oh, yes.
Let's see, Lulu taking one of his favorite toys.
Being tired, being not tired.
Us putting on his black and red sneakers, instead of his teal sneakers.
- Total injustice, I guess.
Serving the wrong snack.
Like, he's hungry, has a meltdown.
I give him food, but it's not the correct food.
The pretzel's upside down.
That does not satisfy hunger.
And so he has to throw himself on the floor to let me know.
- So all of these sound like tragedies for a 3 year old.
- It's the end of the world, apparently.
(dramatic music) - They fit into these broad categories of a blocked goal.
Like a child wants something, or they wanna see something happen.
They have a desire and it's blocked.
And they aren't able to kind of regulate that response.
And also children just kinda wanna be on their own.
And they wanna have autonomy.
And if that gets taken from them, as well, they can have these outbursts.
Which is why, oftentimes, no, is a trigger for a tantrum.
Also, let's be real, being hungry or tired can set your kid off, too.
(upbeat music) I think about, like, a train running into a tunnel, right?
And as the train is approaching the tunnel, you're like, oh my gosh, a tantrum is gonna happen.
We have to prevent it, avoid it, do something, because by the time the train gets into the tunnel, it's meltdown time.
- You just gotta wait for it to come out - You just gotta wait.
- the other side.
- All right, Bethany, I can talk about the amygdala and the hypothalamus, and their conspiracy theory to go and start tantrums, but what do you do?
What do you do to handle them?
- It depends on when we jump into the tantrum situation, you know?
Like if he's full-blown anger, we've learned to just let it ride.
Let the anger ride out, and then, there's a sadness stage.
And so when he's in the sadness stage, it seems like, when we give him a little snuggle and let the sadness wear away and he comes back to, like, regular Nico, we're able to talk about it then.
Like, you seemed really upset.
What was going on?
Lots of times we've learned to know what the triggers are.
So we don't avoid them necessarily, but we plan for them.
- You plan for them.
I mean, this is awesome.
You sound like there's no blaming happening, so Nico - Oh, no, no - doesn't feel bad for this.
- there's blaming sometimes, sometimes.
There's times when we're just at our wit's end.
As we learned, that doesn't work.
- Tantrums are a normal part of childhood, lotta kids have them, some kids don't.
- Lulu didn't, not really.
Like, Lulu has more like challenging behavior, not full-blown earth shattering, throwing herself on the floor garbage like Nico.
- She's like a little gust of wind.
- Yes, she's like little siroccos.
She's like (imitates gentle wind).
And Nico's like, gah!
- And in between the gahs, behaviors should always reset back to baseline in between the tantrums.
Now, by the time kids are, like, five or six, it's not that their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls self-regulation, is completely developed and up and running.
But it's definitely on its way.
The PFC doesn't fully develop until way later.
But at this time period, at least kids should start having less tantrums.
Or they should just be dissipating, you should be able to talk them through these emotional outbursts.
Now, in this age group, if kids are still throwing tantrums, or having large emotional outbursts, or they seem disinterested in typical kid activities, or their behavior is off, you should get these evaluated, 'cause it could be signs of another medical condition or something else that should be looked at.
I'm not even saying it's gonna completely go away, when kids are in kindergarten.
We're just saying that's around the time when those PFCs can help them really understand what's happening and learn how to self-soothe.
And, you know, oftentimes, kids get over it, 'cause they're resilient, phenomenal creatures.
Being a toddler's hard.
Empathize with them.
- Empathize for sure, yes.
The struggle is real, to them.
Do you think it would help if I said to him, use your prefrontal cortex, Nico.
No, probably not.
- And I'm not even saying that it's gonna completely go away when kindersgarten, kindergarten, when kindergarten, kindergarten, kindergarder.
I'm not even saying it's gonna completely go away when kids are in kindergarten.
Why can't I say that?