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Does Your Child Throw Tantrums When You Get Back From Work?

4 min read

Your mornings are crazy. You wake up early, cook breakfast for everyone, pack everyone’s lunch boxes, get ready, get your child ready and arrange for everyone to reach schools and offices. Your days are crazy at work with multiple meetings, impossible deadlines and difficult colleagues.
Child clings to mom
You finally reach home in the evening, ready to put your feet up and crash for a while. No sooner than you step inside the house, your child starts screaming. He lies on the floor, flaps his hands and legs, jumps and clings on to you, all the while crying. Full on tantrums, and you are no stranger to toddler tantrums! The knee jerk reaction would either be to cry yourself or shout at your child back asking him to keep quiet.Unfortunately, both of that will not work and will only make your child’s tantrums worse. Despair not, there are ways you can help your child and yourself to get over these tantrums. But the first step is to understand the reason for the tantrums.

Why Does My Child Throw Tantrums When I Get Back From Work?

The reason could be any or all of the below:

  • Your child has missed you so much during the day and is overwhelmed to see you. He is a kid and hence doesn’t know how to express his extreme feelings
  • Your child feels your absence and wants immediate attention when you are back. He thinks that throwing a tantrum will get him that attention, because otherwise you would continue with your routine of household chores
  • Your child has not had proper rest during the day and is extremely tired by the time you reach home. The tiredness leads kids to whine and throw tantrums. See if changing nap-times helps your child stay awake better
  • Your child’s care during your absence is not very good. His tantrums lasts whole day, you only see it in the evening
  • Your child is just going through a phase!

How Can You Help Your Child Cope With Your Work Life?

It might be extremely tempting to quit and be with your child, so as to avoid the whole tantrum show. There are mothers who do it and we applaud them. But for many, it is not a pragmatic solution. In fact, with some smart planning and management (and patience!) you can help your child grow out of his tantrum phase and be more understanding of your work life. Here are some tips that might help you.

    • Explain: If your child is 3 or above, then they can understand logic, if explained in a simple way to them. For instance, “Mommy has to work so that we can make some money. How else can I buy toys for you?”. This might sound a bit materialistic, but a 3 year old knows he needs his toys. Mommy working enables that? Then, he is cool with it!
    • No sneaking out: Make sure you tell your child you are leaving for work in the morning. Your child then knows where you are and expects to see you only by evening. If you do not tell him, and sneak out when he is not looking, he does not know where you are, he is upset you did not tell him and he keeps hoping you come back every other minute. Kids do not fare well with uncertainties, so build your work life into your child’s routine

Toddler tantrums

  • Act before the tantrum: We are sure you already have 100 things to take care of when you reach back home. But one way to avoid tantrums is to act before your child throws a tantrum. Focus on the child the very moment you arrive and distract him with questions and love
  • Exclusive time: This might sound a bit difficult, but try to spend the first 30 minutes of your time home when you are back for a one-on-one with your child. Do not run to kitchen or do other chores. Just focus on the child. Talk to him. Play with him. Ask about his day. Give him a bath. If it is sleep time, start on the night routine. And do this every day. Children respond very well to routines. And if your child knows he is going to have you exclusively for some time when you are back, he is more likely to be calm
  • Ensure day time rest: Relook at your child’s schedule. Ensure that the child is not too sleepy, too tired or too hungry at the time of your coming back. If one of these things is causing your child to throw a fit, then fixing the day time routine might be the answer
  • Shower your child with love: Your baby should never doubt your love. They should never associate you going for work as a way of abandoning them. So whenever you are together, express love, verbally and non-verbally. You might be tired yourself and in need of some pampering. But your child is tiny and at a helpless age! He needs a show of love as much as or more than you!
  • Scrutinize child care: Whatever childcare you have (nanny, parents, parents-in-law and daycare), see if it is working and if your child is well taken care of. For instance, does the child throw a tantrum the day your husband was home? If no, then you need to analyze what happens during the day that upsets him so much that he is inconsolable by the time you return

At times, you will find yourself frustrated and will lash out, it is alright, there are some bad days in life! However, when you do find that you are going to lose it soon, get out of the room and calm yourself, provided the child is safe. Taking a few minutes off to compose your frustration will help you cope better.
All the best!

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