Temper Tantrums!

Temper tantrum – A common question, one that comes up almost daily, is what to do about temper tantrums in toddlers and young children. These can be very disruptive to family life, as many know.  It’s first important to realize that to some extent these types of behaviors are normal reactions to the everyday frustrations and stresses that young children experience.  Even adults experience these types of “downs”. However, unlike the young child, we (most of us anyway) have learned it’s best to control our emotions a bit when “having a bad day”.


In the case of childhood tantrums first try to determine the why. Is your child tired, hungry, or over stimulated. Has he spent too much time out of his comfort zone ( e.g. at a play date in the park, for example) Or is it merely a case of not getting something that he wants.   It’s important to realize that some of these are situations that he will need your help in preventing, such as scheduling of naps and meals for example. This is the second step. The third step is to be consistent with rules and limits that are placed. If Johnny wants to play with the TV remote, and you don’t want him to, then take it away from him but do so consistently, regardless of the amount of yelling and screaming that takes place. Abnormal tantrums will develop when parents give in to their child’s yelling and screaming and change the rules.  Children do much better with consistency. When rules are applied this way, no yelling or shouting from the parent is necessary, just the willingness to be unbending when your child (via their own yelling and screaming) tries to get you to change your mind.  Offer distractions (something better for them to do) to help seal the deal.  The forth step is to make sure you are providing plenty of attention ( even more than you might otherwise do) when your child does respond appropriately to your limit setting.


As in all types of problems, individual cases require individualized solutions. If your tantrum problems don’t seem to be getting better we can help.