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What should you do when your child throws a temper tantrum?

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asked Feb 19, 2016 in Kids and Teens by Emily
edited Feb 19, 2016
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 If your child has a temper tantrum, the best thing to do is to react calmly. Avoid shouting or giving in to your child. If the tantrum occurs in a public place, try to take your child to a quiet, more private area until the tantrum passes. [1]


Another tactic is to try to distract your child by changing activities. If you are at home when the tantrum occurs, try leaving the room until your child calms down. Just make sure that your child isn't being destructive and that he doesn't injure himself. If these are possibilities, it is best to remain present. [1]


Temper tantrums are a way of getting attention. This is why it is best to ignore the behavior and react calmly. That tells the child that engaging in the behavior is not a way to get what he wants. Giving in to the behavior sends the child the signal that he can have his way by throwing a tantrum. Once the tantrum is over, talk with the child about the reasons for the behavior and try to suggest alternatives. [1]


It is best to try to avoid temper tantrums whenever possible. To do this:


  • Remain consistent. This allows your child to know what to expect. Unexpected events cause uncertainty that may lead to a tantrum.
  • Time activities as carefully as possible. For instance, try not to schedule an activity when your child is tired or hungry, as these are times when he has less tolerance for frustration.
  • Provide your child with choices. For instance, give him two options of shirts to wear. This lets him feel like he has some control in his life.
  • Help your child use words to communicate his needs and wants instead of acting out.
  • Praise your child when he displays good behavior and follows rules.
  • Avoid situations that are likely to trigger a tantrum. For instance, if you know that your child is likely to throw a tantrum when he sees displays of candy in the grocery store, avoid the aisles that contain those items. Some stores offer checkout lanes that don't display candy and gum, so use those lanes when available. [2]




1. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001922.htm

2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/tantrum/art-20047845

answered Feb 20, 2016 by jems (19,790 points)
edited Feb 20, 2016 by jems

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