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Tantrums: Why Kids Have It and What To Do About It


Tantrums can be aggravating for any parent. Tantrums, on the other hand, should be viewed as educational opportunities rather than disasters.

In this article, we will take a motherly look at why children do have and throw tantrums and what exactly to do about it.

Why Do Children Throw Tantrums?

Temper tantrums can include everything from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath-holding spells. They are equally common in boys and girls and usually occur between the ages of one and three.

Some children have tantrums frequently, while others have them only occasionally. Tantrums are a normal part of growing up. They are how young children express their dissatisfaction or frustration.

Tantrums can occur when children are tired, hungry, or uncomfortable.

They may have a meltdown if they are unable to obtain something they desire (such as a toy or candy) or if they are unable to persuade someone to do what they desire (like getting a parent to pay attention to them immediately or getting a sibling to give up the tablet). Children develop the ability to deal with frustration over time.

Also read: 10 Warning Signs You Are Not Spending Enough Time With Your Children

Tantrums are common in children during their second year of life when their language skills are developing. 

A tantrum may result from a frustrating experience because toddlers cannot always express what they want or need and because words describing feelings are more complicated and develop later. Tantrums tend to decrease as language skills improve.

Toddlers want more independence and control over their environment than they can handle.

Toddlers want more independence and control over their environment than they can handle. This can lead to power struggles because a child believes, “I can do it myself” or “I want it, give it to me.” When children realize they can’t do it and can’t have everything they want, they may throw a tantrum.

How Can We Prevent Tantrums?


Whenever possible, try to prevent tantrums from occurring in the first place. Here are some suggestions that may be useful:

1. Provide a lot of positive attention.

Make it a habit to catch your child doing something good. Praise and attention should be given to your child for good behavior. Be specific when praising behaviors you want to see more of (for example, “I like how you said please and waited for your milk” or “Thank you for sharing the blocks with your sister.”)

2. Keep prohibited items out of sight and reach.

This reduces the likelihood of conflict. This is obviously not always possible, especially outside the home where the environment cannot be controlled.

3. Assist children in learning new skills and succeeding.

Assist children in learning new skills. Praise them to make them feel good about themselves.

4. Give toddlers some control over small things.

Allow minor choices such as “Do you want orange juice or apple juice?” or “Do you want to brush your teeth before or after taking a bath?” This way, you aren’t asking “Do you want to brush your teeth now?” — which will be answered “no.” 

Instead of arguing about an out-of-place outfit your child wears, consider whether this is an opportunity for self-expression and independence and whether it makes a difference given the day’s schedule.

5. Distract your child’s attention.

Try substituting something else for what they can’t have. Start a new activity to replace the frustrating or forbidden one (for example, if your child is jumping on the couch, invite them to come to help you “cook” by offering a plastic container and wooden spoon, and then praise them for helping or following directions instead of having them start a tantrum or refuse to get down). 

Alternatively, simply alter the environment. Take your toddler outside, inside, or to another room.

What Should I Do If My Child Has a Tantrum?


When responding to a tantrum, keep your cool. Don’t add to the problem by expressing your frustration or anger. Remind yourself that your job is to teach your child to relax. So you must remain calm as well.

Tantrums should be handled differently depending on the cause of your child’s distress. You may need to provide comfort at times. It’s time for a nap or a snack if your child is tired or hungry. At other times, it is best to ignore an outburst or divert your child’s attention to a new activity.

If a tantrum is thrown to get the attention of parents, one of the most effective ways to reduce this behavior is to ignore it.

If your child throws a tantrum after being denied something, remain calm and don’t give your child too many reasons why they can’t have what they want. Continue with another activity with your child.

If your child throws a tantrum after being told to do something they don’t want to do, it’s best to ignore the tantrum. However, make certain that you follow through on having your child complete the task once they’ve calmed down.

Also read: 15+ Important Responsibilities Of A Mother

During a tantrum, children who are in danger of injuring themselves or others should be taken to a quiet, safe place to calm down. This is also true for tantrums in public places.

If there is a safety concern and a toddler continues the forbidden behavior after being told to stop, use a time-out by placing the child on a designated chair or in a corner for a few minutes. 

Stay nearby to supervise, but avoid interacting with them until they are calm. Maintain consistency. Don’t give up on safety concerns.

Tantrums are more likely to be used by preschoolers and older children to get their way if they have learned that this behavior works. Sending school-age children to their rooms to cool off while paying little attention to their behavior is appropriate.

Tell your child that you will notify them when the time-out is over and that the sooner they are calm and quiet, the sooner the time-out will end. This is empowering because children can influence the outcome through their own actions, regaining control that was lost during the tantrum.

Do not give in to your child’s tantrum. This will only demonstrate to your child that the tantrum was effective.

Make a “chill out” or “calm down” zone in your home (some teachers use this in preschool, as well). Provide a soft cushion, books, a stuffed animal, soft music, and other calming activities in a location where others will not disturb the child.

Encourage your child to go to the spot when he or she is angry or upset — not as a punishment, but as a choice and an opportunity to learn to control frustration.

What Should I Do If My Kid Throws a Tantrum?

Reward your child for regaining control, such as “I like how you calmed down.”

When kids know they’ve been less than adorable after a tantrum, they may be especially vulnerable. Now is the time to give your child a hug and reassure them that they are loved no matter what. 

If your child is old enough to talk about it, help them think of other ways they could have expressed their frustration.

Make certain that your child gets enough sleep. Children who do not get enough sleep may become hyperactive, disagreeable, and exhibit extreme behavior. Tantrums can be greatly reduced by getting enough sleep. Find out how much sleep your child requires at his or her age.

Most children’s sleep requirements are dictated by their age, but each child is unique.


Temper tantrums are a normal part of everyone’s life, whether they are children or adults. Your job as a parent is to help your child understand that tantrum behavior are not acceptable ways to act at home or in public.

A loving parent also assists their child through this stage by establishing firm boundaries, establishing consistent rules, and modeling appropriate behavior for their child at home and in public. 

You may not be able to completely eliminate temper tantrums from your life, but you can create an environment in which you and your child can work through them together.

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