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How to deal with Toddler Tantrums

on September 15, 2011

Screaming. Kicking. Occasional biting. Also known as TANTRUMS.

These mini-meltdowns are normal parts of a child’s development.

When and Why Children Have Tantrums

    Tantrums is a normal developmental stage.
    Tantrums often occur as a reaction to strong emotions.

Tantrums usually start at two and the child will most likely outgrow them by the time he reaches three or four years of age.

Tantrums often come when your toddler is experiencing strong emotions but doesn’t know how to tell you about them, or how to deal with them himself.Toddlers have tantrums because they want to be independent. They want to do things like put on their clothes or feed themselves. They become frustrated with their limitations and the inability to communicate.

Avoiding Tantrums

    Take the time to play and talk with your toddler regularly.
    Have clear rules and guidelines for your toddler.
    Treat your child with respect.

The first step to avoiding tantrums is establish good communication with your child.

First: Have some playtime with your tot. It will ward off temper outbursts and create a growing relationship of cooperation and caring with your toddler.

Second: Establish clear and consistent limits to behavior. Always keep in mind that toddlers are a lot like little cavemen, primitive in their expressions of emotions, a bit unruly, and in need of guidelines to follow.

Third: Treat your child with respect. When your child is tying to express his emotions, take time to try to understand his message. He will listen and obey you if he feels like you are listening to his concerns regularly.

Tantrum Triggers

    Physical discomfort, such as hunger, tiredness, or pain.
    Emotion overload, fear, excitement, boredom, stress.
    Attention seeking.

Some tantrum triggers are easy to pinpoint. If your child is hungry, tired, or sick, he’s much more likely to have a tantrum, just as an adult might have problems keeping a happy face in the same situation.

Consider the source of tantrum before you decide how to deal with it.

When Tantrums Happen

    Ignore the behavior and do not establish eye contact.
    Remove the child from the situation if necessary.
    Give your child positive attention when he is being good.
    Redirect your child’s attention for milder tantrums.
    Do not give in to the child’s demands during the tantrum.


There are those moments when your normally submissive sweetheart becomes a pint-sized terror. When those times occur, it’s important to put your own emotions in check before you try to help your toddler.

“Once a tantrum occurs the most effective way to deal with it is to ignore it,”

This is what my sister and my mom always tell me.

While your child is in the throes of emotion do not establish eye contact. You may want to put the child in her room or another safe location and let him stay there, under your supervision, until he’s approachable.

When you feel your child is past the behavior, give him attention and eye contact. “By giving your child attention when he’s being good, he’s more likely to end his tantrum or have a less intense tantrum when you don’t give him attention during a tantrum.”

For less severe tantrums, you might want to try distracting or redirecting your child’s focus on something else. If, for instance, he wants to hold the telephone, try to get him interested in a toy phone or a book.

Each expert stresses that you shouldn’t give in to your child’s demands while he’s in the throes of a tantrum. “If you give in, you’re setting up a scenario where the child thinks that he can get what he wants by having a tantrum. And that’s not the position you want to be in,” cautions Glass.


There are days when you’ll be the perfect parent and days where parenthood is more a matter of survival. When those difficult days come, remember that parenting is a learning process for both you and your toddler. As you help your child deal with her emotions, you’ll be setting up a relationship and trust that will extend from the terrible twos into the tumultuous teens and beyond.

And always remember:

Toddler tantrums are NORMAL. 🙂


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