Taming Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums are a normal part of childhood development. Children between 1 and 3 years old have difficulty expressing their emotions effectively, so they express them by crying, screaming, and sometimes even stomping their feet. Children understand language better than they can express it. Once children develop their vocabulary, they will begin to use words to communicate instead of temper tantrums.
With a little planning, there are some things you can do to stop a tantrum before it happens, such as:
- Stick to a routine—Children have somewhat predictable needs for food and sleep. Schedules help your child know what to expect every day.
- Knowing your child and their limits—This means being flexible enough to change your day around your child's moods, especially when they are hungry or tired.
- Offering your child a few choices to provide a sense of control over their environment.
- Praising your child for positive behavior
- Keeping objects that spark temper tantrums out of sight, such as a complex puzzle they find frustrating
- Picking your battles and accommodate your child when the request is reasonable
- Offering age-appropriate toys
Last reviewedJuly 2014by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.