Responsive parenting

Tantrums: How to Deal with Your Child’s Outbursts

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Are you tired of dealing with your child’s explosive tantrums that leave you feeling helpless and frustrated? Learn the most effective strategies to handle your child’s outbursts and restore peace to your home. As a parent, you’ve probably experienced your child throwing a tantrum at some point. It can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development. They’re a way for kids to express strong emotions or frustrations when they don’t have the words or skills to cope with a situation.

What Is Tantrum?

What Is Tantrum?

A tantrum is an intense emotional outburst that occurs when a child is overwhelmed by feelings of anger, frustration, or disappointment. These outbursts can manifest in various ways, including crying, screaming, kicking, and even throwing things. Typically, tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development as they learn to navigate their emotions and assert their independence. However, frequent or extreme tantrums may indicate underlying issues that require attention.

Types of Tantrums

There are generally two types of tantrums: frustration-based and attention-seeking. Frustration-based tantrums occur when a child is unable to accomplish a task or communicate their needs. Attention-seeking tantrums happen when a child wants to gain attention or control a situation.

Common Tantrum Triggers

Some common triggers for tantrums according to NCBI include hunger, fatigue, boredom, and overstimulation. Understanding these triggers can help you prevent and manage your child’s outbursts.

Strategies for Managing Tantrums

Dealing with tantrums is multi-faceted as one strategy cannot work in all situations. Consider the following tips:


The best way to deal with tantrums is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some strategies to minimize the chances of a tantrum:

  • Establish routines to create a sense of predictability.
  • Give choices to help your child feel a sense of control.
  • Offer praise and encouragement for good behavior.
  • Be consistent with rules and consequences.

During a Tantrum

When a tantrum does occur, it’s essential to remain calm and composed. Here are some tips to manage the situation:

  1. Stay calm and avoid raising your voice.
  2. Validate your child’s feelings without giving in to their demands.
  3. Offer alternatives or distractions to help defuse the situation.
  4. If necessary, give your child a safe space to calm down.

After a Tantrum

Once the tantrum has subsided, use it as a learning opportunity:

  1. Discuss the situation and help your child identify their feelings.
  2. Offer positive reinforcement for calming down and finding a resolution.
  3. Review the consequences of the tantrum and help your child understand why they occurred.

Tips for Specific Situations

Public Tantrums

Dealing with a tantrum in public can be especially challenging. Here are some tips to help you manage:

  1. Move your child to a quieter location, if possible.
  2. Stay calm and don’t worry about what others think.
  3. Use the same strategies as you would at home to address the tantrum.

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

Tantrums can sometimes arise from sibling conflicts. Here are some tips to help you manage:

  1. Encourage your children to express their feelings and listen to each other.
  2. Teach them how to compromise and find solutions together.
  3. Avoid comparing siblings or showing favoritism.
  4. Set clear boundaries and enforce consequences for unacceptable behavior.

Bedtime Tantrums

Bedtime can be a prime time for tantrums, but these tips can help you prevent and manage them:

  1. Establish a consistent bedtime routine.
  2. Create a calm and soothing environment in the bedroom.
  3. Offer a comfort object, such as a favorite stuffed animal or blanket.
  4. Use relaxation techniques, like deep breathing or reading a book, to help your child wind down.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your child’s tantrums are becoming more frequent, severe, or disruptive, it may be time to seek professional help. Signs that professional intervention may be necessary include:

  1. Tantrums lasting longer than 15 minutes.
  2. Violent or self-injurious behavior.
  3. Difficulty calming down after a tantrum.
  4. Tantrums interfering with daily life or causing significant distress to your child or family.


FAQs on Tantrums

At what age do tantrums typically start and stop?

Tantrums usually begin around 18 months and can last until age 4 or 5. However, tantrums can continue in older children if they haven’t developed effective coping strategies.

Can tantrums be a sign of a more serious issue?

While tantrums are a normal part of child development, they can sometimes indicate underlying issues, such as developmental disorders or mental health concerns. If you’re concerned about your child’s tantrums, consult a pediatrician or mental health professional.

How can I teach my child to express their emotions without tantrums?

Encourage your child to use their words to express their feelings, offer alternatives to tantrum behaviors, and model appropriate emotional expression.

Should I ignore my child’s tantrum?

It depends on the situation and the type of tantrum. Ignoring attention-seeking tantrums can be effective, but it’s essential to address frustration-based tantrums by validating your child’s feelings and helping them find a solution.

Is it normal for my child to have tantrums every day?

While some children may experience tantrums more frequently than others, daily tantrums could indicate an underlying issue. Consult a professional if you’re concerned about your child’s tantrum frequency.

How do you discipline a child who throws tantrums?

Remain calm, validate their feelings, offer alternatives, and consistently enforce consequences for unacceptable behavior.

How do you punish a temper tantrum?

Rather than punishing, focus on teaching your child appropriate coping strategies and establishing clear consequences for their actions.

How do you deal with a child’s meltdown?

Stay calm, provide a safe space for them to calm down, validate their emotions, and discuss the situation afterward to find solutions.

How to deal with kids’ tantrums when they have behavioral problems?

Consult a professional for guidance, implement consistent routines and consequences, and offer support and encouragement for positive behavior.

What can a parent do when their child has temper tantrums?

Understand triggers, establish routines, stay calm during tantrums, and use them as learning opportunities to develop better coping strategies.


Managing your child’s tantrums can be challenging, but understanding the causes and using effective strategies can help minimize their frequency and intensity. Remember that tantrums are a normal part of child development, and as your child grows and learns to express themselves, the tantrums will likely subside. Stay calm, be patient, and use these tips to guide your child through their emotional outbursts.

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