Temper tantrums are not unusual behavior for children. It is a normal part of every childhood. Most children have temper tantrums from the ages of 1 to 3 years old. However, you may know children much older that continue to have them because they succeed in getting what they want when they throw a temper tantrum or they may seek attention and cannot verbalize their needs (often with older children with special needs).
- Do not give in to temper tantrums (if at all possible).
- The best way to resolve temper tantrums is to IGNORE them!
- Tell your child you will return when they are finished with the temper tantrum. (Go in the kitchen if the child is in the living room.)
- Tell your child they can throw a temper tantrum but they will need to do it in their own room.
- Children will often throw temper tantrums when they are especially tired or hungry.
- Be cognizant of how long you are at a store or visiting somewhere especially if it is when they usually are taking a nap. Remember, children do not have very long attention spans. Do not expect too much from them at this age.
- Choose your battles. If it is a battle regarding going to bed of course they need to sleep. However, if it is battle about what shoes they want to wear….ask yourself does it really matter?
- Don’t get into power struggles with your child, it is not worth your energy.
- If your child is frustrated and throwing a temper tantrum, try to figure out what the cause of the temper tantrum is and see if it can be worked out.
- Tell your child that you are glad that they are better once they are finished with their temper tantrum.
- Try to reinforce positive behaviors to eliminate negative, attention-seeking behaviors like temper tantrums.
Most importantly, remember every parent has to deal with a temper tantrum at least once in their life! You are not alone. If you can stand your ground, ignore the behavior and look the other way, you will find that temper tantrums will soon go away!