Q:

What do you do to stop severe temper tantrums in toddlers?

A:

Quick Answer

Strategies to stop a tantrum include offering a distraction to the child, ignoring the tantrum until it passes, disciplining the child and hugging the child. If the tantrum takes place in a store, moving to a different area or leaving the store can also help.

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Full Answer

Distracting the child with a toy or changing the subject enthusiastically plays on the child's short attention span. Some parents carry a variety of toys with them in the event of a tantrum, giving them one by one until something grabs the child's attention.

Ignoring the child helps during a tantrum because he is only acting out of emotions and can't think logically; trying to reason with him doesn't help. By ignoring the tantrum and staying calm until the tantrum passes, the parent can keep control over her own emotions and not respond negatively to the tantrum.

Hugging the child firmly when she's having a tantrum can help settle her because it gives her a comfortable place to vent her emotions. It's also important to speak in a soothing voice.

Disciplining the child can help discourage unruly behavior, but is only really effective after he's calm. In contrast, buckling out of frustration and giving the child what he wants can stop the tantrum but also encourages similar behavior in the future.

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