What are some strategies for dealing with temper tantrums in young children?


Quick Answer

Try these strategies to manage a child's temper tantrum: ignore the tantrum, remove the tantrum trigger, distract the child with something else, and teach the child to use his words. Do not give in. Strategies to reduce and avoid temper tantrums include being consistent, planning ahead, praising good behavior and allowing the child to make decisions.

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Full Answer

Some parents choose to ignore a tantrum and allow children to work it out on his own. Isolate children in a location to have some cooldown time and soothe themselves. Remove what triggered the tantrum, remove children from the area, or use distraction. This keeps the item out of sight and out of mind.

Teach children to use words instead of having tantrums. Show children, by example, ways to cool down and express needs and wants. Empathize with children during tantrums. A parent who tantrums teaches children to tantrum. Remain calm, losing it can escalate a child's tantrum.

An easy solution is to give in and give children what they want. This reinforces children to continue to tantrum. Avoid giving in.

Reduce the chance of a tantrum by being consistent. A consistent parent reduces surprises and helps a child manage. Keeping a daily routine helps a child know what to expect. Be consistent with rules and consequences. Plan ahead. For example, do not take children grocery shopping when they are hungry, or avoid activities when children are tired. Bring along toys or books to keep them occupied.

Praising good behavior reinforces good behavior and teaches children appropriate ways to act. Providing children choices and options and allowing them to make decisions for themselves are ways to help them feel some control and reduce the chances of the children losing control.

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