Tantrums are usually a short period of angry outburst or
unreasonable behaviours like crying, screaming, shouting and
What causes a tantrum?
This is a normal part of growing up. Between
the ages of one and four years, most children will have tantrums.
As children grow they are learning to become more physically
independent. For example, they may want to play, want to dress and
feed themselves, or pour their own juice. Your child therefore can
get very upset, if they are unable to do something or if they are
stopped. A battle between freedom and frustration can lead to
Tantrums can also occur when a child is
- feeling ignored
- worried or anxious - a younger child may be unable to tell you
that they are anxious and they may cry, become clingy and have
Your child's screams and yells can be
alarming. You may feel angry, discouraged and hopeless.You will
almost certainly be embarrassed if a tantrum occurs in a public
place or in front of other people.
It is not easy being a parent or carer of a
toddler. However it is important to set the rules, so your child
learns to deal with their emotions.
Remember, it is only natural that children
will try to push the limits. Here are some ideas which may work for
you and your child:
The main thing to do is to stay calm and not
to get upset. Just remind yourself that this is normal, that lots
of parents do deal with it, be reassured that you will manage this
Ignore the tantrum
You should calmly continue with whatever you are doing -
chatting to someone else, packing your shopping or whatever. Every
so often check to make sure your child is safe. Ignoring your child
is very hard, but if you answer back, or even smack them, you are
giving them the attention they are demanding.
Be consistent with rules
You are trying to teach your child that rules are important and
that you will stick to them.
Pay attention to any good behaviour
As soon as you see any signs of calming down, e.g. they stop
screaming, praise them. Turn your full attention back to the child,
talk to them with warmth and admiration. If you reward the new
behaviour like this, your child is more likely to stay calm and
carry on being good.