Children and Adults

How To Deal With Temper Tantrum In Kids

What does Tantrum means?


A tantrum is the look of a young child’s annoyance or irritation with his or her restrictions  about not being able to get his or her way or request.

Tantrums come in all shapes and forms.You might notice them weeping, yelling, withhold their limbs, an arched back, knocking, slipping, moving erratically  about or running away. 


In some cases, children have been seen to  hold their breath, vomit, break things or get aggressive as part of a tantrum.They can involve spectacular rave of anger, frustration and disorganised behaviour – when they ‘loses it’.


       Types Of Toddler Tantrum

There are two types of temper tantrums :

  • Emotional Tantrums
  •  Non-Emotional tantrums


Emotional  Tantrums : 

An emotional meltdown happens when the emotional part of the brain (limbic) becomes over-aroused and takes over the control from the thinking part of the brain (pre-frontal cortex).


Non-Emotional tantrums :  

This is the tantrums that occur when parent has given in to the kid’s demand in the past and they then  child then learn to associate throwing fits with getting what they want. 

However, a kid can start with a non-emotional tantrum but ends with an emotional meltdown when 2 year-old tantrums get out of control.  Non-Emotional tantrums  is also called  Little Nero tantrum.


Tantrums among children

Why Tantrums Happen


Tantrums are very rampart  in children aged  between 1-3 years.

This is because children’s social and emotional skills are only just starting to develop at this age.

Children  do not really  have the words to express this  big emotions.They are actually  testing out their growing independence. 


So tantrums are one of the ways that young children express and manage feelings, and try to understand or change what’s going on around them.


 Children  older than 3 years can have tantrums too.This case is usually due to the fact that they haven’t yet learned more appropriate ways to express or manage feelings.

For both toddlers and older children, below are factors that can trigger tantrums in them :

  • Character– this affect  how quickly and strongly children respond to things like irritating events. Children who get upset easily  are more prone  to have tantrums.
  • Stress, hunger, fatigue and boredom – These can make it harder for children to express and manage their feelings and behaviour.
  • Situations beyond children undrstanding – for example, a toddler might have trouble coping if an older child takes a toy away.
  • Strong emotions – anxiety, agitation, humiliation and vexation can be immense for children.

How Minimise Toddlers Having  Tantrums.


The following are   things we can do  to at least  make tantrums less likely to happen :

  • Reduce stress : Children who are exhausted or tired, hungry and overstimulated  are more likely to experience tantrums.
  • Tune in to your child’s feelings :  If parent  pay attention to  their child’s feelings, they will  be able to sense when big feelings are  about erupt , parent  can  engage with their  child  and talk about what’s going on, and support  the child  to manage difficult feelings. Parent could also use distraction to change the child tantrum act.
  • Identify tantrum triggers : It’s important to note the frequency and the patterns of the child tantrums, where and how it happens.  For instance,A child  that normally have tantrums anytime folks are  shopping at the Mall. Parent might be able to  change the environment to avoid tantrums.it might also be  helpful  to go shopping after your child has had a nap and his or her preferred  snack.
  • Engage with the child and talk over his or her emotion : When your child struggles with a strong feeling, one good approach is to  encourage the child to name the feeling and likely triggers. For example, ‘Did you throw your shoes  because you were angry  that it wasn’t fitting you anymore? What else could you have done?’


What To Do When  Tantrums  Happen In Kids.

It is noteworthy for parent to know that that sometimes tantrums will still occur, no matter what measures is put in place to avoid them. Here are some ideas for handling tantrums whenever  they happen :

  • Stay calm : This is extremely difficult or hard to do especially  if it happen in the public domain.It is advisable  to take a moment for yourself if you need to, and If you get angry, it’ll make the situation  more difficult for both  the child and you.When you speak, keep your voice calm, soft and level, and act deliberately and slowly.
  • Acknowledge your child’s strong feelings : Parent should also accept child feeling by showing understanding and compassion. For instance, ‘It’s very upsetting when your ice-cream falls out of the cone, isn’t it?’ This can help prevent behaviour getting more out of control and gives your child a chance to reset his or her  emotions.
  • Wait out the tantrum. Stay close  to the child and ensure they are safe and not causing injury to themselves or to passerby, let the child know you are right there  and watching. But don’t try to reason with your child or distract them, taking such steps is already too  late once a tantrum has erupted.
  • Take charge when you need to: Parent should also understand that its important to put their foot down on certain occasions say for instance ,if the tantrum  occurs because the child wants something, its best you don’t give your child what they want. If your child doesn’t want to do something, use your judgment. For example, if your child doesn’t want to get out of the bath, pulling out the plug might be safer than lifting out your child.
  • Be consistent and calm in your approach: Parent should be in their best element when managing tantrums with their children, they should follow a definite pattern  and be consistent and calm in their approach. If you sometimes give your child what they want when they have tantrums and you sometimes don’t, the problem could get worse.

Can tantrums be prevented?

Although there has not been any  evidence or proof  that tantrums can be totally prevented, but there are  lots of ways to encourage good behaviour in even the youngest children.

For example :

  • Be consistent : Parent should set up a daily routine so that your child knows what to expect. Follow through to the routine as much as possible, including rest time and bedtime. A child’s temper can become short if he or she doesn’t have enough rest or quiet time.
  • Plan ahead : Run errands when your child isn’t likely to be hungry or exhausted. If you’re expecting to wait in line, pack a small toy or snack to get your child busy.
  • Allow  your child make the right  choices : Parent should avoid saying  saying no to everything. To give your toddler a sense of control, let him or her make choices. “Would you like to wear your blue shirt or your yellow shirt?” “Would you like to take oranges or bananas?” “Would you like to read a book or build a babel  tower with your blocks?”
  • Praise good behaviour : Parent should acknowledge and praise their children anytime they behave well  or did something worthy of praise even if its just lacing of his or her shoes. Offer to give them  a hug or tell them you are proud of their achievements  when he or she shares or follows directions.
  • Avoid situations likely to trigger tantrum :  It is also important for parent to take cognisance of patterns which tantrums do happen and act accordingly. Take for instance, Avoiding giving toys that are far too advanced for him or her. If your child begs for toys or treats when you shop, move away from such areas with these temptations. If your toddler acts up in restaurants, choose venues  that offer quick service.


What’s The Best Way To Respond To a Tantrum?

Typically, the best approach to respond to a tantrum is to stay calm. If however  you respond with noisy, resentful outbursts, your child might as well copy  your behaviour. Shouting at a child to calm down will  likely increase or make the situation  worse.

Instead of trying to distract your child when tantrums is fully blown. A different look, a change of location or making a funny face might help.

If you’ve asked your child to do something against his or her will, follow through by offering to help. If you’ve asked your child not to play in a certain area, try showing him or her where playing will be great and safe for everyone.

If your child is hitting or kicking someone or trying to run into the street, stop the behaviour by holding him or her until he or she calms down. When he or she quiets down, calmly and slowly  explain your rules.


Managing   tantrums in Kids

Dealing with tantrums can be very exhausting and demanding.Some parent might feel they  need to exercise control and step in to end a tantrum straight away, but if it is best to be calm and slow  down while deciding the best way and  how to respond.


Below are some  ideas for staying calm and keeping things in perspective :

  • Develop a strategy for tantrums. Have a lay down  plan on  how you’ll handle a tantrum in whatever situation you’re in. Concentrate on putting your plan into action when such situation occurs.
  • Admit that you can’t control your child’s emotions or behaviour wholeheartedly.You can only ensure you  keep your child safe and guide his or her behaviour so that  tantrums are less likely to occur at later date.
  • Admit that it takes time for change to happen.Every child has a lot of growing up to do before tantrums are gone forever. Growing and perfecting self-regulation skills is a life-long undertaking.
  • Be careful to thinking that your child is doing it deliberately or is trying to upset you. Children don’t have tantrums on purpose ,they are simply have not yet developed the necessary skills needed to navigate the situation.
  • Keep your sense of humour : Do not let this be excessive as it can work both ways.If you do it moderately, it might benefit  your child with attention and if its done excessively, the child might also upset and  even more if they think you’re making jest of them.
  • If other people show funny looks, ignore them. They’ve either never had children or it’s been so long since they had a young child that they’ve forgotten what it’s like to manage  kids having tantrums.


What if my child becomes destructive or dangerous?

If a tantrum heighten, take you child away from the situation and enforce a timeout :

  • Select a timeout spot : Seat your child in a boring place, such as in a chair in the living room or on the floor in the hallway. Observe and wait  for your child to calm down. Review  giving one minute of timeout for every year of your child’s age.
  • Stick with it : If your child begins to move around before the timeout is over, return him or her to the designated timeout spot, make him or her start all over. Don’t respond to anything your child says while he or she is in timeout.
  • Know when to end the timeout. When your child has calmed down, briefly discuss the reason for the timeout and why the behaviour was inappropriate. Then let the child return to his or her usual activities.


Don’t overuse  the timeout strategy  or they will not be effective. How do you control the kids tantrums in your household? Any great ideas that work? Please feel free to let us know  in the comment  section below.





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