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Tantrums: How do you cope?

Posted by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 2:02 AM
  • 7 Replies



Question: My tantrum-throwing kid is beween the ages of . . .


0 and 12 months

12 and 36 months

3 and 4 years

4 and 5 years

5 and 10 years

10+ years

(I have more than one kid who throws a tantrum!)

Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 29

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When your child throws the occasional (or frequent!) tantrum, how do you handle it?

Share your best strategy! 



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by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 2:02 AM
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Replies (1-7):
by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 2:16 AM

I ignore it if at all possible. If we are home, i just walk away and carry on about my business. eventually, she will get over it and be fine. if we are in a store, i leave with her. you get the picture... and never give in! I have been guilty of giving in on occasion myself, but i try to be a stickler about it.

by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 2:36 AM

I learned about the emotions over my life from many sources. I took a vocational course in early childhood development where time out included the tantrum child, holding them in a chair in a solid, caring way much like for lifesaving. Out of control emotional states are scary for anyone, and for younger children who have a limited use of language to begin with kind caring and wordless attention, or sincere neutral encouragement supports THEM while they are stuck in what I think of as an emotional storm.

No one when truly angry is receptive. I also read that we tend not to hug our children as teens and they also need the emotional support. Hard to imagine doing it, I know.

What I have found is that when I am safe for my child, then they do listen, although not with the clarity one might wish, and from my hands on front row experiences if an adult can muster the grounded respect for a child when they are completely out of control, they tend to be more prepared to follow the example and give their best effort to time out because when it is there and they know it has helped, they want that, they like it, and they will do it because first and foremost kids want to do what a parent, or respected adult expects from them.

I can basically not feed into the anger by turning my face and attention away, while remaining close when needed, holding and offer calming tones, breathes and soothing occasional exhaling hums. Maybe an you are going to be alright. When that tantrum has passed, which usually results in an exhausted kid, a drink of water, and some quiet time activity or a nap can further help transition into the more normal day.

For my child I told stories out of my head that included the days events, and the matters can easily be readdressed there. Often, when there was something my child wanted to say it will come up then as well.

Learning to have self control is a long project for all of us, and if as a parent I can make that journey a fearless example of how to, and here we go...all the better.

by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 4:04 AM

Unless he's putting himself in danger, I ignore it. MOST times if you ignore him his tantrum is over before you can walk away. He sees he's not getting the attention or the reaction he's looking for. Once he's calmed down, I talk to him calmly and rationally. Generally, that's enough and he goes on just fine. Occasionally, he starts to get agitated again and when that is the case, he receives his two minute time out. After that, we talk again. It (to this point) has not had to go past this point.

In the end, we basically follow two rules -

1) If the child is throwing a huge tantrum, you won't be able to reason with them as they are being irrational. So find a way to calm them down.

2) Be consistant. We have been consistant enough with Gavin that in most situations (unless he's really tired) simply giving him the warning 'if you do that again, you will have to go to time out' is enough to cool his jets.

by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 8:25 PM

I ignore it and eventually she will stop. No point in feeding into it, it will only make her tantrum worst.

by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 8:27 PM

i have an 18 month old and shes very stubborn. when she thows a tantrum i ignor it if i can as i walk away from her making sure shes safe of course and if that does not work i worn her shes going to her room if she keeps it up and this piont she normal stops but if not i count to 3 and off to her crib she goes untill she quits screaming then i go in and hug and kiss her and praise her for her quitness and we go back in with the family. and when this does not work witch is seldum, once in a blue moon kinda thing she gets a smake on the dry diaper and that gets her attion right away and she stops but this is seldum used only as a last resort. and if we are in a store we go to the car untill shes done and then we go in and try it again.

by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 8:39 PM

DD used to have them when she was 2.  I'd just throw myself on the ground next to her and scream and kick like she was.  She'd just stop and look at me like I was nuts.  I think she got the point :)

by on Jul. 28, 2009 at 8:42 PM

i cryho wrae you supposed to cope with a 10 month old throwing a tantrum every single time he has to do something he doesnt want to or something doesnt go his way I am losing my freakin mind

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