A tantrum is an episode of extreme anger and frustration characterized by crying, screaming, and violent body motions, including throwing things, falling to the floor, and banging one’s head, hands, and feet against the floor.

One reason for this is toddlers want to express themselves, but find it difficult. They feel frustrated, and the frustration comes out as a tantrum.

Once a child can talk more, they’re less likely to have tantrums. By the age of 4, tantrums are far less common.

Cause temper tantrums

Whatever the trigger, most mental health professionals believe that children who have frequent emotional outbursts are lacking certain skills that would help them better handle situations that cause them frustration, anxiety or anger. They include: Impulse control. Problem solving.

Common problems

Having tantrums is a normal part of growing up; however, they are not socially acceptable behavior. Consequently, the most common problems with tantrums are problems for the parents. The tantrums often take place in public, which can be embarrassing and make them harder to deal with calmly. If the child actually hurts him or others or has very frequent tantrums, it may be a sign of behavior problems, and the child should be assessed by a pediatrician.

Parental concerns

Most children do not actually hurt themselves or others during tantrums, although it may seem like they are going to. Holding the breath cannot actually hurt a child; the child will breathe involuntarily before harm occurs. A child’s tantrums can, however, challenge parents’ ability to remain calm. Tantrums may occur in busy places such as restaurants and grocery stores, and the child is more likely to be tired. It can also be very distressing for parents to see the child so upset and out of control. Parents who are concerned about their ability to calmly deal with the child’s temper tantrums may talk to the child’s pediatrician about ways to cope more effectively with this natural part of the child’s development.

Toddler tantrum tips

  • Find out why the tantrum is happening
  • Understand and accept your child’s anger
  • Find a distraction
  • Wait for it to stop
  • Don’t change your mind
  • Be prepared when you’re out shopping
  • Try holding your child firmly until the tantrum passes
  • Don’t hit, bite or kick back
  • Talk to them
  • Show them you love them, but not their behaviour
  • Help them let their feelings out in another way
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