Print, Share, or View Spanish version of this article
It's hard for a young child to hold strong feelings inside. Young children often cry, scream, or stomp up and down when they are upset. As a parent, you may feel angry, helpless, or ashamed.
Temper tantrums are normal. They are one way a child learns self-control. Almost all children have tantrums between the ages of 1 and 3. By age 4, they usually stop.
Try these tips when your child has a temper tantrum:
Try to stay calm.
If you can't stay calm, leave the room. Wait a minute or two before coming back, or wait until the crying stops.
Distract your child. Point out something else to do, like read a book or play with a toy. Say something like, “Look at what the kitty is doing”
Let your child cool off or have a “time-out.” Take your child away from the problem. Give your child some time alone to calm down. Try 1 minute of time-out for every year of your child's age. (For example, a 4-year-old would get a 4-minute time-out.) Don't use time-out too much or it won't work.
Be ready to take your child home if your child has a “public” tantrum. The best way of stopping “public” tantrums is to take your child home or to the car.
Ignore your child's crying, screaming, or kicking if you can. Stand nearby or hold your child without talking until your child calms down. The more attention you give a tantrum, the more likely it is to happen again.
The following things are not OK. Don't ignore these actions:
Hitting or kicking people
Throwing things that might hurt someone or break something
Yelling for a long time
If your child does these things, take him or her away from the problem. Hold your child. Say firmly, “No hitting” or “No throwing” to make sure your child knows what behavior is not OK.
Never punish your child for temper tantrums. Your child may start to keep feelings inside, which is worse.
Don't give in to your child's demands just to stop a tantrum. This teaches that a temper tantrum will help your child get his or her way. Tantrums are more likely to stop if your child doesn't gain anything from them.
Don't talk too much to your child during the tantrum. It is hard to reason with a screaming child. When your child calms down, talk about better ways to deal with anger and frustration.
Your child should have fewer temper tantrums by age 31/2. Between tantrums, he or she should seem normal and healthy. Every child grows and learns at his or her own pace. It may take time to learn how to control his or her temper.
Sometimes you have to say “no” to protect your child from harm. This is a common cause of a tantrum. So, what can you do?
Childproof your home as much as you can.
Make dangerous places and things off-limits.
Keep an eye on your child at all times. Never leave small children alone, especially if there may be danger.
Take away anything dangerous right away. Give your child something safe in its place.
Be clear and firm about safety rules.
…your child shows any of these signs:
Hurts himself or herself or others during tantrums
Holds his or her breath and faints
The tantrums get worse after age 4
Has lots of other behavior problems
When tantrums are bad or happen often, they may be a sign of emotional problems. Your child's doctor can help you find out what is behind the tantrums. The doctor can also give you advice on dealing with them.
You can't prevent all tantrums, but these ideas may help:
Make sure you give your child enough attention. Children try to get attention in many ways. If being good doesn't do it, they may try being bad. To children, even “negative” attention (when you are upset) is better than none at all. So notice your child being good and reward the behavior.
Set limits that make sense. Give simple reasons for the rules you set, and don't change the rules.
Keep a daily routine as much as you can. This helps your child know what to expect.
Let your child make choices whenever you can. For example, “Do you want apple juice or orange juice?” Or let's say your child doesn't want to take a bath. Make it clear that he or she will be taking a bath. But offer a real choice he or she can make. Try saying, “It's time for your bath. Would you like to walk or have me carry you?”
Try not to say “no” too much. Choose your battles. Children need to have some feeling of control.
Give your child a few minutes’ warning before changing activities. This helps children get ready for a change.
Ask your child to use words to tell you how he or she is feeling. Suggest words he or she can use to describe those feelings. For example, “I'm really mad.”
Be ready with healthy snacks when your child gets hungry.
Make sure your child gets enough rest.
Set a good example. Try not to argue or yell in front of your child.
The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.
If you think that you are having a medical emergency,
call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!
And when in doubt, call your doctor NOW
or go to the closest emergency department.
By using this website, you accept the information provided herein "AS IS." Neither RemedyConnect nor the providers of the information contained herein will have any liability to you arising out of your use of the information contained herein or make any express or implied warranty regarding the accuracy, content, completeness, reliability, or efficacy of the information contained within this website.
RemedyConnect, Inc. has created this privacy statement in order to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy. The following discloses our information gathering and dissemination practices for this website: http://www.remedyconnect.com.
Acquisition of Information through PMD
We do not acquire any more information about website visitors than is required by law or is otherwise necessary to provide a high level of service efficiently and securely. Our site's registration form requires users to give us contact information (e.g., their name and e-mail address) and demographic information (e.g., children's birth months, but not birth dates). We use customer contact information from the registration form to (1) send the user pertinent medical and parenting information and (2) allow your local health provider lists of who is registering on that provider's site as a parent/guardian, staff member, doctor, or visitor. Users may opt-out of receiving future mailings; see the choice/opt-out section below.
We use your IP address to help diagnose problems with our server and to administer our Website. Your IP address is used to help identify you and to gather broad demographic information.
Demographic and profile data is also collected at our site. We may use this data to tailor the visitor's experience at our site, showing them content that we think they might be interested in, and displaying the content according to their preferences.
Our site may use order forms to allow users to request information, products, and services.
Your Doctor's Right to Privacy
We will respect your doctor's right to privacy. A doctor typically does not give his/her e-mail address to the parents/guardians of patients. We will not provide the e-mail addresses of doctor(s) in the local practice to users of their site without the doctor(s)' permission. Their site is restricted to use by whomever they wish, and they may deny access to their site to one or more prior users. In unusual cases, doctors may change their private site's access code and arrange for us to e-mail the new access code to approved users.
This site contains links to other sites. RemedyConnect.com is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such Websites. See Disclaimers.
Disclosure to Third Parties
We will provide individually-identifiable information about website users to third parties only if we are compelled to do so by order of a duly-empowered governmental authority, we have the express permission of the visitor, or it is necessary to process transactions and provide you services from our affiliates: Live Agent Answering Service, Digital Answering Service, Medical Answering Service and Pediatric Answering Service.
Privacy and Our Business Partners
This site may make chat rooms, forums, message boards, and/or news groups available to its users. Please remember that any information that is disclosed in these areas becomes public information and you should exercise caution when deciding to disclose your personal information.
This site has security measures in place to protect the loss, misuse and alteration of the information under our control. For further information regarding our security, please contact us at email@example.com. If you have any concerns regarding the security of information, please do not provide any information to RemedyConnect, Inc. until you are comfortable with our security measures.
You may correct or update your User Registration information at any time, by visiting the User Registration section and providing your personal password that you set at registration. If need be, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our site provides users the opportunity to opt-out of receiving e-mail communications from our partners or us, except communications approved by your doctor's practice office. To so opt-out, please email us at email@example.com. To be removed as a user, please email us at the same address. If need be, you may mail requests to us at RemedyConnect, Inc., 9200 E. Mineral Avenue, Suite 100, Centennial, CO 80112. Our telephone number is 303-793-0703.
Contacting the Website
If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, or your dealings with this Website, you can contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at our address above.