Mom hugging her daughter.

7 Temper Tantrum Tips You Need to Know

Watching your child’s personality grow as they develop is an exciting time in a parent’s life. You get to see a glimpse of who they’re becoming and watch as their humor, emotions, and reasoning expands. However, as your children get older, you’ll also be faced with new challenges to overcome. This is especially true regarding temper tantrums. Temper tantrums are instances that occur when your child has an intense outburst of either anger or frustration. They can be strictly physical, verbal, or a combination of both. This can include engaging in unpleasant behaviors, hitting, screaming, or refusing to move. Most often, temper tantrums occur due to a lack of being able to express their feelings in other ways. To help you manage your child’s behavior, here are seven temper tantrum tips you need to know.


What Causes Temper Tantrums?

Due to a child’s lack of ability to verbally communicate, temper tantrums tend to be disproportionate to the surrounding circumstances. They’re caused by frustration, a desire for attention, a desire for something tangible like a treat or a toy, out of hunger, tiredness, or even when a child is trying to avoid doing something. The tantrum is a direct representation to the internal conflict they feel from these types of emotions, which is why they can be detected early and, when properly handled, used as a learning tool. One of the best ways to anticipate a tantrum is to learn your child’s non-verbal communication cues. This can help you better understand their emotions while they’re stuck trying to figure them out. While it may not be plausible for all of their developing feelings, helping them stay well rested and full can at least increase the threshold for these types of outbursts.


7 Effective Ways to Deal with Temper Tantrums

Childhood Temper tantrums are fairly common and completely normal in children from the ages of one to four. However, just because they’re normal, doesn’t mean they should be completely tolerated. Instead, use some of these effective tips at dealing with temper tantrums to help teach your children how to properly express themselves during times of frustration or anger.

Try to Stay Calm

One of the most important ways to deal with a temper tantrum is to stay calm. Unfortunately, this can be difficult for many parents. It’s hard to see your child experience so much distress and it can be even more difficult when this occurs in a public place. However, you’re the adult in this situation and if you begin reacting to your child’s tantrum in a negative way, it’s only going to make things worse. Screaming, shouting, or even trying to rationalize with your child can escalate things. Never hit your child in response to a temper tantrum, or for any other reason. Physical violence towards a child is never justified.

Instead, it’s recommended that you remain calm without ignoring them. Try sitting on the floor next to your child during a tantrum to simply be present. Never leave the room, as this can create abandonment issues down the line. If anything, temper tantrums are a great way for adults to practice their patience.

Learn Your Child’s Triggers

Another great way to deal with your child’s temper tantrum is trying to avoid it altogether. When you learn your child’s triggers, you gain the resources to potentially bypass the tantrum. Some common triggers amongst children are not getting a toy they want, sharing with others, eating certain foods, or transitioning from one activity during the day to another. Once you learn these tantrum triggers, you can communicate with your child more effectively and reduce the severity and frequency of tantrums. You’ll also be able to avoid situations that can spark a temper tantrum while your child’s communication skills continue to develop.

Order Your Insurance Covered Breast Pump

Teach Them Ways to Express Themselves

Since tantrums are often a child’s means of expressing themselves, try to teach them alternatives. One way to do this is to help your children label emotions from an early age. There are great books and resources available to teach facial expressions, simple emotive words, and feelings to express themselves. Without this vocabulary and knowledge, a child will continue relying on temper tantrums.

Talk About Tantrums

Immediately following a temper tantrum, once your child has completely cooled down and the feelings have subsided, sit down with them and discuss what happened. Always make sure you acknowledge their feelings, use simple terms and phrases, and try to approach each outburst as a learning experience. When you show your child that you value their feelings and understand their frustration while giving them alternative ways to handle these things, you’ll reinforce good behavior and reduce the risk of further tantrums.

Practice Love and Compassion

As frustrating as it can be to watch your child spiral into another temper tantrum, always practice love and compassion. While it’s not necessarily recommended to do so during the outburst as it can reinforce behavior, fostering an open, accepting environment will encourage your child to verbally share how they feel. It’s also essential that your child knows that you still care and love them after the tantrum has passed. This can help your child develop strong emotional maturity.

Don’t Reinforce Negative Behavior

Certain things can reinforce the negative behavior of a temper tantrum, thus increasing the risk of further outbursts. While the easiest way to end a tantrum is to give in to whatever your child is demanding, doing so teaches them that this is an appropriate way to get what they want. Similarly, giving them a hug or outwardly expressing compassion during a tantrum internally reinforces that the behavior is acceptable. Try to avoid negative reinforcements and instead, stay calm and allow the moment to pass before taking action. 

Redirect Your Child’s Attention

An active way to help deal with outbursts is to distract your child if you notice a tantrum starting. This can be difficult to master, as sometimes tantrums come out of nowhere, but if you pull it off you can avoid emotional meltdowns. At early warning signs, try showing them something that might interest them, start playing a game, put on some music and ask them to dance, or head outside to play in the yard. This can help deflect attention and may, or may not, avoid a tantrum altogether.

There are some things that can make temper tantrums worse. Temper tantrums are communicative, so it’s important for parents to address that they understand their young child wants something. This is a part of the calming process, as just repeatedly saying no or ignoring your child can make the situation worse. Instead, take the time to tell your child that you know they want something, so they feel heard and understood. This creates a shift from tantrum mode to problem-solving and allows you to better address the situation. Don’t simply say “no” in response to your child’s behavior.

Don’t try to control your toddler or their emotions. This can intensify their desire to exert power, which creates a cycle of negative feedback that leads to further defiance.

It's also important to remember that when your child throws a temper tantrum, they remain trapped inside the emotional part of their brain. This makes it extremely difficult for them to process logical reasoning. However, when you react accordingly to this behavior, it provides an opportunity to help your child gain self-control.

What to Do After a Temper Tantrum

After the temper tantrum has passed, there are a few things you should do to strengthen ongoing communication and reduce future incidents. First, praise your child for being able to gain the self-control needed to calm down. By focusing on the positive aspect of a temper tantrum, you can avoid reinforcing negative behavior. It’s also important to acknowledge their feelings and frustration to develop trust and understanding. Try to help your child label the emotions they were feeling using words and use the temper tantrum as a teaching moment. Brainstorm ways they could deal with these types of problems in the future without getting upset to help strengthen child development and independence. Finally, regardless of what’s going on with your life, try to set a good example and avoid giving into negative behavior when you’re frustrated. While it can be difficult, your children look up to you and will ultimately mimic your best and worst behavior.


In summary, temper tantrums can be challenging for parents to handle, but with the right strategies, they can be managed effectively. By staying calm, offering choices, using distraction techniques, and being consistent with consequences, parents can help their kids learn how to regulate their emotions and express themselves in a healthy way. It's also important to remember that every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another. With patience, empathy, and a willingness to learn and adapt, parents can navigate the ups and downs of temper tantrums and help their young children develop the skills they need to thrive.

To support your journey into parenthood, Byram Healthcare provides ongoing content to help you with everything from pregnancy planning to introducing your toddler to your newborn. We provide a range of products to assist new and expecting mothers, especially in regard to breast pumps. Learn more about our breast pump products and order your insurance-covered breast pump today.