• Iris Windsor

How to Handle A Temper Tantrum

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

How to reduce the stress of a tantrum and get on with your day together!

While tantrums are extremely common in toddlers, they can be stressful, frustrating and overwhelming for many parents. There are times when the smallest upset becomes a major temper tantrum, and it doesn’t help that the reactions from bystanders can leave parents feeling judged and embarrassed. These strategies will help you to take the stress out of tantrums and move past them quickly so that you can continue to enjoy time with your child.

Why is your child having a tantrum?

Tantrums are very common in children between the ages of one and three. At this age, children are only just beginning to develop the skills to handle their emotions, and tantrums are the way that they express their feelings.

Tantrums can be triggered by stress, hunger, tiredness, over-stimulation or strong emotions. They are a normal part of child development, however they become a problem when they occur regularly and begin to affect your family’s life.

Preventing Tantrums

Here's how to prevent tantrums in toddlers:

  1. Reduce Stress - tired, hungry and overstimulated children are much more likely to have a tantrum. Try to reduce these stressful situations.

  2. Check in and connect - children need to feel seen and heard by their parents. Make sure you check in with your child and make time for moments of connection where your attention is fully on them.

  3. Rules, consistency and routine - if your child knows what will be happening each day, then they are less likely to be shocked into a tantrum. A consistent routine and consistent rules will help avoid triggering situations.

Here's how to respond to tantrums:

  1. Empathy statements - when you can see a tantrum brewing, empathy statements can help to stop it in its tracks. Acknowledge that your child is angry. For example, if your child is angry about leaving an event, try saying “You are angry with me. You wanted to stay for longer.”

  2. Have a tantrum plan - it is important that your child knows you what your response will be when they throw a tantrum. A tantrum plan will help you to respond to tantrums the same way each time.

  3. Stay calm - tantrums can be very stressful but try to stay calm and remember that they are a completely normal part of child development. If other people give you dirty looks, just ignore them.

At Dragonfly’s Early Learning Centre, we understand that temper tantrums happen. Our policy is to alert parents through a courtesy call in cases where their child has had difficulty settling in. We know that children become strong, confident individuals through the support of their parents and families, and we strive to work with parents to support children on their learning journey. Contact us today for more information about our program.