Kid temper tantrums are, unfortunately, a part of every family’s life. When your child throws a tantrum, time stands still until control is regained! As scary as temper tantrums are for parents. One thing that you may not have thought of is that temper tantrums can be scary for your child. Out of control behavior can make kids as shocked as they make you – kids don’t like the negative feelings around a temper tantrum and they need help learning to manage their reactions to situations and feelings.
Temper Tantrums & Kids
Every family has their struggles. When a child really has a difficult time transitioning to a new thing, or handling disappointment temper tantrums happen. Temper tantrums are a normal part of life, but one we definitely want to end as soon as possible.
Related: How to stop losing temper with your kids
We’re sharing some amazing advice today that can help eliminate over-reaction fits and wild temper tantrums with your kids.
Best Strategies for Kids Temper Tantrums
1. Accentuate the Positive
Instead of having your one or two go-to phrases to congratulate your child, spend some time thinking about what you could say so that they know how much you love and appreciate them. I really like this article from Pickle Bums because she gives lots of ideas on how to make positive reinforcement and effective tool for avoiding temper tantrums.
I recently heard how kids (and people in general) only hear one out of seven compliments, but remember 100% of the negative. That really means you need to hand out 8 good things for every correction!
2. Play Together
Do an activity together – a craft or something to help limit boredom. So many times tantrums happen because a child is bored.
Ever heard of a bored toddler tantrum?
If they don’t have something to do the overcompensate by throwing tantrums. Keep this boredom buster list handy for days like that!
3. Redirect the Temper Tantrum
Sometimes there is nothing you can do but redirect the tantrum.
Distract your child with something fun, shiny or intriguing. This helps with the boredom tantrums and frequently helps prevent tantrums from tiredness as well. Distraction can be the best strategy!
4. Wait Out the Kids Throwing the Tantrum
Other times redirection and distraction do nothing but make the tantrum longer and harder than it would have been before. Many toddler tantrums can be cut short by simply waiting them out. The child is simply expressing displeasure at something that has occurred.
While this is not a socially acceptable way of doing it, ignoring the tantrum and then discussing other ways to work through disappointment later can sometimes be a cure-all.
5. Quiet Tantrum Discussion
If ignoring is not for you, try to find a way to quietly talk through the issue with your child. Getting angry or yelling yourself only heightens the stressful situation and reinforces the negative behavior in the child since they are seeing it modeled before them.
Instead, try to remain calm and quiet. Remembering that tantrums can’t last forever. Talk to them about disappointment, and remind them of other happy things in their life so they can continue on with a better day.
6. Wait Then Discuss Tantrum Behavior
Often in the middle of a tantrum or right afterward, the child is still emotional and not ready to think clearly and have a discussion. Quite honestly, the parent may need some time to regroup as well. What worked really well in my house was a time out…or a break of 10 minutes…to go take a deep breath and relax before the discussion.
The time out wasn’t a punishment, just a strategy to get cooler heads to prevail.
7. Hug Them Through It
Did you know there is actually some science behind tantrums?
They aren’t arbitrary or simply there just to drive us moms crazy. They say the cause of tantrums is usually anger or sadness. Knowing the cause and root of the behavior in your child, can help you determine how to deal with it.
8. Prevent Tantrums with Relaxation Techniques
Soothe and relax. One way to prevent tantrums is to create a calm and soothing environment throughout the day. Massage your kids before bed to calm them down and get them ready for sleep.
Finding ways to relax them throughout the day can minimize tantrums at bedtime and throughout the day.
9. Avoid the Tantrum Triggers
Plan ahead to create tantrum free transitions. Know the things that usually bother your child (getting in/out of the car, loud places, days with no down time etc), and think of ways that you can make these trouble spots easier on your kiddo.
Having a plan in place can help you remain calm and work with your child through what could have been a bad day!
10. Watch for Over-Stimulation Triggers for Tantrums
Be aware of sensory stimulation, some kids need more stimulation while others become overwhelmed quickly and need less. We have some great tips to help you nurture the sensory needs of your child and prevent meltdowns associated with under or over stimulation.
11. Be Tantrum Prepared
When kids are not prepared for a transition, tantrums can be the worst. Instead of expecting them to be okay with an immediate transition Set a timer to let them know how long they have left at a certain activity before you will be moving on to something else (such as dinner or a ride in the car). This can help them mentally prepare for what is to come instead of being surprised by something unpleasant or disappointing with no time to prepare.
If your child is too young to understand a timer, counting to ten is another great way to avoid tantrums altogether.
12. Visual Tantrum Cues
Another way to prepare them for their day is to make bracelet to do lists. You could use these with chores or even just tasks for their daily routine such as brushing teeth or eating breakfast.
Giving them a visual of what will be happening throughout the day an help them be ready for what is to come and give them a sense of accomplishment when they’ve finished a task and can rip the bracelet off. Both will help eliminate struggles and tantrums throughout your day.
13. After the Tantrum
After the temper tantrum is over, try to create a time where you and your child can discuss what happened, and make a plan for the future. Use this as a chance to reconnect work on re-connecting with your kiddo. Sometimes kids just need a bit of extra one on one time to help them work through tough periods of growth and transition.
14. Sometimes Kids Just Need You
Sometimes your kids just need you, and that’s okay! Even if you only have a few minutes, taking that time to spend one on one time with them (no phones, no distractions) can make all the difference in your day.
Check out these fun and active games for parents and kids!
15. Do a Quiet Activity Together
Reading a book, together, can be really great to bridge the gap. Here are some tantrum topics that can help start conversations.
It is always easier to talk about tantrums when you are not in the middle of one!
This article contains affiliate links.
16. Time-In or Time-Out
When you react to a tantrum, remember to keep it calm and loving. These moms share how they use it as a time to connect and teach calming techniques to their kids. Joining them in time out (also called a time in) helps parent and child to work together to get through the difficult stage.
17. Tantrum Calming Strategies
If you need a way to help your child calm down after a tantrum these bottles can do just the trick. They are gorgeous to look at and kids love watching the glitter fall. It gives them something to watch and interact with while they pull themselves together and get ready to face the day again.
18. Make a Tantrum Chair
Make your own tantrum chair. When the child begins throwing a fit, you can direct them to the homemade time out stool. It’s made with a timer in the middle so they know exactly how long they need to stay put and it gives them something to watch while they sit and calm down.
19. Give a Consequence
If you are looking for more creative consequences for tantrums try a get out of grounding chore chart. Kiddos can earn points to get out of their grounding by doing chores around the house. Easy way to get some extra work done around the house and also teach about cause and effect.
20. Channel Tantrum Energy for Good
If the kids are having a rough tantrum filled day try doing chores together. Often kids need to use their energies in a more constructive manner, using hard work as a way to connect can make chores fun and also keep them too busy to fuss.
21. Value Sleep
Lack of sleep is a huge cause of tantrums in children. A weighted blanket can help a child with sensory issues to sleep better and fall asleep faster. This can mean better sleep all night long as well! It’s amazing how what happens at night can dictate how the next day will go.
If your kids have trouble falling asleep or you are facing the dreaded bedtime tantrums, try a bedtime bottle! This is a fun toy for them to use only at nighttime and it gives them something exciting to look at as they drift off to sleep. Enough interest to keep them from fussing but not so much that they won’t sleep!
22. Calming Ideas that Work
Diffuse your toddler’s tantrums by using lavender oil, peace and calming oils. Lavender oil and peace and calming oils. These can help settle every one down and ensure a more peaceful night for the whole family.
Books We Love to Help Kids Conquer Tantrums
- Be Positive! Book: Readers use creativity to combat negative feelings and boost self-esteem with the writing, craft, and doodling activities designed to help them feel more self-confident.
- Letting Go! Book: These writing, craft, and doodling activities are designed to offer children support through experiences of loss, change, disappointment, and grief by using creativity to combat negative feelings and help them work through difficult times.
- No Worries! Book: The supportive activities in this book are designed to tackle child anxiety and stress, help the child to work out how and why they feel worried, encourage them to talk to others about their worries (if they want to), and feel calmer.
More Kid Strategies from Kids Activities Blog
- Have you heard of the popsicle trick for tantrums?
- We have found that the kids that need love the most ask for it in the most unloving ways!
- How to be more patient with your kids.
- Need some quiet time activities for kids?
- Here is another sensory bottle you can make to calm a child.
- Click here to find out the real reason behind childhood angry.
If temper tantrums are an issue in your house, which of these will you try first? They are all tried and true mom tips so it’s simply a matter of finding the right fit for your child and your home.