SKIP - Ministry of Social Development
Most small children have tantrums – they are a natural part of growing up.
Tantrums are caused by frustration and stress that children can’t deal with. Often they happen because children can’t express themselves using words, or they are tired, hungry, bored, uncomfortable or over-stimulated.
You can help your child learn how to manage their feelings by ignoring tantrums
It is almost impossible to stop a tantrum once it gets going, but sometimes you can stop them happening by:
You can’t stop a tantrum. Make sure your child is safe, stay near and carry on with other things. Don’t try and talk to them, reason with them or discipline them. It’s hard, but don’t pay any attention to them.
Show that you’re not upset. Although you might be feeling really angry, try not to show it.
When they calm down, comfort them, but don’t give in to the demands they were making before they had the tantrum. Praise them for calming down.
Tantrums aren’t bad behaviour, they’re small child overload. Most children have them, many have them once a week and some have one a day.
Talk to other people who know your child well, or who have had similar experiences with their children. This could be a friend, someone from your child’s early childhood centre, or another parents.
Both parents need to be consistent about managing behaviour. Talk about what’s happening and agree on how you will both manage your child’s tantrums.