Temper Tantrums

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What are temper tantrums?
Temper tantrums are a natural process of your child's
A temper tantrum could involve children:
�� Throwing themselves on the floor
�� Kicking and hitting people
�� Refusing to do something they are asked to do �� Biting themselves or others
�� Screaming, shouting, crying or swearing
�� Destroying an object or toy
Children who have temper tantrums usually have them with
their parents or carers but temper tantrums can vary. Every
child is different. The major cause of toddler tantrums is
conflict with parents, for example over food and eating or
Most tantrums will happen in the home but some children will have them in the shops or outside in the street. This can be very distressing for parents.
What may seem like over the top or just plain naughty
behaviour is perfectly normal. Try not to get stressed about it – it won‘t help!
There are some tactics that you can employ to ward off
At Home
‘Toddler-proof' your home so that you don't have to keep
taking things from your child or saying "No!". If you put
away things that you don't want broken or that a child
can be hurt by, you won't have to chase after your child
and shout all day.
Out Shopping
When you have time why not keep your toddler occupied
by letting them help. You could let them choose some of
the items you want to buy, such as which biscuits, what
colour toilet roll or what fruit to pick. Boredom can cause
Visiting/Car journeys
Always have a small goody bag for emergencies. If you
have some books, toys, colouring pencils, and food to
chew on, you always have something to distract your
toddler when they get bored.
Be consistent
If your child knows your limits, they are less likely to
resort to a tantrum to get what they want. If you have
said no to your child, don't then change your mind and
give them what they want.
What can I do?
But what about when you have tried everything and your
child is still determined to throw a wobbly?
Count to ten
If your toddler loses it the worst thing that you can do is
to lose it too. Shouting or lashing out will only make the
situation worse and you will often regret what you do if
you act in haste. Try to stay calm, count to ten. If you are outside, remember that the people around you probably
don't know you and may never see you again, so don't
think about your embarrassment, deal with your child.
Take a step back
Remember that toddlers are learning all of the time and
don't expect them to be reasonable in the adult sense –
because they are not adults!
Listen and explain
When your child is naughty don't just shout at them and
expect them to respond, bend down to their level, look
into their eyes and explain to them what they are doing
is wrong and why, in a calm but firm way.
Set a good example
Toddlers learn by copying what they see, so the more
that you shout, or say no or lose your cool, the more
likely it is that they will do the same. Hard as it is, it
really does pay off to try and stay calm and positive.
Ignore mild misbehaviour
Choose what is important to you and let the little things
go. If you shout all the time your child will begin to ignore you, so save your loud voice for when you have no
choice or when your toddler's safety is at risk.
Encourage them
Give lots of praise for the
behaviour that you want to
encourage and try to ignore the
bad behaviour when it is safe to
do so.
Positive Discipline
Smacking does nothing to teach
a child about how you want
them to
behave. Try these:
Have clear simple rules and limits
�� Set a good example
�� Praise good behaviour and reward it with hugs and kisses
�� Ignore bad behaviour you don't want repeated ��...
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