How to Deal with Tantrums – The Dos and Don’ts of Parenting

You are not alone if you find dealing with tantrums challenging. Tantrums are a normal part of child development, but knowing how to handle them effectively can make all the difference. In this guide, we will explore the dos and don’ts of parenting when it comes to managing tantrums. By following these tips, you can navigate tantrums with confidence and help your child learn proper emotional regulation skills.

1. Stay calm, don’t panic or raise your voice.
2. Validate their feelings, show empathy and understanding.
3. Set clear boundaries, be consistent with discipline.
4. Offer choices and distractions to de-escalate the situation.
5. Ignore attention-seeking behavior, don’t reinforce negative actions.
6. Practice self-care, seek support and resources for managing tantrums.

Factors Contributing to Tantrums

Any parent knows that dealing with tantrums can be a challenging aspect of parenting. To effectively address tantrums, it is crucial to understand the factors that can contribute to their occurrence.

Developmental Stages

You may notice that tantrums often coincide with specific developmental stages in children. The frustration of not being able to communicate effectively or exert control over their environment can lead to outbursts.

Environmental Triggers

Contributing to tantrums are environmental triggers that can set off a child’s emotional reaction. These triggers can include changes in routine, hunger, fatigue, overstimulation, or feeling overwhelmed by too many demands.

Recognizing and addressing these triggers can help prevent tantrums before they escalate.

How-To Tips for Preventing Tantrums

Little moments of preparation and proactive measures can go a long way in preventing tantrums in children. By implementing simple strategies and being consistent with your approach, you can effectively minimize the chances of tantrums occurring.

  • Establish a routine to provide structure and predictability in your child’s day-to-day activities. This can help them feel secure and reduce anxiety that may trigger tantrums.
  • Foster communication by encouraging your child to express their feelings and needs. By teaching them healthy ways to communicate, you can prevent frustrations from escalating into tantrums.

Establishing a Routine

For a child, routines can act as a safety net, providing them with a sense of security and understanding of what comes next. Establishing a daily schedule for meals, naps, playtime, and bedtime can help your child feel more in control and lessen the likelihood of tantrums.

Fostering Communication

Assuming that children can express their emotions in a healthy way may not always be the case. Encouraging open communication and actively listening to your child can create a safe space for them to share their feelings and concerns. This can prevent misunderstandings and alleviate potential triggers for tantrums.

Dealing with Tantrums: The Dos

Staying Calm and Collected

Assuming an air of calmness and composure is paramount when dealing with a child’s tantrum. Children often mirror the emotions of those around them, so staying calm can help de-escalate the situation.

Positive Reinforcement Strategies

Some effective positive reinforcement strategies to deal with tantrums include praising good behavior, offering small rewards for staying calm, or using a sticker chart to track progress. Reinforcing positive behavior encourages children to continue those actions.

Plus, it is important to remember to be consistent with positive reinforcement. If you reward a tantrum one day and then reprimand it the next, it can confuse the child. Consistency is key in shaping behavior.

Dealing with Tantrums: The Don’ts

Avoiding Common Parenting Pitfalls

Even though dealing with tantrums can be challenging, it is vital to avoid common parenting pitfalls that can escalate the situation. Reacting impulsively, giving in to demands out of frustration, or resorting to yelling are traps that can make tantrums worse.

Why Punishment Doesn’t Work in the Long Run

Common misconceptions lead many parents to believe that harsh punishment is an effective way to curb tantrums. However, punishment tends to only provide short-term relief and can harm the parent-child relationship in the long run. Children may become more defiant or fearful, leading to an increase in undesirable behavior over time.

To wrap up

So, dealing with tantrums can be challenging, but by following the dos and don’ts of parenting, you can navigate through these tough moments more effectively. Remember to stay calm, validate your child’s feelings, set boundaries, and provide positive reinforcement for good behavior. Avoid giving in to unreasonable demands, losing your temper, or using harsh punishments. Consistent and patient parenting strategies will help you manage tantrums while promoting healthy emotional development in your child. By staying patient and setting a good example, you can teach your child how to handle their emotions in a constructive manner and build a strong parent-child relationship based on trust and understanding.


Q: What are tantrums and why do children have them?

A: Tantrums are intense emotional outbursts commonly seen in young children when they are overwhelmed, frustrated, or unable to express themselves verbally. Children have tantrums as a way to cope with strong emotions or to communicate their needs that they may not have the language skills to express.

Q: What are the dos when dealing with a tantrum?


  1. Stay Calm: It’s important for parents to remain calm during a child’s tantrum to model self-control and help de-escalate the situation.
  2. Validate Feelings: Acknowledge your child’s emotions and let them know it’s okay to feel upset, but not okay to behave inappropriately.
  3. Set Limits: Be firm and consistent with boundaries while enforcing consequences for negative behavior.
  4. Use Distraction: Redirect your child’s attention to something positive or engage them in a different activity to shift their focus.
  5. Teach Coping Strategies: Help your child develop healthy ways to manage their emotions, such as deep breathing or taking a break.

Q: What are the don’ts when dealing with a tantrum?


  1. Avoid Reacting Emotionally: Yelling, threatening, or giving in to demands only reinforces negative behavior.
  2. Avoid Punitive Measures: Strict punishments or physical discipline can escalate a tantrum and damage the parent-child relationship.
  3. Avoid Ignoring: Ignoring a tantrum may reinforce the behavior if the child feels they are not getting attention or their needs are not being met.
  4. Avoid Bribery: Offering rewards to stop a tantrum teaches children that negative behavior leads to positive outcomes.
  5. Avoid Exhausting Arguments: Engaging in power struggles or reasoning with a child during a tantrum can prolong the episode and increase frustration.