Taming Tantrums in All Ages


At the grocery store…in the car…at the park…tantrums can happen anywhere and anytime—and with any child. Whether your toddler is kicking and screaming because you zipped her coat for her, your eight-year-old is yelling because you won’t let him walk to the park alone or your teenager is storming off at the injustice of being required to wash the car she wants to drive, tantrums are bad news.

But the good news is that with the right strategies, you can use to prevent and quickly end tantrums once they’ve started. With some changes to your parenting style, tantrums can be (mostly) a thing of the past at your house.

Stop tantrums before they start

There are two main factors when it comes to tantrums.

  1. The first is simple: are you running your fourth errand at naptime and has it been hours since your child has had a real meal (fruit snacks don’t count)? You can prevent lots of meltdowns, and enjoy a more cooperative child, by being realistic about what you put your kids through. Plus, those errands will go a lot faster if you save them for after a nap.
  2. The second factor has to do with how a child is hard-wired. Every child has a built-in NEED for a sense of significance—or control over their own lives. When you boss your child around all day and try to control him, you rob him of the chance to gain a POSITIVE sense of significance. Eventually, he’ll lash out through tantrums and battles to prove that “You’re not the boss of ME!”—even a NEGATIVE sense of significance is better than nothing.

Prevent this behavior by offering him lots of choices during the day (“Would you like to put away your laundry first or do your spelling homework first?”), and cutting back on how much you order him around. Try saying, “What can we do to get the table ready for dinner?” instead of a bossy, “Set the table,” and you’re more likely to get the cooperation you’re looking for. Most of all, don’t give in to tantrums—or you’ll see a repeat performance.

End them—fast!

No matter how hard we try to prevent tantrums, virtually all kids will pitch a fit from time to time. But they don’t have to ruin your whole afternoon. Stop a tantrum in its tracks with these strategies:

  1. Refuse to do battle. There’s no reason to argue with a child who’s in the middle of a tantrum—you’ll only be fueling the fire, and rewarding their behavior with your attention. Remember, it takes two people to fight.
  2. Ignore the tantrum. Simply tell your child, “When you can calm down and speak to me in a respectful way, I’m happy to talk this over.” Then leave the room.
  3. If you experience public tantrums, don’t give in. Instead, guide your child to an out-of-the-way place (the car, a shady tree at the park, etc.) and wait it out. It won’t be fun, but your child will quickly learn that throwing a fit is more trouble than it’s worth.

A tantrum that isn’t fueled will soon burn out. Even better, your child will learn important lessons that will help her down the road.

If you’ve got tantrums, chances are you have whining, bedtime and homework battles, sibling fighting and all the rest. While the tips above will help with tantrums, there are a host of other tools that will address all the behavior problems in your home. With our online parenting course, you’ll learn WHY kids misbehave in the first place, what you might be doing to contribute to the problem, and more than 25 tools and strategies to help you put a stop to your kids’ most frustrating misbehaviors. It’s a whole parenting system—and it works fast.

“I can’t tell you how this course is affecting our family already – most of all, me!! I absolutely love feeling like I’m having fun with my kids again because I’m not frustrated, guilty, or at my wits’ end anymore!” -Kristin Harper

The easiest way to get started is with our Free Training. You’ll learn the root causes of your kids’ tantrums, and find some more strategies for all kinds of power struggles. Your kids become more cooperative, self-sufficient and empowered with each additional tool you learn. Start now, and you’ll see behavior improve after implementing the very first tool.

You can eliminate tantrums, IF you know why they’re happening and what to do to correct them. We’ll teach you why they occur and arm you with the tools you need to tame tantrums for good. Click the button below to sign up for our free training.


Learn more about tantrums and how you may be inadvertently making matters worse: 3 Adult Behaviors Guaranteed to Make Tantrums Continue