How to Handle Violent Temper Tantrums: A Guide for Parents

how to handle violent temper tantrums

Raising toddlers can be a difficult and stressful experience. One of the most challenging aspects is dealing with temper tantrums, especially when they become violent. It’s important to understand why these outbursts occur so that you know how to handle violent temper tantrums in an effective manner and prevent them from happening again.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to handle violent temper tantrums by looking at their possible causes and the different ways how to deal with angry kids.

Table of Contents

How to Handle Violent Temper Tantrums

It’s important to be aware of the signs that your child may be exhibiting violent behavior. Signs can include verbal threats, physical aggression, and property damage. If you notice any of these behaviors in your child, it’s important to take action right away.

The first step is to create a plan for how you will respond if the behavior continues. This should include consequences for their actions as well as ways to help them understand why this type of behavior is unacceptable. You should also make sure that everyone in the family understands and agrees with the plan so you can consistently enforce it.

You should also set clear boundaries about what kind of behavior is acceptable and not acceptable in your home. Make sure they know what will happen if they cross those boundaries – such as having privileges taken away or being sent to their room until they can calm down.

Make Sure Your Child is Safe

Ensure that your child is safe when they are displaying anger or rage. Remove yourself and any siblings from the area, as it can be dangerous if a child lashes out.

Additionally, reduce any stimulation in their vicinity by turning off the TV and lowering the lights. This will help them wear themselves out without additional external stimuli that could further aggravate them.

Focus on Being Calm

It can be difficult to remain calm when your toddler is acting out. But it’s important to remember that toddlers are still learning how to express their emotions and they need our help in doing so.

Take a few deep breaths before responding. This will give you time to think about the best way to handle the situation without escalating it further. It also gives your child time to process what’s happening and hopefully start calming down as well.

Try redirecting your child’s attention by suggesting an activity, such as coloring or playing with toys, that might help them focus on something else for a while. If this doesn’t work, try distracting them with something new like reading a book together or going outside for some fresh air and exercise.

Don’t Respond to Verbal Abuse

It can be difficult to remain calm when your child is verbally abusing you. It’s important to remember that this behavior is a sign of distress, not disrespect. Your child may feel powerless and frustrated, so it’s natural for them to lash out at the person they are closest to — you.

Rather than responding in kind or trying to reason with your child while they are in an emotional state, take a step back and give yourself some space. This will help both of you cool down and allow you time to think about how best to respond.

If possible, leave the room or send your child away from where the outburst occurred (if appropriate). If leaving isn’t an option, try counting silently until 10 before speaking calmly and firmly about what happened.

Make sure that any consequences for their behavior are related directly to their actions rather than their words. Punishing them for name-calling won’t teach them anything other than anger breeds more anger.

When emotions have calmed down on both sides, talk with your child about why they felt angry enough to resorting verbal abuse towards you or anyone else in the family.

Ask questions like “What made you so mad?” or “How do you think we could have handled this differently?”

Listen carefully as they explain themselves. It’s important that children feel heard and understood during these conversations if there is going to be any lasting change in their behavior.

how to handle violent temper tantrums


Punish the Behavior, Not the Anger

Anger is a normal emotion, and it’s important for children to learn how to express their feelings in healthy ways. But when anger leads to inappropriate behaviors like verbal abuse or property destruction, consequences are necessary.

When your child gets angry, don’t give them consequences for the anger itself. Instead, focus on the specific behavior that resulted from the anger. This will help your child understand that they are responsible for their actions and need to manage themselves appropriately even when they feel angry.

Explain why certain behaviors aren’t acceptable so your child can better understand why you’re setting boundaries and expectations. Be sure to emphasize that these expectations apply no matter what emotions they may be feeling — even if those emotions are intense ones like anger or frustration.

It’s also important to teach your child how to handle their own emotions without resorting to negative behaviors such as hitting or yelling at others. Help them identify strategies that work best for them such as taking deep breaths, counting down from 10, taking a walk, or talking about what made them angry.

And finally, make sure your child knows there will always be things in life that make us mad but we still have control over our reactions—no matter how frustrated we may get!

Be Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to how to handle violent temper tantrums. It’s important that you respond the same way each time they become angry and lash out, so they learn what behavior is expected of them.

It can be difficult for a parent or caregiver to remain consistent in their response, especially if the child has been exhibiting this behavior for some time. But it’s essential that you do not give in or give up on trying to teach them better ways of managing their emotions.

When responding, use a calm voice and explain why their behavior was wrong and unacceptable. Don’t yell or get angry yourself as this will only make matters worse — your child may interpret this as an acceptable way of expressing themselves when upset.

Be sure to also provide positive reinforcement when your child does something right so they know there are rewards for good behavior too! This will help encourage them to continue using these methods instead of resorting back to lashing out in anger every time something doesn’t go their way.

Finally, don’t forget about yourself! Managing a toddler’s temper tantrums can be exhausting and frustrating at times, so take breaks whenever needed.

Understand Your Child’s Triggers

One of the most basic steps in how to handle violent temper tantrums is understanding the triggers that cause these behaviors.

Start by looking for patterns.

Does it happen when they come home from school?

After a certain activity or event?

When they are around certain people?

Identifying any potential triggers will give you insight into what might be causing their anger and frustration.

Once you have identified some possible triggers, talk to your child about them in a calm and supportive manner.

Ask open-ended questions like “What do you think happened today that made you so angry?” or “Can you tell me more about why this situation upset you so much?”

This will allow them to express themselves without feeling judged or criticized.

You may also want to consider talking with other adults who interact with your child regularly, such as teachers or coaches, as they may have noticed something that could be triggering the negative behavior.

If there was an incident at school, ask pointed questions like: “Was my child picked on?” or “Were they disciplined in class?”

By understanding the root causes of these behaviors and helping children develop coping skills early on, parents can set their kids up for success.

Determine if Your Child Has a Mental Health Problem

If you’ve done everything on this list and your child continues to be destructive, then the last step in how to handle violent temper tantrums is to determine if your child’s behavior is an indication of a mental health problem.

If you are concerned about your child’s emotional or behavioral development, it is important to seek professional help.

Signs that could indicate a mental health issue include:

  • Extreme irritability or aggression.
  • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares.
  • Changes in eating habits.
  • Unusual worries or fears that don’t go away.
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities they used to enjoy.
  • Trouble concentrating or paying attention in school.

If you notice any of these signs, speak with your pediatrician for further guidance. They can refer you to a qualified mental health provider who specializes in children’s behavioral issues. It is also helpful to talk with other parents who have gone through similar experiences as they can provide valuable insight into the process of seeking help for their children.

Your pediatrician may suggest cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which helps kids learn how their thoughts affect their feelings and behaviors. CBT teaches them how to identify negative thought patterns and replace them with more positive ones so they can better manage difficult emotions like anger, sadness, or fear.

It is important not to ignore signs that could indicate an underlying mental health issue because early intervention has been proven effective in helping kids cope with emotional difficulties before they become too overwhelming for them — and for you!


It’s important to remember that your child’s outbursts are not personal. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you or respect you. They just need help learning how to express their feelings in a healthy way.

You can provide this help by being consistent with discipline and expectations, setting clear boundaries, and providing positive reinforcement when appropriate. When your child does have an outburst, try to remain calm and focus on problem-solving rather than punishing them for the behavior.

Be sure to talk about what happened afterward so that your child can understand why it was wrong and learn from the experience. Encourage them to express their emotions in a more constructive manner next time instead of lashing out in anger or frustration.

Finally, keep communication open between you and your child so that they feel comfortable coming to you when something is bothering them. This will help build trust between the two of you which will ultimately lead to fewer angry episodes.

Are you a parent struggling with how to handle violent temper tantrums? It can be an overwhelming and frustrating experience. We have the resources to help!

Our project, Puppy Dogs & Ice Cream, provides advice on how best to manage these outbursts in 3- to 6-year-olds. With our tips and guidance, parents can learn more effective ways of dealing with their children’s behavior while also teaching them important life lessons. Join us today for helpful solutions that will make parenting easier!


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