How to Know If Your Toddler’s Tantrums Are Normal

how to know if your toddler's tantrums are normal

Many parents feel overwhelmed and frustrated when their little ones throw fits. Understanding why toddlers act out can help provide some relief for both adults and children. But how to know if your toddler’s tantrums are normal?

Most times these behaviors are quite common as toddlers learn how to express themselves in new ways during this stage of childhood development. However, frequent and intense tantrums can be a sign of more serious issues such as mental health disorders. This is why it is crucial how to know if your toddler’s tantrums are normal or if they need to seek professional help.

In this blog post, we will look closely at tantrum behaviors, how to deal with them properly, and tips for preventing future episodes.

Table of Contents

When to Worry About Toddler Tantrums

When it comes to toddler temper tantrums, the first thing parents should remember is that these outbursts are normal and expected. While they can be frustrating and difficult to manage, most of the time a child will recover quickly and move on with their day.

What triggers toddler tantrums?

Common triggers include hunger, fatigue, and feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with something they cannot do or have.

It is important for parents to remain calm during toddler temper tantrums as children often feed off of parental reactions when having an outburst.

Parents should also be aware of how long a temper tantrum lasts as this can help determine if there may be more serious underlying issues causing the behavior. If your child’s temper tantrums last longer than 15 minutes or happen frequently throughout the day, then it could indicate that there is an underlying issue.

It’s also important for parents to recognize when physical aggression becomes part of their child’s tantrum behaviors such as hitting themselves, throwing objects around the room, or kicking walls which could signal deeper emotional distress.

How to Deal With Tantrum Behaviors in Public

Toddler tantrums in public can be an embarrassing and overwhelming experience. It’s important to stay calm during this time so that you can handle the situation effectively.

The first step is to get your child to a safe place where they won’t hurt themselves or others. Manage the glances and stares from others as best you can until the behavior has ended.

Afterward, muster all of your energy and give specific praise for calming down! This will help reinforce positive behaviors in your child instead of negative ones.

Letting them know calmly but firmly that their behavior isn’t acceptable is key here. Don’t yell at them or punish them publicly because this could make matters worse and cause further embarrassment for both of you. Instead, try redirecting their attention elsewhere by giving them something else to focus on like counting objects around the room or playing a game together quietly.

Try not to use food rewards as these may encourage bad habits. Instead, opt for non-food rewards like stickers or small toys which will still show appreciation without encouraging unhealthy eating.

Finally, remember that these moments pass quickly – even though it feels like forever at times – so keep calm and carry on!

how to know if your toddler's tantrums are normal


How to Prevent Toddler Tantrums

It is important to understand the triggers of temper tantrums in order to prevent them. One way to do this is by providing a five-minute transitional warning when there is a change in routine or when playtime is ending. This can help prepare children for the change and avoid an outburst.

Active ignoring, which involves not responding to negative behavior, can also be helpful in preventing temper tantrums. However, it’s important that regular and specific praise be given as well.

Aim for two or three labeled praises for every corrective statement made so that your child knows what behaviors are expected of them and how they should act in certain situations.

Offering options whenever possible can also help prevent outbursts. For example, if you’re getting ready for school or bedtime, offer two shirt choices instead of one so that your child feels like they have some say in what happens next.

When all else fails, it may be necessary to remove yourself from the situation temporarily until both parties have calmed down. If you need time away, take a few minutes outside or go to another room until both of you are ready to continue the conversation.

When Should I Worry About Temper Tantrums?

Temper tantrums in toddler behavior are normal. These screaming, kicking, and crying fits are a part of typical development and allow our children to communicate their unhappiness or frustration about an event or response, typically when they do not get their way or something that they want.

Most toddler temper tantrums last for a few to 15 minutes.

However, if temper tantrums become more severe than usual—lasting longer periods or occurring multiple times per day—it may be time to talk to your pediatrician or a child psychologist.

If your child is self-harming, destroying property, or experiencing headaches, stomachaches, or anxiety, reach out to a medical professional.

FAQs About How to Know if Your toddler’s Tantrums Are Normal

What does a normal toddler tantrum look like?

A tantrum is a display of anger and frustration by a child. They can range from whimpering and sobbing to shouting, wailing, and throwing things.

They can happen anywhere between ages 1 and 3 and are equally common among both girls and boys. Some children may throw frequent temper tantrums, while others may not.

At what age are tantrums abnormal?

Most children begin to throw temper tantrums between 12 and 18 months of age. These often worsen between 2 and 3 years of age, then gradually decrease in frequency until 4 years old. After 4, they seldom happen.

How many tantrums a day is normal for a toddler?

A Washington University study looked at 279 preschoolers and how often they threw temper tantrums. They found that most kids had less than 1 meltdown a day.

Are tantrums signs of autism?

No, tantrums are not a sign of autism spectrum disorder. Autistic children may display challenging behaviors that can look like temper tantrums, but they are usually caused by different factors such as difficulty communicating needs or processing sensory information.


Toddler tantrums are a normal part of child development and should not be cause for alarm. With the right strategies, parents can help their toddlers learn how to express themselves in healthy ways and prevent future outbursts.

Understanding what triggers your child’s tantrums is the best way how to know if your toddler’s tantrums are normal or if there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

Feeling overwhelmed by toddler tantrums? You’re not alone! Fortunately, there are resources available to help parents understand these behaviors.

By exploring these tools, such as books, online articles, and videos from experts in child development, you can gain insight into how to recognize when it is time for professional intervention.

Don’t wait until your toddler’s behavior spirals out of control – take action now!


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