How to React to Temper Tantrums: A Guide for Parents

how to react to temper tantrums

As a parent, it can be difficult to know how to react to temper tantrums. If you are raising a toddler, it’s important to understand why these outbursts occur so you can respond appropriately.

In this blog post, we will explore how to react to temper tantrums in order to prevent future meltdowns and outbursts. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to effectively handle situations where your toddler may have difficulty controlling their emotions.

Table of Contents

Understanding Temper Tantrums

Toddler temper tantrums are a normal part of growing up. They’re the result of your child’s developing brain, which is still learning how to regulate emotions and cope with frustration.

A temper tantrum is an intense storm of emotions, such as anger, loss, disappointment, and deep frustration. In toddlers around age 2, this emotional outbreak can lead to crying, thrashing, screaming fits, stomping, and hitting the parents or other objects in sight. This period has been affectionately dubbed the terrible twos.

It’s important to note that not all children experience these outbursts at two years old. Some may start earlier or later than others while older kids can also have tantrums when they have difficulty expressing themselves verbally.

The science behind toddler tantrums is complex but it’s rooted in a child’s development and how they process emotions and stressors from their environment. When a child experiences something they don’t understand or cannot control, they become overwhelmed with emotion which leads them to act out physically instead of using words.

It’s important for parents to understand that while these episodes are difficult for everyone involved, it doesn’t mean your child is bad-natured. It only means that they need help learning how best to manage their feelings so they can grow into healthy adults.

During a meltdown, toddlers may feel overwhelmed or frustrated by something they can’t control—like not getting their way or having to wait for something—and don’t have the ability yet to express themselves in more appropriate ways.

The key is understanding why these outbursts happen so you can help your toddler learn better coping skills and self-regulation techniques over time. It’s important to remember that it’s never okay for your child to be physically aggressive during a tantrum, but it’s also important not to take their behavior personally as a reflection on you as a parent.

When dealing with temper tantrums, try using distraction techniques like offering an alternative activity or toy instead of focusing on what triggered the outburst in the first place.

You could also offer verbal reassurance such as saying “I know this is hard right now but we will get through it together.”

If possible, give them some space while they calm down and then talk about what happened once they’re feeling better again.

It might be helpful for parents to set expectations ahead of time when possible. Letting kids know what behaviors are expected from them before things become overwhelming can help avoid meltdowns altogether.

Additionally, positive reinforcement (such as praise) when children display good behavior can help them develop healthy coping strategies.

Finally, if you find yourself becoming too angry or upset during one of these episodes, it might be best for both parties if you take some time away until everyone has calmed down. Remember: patience goes a long way here!

How to React to Temper Tantrums

It can be difficult to stay calm when your toddler is having a temper tantrum — especially in a public place! Take deep breaths and remind yourself that this too shall pass. Speak in a gentle voice and try not to raise your own emotions or get angry with the child.

In some cases, ignoring the behavior may help reduce the intensity of a temper tantrum. If possible, remove yourself from the situation by leaving the room or walking away until they have calmed down. This will also give you time to compose yourself before returning to address their needs more calmly.

Once your toddler has calmed down, redirect their attention to something else such as an activity or game that they enjoy doing. This will help shift their focus away from whatever was causing them distress to prevent further outbursts of emotion.

Now let’s look at how to handle the aftermath of a temper tantrum.

Dealing with the Aftermath of a Toddler Tantrum

It is essential for parents to acknowledge their child’s feelings after a temper tantrum so they will learn how to manage their emotions more effectively in the future. Validating your child’s emotions will help them feel heard and understood, which may lead to healthier coping mechanisms down the road.

Help your child put into words what they are feeling so that they have an easier time expressing themselves without resorting to outbursts.

After a temper tantrum has occurred, it is important for parents to explain why certain behaviors were unacceptable or inappropriate while still maintaining respect for their children’s autonomy. Doing so will teach children about personal responsibility while still allowing them some freedom of choice.


Preventing Future Outbursts and Meltdowns

Establishing a routine and schedule can help children to understand what is expected of them. This can include setting regular times for meals, naps, playtime, bedtime, etc. It also helps to provide structure and consistency in their lives which can reduce the likelihood of outbursts or meltdowns.

Offering choices when appropriate gives children some control over their environment while still allowing parents to maintain authority. For example, instead of saying “It’s time for dinner now” try offering two options such as “Would you like macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets?”

Teaching problem-solving skills is an important part of helping children learn how to manage their emotions in difficult situations. Parents should model these skills by demonstrating how they handle problems themselves.

FAQs in Relation to How to React to Temper Tantrums

How do you deal with a temper tantrum?

  • Find out why the tantrum is happening.
  • Understand and accept your child’s anger.
  • Find a distraction.
  • Wait for it to stop.
  • Do not change your mind.
  • Be prepared when you’re out shopping.
  • Try holding your child firmly until the tantrum passes.

Is it best to ignore a tantrum?

Ignore negative behaviors that don’t involve physical harm or injury. Whining and crying are often misbehaviors that are done for attention. If you continue to ignore them, they will likely go away.

What should you not say during a tantrum?

  • Don’t invalidate your child’s feelings.
  • Don’t tell your child how to feel and not to feel.
  • Don’t lie to your child.
  • Don’t say that your child’s behavior is making you sad.
  • Don’t take it personally.
  • Don’t use sarcasm.


The most important thing to remember when dealing with a toddler’s tantrums is that they are normal and expected. It can be difficult, but it’s important to stay calm and provide support during these times.

How to react to temper tantrums?

Acknowledge your child’s feelings and try to understand what may have triggered the outburst. Offer comfort by talking in a soothing voice or giving them a hug if appropriate.

It can also help to give your toddler choices so they feel like they have some control over their situation. This will help empower your child while still allowing you to maintain authority.

Distraction is another useful tool when dealing with tantrums – redirecting their attention away from whatever was causing the meltdown in the first place can often stop it before it gets out of hand.

Finally, make sure that any discipline used is age-appropriate and consistent. This will help ensure that your toddler understands why certain behaviors are not acceptable.

It’s time to take control and learn how to react effectively when your little one throws a temper tantrum. Puppy Dogs & Ice Cream is here with the solutions you need!

Our resources provide practical tips on understanding why children have these outbursts and what strategies work best in responding appropriately. Don’t let another day go by without learning how to handle this challenging stage – visit us today for all the help you need!


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