5 Tips to tame toddler tantrums

Tantrums are common at age two as children are acquiring language and can generally understand more than they express. Try these five tips to diffuse temper tantrums. By Kate Sidley


Temper tantrums are normal, and frustration is often at the root of a tantrum.

Three reasons why tot’s throw tantrums:

  • When they can’t communicate their needs
  • When they can’t manage a specific task
  • When your toddler’s not allowed to have something he wants and is unable to express his frustration.

You can head off tantrums and battles of will quite effectively if you take care of the basics. Toddlers are far more likely to show their worst behaviour when they are:

  • Tired
  • Hungry
  • Sick
  • Over-stimulated

Five tips to tame toddler tantrums

  1. Acknowledge your child’s feelings, even when you don’t intend giving in to them. If you’re in the supermarket and he digs your car keys out of your bag – and you don’t want her to play with them – say something along the lines of: “You want they keys, I know. They are fun to play with. But I need the keys to drive the car, so would you like to use my hair brush instead?”
  2. If you see a tantrum coming, remove your child from a stimulating public environment for some quiet, calm time.
  3. Distraction sometimes proves helpful – “Look, there’s a birdie!” is always worth a try.
  4. When the full-blown storm arrives, you’re in a lot more trouble. Calming and comforting your child is often more effective than trying to discipline her.
  5. When possible, tantrum behaviour should be ignored. Avoid power struggles and don’t give in to your child’s misbehaviours. Set limits and offer choices with consequences.

Click here to read more on dealing with toddler tantrums.

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