Tackling your toddler’s temper tantrums
24 July 2020

Tackling your toddler’s temper tantrums

Even the sweetest toddler has an occasional temper tantrum every now and then.  This can be anything from whining and crying to screaming, kicking, hitting, and breath-holding. This usually occurs in both boys and girls generally from age 1 to age 3. These cases might be more common in some children than they are in others

At that age, toddlers are generally just trying to get to grips with the world. This can become quite frustrating when they aren't able to accomplish a task. When this happens, they reach for one of the only tools at their disposal for venting frustration - a tantrum.

Parents will be familiar with many of the common tantrum triggers: This might be a case of your child needing attention, he/she might be tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. Tantrums are generally an unavoidable part of children’s lives as they learn to navigate the world as well as how people, objects, and their own bodies work.

The second year of life might be when the tantrums begin to really manifest in your child. This is when they begin to pick up the language. What you will find is that toddlers generally take in more than they can express - hence the term, soak things up like a sponge. As their language skills improve and they are able to express themselves more, you find that the ‘episodes’ tend to decrease.

Be sure to lock all ‘off-limits’ objects away and out of reach. This will reduce the likelihood of these objects becoming the cause of your struggles with your child.

A great tip would be to look for replacements for the object of your child’s desire. Children generally have a short attention span, so use that to your advantage when trying to diffuse such a situation.

Carefully assess each situation and pick your battles accordingly. Determine the risk level, the realistic nature or the possibility in the short term as to whether to go ahead with your child’s request as opposed to risking a ‘tsunami’ of an outburst.


Seeing as most tantrums will be borne out of the need for attention, be sure that your child isn't creating a scene because he or she feels they aren’t getting enough attention. In a child’s eyes, attention is attention – whether positive or negative (your response to their tantrum). They will take whatever they can get from you. So it will be down to you to monitor your child’s behaviour, to know when they are becoming attention-needy. This might mean just checking in with your child every so often so they know you are just a wink/glance away.

Once that habit of catching your child being good has been established, you could also put an informal reward system in place.  This could be as simple as giving extra hugs or anything you feel your child will love. This act will definitely help to wean your child off his/her tantrums and make for a more positive communication flow between them and you. 

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