Tantrums occur when children can't express their feelings.
A 3-year-old does not yet know how to deal with his emotions and doesn't always have the words to express what he's feeling. In the worst-case scenario, these feelings can erupt, turning your child into an unrecognizable monster who hits, kicks, screams and makes a gigantic mess. Temper tantrums can occur with even the most well-behaved children, but when you're dealing with them regularly, it's easy to lose your cool as well. It's best to head off tantrums before they start, but you should know what it takes to stop a tantrum, too.
1Track your child's tantrum. Imagine you're a scientist trying to get to the bottom of a question. If you keep notes on when the tantrums occur, you'll start to notice patterns that can help you prevent them. For example, you might find that your child is more likely to throw a tantrum when she's hungry, sleepy, bored or not getting the attention she wants.
2Give him the words he needs to express his feelings. For example, you might say, "You're angry that he took your toy," or "You feel left out when mommy has to take care of the new baby." The more words your child has to describe what's wrong and what he needs, the fewer temper tantrums you'll have to deal with.
3Redirect her to a new activity. Whether you can sense that a tantrum is about to start or it's already in full swing, getting your child interested in something else might be just what she needs.
4Change the mood. Your child needs to learn how to go from his angry place to a happier one. Help him do this by taking him outside or doing something silly and unexpected.
5Offer your support. When a child starts to lose her temper, she needs you there to help her. This might be helping her with a piece of clothing that she can't do herself or just giving her a hug to let her know that you still love her.
- Remember to model appropriate behavior when you're frustrated. If you slam doors or start yelling when you're angry, your child is more likely to do this as well.
- Daily temper tantrums are not the norm, according to MedlinePlus. If you think that the frequency or severity of your child's temper tantrums is excessive, talk about it with your child's pediatrician. She might recommend taking your child to a psychologist to determine the source of the problem.