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Tantrum: Causes Misconceptions and Solutions

Tantrum Causes Misconceptions and Solutions

Every parent has experienced a full-blown tantrum abrupt outburst of crying, screaming, and wailing. Although temper tantrums are a normal part of growing up, that does not make them any less upsetting or difficult. Tantrums can be less stressful for you and your child if you and they both know what sets them off and how to handle them. In this article, we will explore Tantrum: Causes Misconceptions and Solutions. How to handle them healthily and productively. Additionally, we will discuss when to seek professional assistance and how tantrums change with age. After reading this article, you will know more about tantrums and how to handle them healthily and productively.

What causes tantrums

Childhood tantrums are a common occurrence, especially in toddlers and young kids. They frequently result from frustration or the inability to adequately express complicated emotions. In addition, overstimulation, exhaustion, and hunger are typical tantrum starters. Sometimes, when children are trying to assert their independence but are unable to get what they want, they may tantrum. This is especially typical when there is a change in a child’s routine or when they go from playtime to bedtime.

Because they help a child develop emotional self-control, tantrums are a common stage of childhood development. With the right instruction, a child can learn to cope with difficult feelings and control them, which will reduce the frequency and severity of their tantrums. However, if they are not properly handled, tantrums can become more severe and the child may experience behavioral issues like oppositional defiant disorder.

Misconceptions about tantrums

Some common misconceptions about tantrums are:

  • When toddlers do not get their way, they throw tantrums. While it is true that unmet desires can result in tantrums, the main culprit is frequently a toddler’s inability to control their emotions and handle stress. Similar to any other skill, these aptitudes must be developed and nurtured; they are not innate.
  • Tantrums are only a fad. When something is referred to as a “phase,” it implies that it will end on its own, without help, just like when a child loses their baby teeth. However, tantrums don’t necessarily follow this pattern. Without guidance and instruction in the fundamentals of self-regulation, or, worse, if severe punishment is employed to quell tantrums, the situation might deteriorate rather than get better. 
  • Tantrums are used by toddlers to bribe or otherwise influence their parents. Experiencing intense emotions, whether they are real or fake, is unpleasant, if not downright horrible. Such complex plans cannot be created or carried out by toddlers. They are merely communicating their needs and feelings in the best way they can.

Solutions for tantrums

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for tantrums, but some general strategies that can help are:

Find a distraction

As soon as you notice a tantrum beginning, but before it becomes a full-blown outburst, try to divert your child. You can show them something interesting or involve them in a project.

Stay calm 

When your child is in the middle of a tantrum, don’t lecture, threaten, or argue with them. Doing so will only make them even angrier and extend the episode. Instead, make an effort to maintain your composure. You can speak to your child softly and gently, or comfort them with loving touches like hugs or hair strokes.

Ignore the tantrum

The best reaction to a tantrum may occasionally be to say nothing at all. You can ignore your child’s behavior and wait for them to settle down on their own as long as they are secure and not endangering themselves or others. This can teach them that throwing tantrums will not get them what they want or get them any attention.

Give them space 

You can try to remove your child from the situation and give them some space to calm down if they are acting out in public or in a situation where you can not ignore them. You could lead them, for instance, to a private area or another room where they can express their feelings without upsetting anyone.

Validate their feelings 

Following a tantrum, you can express empathy and acknowledge your child’s feelings. For instance, you could say, “I understand you were sad because we had to leave the park,” or “I know you were angry because you wanted to play longer.” In addition to teaching them how to appropriately name and express their emotions, this can make them feel heard and understood.

Reinforce positive behavior 

You can compliment your child and give them positive attention when they behave well or comply with your instructions without acting out. You might say, “You did a great job using your inside voice in the store,” or “I am so proud of you for sharing your toys with your sister.” This can encourage them to repeat the behaviors they have learned that are expected and acceptable.

Tantrums at different ages

Although tantrums can happen at any age, they tend to happen most frequently in children between the ages of one and four. Depending on the child’s personality and developmental stage, tantrums may occur more or less frequently or be more or less severe. 

  • Children at this age are exploring their surroundings and forming a sense of self. When they come across something strange or novel, like a novel food or a novel caregiver, they may act out in tantrums. Additionally, they may throw tantrums if they are overtired, hungry, or overstimulated. If you want to avoid tantrums, try to maintain a regular schedule, give your child options when you can, and create a stimulating environment that is safe for exploration.
  • Children are beginning to learn how to communicate and assert their independence at the age of two. When they are unable to express their needs or wants, when they are annoyed by their restrictions, or when they are told “no,” they may act out by throwing tantrums. You can try to use straightforward language, provide constructive alternatives, and establish fair and consistent boundaries and expectations to avoid tantrums.
  • Children are still developing their imagination and creativity at this age, which is three. When they are caught up in their fantasy world and do not want it to end, when they have unreasonable demands or expectations, or when they are pushing their boundaries, they may have tantrums. You can try to respect their imagination and play along with them, explain the rationale behind your rules or requests, and issue warnings and reminders before transitions to help prevent tantrums.

When to seek help

The normal course of a child’s development includes tantrums, which typically stop by the time the child is 5 years old. However, some symptoms could point to a more serious issue or underlying condition, such as:

  • Tantrums that are frequent and severe and last for more than 15 minutes
  • Or tantrums that result in harming oneself or other people
  • As well as inconvenient temper tantrums that disrupt daily activities or social interactions
  • Also, tantrums that co-occur with other signs like impulsivity, mood swings, anxiety, or aggression
  • And beyond the age of five, persistent tantrums

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, you should seek further evaluation and treatment from your pediatrician or a mental health specialist. Some possible causes of abnormal tantrums include:

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Conduct disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
  • Sensory processing disorder (SPD)
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Depression

While tantrums can be frustrating for both parents and kids, they can also be an opportunity for growth and learning. You can assist your child in developing emotional regulation and coping mechanisms that will help them throughout their lives by understanding what triggers tantrums and how to manage them effectively.


In conclusion, temper tantrums are a typical stage of childhood development and usually stop by the time a child is five years old. Some symptoms, however, might point to a more serious issue or a condition that needs professional care. While tantrums can be frustrating for both parents and kids, they can also be an opportunity for growth and learning. You can assist your child in developing emotional regulation and coping mechanisms that will help them throughout their lives by understanding what triggers tantrums and how to manage them effectively.  Additionally, you can stop or lessen tantrums by finding diversion, remaining composed, ignoring the behavior, giving the child space, validating their feelings, and rewarding good behavior. We trust that this article has provided you with some insightful and practical advice on how to handle tantrums healthily and productively.

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