Saturday, January 12, 2008

Handling Tantrums - How to Handle Yourself When your Kids Throw Tantrums

Tantrums are a misbehavior most parents dread. So what to do if it arises?


When children throw tantrums, they cry, they shriek, they yell, they throw things, even try to hurt you, and sometimes they even try to hurt themselves too. Talking to them at this point is useless. They would only cry more, yell and shriek louder. Attention reinforces this misbehavior. But if you ignore it, eventually the child will stop.

My son used to bang his head on the wall when there’s something that he wants and he was not allowed to have. At first I would try to cover his head because of fear he might hurt himself, but the more he would do it. I would end up giving in to his wants just so he would not bang his head. I knew it was not right. I knew this teaches him to threat so that he could get what he wants. So I asked the occupational therapist (OT, he was undergoing therapy at that time because of speech delay) what to do. She suggested ignoring my son when this attitude arises and be firm. And so I did. Though anxious that he might hurt himself, I tried my very best to ignore him. The first time, it took a while before he finally stopped. I did not try to cover his head, and acted as if I did not see him, and so after a while, probably when his head starts to hurt, he stopped. And so from that time on, in every time he throws a tantrum, whatever he does, whether he cries, shriek, yell, and even throw things I ignore him. Now, he does not throw tantrums anymore.

My friend also proved that ignoring your child when he throws a tantrum is effective. Her daughter, probably because of the arrival of the new baby, would cry for several hours for no apparent reason at all. My friend and her husband would be so worried, and would do so many things trying to pacify her and stop her from crying. Their daughter instead of stopping from crying would cry even more. They tried to give her everything she wants and she asks for but she would still cry for no apparent reason at all. From several hours, her crying got worse to almost 13 hours a day! There was even a time when she cried the whole night until the next day till almost lunch! Exasperated, my friend called me up and asked what to do, and so I suggested what the therapist said, IGNORE and try asking her to help take care of the baby. After several days she called me up and said ignoring her daughter worked, she no longer cries and have started to act as a big sister.

So the next time your child throws a tantrum, ignore.


One reason why children throw tantrums is that because they want something you do not allow. The tendency, they would throw a tantrum in hope to press you to give in.

An example, maybe they want to watch more TV while it’s already bedtime. My son used to throw tantrums because of this. And what I do is that I turn off the TV, unplug it and order him to get inside the room. I ignore his tantrums, and after sometime, when he get tired and would go quiet, I go to his room and explain why they need to go to sleep at that specific time. He would be ready to listen by then, and would apologize and would go to sleep.

Not only did you stop the tantrums at that specific moment when you stay firm in saying no, but also you are teaching your child that there are things that he can’t just have, or are not allowed to. This would teach him discipline and self-control.


When your child throws tantrums, it is because he is frustrated. As I have mentioned on my previous post, to be able to teach him that tantrums is not an acceptable way to express frustrations, you should set the example. Communicate, express to him your disappointment with his misbehavior calmly. Because if you respond negatively with his negative behavior, you taught him by action, violence and anger. Remember, children learn what they live.

I hope these tips have been helpful. I am not an expert parent; I am actually yet at the beginning of this job, still learning and needing to learn more.

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Reviews Corner said...

hi sis! i'm so glad to have known you even through the cyberspace. i don't see much of this common niche that we both have. See you around sis! God bless you and your beautiful family! :-)

Melinda Zook said...

Glad I found your blog today since this advice is just what I needed. Thanks!

Laura said...


Thanks for sharing this wonderful advice.

Is there an age limit here? My son just turned 1. Do you suggest I apply these guidelines this early on?

Angelita Tenorio-Barlongo said...

definitely yes. 1 year olds could have this nasty tantrums sometimes, especially when there are things they want to say, and are saying but we parents don't understand.

though i guess with his age, the best to do is to know first the cause of the tantrums and then respond to it. if it is something he wants and he is not allowed to, and he is being stubborn, ignore, be firm, and be patient(do not be angry).

Webkinz.Webkinz said...

My newphew is 11..She did that once in a local shopping mall for new Barbies, gosh, that's what we didnt know what 2 do. Now, I know..:) Thankx.

Jordi Aznar said...

Hi! I just saw your kind comment, thanks! As you saw, I just started the blog, I am still putting pictures in it... Yours is also very nice: yes, let's get linked. You are the first -and fast- one to write me something!

Jordi Aznar said...

Hi Angelina,
I am doing some rework on my blog today, so it will be unavailable for some hours (as soon as I get home, I'll solve it!)

Oh, by the way, the portrait is a picture of my girlfriend:) I am the guy on the profile:)

See you!

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meanmissy said...

hi gel! actually galing sa akin yun ads na yun about parenting blogger, i am a beginner writer, i am starting another blog, this blog is a joint one between me and rom, thanks for visiting our blog always

meanmissy aka teena

Anusha said...

Hey Thanks,

Will try it out. My daughter is 2 and she has started throwing tantrums. I try not to give in to her demands. Will try what you suggested. Hope it works

Marian R. Allard said...

I believe the key here is being firm. The stronger the tantrums will be the firmer the parent on should be because eventually when you give in, then you just taught your child how to manipulate you and a child is human being capable of storing, remembering and applying learning to similar scenarios. So no matter how tough, if we really want to teach a child, then just let it be the parent way. And of course, BE COOL because after all, that is your child you're dealing with :>

Graciela T. Barron said...

A funny way of looking it is that children who tent to throw tantrums are very persistent. This is simply because they were able to get what they want inspite of... However, a child who has more persistent parents than they are, tend to learn that they have to obey their parents... Either way, there is a lesson being learned.

Celine said...

I think your blog is great. I particularly liked that post, because it reminded me of the situation I was once in when I was 16 and baby-sitting my 2-and-a-half-year-old little cousin. She wanted to stay in her baby brother's cot for the night, so I said it was not possible and here we go, she started screaming on top of her lungs as I moved her to her bed. I was aware that leaving her screaming like that was preventing her baby brother from sleeping but I thought that I could not give in because of their very safety. I decided that it was her decision to behave that way but that I was not gonna stay in the room with her until she stopped. After 10-15 minutes, she finally calmed down and went to sleep. She did similar tantrums again but they quickly became shorter and less loud, and finally disappeared, as she learned that with me, no means no.
I think it's natural for all toddlers to have tantrums, because they are trying to enforce some power. The thing to do is not giving in, at the risk of making them believe that they have that power.