little kid crying

by Russel McKenna, DO
Treehouse Pediatrics and Family Care

Most of us have seenthe parade of behavior called a tantrum. It’s obvious when one is on display. A tantrum is most common and frequent around the ages of one to four. This type of behavioral outburst can upset and challenge most parents.

Why Tantrums? Children are learning how to communicate and interact in their little world. They may be frustrated, hungry, tired or need attention. 

How to Help:

  • Keep Calm. Children sense their parents’ frustrations which can escalate the emotional display.
  • Ignore When You Can. If safety during a tantrum is not a factor, stay in sight but continue what you were doing. Your words may only be noise to young ears.
  • Distract or Redirect. Watch for early signals of oncoming tantrums. If possible, redirect their energy and focus on some random interesting thing to them.
  • Simplify. Families are over-programmed and running on empty. Children need love and structure. Take time to just be together feeling loved.

Online resources for tantrums or other undesired behaviors are easy to find. Choose helpful advice specific to your child’s needs. One valuable resource is