Tantrums! Why They Happen and How to Handle Them

Tantrums are a thing that a lot of parents have to deal with—and that’s perfectly normal! You can expect young children to have several tantrums a day. But that doesn’t make them any easier to handle in the moment.


In this video, Dr. Phelan is talking about why kids have tantrums and how you as a parent can respond:

  • What is a normal frequency for tantrums at different ages?
  • Why are children having tantrums?
  • What steps can parents take to prevent tantrums?
  • What should a parent do once a tantrum has started? 

What is a normal frequency for tantrums?

We think of the tantrum years as 18 months to 5 years of age with the frequency beginning to diminish after age 5. When children are preschool aged they experience the highest frequency of tantrums. 20% of children this age will have 2-3 tantrums every day. This is all very normal for this age although they are very upsetting for parents.

What does a tantrum look like? 

Tantrums are different from whining and pouting. In a tantrum, a child may yell or is often physically aggressive. Younger children might throw themselves on the floor, others may physically lash out at other people, or bite themselves. Different from whining and pouting, tantrums are aggressive behavior--verbal or physical.


I hope this video helped! For more parenting advice, check out 1-2-3 Magic .

November 19, 2021
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