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What is a temper tantrum?

Temper tantrums are normal in young children, however, they could be difficult to manage, upsetting to parents and educators and lead to more severe challenges in older children.  It is important to understand how to respond to temper tantrums to prevent long-term consequences.
 
In very young children tantrums can occur when children are unable to communicate their needs. They may engage in crying, yelling or hitting.  Helping children learn ways to communicate more effectively will reduce tantrum behavior.  Model these appropriate skills and provide positive praise and rewards for success. 
 
Other children tantrum as a way to gain attention from adults, escape a demand placed on them, or gain access to a desired item.  Through experience they learned that a tantrum leads to this result.  It is important to remain calm, ignore when appropriate, never give in to a tantrum and remain consistent. Children will learn that tantrum behavior will not lead to their desired outcome and tantrums will diminish over time.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.