Should there be a time frame for how long a child throws a tantrum?


Shannon - posted on 06/25/2009




If you're out and this behavior begins you look him or her in the eyes and say "you will behave or we go home" If there is no immediate change to good behavior take him home. Stop shopping or whatever your activity and go . When you are home deposit them in their room and close the door . Always as calmly as you can say, repeatedly if necessary, No one wants to see this and if you can't control yourself Then I will help you!


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Catherine - posted on 08/08/2011




Nope, I have 4 daughters and they all differ(ed). The third one would have seriously ear-damaging volume, but be done, and happy again in 5-10 minutes. The eldest, however, could keep going for 2 hours, and still be crabby at the end.

Kate - posted on 06/25/2009




No. Children throw tantrums (younger ones anyway) because they are tired, hungry, frustrated, etc. and do not have the words to express what's going on, or their emotions have become too big for words. It's just like an adult crying and needing space because they are tired, frustrated, or overemotional. I don't think you should punish small children for tantrums (under 3). Wait calmly and patiently for them to quiet down, then ask what they need, giving suggestions if they do not have the words. i.e. "Are you hungry? Are you tired? Do you need to rest? Do you need a hug?" Often my daughter will stop throwing a tantrum as soon as she gets what she needs. NOT wants, I mean needs -- like a nap, a snack, a cup of water, etc.

If tantrums are happening because a child is simply unhappy about getting their way, handle it differently. My daughter started to throw one today because she wanted an animal-shaped potty at the store. We already own one. So we took it away and put it where she couldn't reach, then picked her up and carried her away. She kicked and screamed but I just calmly told her "You can scream if you want to but we're not buying the potty." Then I distracted her with something else. It was over that fast. She did not get her way but we didn't just sit around while she kept throwing the tantrum either. If tantrums are handled this calmly when children are young, I think it is easier when they are older.

No one wants to see a 4 or 5 year old crying and whining because they don't get their way. They shouldn't do it at all if that behavior was never reinforced when they were younger (unless, of course, they are very tired/hungry/etc., which means the parent needs to be smart enough to meet those needs), but if they do -- tell them once to stop or you will leave/take the toy or game/etc. Whatever's causing the tantrum. Then do it. They shouldn't do this very many times before they figure out it's not a good way to get what they want.

Heather - posted on 06/25/2009




In my opinion, the child is throwing a tantrum because the world revolves around them and they need to get their frustrations out (for whatever reason it may be at the time). I don't believe that there is a time frame to state across the board. My daughter is almost 2.5 years old and she throws tantrums that last up to 5 minutes or more. If it gets to the point that she's not calming herself down, I ask her if she needs to take a nap or go back to bed. Her tantrums are more frequent when she's tired. Sometimes she says, "yes" and I take her to her bed for a short nap. I don't make her take a nap, or shut her in her room. If she says, "no" I ask her to stop crying and use her words to tell me what's wrong. That usually works. Long answer short. No time frame, just what feels comfortable for you as a parent of your child, no one knows him better than you. Figure out what works to get his attention elsewhere and move on.

Tara - posted on 06/25/2009




my son is 3. when he "starts" i mkae sure he is standing and i kneel down to his level and talk in a very sturn voice, yet quietly tell him that i will make him apologize to all the people around us for ruining their day. if we are at home, i ignore him and when he's done i ask if he's finished. all he wants is attention, but i will not give attention for bad behavior. hope this helps.

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