How to prevent tantrums

Tantrums are often the result of your child wanting to do more things by themselves. If they are not allowed to do something, they might react by having a tantrum. You can’t always prevent tantrums. They’re part of a child’s development. But these tips can help reduce the chance of a tantrum:

Tip 1: Give your child two options to choose from. Children struggle to choose from too many options, so you could ask, “Do you want to wear the red sweater or the green one?”. That will help your child through this tough moment.

Tip 2: When your child has enough energy, teach them to ‘learn how to wait’. They can learn to wait for their sandwich, for example. Take your time to prepare their sandwich and pour yourself a drink. In the meantime, talk and explain to your child that you’re about to eat together.

Tip 3: Take your time and make sure you don’t need to rush, for example when grocery shopping. Children sense when you’re in a hurry, which can make them sad.

Tip 4: Make sure your child doesn’t need to hear the word “no” all too often. Create a healthy home by keeping sweets and tablets out of sight. If they don’t see them, they’re less likely to ask for them.

Tip 5: Is your child asking for something? Then think whether you’re going to tell them yes or no beforehand, and why. Stick to your plan. If your child has a tantrum, ignore them. If you eventually give in, chances are they will have another tantrum next time, because they will want things their way again.

Tip 6: Create as much clarity as you can for your child. That will calm them down and make them feel safe. You can do this by setting clear rules and boundaries and by creating habits (like a bed time ritual). That way, your child will know what to expect.

Tip 7: Don’t expect too much from your child. A three-year-old will not always sit still at the table. Young children may also not have a clear idea of what they want to eat for dinner. That’s totally normal.