Moms Respond: How Do You Handle Your Toddler's Tantrums?

Moms share their tricks for taming tantrums.

Ignorance Is Bliss

My son, Payden, is about to turn 1 and has just started throwing tantrums when he doesn't get his way. He flings himself down on the floor, screaming, kicking, and pulling his hair. I just ignore him, and once he realizes that I am not paying attention to him, he stops.
Lisa, Orlando, Florida

The Numbers Game

When my son, Aiden, decides to throw one of his tantrums, I take action immediately. First, I explain what he is doing wrong. Maintaining eye contact is key. Then he sits in a time-out without television or music, and we count to 26 (his age in months). I picked up this idea from a good friend of mine. It allows me to address my son's tantrum while also teaching him how to count. If he's still upset after counting to 26, we start counting again.
Susan, Colfax, Wisconsin

Seeing Is Believing

My 3-year-old daughter has a fit over the littlest thing. If I don't give her what she wants, she'll scream "Oh my God!" and throw herself onto the floor. I send her to her room to calm down, and while she's there she watches herself in the mirror. After about five minutes of seeing herself in action, the temper tantrum ends.
Valerie, Syracuse, New York

Talk It Out

When my son starts throwing one of his fits, I tell him, "Talmon, Mommy can't understand you when you scream and cry. You need to use your big-boy words." Usually he will stop crying and tell me what he wants. If that doesn't work, my husband and I walk away from him and let him come to us when he's ready to communicate.
Lindsay, South Jordan, Utah

Music to Your Ears

When my 4-year-old starts to throw a tantrum at home, I often start singing a silly song at the top of my lungs. It immediately grabs her attention, and she starts laughing and singing along. It's a great way to turn lemons into lemonade!
Maresa, Lake City, Arkansas

Mommy's Turn

One day I decided I'd had enough of my toddler's tantrums, so I got down on the floor and threw a fit with him. "Now you know how it looks," I said. Needless to say, he didn't throw a tantrum for the rest of the day.
Cozette, Newton, Iowa

Originally published in American Baby magazine, December 2006.

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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