Calming Toddler Tantrums: Tips Every Parent Needs to Know!

Discover how to tame toddler tantrums with empathy and patience in today's parenting tip. Learn practical steps for staying calm, connecting, and gently guiding your child through emotional storms. #ParentingTips #TamingTantrums”

Apr 6, 2024

Tantrum - an uncontrolled outburst of anger and frustration

We will see it in our children at some points. It can get very frustrating for parents, especially when the child is not able to verbalise what is causing the feelings of anger and frustration in him. Actually, it is just as frustrating for our children, too, as most times, they do not know how to manage it, too! Here are some steps parents can take to ease the frustration, both in themselves and in their children:

Cool as a cucumber

Stay calm. When you are calm, your brain works better and you will be able to think and manage the situation better. Staying calm will also help in not adding on to the agitation your child is feeling.

Eye to eye

Get down and look your child in the eye. When you make eye contact with your child, it shows them that they are being heard and that they have your undivided attention. This gives the child a lot of assurance and will help in calming them. As you are looking at them, you can tell them that you are there and they can tell you what is wrong. Even though they may not be able to verbalise nor understand, they will get the signal that you are there for them.

Rockabye baby

Hug your child and rock them. The rocking motion has a calming effect and will assist your child in self-regulating. Hugging your child also gives you a chance to stop and control all the movements of the tantrum (eg. the flailing of arms, the kicking). If your child can be carried, carrying him to a different place/setting (which exudes a more serene atmosphere) will help, too!

Hey! Look at that!

When the child is calmer, distract the child. Get the child to look at something or focus on a sound. This directs the child to something else and serves to help the child to forget about the anger or frustration he is experiencing. Try this trick - speak in a very soft voice. This will usually make the child lower down his volume, too, as he is trying to hear what you are saying.


Warning!! The tantrum may not subside immediately. That is normal. Just keep repeating steps 2 to 4 till your child is calm.
If you are at a public place, try to get to a quieter area to do all these. The lesser the hustle and bustle around the child, the easier it will be to help the child to calm down.

What NOT to do:

  • Do not ignore your child - This will make the child feel even more frustrated.
  • Do not give ultimatums that you will not fulfil - Saying things like, “If you do not get up, I will leave you here.” will most probably not work as the child is not able to think clearly during a tantrum. And let’s be honest - you will not leave your child, right? Hence, this kind of ultimatum will only serve to make your words less credible to your child as time passes by.
  • Do not give in to what your child wants - If the tantrum is caused by the child not getting what he wants, do NOT give in to your child. This is to send a clear signal to your child that throwing a tantrum will not get him what he wants.
  • Do not chide your child in public - A child is also capable of feeling embarrassed. Chiding your child or raising your voice at him in public will make him more frustrated. Speak to your child about the unacceptable behaviour in private. This is modelling respect to your child and your child will grow to be more attuned and sensitive about what can or cannot be done in public.