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Can you discipline a Tantrum?

Posted September 12, 2013 - 8:13pm

My 3 yr old's tantrums usually involve kicking doors and screaming without end. I know a tantrum is a way of venting frustration and anger, but I Need to teach my kid it is also an unacceptable way of behaving. his most recent tantrum was when I went to take a shower this morning. He was painting calmly with the nanny, as soon as I walked into my room he started bang8ing on the door and kicking it he kept at it for the entire time was in the shower. I came out calmly took him to his room and talked about it, he kept on yelling for a good 10min. How do you discipline your kids and let them know banging on doors and hitting is unacceptable?

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So hard, right?? This is an amazing video on toddlers...

Tina Payne Bryson, PhD
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Indy Parent Coach

Tantrums are so frustrating! It's almost impossible to "discipline" a tantrum, but the focus should be on stopping the tantrum and then deciphering what caused it to begin with.  Once your son is done with his tantrum, I would follow up with him and say, "Hey it looks like you were super mad a few minutes ago, can we talk about why that happened?"  Then set about helping him solve the problem that caused the tantrum.  At the end, when you have solved the problem together then end by saying, "Next time you feel..., I think we should try... rather than hitting the door".  Then remind him to use his decision when he has another tantrum.If tantrums are a usual occurrence, here is a post I wrote about taming temper tantrums by offering kids choices.


I agree with Indy Parent Coach. It is also important to ask your child to remember from where that feeling came that motivated him to act that way. Was he angry? Sad? Upset? Frustrated? Tell him that the next time he feels that same way, he should take three deep breaths first and talk to someone around him before his emotions escalate. Hope this helps!

Marshall Herff

You can tell them that they can leave.


Or you can leave! We are having a productive dialogue here!!!! :/


This video might help explain it a little better too

Elizabeth Pantley
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Author, The No-Cry Solution book series


I have taught three year olds and I find both the temper tantrum thrower and myself have heightened emotions for the duration of it. I try to never show that I am upset but I allow the child to see that the behavior is upsetting and won't get the desired result. I think the prevention of tantrums really begins with consistency. Not giving in to the demands lays the foundation for the following times. Soon the child knows that kicking or hitting objects won't get him what he wants. Lots of short and simple talks about apporpriate ways to get what he wants are helpful. Not being too wordy with a three year old seems to be most effective. Good luck!


I go with the "not too wordy" advice.  I think the tantrums get worse if we over-react, don't you think?


Yes! When parents react emotionally it escalates the situation. If you can take emotion out of the equation it helps. Also you must be consistent.My approach to tantrums was to put the child in a safe place and let them do what they needed to, telling them to come see me when they are calm and could talk. Sometime that meant taking them to the safe place a few times before they would stay, but it always worked. When they were calm I would ask them to tell me about what they were feeling and try to give them the right words (frustrated, mad, etc.) to help.

Mommy Ramblings

Yes, if you react to it or get upset they will keep it up. I always heard to leave them alone and ignore a tantrum. However you have some kids when you do that keep taking it to the next level to get a rise out of you.


It would depend on the child, but normally I try to ignore it then punish them afterwards. It usually worked when they didn't get what they wanted.