Skip 
Navigation Link
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Resources
Basic Information
Infant Development: How Your Baby Grows and MaturesInfant Parenting: Keeping Your Baby Healthy and HappyInfant Safety: Keeping Your Baby SafeInfant Enrichment: Stimulating Your Baby
More InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Baby's First ToothBreast Milk Combats Growth of Bad BacteriaHealth Tip: Addressing Your Child's Biting HabitPaid Family Leave Helps Keep Babies' Vaccines on Track: StudyMaking the Most of Your Baby's First 3 YearsC-Section Delivery Might Alter Newborn's 'Microbiome'New Healthy Drinks Guidelines for Kids: Skip the Soy, Avoid SugarsTreatment for Very-Preterm Infants May Lead to Antibiotic ResistanceSecrets to Soothing a Cranky Baby SafelyKids in Hot Cars: How to Prevent Heatstroke DeathsEvery Sudden Infant Death Deserves a Closer Look: ReportHow to Protect Your Baby Against EczemaBathing a Baby Less Scary Than It SoundsVulnerable Preemie Babies Often Behind On VaccinesTwins' Deaths in Hot Car Highlight a Preventable TragedySmog Could Land Newborns in Intensive CareHow to Protect Your Baby From Unsafe ProductsExtreme Eating Habits Could Be an Early Clue to AutismTongue, Lip Snip Surgeries May Be Overused in U.S. NewbornsIn a U.S. First, Baby Is Delivered From Womb Transplanted From Deceased DonorU.S. Cases of Infant Gut Illness Plummet After Vaccine IntroducedHealth Tip: Safe Sleep For BabiesAnother Reason Breast Is Best for Fragile Preemie BabiesSwallowing Toiletries, Makeup Sends Thousands of Kids to ER Each YearCommon Infant Vaccine May Also Shield Kids From Type 1 DiabetesFew Days of Formula Feeding After Delivery Won't Harm Breastfed BabiesNursing Moms Who Eat Right Have Slimmer, Healthier BabiesInfant Pain Heightened After Opioid Exposure in WombPutting Your Child to Sleep in a Car Seat Can Be DeadlySwallowed Batteries Should Be Removed to Avoid Stomach Damage: StudyHealth Tip: Physical Milestones at Age OneWhat to Do When Your Child Throws a FitLow Birth Weight Babies a Worldwide ProblemQuieter NICUs a Good Rx for Premature BabiesHow to Soothe Baby's Teething Pain SafelyHow to Protect Your Child From ChokingNearly 700,000 Infant Rocking Sleepers Recalled Due to Infant DeathsBreast Milk Has Biggest Benefit for Preemies' Brains: StudyBabies Still Dying Due to Unsafe Sleep PracticesHealth Tip: Choosing a Car SeatHot-Car Deaths Hit Record High in 2018Newborn's 'Microbiome' Could Give Clues to Weight LaterKids' ER Visits for Swallowing Toys, Foreign Objects Have Doubled Since 1990sHealth Tip: Treating an Infant's FeverPediatricians' Group Calls for Recall of 'Rock 'n Play' Sleeper After Infant DeathsPreventing Kids' Food Allergies Starts in InfancyTen Infant Deaths Linked to Fisher-Price Rock 'N Play SleepersBaby-Led Eating: A Healthier ApproachIs That Medication Safe When Breastfeeding?Fussy Baby May Raise Mom's Risk of Depression
Links
Related Topics

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Parenting
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)
Child Development & Parenting: Middle (8-11)

What to Do When Your Child Throws a Fit

HealthDay News
by By Len Canter
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 17th 2019

new article illustration

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- You know the scenario -- your child has a meltdown, leaving you frustrated, embarrassed and arguing even though your brain says it's a battle you're not likely to win.

Tantrums often start during the "terrible 2's" because little ones can't yet clearly voice their frustrations. But it's never too late to correct the behavior, even if it's a well-established pattern in an older child.

In the heat of the moment, look at the situation through your child's eyes to understand why he or she is acting this way, so you can diffuse the situation.

You might need to start by moving to a more private location, such as a quiet corner of the mall or a bedroom if you're visiting someone's home. You're more likely to respond better to your child -- and be better able to assess the true problem -- if you don't feel like you're on public view.

If your child is overwhelmed by the surroundings, give a comforting hug. If he's hungry, offer a nourishing snack. If she's tired, a nap might help. If he's upset over something he wants but can't have, use distraction to divert his attention. Some experts suggest teaching a child the same type of mindful breathing that adults practice to refocus their attention and restore a sense of calm.

To prevent tantrums, try to identify what situations stress your child. Is it being overscheduled, exposed to stimuli like bright lights and noise, or simply being bored? If your child isn't happy tagging along when you run errands, for instance, bringing her on such an outing is asking for a miserable experience for both of you.

Also, identify and look out for any warning signs your child exhibits leading up to difficult behavior so you can take action before a meltdown occurs.

More information

The organization Hand In Hand has more advice for managing tantrums in public.