Parenting Articles about Outbursts & Temper Tantrums

How to deal with your child's temper tantrums and angry outbursts. Tips from our experts for parents of toddlers on up to parents of teens.
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Defiant Young Children and Toddlers: 5 Things Not to Do

Defiant Young Children and Toddlers: 5 Things Not to Do

Do you ever find yourself wondering, “When will this child stop defying me and start doing what I ask?” It can be incredibly frustrating, not to mention exhausting, dealing with a young child or toddler who finds it necessary to challenge your every request, act in a defiant manner, lose their temper, and be generally disruptive or annoying. Parents oftentimes find themselves drained as they come up against this behavior, and wind up feeling hopeless about how to handle the situation. They might also start worrying about what the future holds for such a strong-willed child. The good news is there is help in dealing with defiance in young kids—and the solutions are easier than you may think.

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Signs of Parental Abuse: What to Do When Your Child or Teen Hits You

Signs of Parental Abuse: What to Do When Your Child or Teen Hits You

Jennifer’s son began hitting her when he was 14 years old. “I just didn’t know what to do,” she told us. “If anyone else had hit me, I would have called the police. But this was my son! I didn’t want him arrested but I wanted the abuse to stop. I was ashamed to admit to my family what was going on and I knew they would take action, even if I didn’t. The situation was intolerable but I couldn’t take action. I felt trapped, like I was in a car without brakes.”

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Anger, Rage and Explosive Outbursts: How to Respond to Your Child or Teen's Anger

Anger, Rage and Explosive Outbursts: How to Respond to Your Child or Teen's Anger

Everyone gets mad sometimes, children and adults alike. Anger is an emotion that can range from slightly irritated to moderately angry, all the way to full-blown rage. A child’s anger often makes us feel uncomfortable, so there can be a natural tendency to try and change the situation for your child, so the anger will evaporate.Or on the flip side, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “bringing down the hammer,” to put a stop to the anger through intimidation or punishment. But the fact is, your child will experience situations that may trigger anger throughout life. You can’t stop the triggers, but you can give your child the tools to understand anger and deal with it.

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How to Keep Calm and Guide Your Child to Better Behavior This Year

How to Keep Calm and Guide Your Child to Better Behavior This Year

Have you been looking back on the last year, reflecting on how things went with your child? If so, perhaps you feel frustrated when you think about his or her behavior—and your reaction to it. Maybe you feel like no matter what you do, nothing changes. But understand that positive change can happen in your family. You’re not stuck in those negative patterns—you really do have the power to improve things, starting today.

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6 Ways to Manage Tantrums, Misbehavior and Meltdowns During the Holidays

6 Ways to Manage Tantrums, Misbehavior and Meltdowns During the Holidays

If you have a child or teen who misbehaves, the holidays can be a source of infinite stress and anxiety. Your individual expectations of the holidays can be seriously at odds: you expect to have a nice, shared time with your whole family and maybe attend some larger family gatherings; they expect to get every gift they demand, and they intend to spend their school break staying up late, sleeping in, and playing video games. The resulting holiday season can be filled with tantrums, obnoxious behavior, and lots of yelling and screaming.

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Demanding Children and Teens: Is Entitlement Just a Stage?

Demanding Children and Teens: Is Entitlement Just a Stage?

Your 10-year-old son begs you to buy him the newest video game. He cries, “All my friends have it. Why can’t you be like all the other parents? They buy their kids the stuff they want!” Or, your 16-year-old daughter is annoyed that she has to drive the old beat up Chevy to school. “I don’t want to be seen in this piece of junk! Have you seen what kind of cars the other kids drive!?”

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Manipulative Child Behavior? My Kids Are Too Smart for Their Own Good

Manipulative Child Behavior? My Kids Are Too Smart for Their Own Good

Does this sound familiar? My middle schooler blackmails me emotionally – he cries that I 'don’tcare about him and love his brother more'when I ask him to stop playing his video games. It's true that he's a more difficult kid, and his wordsmake me feel so bad that I oftenfeel guilty and let him continue to play. Or My teenager negotiates with me relentlessly to get her way. 'If you let me go to the party tonight,' she'll say, 'then I promise I'll get all my work done tomorrow.' I figure, why not?So I let her go. But then,'Oops!'She conveniently forgets all her promises.

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Stop Aggressive Behavior in Kids and Tweens: Is Your Child Screaming, Pushing and Hitting?

Stop Aggressive Behavior in Kids and Tweens: Is Your Child Screaming, Pushing and Hitting?

When a child is aggressive toward others – hitting, screaming, pushing, throwing things – the natural response of the people around him is to withdraw. It’s frightening to see someone whose anger has reached a point where it seems out of control. If your elementary or middle school-age child is behaving aggressively toward others, it’s important to address the issue now, before it escalates to serious consequences such as suspension, legal problems or serious harm to others.

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Young Kids at School: 4 Top Issues That Cause a Rocky Start

Young Kids at School: 4 Top Issues That Cause a Rocky Start

The beginning of a new school year can be a mixed blessing for parents:you might be relievedthat your child is back in a routine and you no longer are organizing all that down time, as well as dread if you have a child who struggles in school. If your young child has had a rocky start to the school year, you are not alone! The following suggestions can help you get your child on the right track right from the beginning—even if they've already stumbled.

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Do You Fight with Your Child Every Night?

Do You Fight with Your Child Every Night?

Homework, chores, TV,computer time, bedtime:are each of these areaspotential land mines that can start a fight with your child each night?If you answer that question with a “yes,” you’ve already taken the first step toward making things better. You’ve recognized that there is a pattern of behavior and interaction with your child that isn’t working for you or your family. Often, as parents we get stuck in repeated problem situations with our kids and don’t even realize it. But, if you’ve already figured out that every evening during the week, no matter what you do, things always seem to erupt into a fight — you’ve identified a pattern of behavior that can be changed.

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Does Your Child Challenge Authority? 4 Things Parents Can Do

Does Your Child Challenge Authority? 4 Things Parents Can Do

Does it ever feel like your child or teenager has an answer for everything—and usually takes the exact opposite position on what you’ve just said? Many kids struggle with authority, and have trouble following limits or rules, complying with requests and or generally are disrespectful to others in society. Some wear their defiance on their sleeves and are angry in their refusal (How dare you tell me what to do?!). Others are more subtle and simply “dig their heels in.”

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Explosive Child Anger: Taming Your Toddler’s Temper Tantrum

Explosive Child Anger: Taming Your Toddlers Temper Tantrum

Sarah is trying to get her 3-year-old son Sam into the car to go to the library, when he suddenly decides that not only is his car seat a form of torture, but that he doesn’t want to go to the library after all. While trying to maintain her composure and calmly get Sam buckled, Sarah tries to talk him into it, reminding him of all the fun they have at story time and how much he enjoys picking out new books. Sam will have none of it. So begins the kicking, screaming, and body stiffening that Sarah deals with on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis with her spunky toddler, making her feel frustrated and question what she’s doing wrong.

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How to Handle Temper Tantrums: Coaching Kids to Calm Down

How to Handle Temper Tantrums: Coaching Kids to Calm Down

When I answered the phone, I heard the shrieks immediately. It was obvious that a child was having a nuclear meltdown on the other end of the line and the mother, exhausted and frantic, was calling the Parental Support Line for help. As the mother tried to explain what was going on, I struggled to hear her over the commotion. “We’ve been dealing with this for over an hour now. When is he going to stop?” she asked. These kinds of calls are not at all uncommon on the Parental Support Line. I talk to parents every day who have kids who come completely unglued at the drop of a hat; these parents struggle to cope with the resulting chaos. Believe it or not, there are ways to help eliminate tantrums from your daily life. It starts with understanding the meltdown.

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Angry Child Outbursts: The 10 Rules of Dealing with an Angry Child

Angry Child Outbursts: The 10 Rules of  Dealing with an Angry Child

Mikayla, age 13, has just been told she can’t go to her friend’s house. “You need to clean your room first,” says her mom, “You promised to do that, remember? ”Mikayla gets in her mother’s face and screams, “You’re the meanest mom in the world! I hate you!” She turns and runs into her bedroom, slamming the door. “That’s it! You’re grounded, young lady,” her mom shouts back. She’s left feeling exhausted and defeated, and unsure if she’s done the right thing.

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