Temper Tantrums, You're Not Alone.

What every parent needs to know about their childs behavior.

What defines a temper tantrum?

These are extreme episodes of frustration or anger that can include shouting, screaming, crying, hitting, and much more. (Berk, 2010)

Temper tantrums are one of the most common childhood behavior problems. 20% of two year olds, 18% of three year olds, and 10% of four years old have at least one a day. (Daniels, Mandleco, & Luthy, 2012)

Why do children have these episodes?

Tantrums are a normal part of development as children learn to control their emotions. Some of the reasons they may throw a temper tantrum is because they are tired, hungry, ill, or frustrated. Children may also be looking for attention, or trying to avoid something they do not want to do. (Daniels, et al., 2012)

Are all temper tantrums normal?

5%-20% of children have severe temper tantrums. If your child appears to have abnormal tantrums, a behavioral therapist is recommended. Tantrums are considered abnormal if they persist after five years of age, last longer than fifteen minutes, or if they hurt themselves, someone else, or damage property. (Daniels, et al., 2012)

How can you prevent your child from having tantrums?

Parents need to maintain consistent behavioral expectations and rewards, so the child stay calm and in balance. Also, children need to have a daily routine as much as possible, meaning meals and naps at specific times. Parents need to try to avoid saying "no" too often, because this can be very frustrating to young children, they need plenty of positive attention. (Daniels, et al., 2012)


Berk, Laura E., (2010). Development through the Lifespan.

Daniels, E. Mandleco, B., Luthy, K. E., (Oct. 2012). Assessment, management, and prevention of childhood temper tantrums. Journal of the Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Vol. 24.