4 proven ways to stop your child’s tantrums getting out of control

Tantrums. They’re the last thing any parent wants to deal with, especially in public! But researchers at the University of Sydney think they’ve found the answer to taming them!

Over the last 10 years, the research team at the The University of Sydney’s Child Behaviour Research Clinic (CBRC) has treated aggression, non-compliance, rule-breaking and excessive tantrums in children aged two to 16.

Check out these expert tips to help your child deal with emotional, behavioural problems.

toddler tantrums2

4 expert tips to help with tantrums!

David J Hawes, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sydney says, “The earlier you can intervene in behavioural problems, the better. Use parenting strategies that take the emotion out of discipline and put it back into the rest of family life.”

So what are these top tips?

1. Reward good behaviour

For example, if your child is playing cooperatively with their sibling, give them a hug or kiss and a short burst of parent-child time at the time of their good behaviour.

2. Praise them even in the context of discipline

If your child was being aggressive and destructive with their toys and you then discipline them, for instance, praise them with lots of enthusiasm for helping to pack them away.

Two young boys in baseball caps fighting over a scooter in a skate park as the one bullies the other to get off

3. Respond to misbehaviour immediately with a calm and clear instruction

If your child plays up, direct them to what they should be doing straight away. An example of this is to get their attention and say, “The way you are speaking is very rude, you need to use a nice voice,” following the first instance of such behaviour.

4. Respond immediately to escalations with a consequence

Whether it’s a brief time out or quiet time, when your child is being particularly aggressive, sit them on their own somewhere safe and boring. Tell them they’re only allowed to leave once they have been quiet for a set amount of time, e.g. two minutes.

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