Got Toddlers & Tantrums? Help is here

By: Rachel Zorrilla

Are your child’s tantrums making you feel like having one too? You’re not alone. Tantrums, while a normal part of child development, test the patience of any parent, even on their best day. Normal or not, they’re no fun for parent or child.

Maybe you’ve tried reasoning with your screaming, out-of-control child, or perhaps a punishment? Bribe? Begging and/or pleading to PLEEEEEASE STOP?!?!
Not working for you? Let’s turn this whole tantrum thing on its head with a more peaceful and effective approach that requires control on your part, some acting and of course deep breathing!

  • Resign yourself to the fact that tantrums are going to (and should) happen as your child develops their sense of autonomy separate from mom and dad.
  • Once a tantrum begins, don’t try to DO something about it to end it…instead, disengage because…
  • The quicker a tantrum thrower is left to deal with his/her own disappointment at not getting his/her way, the sooner the tantrum will wind down
  • DON’T GET IN THE WAY OF THIS PROCESS – SIMPLY GO ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS (as hard as that may be…ACT like you don’t mind that they’re throwing a hissy fit, even though you really do)
  • BREATHE DEEPLY and go to your happy place
  • When the monster that temporarily possesses your child decides to vacate the building…give a hug, wipe the tears and get on with your day. Your child has suffered enough. Yelling or holding a grudge will only damage the trust your child has in you to love him/her unconditionally. What you are thinking during the tantrum: “You can have tantrums, but they are not going to accomplish anything. Not only will I not change my mind/give in, but your tantrum will get LESS, not more of me.”
    If tantrums are continually rendered ineffective, their overall frequency, intensity, and duration will be reduced. Now that’s reason to celebrate!

Rachel Zorrilla is a certified STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) parent educator.
She specializes in helping parents learn how to connect with their children and find more joy in parenting. Tired of yelling? Bribing? Punishing?
CALL her at 201.574.5189 or email her at
(All calls are completely confidential)

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