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Evidence-Based Strategies to Reduce Tantrums

#1 Rule

Stay Calm & Model Self-Control

Respond in the way that you want your child to. Do you want a child to get angry and yell when a problem arrises? When you remain composed, you’re teaching your child how regulate their emotions. You can proactively model this on a daily basis even if meltdowns arent occuring. Do so by pointing out some of your feelings throughout the day. For example, does being late make you anxious? If so, you could explain this to your child. Being able to identify your feeling, the cause for the feeling, and a resolution, is the recipe for establishing healthy coping skills.

Take Deep Breaths

One of the simplest and most effective ways to remain calm during a tantrum is to take a deep breath. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to step back and take a few deep breaths. This can help you stay focused and calm, even when your child is upset.


Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and non-judgmentally observing your thoughts and feelings. By practicing mindfulness, you can learn to recognize your own emotional reactions and respond in a calm and intentional way. This can help you stay calm during your child’s tantrums and model positive emotional regulation skills for them.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings and Validate Them

Show empathy and understanding by saying things like “I understand you’re upset” or “I know this is hard for you”. However, keep in mind that for some children, continuing to talk about the problem can extend or trigger a meltdown. Answer rational questions, but dont get into irrational questions or comments.

The Art of Distraction

Distraction techniques can be a helpful tool for managing tantrums. Try redirecting your child’s attention to a different activity or toy to help them calm down. This can help shift the focus away from the tantrum and onto something more positive.


By implementing these strategies, you can stay calm and focused during your child’s tantrums and model positive emotional regulation skills for them. Remember, tantrums are a normal part of childhood, but with patience, understanding, and evidence-based strategies, you can help your child through this challenging time.

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