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Doctor insights on: How To Deal With 3 Year Old Temper Tantrums

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My 3 year old son throws terrible Temper tantrums any tips? Just screams for hours when he doesn't get what he wants Whats an appropriate reaction

My 3 year old son throws terrible Temper tantrums any tips?  Just screams for hours when he doesn't get what he wants Whats an appropriate reaction

Start by calling : Child Find of your local school district for developmental assessment. Also, fill out developmental screens & the M-CHAT on firstsigns.org & see his pediatrician.Tell your son your rules at his language level, then ignore tantrums consistently by walking him from behind to time-out without talking, making eye contact or acting angry. Repeat till he stays put, then set timer for 3 minutes. ...Read more

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Dr. Patricia Daniel
61 doctors shared insights

Temper Tantrums (Definition)

A temper tantrum is an event in which a child is angry and cries, screams, hits, kicks, and/or throws himself onto the ground to get things done his way from Mom, Dad, or another family member. Temper tantrums are loud, especially in public places, but are best ignored and politely handled from ...Read more


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Does my 3 year old have odd? I do not spank her and I do not use physical punishment. She has temper tantrums that last for a few hours. She always blames others for her misbehavior. She frequently questions rules. When i ask her to do something, she refu

Protracted tantrums: Typically-developing tots begin to self-calm & respond to time-out ~ 18 mos. Protracted tantrums @ 3 suggest childhood dysregulation disorder, seen with early-onset adhd or a family history of mood disorders, etc. Ask her pediatrician to refer you to a child psychologist who'll teach you techniques to ignore tantrums & defiance effectively & "catch her being good, " as she may not outgrow this. ...Read more

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I am having a hard time diciplining my 3yr old when she is having a temper-tantrum, not listening or being rude to me & others. I've tried everything?

I am having a hard time diciplining my 3yr old when she is having a temper-tantrum,  not listening or being rude to me & others. I've tried everything?

Temper tantrum: Here are some ideas to try. 1) time out 2) remove your child from the scene and discuss why he or she is upset 3) take away favorite toy-- child earns it back with good behavior 4) reward method-- good behavior earns something (not food) 5) teach child ways to deal with stress besides temper tantrum (coloring, writing, favorite book, running outside, etc). Good luck. ...Read more

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3yo girl: extreme anxiety, violent temper tantrums, scary smart, obsessive OCD type behaviors, night terrors. Should I have her checked out?

3yo girl: extreme anxiety, violent temper tantrums, scary smart, obsessive OCD type behaviors, night terrors. Should I have her checked out?

Start by giving her: pediatrician a list of specific behaviors, e.g., screaming, hitting, biting, lining up toys, insistence. on routine, + onset, duration, immediate precipitants & consequences for each behavior to guide referral to a developmental/behavioral pediatrician to assess for Autistic Spectrum Disorder or child psychiatrist for mental illness vs. ASD. Also get a (neuro)psychological evaluation & therapy. ...Read more

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My 3 yo just had a massive temper tantrum. He is now asleep but I listened to his hr. It seems like it slows down than speeds up. Worry?

My 3 yo just had a massive temper tantrum. He is now asleep but I listened to his hr. It seems like it slows down than speeds up. Worry?

Variable breathing: It is normal for your 3 year olds heart rate to vary depending on whether he is breathing in or out. This is because when you breath in the heart gets squeezed a little by the lungs and this slows the heart down. Then when you breath out, the heart speeds up a little as the air goes out of the lungs. This is a normal response and often exaggerated in little kids! ...Read more

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3 yo just threw intense temper tantrum. He was crying so hard he couldn't breathe and refused to walk. He got lots of sleep but he's exhausted. Worry?

3 yo just threw intense temper tantrum. He was crying so hard he couldn't breathe and refused to walk. He got lots of sleep but he's exhausted. Worry?

Tantrums normal at 3: Tantrums are quite normal and expected at 3 years of age! Be sure he is in a safe place and won't injure himself and let the storm pass. In general you want to ignore tantrum behavior and continue to reward your child's positive behaviors as you go through the next year. The tantrums should lessen within the year. As long as the refusal to walk resolves after the tantrum I am not concerned. ...Read more

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My 16 year old hits me during his temper tantrums what do I do?

Get help: You don't say if your son has any underlying conditions such as autism, but allowing a 16 year old to hit you is teaching him to be abusive. If he does have another condition, get specialized help (behavioral training). If not, get help for yourself, for him, and for the family. Domestic violence is dangerous for everyone involved. ...Read more

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My 18 year old daughter has cerebral palsy and has temper tantrums. Is there a link between the two?

My 18 year old daughter has cerebral palsy and has temper tantrums. Is there a link between the two?

Yes: Emotional dyscontrol is very common in cases of damage to frontal lobes or other portions of the emotional circuitry known as the limbic system. These areas of the brain can be damaged in cerebral palsy. Medication and counseling may be helpful. ...Read more

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Could it be healthy for a 13 year old to throw an explosive temper tantrum?

Nope: Tantrums are normal for two year olds. This is a warning sign of a deeper psychological problem that needs to be immediately investigated. If you have guns in the house remove them. Certainly sit down with him and give him the chance to openly discuss his feelings. Then get him in for his appointment asap. ...Read more

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What do you do when a seven year old with add/adhd has a temper tantrum?

What do you do when a seven year old with add/adhd has a temper tantrum?

Have a plan: There is nothing unique about adhd in terms of handling temper tantrums--excpet they may be a bit more prone to them. To little space to go into detail, but look up the explosive child or others sources about dealing with out-of-control behavior. Develop a consistent intervention that keeps the child safe and minimizes secondary gain (benefits) the child might be getting. Adhd is not an excuse. ...Read more

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Tantrums (Definition)

Tantrums are emotional outbursts in children that usually consist of an uncontrolled mix of crying, stomping, and rolling on the floor. Adults can ...Read more