Temper Tantrum Talk: Been There Done That

KamloopsParents.Com presents…
The KP “Been There Done That” Squad

A team of over twenty-five parents who have all sorts of parenting experiences. From the Mom of thirteen with one on the way, to the first-time Mom of one. From the experienced parent, to the rookie! If you want the truth…. we are all rookies. Each day presents something new, somewhere we have not already been, something that we have not already done. So, why not look to someone who has?!
The KP BTDT Squad will be sharing their experiences and answering two questions per month. Each parent will answer the questions if they can and their answers will be compiled into a feature post to share with readers. These will be general questions that many parents will wonder about as they raise their children. The BTDT Squad will be talking about subjects like potty training, how they dealt with picky eaters, their most favourite family adventures, and how they managed to ever sleep through the night!

KP Been There Done That Squad – tips for potty training

KP Been There Done That Squad – addressing adults

KP Been There Done That Squad – best advice

KP Been There Done That Squad – sleep stories

KP Been There Done That Squad – mealtime techniques and picky eaters

KP Been There Done That Squad – favourite parenting items

If you have any questions, or would like to get involved, simply contact elizabeth@kamloopsparents.com

Today’s topic is Temper Tantrum Talk

Amanda H
My oldest is almost 3 and we have had many temper tantrums to deal with.  My first rule is to keep calm myself.  I’d say 80% of tantrums are in response to him being tired, or hungry so I try to see that that need is met and usually the behavior quickly resolves.  On occasions when he is acting out do to emotions such as anger, frustration, or in our case jealousy of a younger sibling (my boys are 18 months apart), I make sure I am down at his level and have him look at me and in a calm tone I tell him I understand he is (frustrated, angry etc) but that his behavior is not appropriate.  I then explain what he should do when he has those feelings and we have practiced “cool downs” which are a breathing technique.  I try to give him the opportunity to calm himself and understand his feelings, which is why it is important that I keep calm myself.  It had been working well with him and I am hoping when my youngest hits that stage it will with him as well.


We are right smack dab in the middle of our youngest son having temper tantrums.  He usually gets a warning that his tantrum is not good behavior and if he doesn’t stop he gets a time out.  I have never been able to just ignore them and continue on with whatever I am doing because the crying/stomping etc. just frustrates me!   I am lucky that my youngest son C stays in the timeout spot.  He usually still cries but he knows when the timer goes that I come back, comfort him and tell him that his behavior was no acceptable.  He says sorry and then we hug.

Tamara V

Temper tantrums?  I laugh.  This doesn’t usually go over well with my kids but it’s how I cope.  If I’m not in the mood to laugh I generally don’t handle it very well & I’ll be looking for answers and ideas from the other BTDT moms!


I have found with temper tantrums, if you don’t discipline until your child is on the floor screaming and kicking, it’s almost too late. If you want to stop  tantrums, you have to catch and correct the child BEFORE he gets past that ugly, pouting look that usually appears on his face just before a full-on tantrum. The more I  keep my little’s close the more I see. I can be watching their face if they start to show a pouty face, I then can correct the child immediately.

Jennifer H
We’ve been so lucky so far!!  Our oldest daughter never really had temper tantrums – some minor “meltdowns” but never in a public place!  So, when they did happen at home, we’d ask her to go to her bedroom and have some quiet time until she felt better and able to talk to us about her problem or why she was upset or angry.


Temper tantrums are not fun. Especially in the middle of Superstore. Yes. Been there. Done that.  I guess for me it depends on the situation.  I definitely do not give in to whatever the tantrum is about. No. Matter. What.  I will ignore if I can, so they can see that acting out of control is not the way to get what you want.  If the situation doesn’t allow me to ignore the tantrum, then I try to talk in a calm voice to my tantruming child and tell them to take deep breaths in an effort to get them to calm down. If it doesn’t work then that’s when I leave the buggy and pick up my kid and take them out of the store.  There’s always tomorrow to go shopping again. Or send dad!  And remember, you’re not alone! Your kid is not the only one who has ever had a tantrum. I remember a time when my oldest was maybe 2 or 3 and we were in the dollar store and he flipped out over who knows what.  There he was, laying on the ground, screaming, crying, flailing away….very theatrical.  After numerous failed attempts at getting him calmed down, I simply parked the cart, picked him up, apologized to the clerk for leaving everything and proceeded out the door with a screaming, crying, flailing child.  I remember another mom in there with older boys (maybe 8-12 yrs old) and she just looked at me and said, “don’t worry honey, we’ve all been there! It gets better!” It’s been many years since that happened but I still remember that she just made me feel so much better knowing that I wasn’t alone. And that yes, it does get better.

Tamara C

 If possible, we remove him from the situation, then have him take 2-3 deep breathes.  This usually calms the crying and then we say, “use your words and tell us why you’re upset.” We talk about the situation and try and resolve it.
If it’s a minor tantrum, we try and ignore it.  Sometimes we give him options: “stop crying/screaming or you will have to go to time out. You choose.” Often he makes the right choice.

Amanda B

Tantrums…depends if we are at home or at the store. At home, i send them to their rooms so they have time to think. Then we talk and sort out who said what to get who angry, and the whys, etc, etc…
At the store, I say ” follow me when you’re ready” and I walk away…it works!


I find that the calmer I stay during a temper tantrum the better.  It’s not always easy to stay calm, but it really helps.  I don’t tolerate the tantrum though.  I will tell the child calmly that they have a choice, they can keep screaming but go to their bedroom so we don’t have to listen, or they can calm down and stay with us.  Often they are not listening at this point, so I put them in their room until their done.  Then they are made to apologize to everyone who had to put up with the tantrum.  I find it’s much harder when out in public, and am having some issues with my daughter with this lately.  The big thing though is they will NEVER get what they want during a tantrum.  No matter how small the thing is they wanted in the first place, once they start a tantrum about it, they are out of luck.  Of course everything is different if it’s me having the tantrum!!!


These are brand new in our world – so, I don’t exactly have a ‘strategy’ yet.  What I find myself doing is laughing.  Not only does it relieve some of my own stress and tension, but, so far, it also gets my daughter laughing too!  If the laughing doesn’t work, I just start pointing at random things around the room, coming up with interesting stories for the objects…eventually, my daughter’s curiousity kicks in, and she starts looking at the objects and mimicking what I’m saying


I have had 2 temper tantrum daughters and I have treated them both the same and it has worked fantastcally well.  If  a temper tantrum starts I tell the child that she has a specific time limit to stop the tantrum and complete the task she was supposed to complete.  If she keeps having a tantrum then she goes to her room for a time out and cannot come out until she stops crying and must say sorry.  If they come out (I don’t lock the door for safety reasons) then I just keep putting her back until she realizes she is not going to win. The first few times it takes a long time. But now, if a a temper tantrum starts usually all I have to say is “I guess you’ll have to go to your room for awhile.” Child corrects behaviour, problem solved.  Also, I make sure that I make the child feels so awesome about herself when she comes out of the room and does the right thing. “Way to go; I am so happy to see you; what a good girl + big hug and kiss.”

Temper Tantrums. I remember before I had kids, when I was the perfect parent, I would smile at parents and think that tantrums were the result of poor parenting…Was I ever wrong!

Life has taught me a few lessons! Here is what I have learned… it is how we handle the tantrum, and ourselves that is important – with as much patience as any person being screamed at can muster, it is important to pick my battles as a parent, and that tantrums are a part of growing up and learning to express frustration and feelings. I also have learned that I can prepare and provide boundaries for my children in potentially tantrum throwing territory ie. when we go into this store, we are here to buy xyz and nothing more. No strategy has worked perfectly every time.

So now when I smile at the mom or dad in the grocery line up it isn’t with superiority (no, life has humbled this parent), it is with empathy and to acknowledge that yes! I have been there too!


In our house, if one of the children is having a temper tantrum, it depends on what the circumstance is and how they are behaving. If they are just yelling and crying I try my best not to aknowledge that kind of behaviour and I try to ignore the behaviour. I will tell them that when they calm down and put their tears away and are ready to talk to me, I will be ready to listen. Sometimes you cannot ignore the behaviour. If they are hitting or throwing things, I will pick them up and carry them facing away from me, so they can’t hit my face, and carry them to their room and ask them to stay there until they can calm down to talk to me. Sometimes they won’t stay and you have to keep putting them back in there. Sometimes they take a long time to calm down, so I will go in to check to see that they are okay and just remind them to have a breath and calm down and then we can talk about the behaviour.

Jen H

Temper Tantrums. How I hate temper tantrums! They make me so mad! I just want to scream and throw things!!!! Yah. So I have a bad temper. As a kid it was really hard to control and my frustration levels often boiled over. I know too well that blind anger that is not rational, reasonable, or (sometimes) even explicable. Because I have such a personal understanding of that feeling I try not to reason, rationalize, or question my children once they get to the point of losing their control. I simply remove them from the situation or place (if required) and say “I can tell you are really angry/frustrated/mad right now. When you are done being angry/frustrated/mad come talk to me about it”. Then I just walk away. Once they are calmer they come find me and we talk. It is definitely not as easy as it sounds typed out and often is repeated a few times mid-tantrum but I have found that this is what works best to allow the kids to have feelings and express their emotions while keeping me calm, collected, and sane.


I ignore them to be honest. If it is a disruption then I tend to calmly scoop up frantic children and bring them somewhere a little more safe and private. I let them run their course and then go in for a hug and a little conversation, debriefing we sometimes call it now. It feels good to get frustrations out every now and then. Just be heard.


Temper tantrums are rare in our home . If one occurs, the child is gently picked up, carried to bed, told that when they are ready to stop the tantrum they are welcome to come out, and then the door is closed. Periodically they will be checked on, and told once again that when they are ready to stop they may come out.When it stops, I will gently pick them up, carry them to the easy chair and cuddle them and quietly tell them why this behavior is not acceptable.


Most of our temper tantrums happen at home, and then the child gets sent to their room where they can scream all they want.  Either that, or we take away their toys one at a time (just temporarily).  If it is really bad then we tell them that the toys we have taken are going to be sold at the Kids Stuff Swap meet.  We don’t actually do it, because having seen us sell all their babystuff there before they believe us -and then the tantrum typically stops 🙂


Temper tantrums- I let him have them.  Although they are difficult and uncomfortable (in public) if he has one once about a specific issue, they are usually done (about that issue!)


I tend to try and over-talk my upset kids.  I get really close to their ears and tell them what I dislike about their behaviour.  I tell them about what needs to change and I will remove them from the situation and give them a chance to let it out. Once they have been removed, they are given the option of returning when their attitude has changed and they are ready to behave appropriately.   It doesn’t make the tantrum end, but sometimes I need a break, too, so I understand they might need to express frustrations.  I expect apologies when they are ready to come back (even if they are very young), and hugs as well, to reconnect.  Often, I will coach them through the situation after they have returned, to show them what they could do instead of flipping out.  By talking to them I hope that I am providing them with skills that they might just remember and apply the next time around.

2 thoughts on “Temper Tantrum Talk: Been There Done That”

  1. Oh thank god! We are on our 2nd who is in the full throes of being a 3 year old & I remember the first one being just like him… screaming, kicking, hitting, not listening… I should have been prepared but I am really thrown off by the intensity of his emotions. You forget sometimes you are not the only one going through it & that is what I like about the BTDT squad, you get some new ideas, or hear other parents doing similar things to what you are already doing. It is especially great to get that validation when you are feeling like you must be doing everything wrong. Thank you!

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