8 Tips to Handle Your Child’s Temper Tantrums

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Even though temper tantrums are part of child development, that doesn't make them any less frustrating.
Air Date: 8/19/15
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Wendy Sue Swanson, MD
Wendy Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson is a board certified pediatrician, mother to two young boys and the author of the Seattle Children's Hospital Seattle Mama Doc Blog, the first pediatrician-authored blog for a major children's hospital.

Dr. Swanson is interested in the intersection of media and medicine and its impact on the physician-patient relationship. Her online presence through her blog and Twitter has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of parents who would have been beyond her reach without social media.

Dr. Swanson works diligently to offer parents relevant, practical, and timely health information in accessible formats and she believes that a growing community of online physicians can empower parents and patients to make informed decisions based on science. Tackling issues from vaccines to potty training to work life balance, Dr. Swanson provides a voice of reason, not only as a pediatrician but also as a parent, helping parents gain clarity and eliminate fear when making decisions for their children. Her book, Mama Doc Medicine, published by The American Academy of Pediatrics, hit bookshelves in early 2014.

Dr. Swanson is the founder and executive director of Digital Health at Seattle Children's. She is also an executive committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Communications and Media. She is also on the Board of Advisors for Parents magazine and is on the board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. She is a weekly medical contributor with NBC affiliate KING 5 News in Seattle and is a practicing pediatrician with The Everett Clinic. Dr. Swanson is an advocate on the topic of vaccines and was named a CDC Childhood Immunization Champion in 2012. She was named to TIME Magazine's Best Twitter Feeds of 2013.
8 Tips to Handle Your Child’s Temper Tantrums
Temper tantrums typically occur between the ages of one and three, and they can happen for a number of reasons.

These tantrums are considered a normal part of childhood development and are a sign that your child is upset or frustrated about something.

They are also a part of language skills that your child is learning and can occur when your child is hungry, tired, or uncomfortable. When your child isn't able to fully communicate those feelings with you, a tantrum will occur. As your child gets older and language skills start to develop, the tantrums should start to disappear.

Even though tantrums are common, it doesn't make them any less frustrating. Fortunately, the American Academy of Pediatrics has come up with eight tips to help handle every tantrum patiently and gracefully:

  1. Give your child enough attention, especially while behaving well.
  2. During a tantrum, give your child control over little things.
  3. Incorporate the tactic of distraction.
  4. Choose your battles and accommodate when you can.
  5. Know you child's limits.
  6. Do not ignore behaviors like biting, kicking, hitting, throwing, etc.
  7. Set your child up for success.
  8. Give yourself a break when you need it.

Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, shares more information on these eight tips for handling your child's temper tantrums.
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