Ignoring temper tantrums

Sometimes ignoring a temper tantrum works best. Ways to ignore your child during a tantrum include:

  • Distracting the child. If your child is on the verge of having a tantrum, you may be able to stop it by distracting him or her. Start talking about something happy that may interest your child. Or point to a different object or situation to change the child's focus.
  • Walking away from the child. However, for some children this does not work. They may feel more out of control, making the temper tantrum worse.
  • Standing about 5 ft (1.5 m) away from the child and continuing to do what you were doing. You can observe without focusing all of your attention on your child.
  • Not talking to the child, if possible. If you do talk to your child, talk in a neutral tone of voice.

Last Updated: November 20, 2008

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