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The Causes of Temper Tantrums in Kids

Updated on April 3, 2018
DDE profile image

Devika enjoys sharing her work with a friendly community. Writing is a big part of her life. Online work has improved her lifestyle.

Parenting issues with toddlers

A child with a temper tantrum who throws toys around and won't take no for an answer.

During the ages of one year old right till seven years old a child can how their tantrums very clearly.

  • What causes such temper tantrums?

Any one can throw a temper tantrum, for example, if your cell phone doesn't work, you sometimes do get tied up in a notch and fling the device in mid air.

Also, bang your fist on the table when the remote you are not familiar with doesn't work.

So, you have been there at some point in your life.

Toddlers get all frustrated when playing with toys, or trying to fix in the blocks into the perfect fit. When such games don't work out for children they tend to become temperamental, and scream out their own actions.

When you have other children over to visit, and your child doesn't like sharing, that can cause many screams and shouts.

  • Preschool share-alike

Children don't often share. They don't want another child of their age touching their toys, be it old or new.

Those who have difficulty sharing need support and guidance.

No-one likes to be told "You've got to", and it won't help foster feelings of generosity.

Sharing simply isn't a concept preschoolers can understand.

They think that the world revolves around them alone, and if someone doesn't like it, that's tough.

A reluctance to share is pretty normal, at least until the age of three, but, as your child gets older he/she will become less egocentric, and will start to identify with other's feelings.

Sharing dozen't come naturally to a two year old, or a three to four year old, though this maybe done do it to please mom, if told so.

Children have to acquire the ability to share and it's a skill that develops gradually over the first three years of life.

Fewer than-threes are still very much into parallel play that is playing alongside other children, but not with them. At around three they start playing comparatively.

  • The willingness to share

Although learning to share is an important part of a child's development, there are factors that will influence willingness.

Feeling secure is important. If it’s part of a child's experience that when something is given away he/she never gets it back, or if a child never knows who or what will be there from day-to-day, he is less likely to be able to share.

With a secure, consistent family life, whether with two parents or one, they'll be more ready to share.

Children who haven't been with other children before starting preschool and haven't had to share may find it more difficult, this situation is fairly rare.

At preschool children have opportunities to observe what's going on and learn how to behave, and adults assist children to share, help them to learn to negotiate and talk to them about taking turns and swapping.

  • Sharing is among children, depends on the upbringing of the child.

Taking your child to friends for a play day and when it is time to go home can leave your child feeling frustrated to leave so soon.

A good idea would be to talk about the play day and mention that you got to be home earlier to do other stuff. Always talk to your child in a calm tone. In this way they will have a fair understanding of your activities for the rest of the day.

Parents must enlighten their child's mind on how things are done around the house, be connected. Tell your child the playtime will be for a longer time on another day.

  • Sometimes if your child lacks attention it can cause temper tantrums.

The problem with many kids both parents work and in some cases kids are left in the care of nannies or with grandmothers. It does make a difference if children don't spend enough time with their parents.

Being tossed from one end to the other makes a child feel insecure and not well cared for. The behavior of the child can change.

Negative attention for any child is shown through their eyes and is better than no attention at all. Let your child know you care for and love them when they are in good behavior.

  • The attention of parents is very important.

Always allow your child a choice of activities never be in control at all times. In this way your child feels free to choose and won't feel reprimanded or restricted.

  • You can't always say no to your child.

Avoid your child from building up frustration deviate from that moment. Instead, get a book to read or a toy to play with to get the child’s mind away from the temper tantrums.

It even happens in the store if a child wants a chocolate, a packet of crisps or some kind of sweet, and right away you would see the frustration explode that is if the treat is not bought for them. I have seen kids perform in stores on the aisle floor screaming with anger and they roll around on the floor out for that item or a toy, or for whatever reason that need has to be met.

Distraction is a good way of avoiding such tantrums.

  • Children even bite from temper tantrums, that is so uncontrollable.

When children don't have a stable living life many emotions can be a problem, anger, frustration, sadness, if not fed on time hunger can be another reason, but not many parents can see the cause of the problem.

Always be by your child's side, if you leave your child alone while in a temper tantrum state of mind your child would feel abandoned or alone.

Talk to children let them know you are there and make them feel safe.

In a temper tantrum state it is not easy to make it right the moods are different and uncontrollable, the child is not listening to you or to what has been said.

Show your child you care, you love them, you are there, pay attention to their needs, never ignore what they ask you for, be the right parent and don’t make you child feel neglect or abandonment. A toddler needs to be with their parents.

Don't give to your child what they can't have but make them get out of that temper tantrum mind with the thought of another activity.

I know of a child who was neglected and had stayed with family members.

The family members didn't have much of parenting skills and treated the child poorly, the fragile child, a toddler was frustrated, cried, and was not happy living in those conditions, but that couldn't be helped.

Only when the child was about four years old did she go back to her parents and from then on the little girl started showing good results in her behavior.

The tantrums won't disappear overnight but you will notice a change in your child's behavior once you spend time with them as often as you can to make the problem to eventually fall away.

Any parent who thinks they are the best parent and stable parent can be affected with this kind of behavior patience is key to staying calm and to fix the problem.

  • Tantrums can be embarrassing in public places.

You got to teach your child not to be rude and frustrated over what they can't have and once you do that in time with proper communication things can look up and feel good too.

A parent must stand their ground but also don't be too harsh.

Depending on the age of the child the temper tantrums can be used for different aspects.

If something is wrong a two year old will show you or tell you and for a seven year old the tantrum is used to show their feelings.

Frustration in a Kid's Behavior

Children need to be loved

Does your toddler show you Temper Tantrums?

See results

Toddler Behaviors

© 2013 Devika Primić


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    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Thank you jtrader you are so kind to have stopped by.I appreciate the votes.

    • jtrader profile image


      4 years ago

      Teaching coping skills from early is important. Unfortunately, some adults sometimes behave as though they are stuck at the toddler stage because they were never taught how to cope with their frustrations. Voted up and useful!

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hi Anish Nrk greatly mentioned and so true, kids are getting what they want no matter what in this modern day and that is a huge problem for many problems. Thank you for sharing your opinions here.

    • Anish Nrk profile image

      ANISH N R K 

      4 years ago from Kerala, India

      Earlier when there were many kids in joint families, children needed to verbalize in order to get things they wanted. For example from a group of many, one kid has to ask his mother specifically the cookies he wanted. But now parents are meeting the demands of children even before they ask. This results in lesser verbalization in children. They don't even have to ask for things they need. So when they find that, some demands are not easily met, they fail to verbalize resulting in somatic symptoms one of which is temper tantrums.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      CraftytotheCore I know of a couple who had a baby girl and she was a worrisome child it made things worse by leaving her with relatives because the couple had to work, and this child got very frustrated not seeing her parents that often made her feel insecure and often crying about little things and showing tantrums and yes she too felt rejected like nobody really cared for her, she has now grown into a lovely woman of twenty five years of age. Though your story sounds more dramatic and making your children a number priority in your life is definitely from a learning experience that you can only improve from and go forward feeling a better parent indeed. Thanks very much for sharing your story it made me think of how luck I have been when growing up, not every child has the best of parents,and at least now you know better.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      5 years ago

      DDE, such thoughtful and caring words about children. When I was growing up, my mother was very young. I ended up going to live with relatives and was eventually adopted twice. I remember how difficult my life was. Always feeling abandoned, unloved, and neglected. When I did see my mother, she was always angry, very unkind and had some kind of vendetta. I always felt rejected.

      So when I had my own children, I made them #1 priority in my life. I felt I wanted to be that mother to them that I never had.

      Now that I'm an adult though, it's truly sad that I have no mother that I can have a relationship with. I want better for my children. I have the ability to see what the underlying cause of frustration is. While many people can't understand what's bothering their child. I guess I can see it clearly because I lived it as a child. I've been very successful at helping parents cope with tantrums and get to the cause of them. One time a child in a school I volunteered at was having a hard time getting along with other children. The school said he wasn't allowed to go on the field trip with the rest of the students. I stayed with him the entire day so that his single mother could go to work. Otherwise she would have missed a day without pay. I played with him for hours. He was such a bright little boy. He was very lonely. He told me that he missed his father who had abandoned the family. I was able to walk with him to the playground, let him dress me up like a butterfly, and play games, do crafts. He didn't have a tantrum one time. In his case, it was a matter of needing some attention that he didn't get very much of by the person missing in his life.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Vinaya Ghimire thanks for sharing your views have a good day

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      5 years ago from Nepal

      Now I know why my nephew shows tantrums. I think I will be able to handle him.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      FlourishAnyway thanks for sharing your opinion on The Causes of Temper Tantrums in Kids glad you too the time and stopped by

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      NMLady thanks for commenting everybody has a different approach with kids in this state of mind

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Shyron E Shenko thanks for all votes I am pleased to read another valuable thought from you have good day

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      5 years ago from Texas

      I don't remember my younger son having tantrums. And, my first son is deaf and his tantrums were the result of not understanding a lot, and tantrums were less and less as he learned ASL and could communicate better. I see a lot of people who handle the tantrums differently.

      Good information here. Voted up UAI and shared.

    • NMLady profile image


      5 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      All very interesting and well thought out. Sometimes the child is tired or hungry and that may cause or exacerbate the tantrum. This isn't the magic answer but it is worth consideration!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      A sibling's son has terrible temper tantrums, crying when he doesn't get his way, when he has to share, when he is served a meal he dislikes, or when he doesn't get enough attention. Unfortunately, he's older than two! Good hub with good suggestions for parents.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      hi Faith Reaper my son didn't behave in such a way but not every child has a temper tantrum it also depends what they are doing it for, so glad you stopped by and shared your views thanks very much and enjoy your day.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Hello Au fait I was thinking about your questions, working mothers are often so buys and when they spend time with their children be one or more they are not sure how to be, not being there most of time does play a guilt so trying discipline their child is difficult. Also, yes, some are less educated parents and lack parenting skills. I have seen the less educated parents and how they raise their children, something that is most awkward to handle at times. An interesting comment from you and you put great thought into this hub thanks for being one of my good supporters.

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Jackie Lynnley thanks for sharing your kind comment and views my son was just like that he never behaved in this manner, I was with him right til he turned 14 before I worked temporary

    • DDE profile imageAUTHOR

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      billybuc thanks for stopping by and commenting I am so glad you did and not every child has a temper tantrum

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Interesting article. I remember my daughter at about age two, but not really my son. I think she had a delayed "terrible twos" and then that was that.

      I remember my granddaughters around the age of two or so acting out a bit when they grew tired and were overdue on a nap.

      Once the children are past the toddler stage and still are having a tantrum, then there is a problem.

      Good article.

      Have a great weekend.

      Faith Reaper

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      5 years ago from North Texas

      Interesting subject. I studied child development at the university. My own daughter never experienced the "terrible twos," and as a result I believe that syndrome has been invented by our society.

      Here we have daycare centers where many children stay while their parents work. The children are exposed to all manner of behaviors in these childcare centers.

      Very often people get from their children what they expect or what they are willing to tolerate. I can identify with Jackie Lynnley. My daughter found the unpleasant behavior of other children odd at best and curious as well.

      It has been by observation that most children who behave badly are allowed to behave that way. There parents offer little in guidance from what I can tell when I'm observing them.

      Could it be that working mothers especially, feel guilty at not being at home with their children and so when they do have time to be with them they are hesitant to spend the time disciplining them? Or are they simply uneducated about how to manage children and are therefore uncomfortable with that part of parenthood?

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Guess I was lucky, I had two baby dolls who were unbelievably sweet and they stared shocked at any other child acting that way with a tantrum. I spent all my time with my little ones til they started school though and they had plenty of love. ^

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It's been awhile for me....our son rarely had a tantrum. I can only remember one or two when he was a toddler, so I am very grateful. Great advice as always my friend.


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