From Experience, I Can Tell You This is the Worst Way to Respond to Your Child’s Tantrum


My brother was a super tantrum thrower. As a child, I remember whenever his demands were not met, he would spread himself on the ground – no matter where he was, whether it was on the street, playground or dirt track – and kick his legs. For me at 8 years old, it was a funny sight, I am sure my mother would not agree with me.

I had forgotten all about my brother’s weird temper tantrums until I came upon my daughter throwing them. And, let me tell you, it was not funny anymore.

I guess it was payback time for me. Though it didn’t happen much, it was enough to emotionally and physically drain me for life. Without rhyme or reason, she would start crying and refuse to listen. I was having a hard time dealing with these tantrums, needless to say, and it was during this time that I got some hard lessons.

From experience, let me share the WORST ways to deal with your child’s tantrums. Do anything but this when you are tying to restore some peace and normalcy in life!

#1: Giving in to your child’s demands to avoid getting embarrassed in public

When it came to temper tantrums, I had started to notice one thing: the chances of it happening were more when I refused to buy my daughter candy, cookies or flavoured yogurt at the supermarket! It was embarrassing, and hence, I would give in to her demands. We try and do anything to avoid a public scene, right? But, then I realized I was being held to ransom. This could not go on.

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5 Signs That Indicate Something Is Not Quite Right With Your Child

I was quite happy that my daughter was meeting all her developmental milestones. She started sitting at 6 months, crawling at 8 and walking at 11. I was so happy with her timely accomplishments that I forgot that there was something equally important to focus on. Her behavioural development. There are some telling signs that can indicate a serious problem. Consider this my warning!


Behavioural development of your child is as important as her meeting all her physical milestones. Hence, focus on them too! For me, it wasn’t until my daughter’s constant desire to be with me became a nuisance that I realized that there was something not correct. I talked to her paediatrician, enrolled her in a kindergarten and hosted play dates, and that’s how gradually she started observing and mingling with other people other than me.

Yes, behavioural development of a child is as important as physical development. A child may throw a tantrum, be disobedient, or display an outburst of aggression or destructive behaviour. If that’s occasional, there’s often nothing to worry about. But, if this kind of behaviour is a regular norm, it’s time parents took it more seriously and took positive steps to control it.

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Why there is a constant tug of war between my daughter and me?

naughty child in a tug of war with mommy

It’s been a while since I wrote something. A blog is usually where you log your life’s activities. With so much happening in my life, I am surprised I had not taken out time to post and share those events.

Anyway, let me start now. My almost 4 year old has transformed from a sweet little thing (well, almost) to a monster. And I am not exaggerating! She is stubborn like no one’s business, throws away things on a moment’s whim, and refuses to budge or accept her mistake.

It is as if I don’t know her at all. What has happened to my little darling? I have shouted at her, punished her and even raised my hands at her in desperation. But no, nothing has worked, which is even more frustrating. Seriously, I have felt like banging my head against the walls, but what I finally do is cry, sad and desperate tears.

I talked to my husband, or rather he came to me. He had been observing me and my confusion for some time now. And so one day he decided to have a talk with me and which I am so thankful for. He outlined a few facts for me. They go something like this:

You confuse the child all the time – Sometimes you tell your daughter “you are not a small child anymore, learn to wear clothes on your own or bathe on your own” and then without batting an eyelid you tell her “no, darling, you are small to go out of the house on your own or cut the onion with a knife”. What does the poor child do? Is she big or small?

You challenge her independence – At 3, most kids learn to be independent. They start going to a big school, learn new things and make new friends. In short, they are miniature adults already. Now when you tell her that “Eat your soup with a spoon!”. Ok, she loves that. It shows you are recognizing her as an individual. But when the next moment you shout “Not like this. Hold the spoon like that,” you lose all your goodwill. She resents you because you just stole her independence, her right to act or behave in a certain way.

She knows her opinion counts – At 3, your child knows that saying NO works and that you listen to her when she voices her opinions. However, what she doesn’t know is that her opinion counts only when it is to your liking. No wonder you don’t like her saying no to drinking milk or going to bed. On the other hand, she doesn’t like it when you don’t consider her decision important enough.

So what do you do? Apart from the head-banging, of course. Well, for starters, after all this ‘Gyan’, I must confess I realized that the fault was and is truly mine.

  • Find out if your child is hungry or sleepy. Most of the times, these culprits make your child behave way out of character.
  • When she is throwing a tantrum, let her be. Don’t strike while the iron is hot. Wait for her to cool down. Then later in the night, when she is in a playful mood, that’s when attack. I mean, explain to her why her behaviour was wrong and what made you upset. J
  • Tell her, for certain things she is old enough to take a decision, but for others she needs to listen to you.
  • Don’t threaten. It doesn’t work. Believe me.
  • If the matter is not that big, give in. Don’t make it a battle of egos. However, it’s important to assert yourself from time to time. So just leave the scene and come back later, when the temperatures have cooled down.
  • Recently, I read somewhere about the power of sleeptalking. So to try it out, what’s the harm, I have started doing it with my sleeping child. I talk to her about her positive aspects and how mama-papa love her.

Your child is growing up, and believe me, it’s a bumpy ride. Have fun!!