3-Year-Old Temper Tantrums Getting Worse?

As 3-year-old temper tantrums continue to become more severe, caregivers are beginning to ask if they are getting worse. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 3-year-olds are at the developmental stage where they are working on mastering social and communication skills. This means that they are learning how to regulate their emotions and communicate with others. When something goes wrong, 3-year-olds may lash out in anger and frustration.

Caregivers should be aware that 3-year-olds can be unpredictable and may not always understand why they are being punished. When a tantrum begins, try to remain calm and positive. Explain to your child that you understand how frustrated he or she is but that you are not going to allow the tantrum to continue. If the tantrum does not stop on its own, try to take away an activity that has become a distraction, such as a toy, then give the child a timeout. During the timeout, explain that you are waiting for him or her to calm down before returning to the original activity.

If the tantrum continues, it may be time to seek professional help. A pediatrician can evaluate your child and provide guidance on how to manage tantrums.

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