Babysitting: Dealing With Temper Tantrums

Babysitting: Dealing With Temper Tantrums

We all know how it feels when we can't seem to move ahead with something challenging — like getting to the next level in a game or finishing a difficult math problem.

Kids are trying to master their world, too, and they get frustrated or impatient just like we do. But, because kids don't have the skills to understand or control their emotions, their feelings may come out as a temper tantrum.

Managing Tantrums

How should you react if the kid you're babysitting has a tantrum?

Avoiding Tantrums

Tantrums can't always be avoided, but these tactics might help:

In time, you will come to know the kids you are looking after. You'll realize when a tantrum is a ploy to get more attention, when it's a reaction to frustration or tiredness, and when it's simple anger at a sibling or friend — and you'll be able to react accordingly.

If you're looking after kids with special needs, tantrums might have other meanings. For example, kids with autism can have meltdowns when faced with new situations or too much stimulation. You may not be able to reason with a special needs child in the same way you can with other kids. So ask parents for advice.

The top thing to remember about tantrums is that teaching by example is your most powerful tool. So stay cool and in charge.

Just as kids learn from us, we can learn from them. When an angry child tests your own temper, it can feel really good to resolve the situation in a cool, calm, and collected way. Next time you feel your own temper rising (and it happens to all of us at times), you can think back and remember how you helped the kids calm theirs!

Reviewed by: Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: June 2013





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
Web SiteAmerican Red Cross Babysitter's Training Course Designed for 11- to 15-year-olds, the babysitter's training course can help you care for children and infants, make good decisions, solve problems, be a good leader, and more.
Related Articles
Babysitting: Stay Focused and Stay Safe It's hard to believe some of the trouble little kids can get into - and how quickly. Find out some of the key points for staying in charge in this article for teen babysitters.
Babysitting: Changing Diapers If you're babysitting infants and toddlers, diaper changing is a skill you need to know. Here are some tips for teen babysitters.
Babysitting: Jack's Tips What's it like to be a guy babysitter? Jack shares his experience and offers advice for other teen babysitters.
Babysitting Center Need advice on starting a babysitting business or tips on caring for kids? Want to test your babysitting knowledge and hear how other babysitters do it? This babysitting center for teens is the place for you.
3 Things Every Responsible Babysitter Should Know It's extremely unlikely that you'll face an emergency while babysitting. But knowing you're capable of handling problems allows you to relax and focus on the kids.
Babysitting: The Basics If you're new to babysitting, check out our guide to learn how to be the best babysitter around. Been babysitting forever? Use the guide to check your skills.
Babysitting: Olivia's 10 Tips Olivia babysits for seven different families, caring for kids who range in age from 1 to 12. See her top 10 tips for being a great babysitter.
iGrow iGrow
Sign up for our parent enewsletter