“Tantrums are a way to express disappointment in children”

Stating that a tantrum is one of the most disturbing things parents face in children, American Professor William Moiser says, “Tantrums are a way to express disappointment in children.”

“Tantrums are a way to express disappointment in children”


Providing advice to parents about children's tantrums, Prof. Moiser, who also emphasizes a positive role should be played, says, “Avoid letting your child see or hear that you sometimes experience tantrums. If your child has tantrums in public, it's best to ignore them. Despite the glances you will get from other people, it would be wise not to give in to a tantrum or bribe the child to stop. To minimize the risk of tantrums occurring, have clear rules about what behavior is expected in public places. For example, let your child choose certain products and put them in the shopping cart.”

“Emphasizing that if the child does not harm themselves, someone else or the property, the tantrum should be ignored” says Prof. Moister and continues “It can be quite difficult, but if your goal is to prevent future tantrums from occurring, it is imperative to ignore tantrums. If the child harms someone else or their belongings, you should physically hug the child and say: "I cannot let you hurt yourself or others so I will hold you until I clearly understand you will not hurt."

Stating that humor can be used to prevent tantrums, Prof. Moiser implies, “Usually remind your child something to smile about. When you see that your child starts to feel disappointed in public, try it. Comment on the tantrum by saying you understand that the child is upset. Ask the child to remember what caused the tantrum. Next time offer them an alternative way to deal with the situation. You can even re-enact the situation to help the child practice alternative behavior.”


Prof. Moiser, who emphasizes ignoring the tantrum will help the child stop it also says, “If you focus your attention on the child during a tantrum, you will increase the likelihood of future tantrums occurring. Any verbal interaction with the child during a tantrum will be a positive reinforcer for more tantrums."

Implying that the way children react to tantrums will determine the type and frequency of disciplinary problems encountered in adolescence, Prof. Moiser informs the specialists and parents and says, “There is no such thing as a generation gap between parents and young people. What we suppose as a gap is actually a communication gap that occurs during tantrums in early childhood. A Child Development Specialist must understand these concepts to translate child development concepts into evolutionarily appropriate ways for parents and teachers to interact with children.”

Edited date: 15.04.2021
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