marianymk asks:

What do I do about my 3 year old's tantrums?

Hi, I have a 3 year old boy that seems to be stucked in the "terrible 2s". He spends more inin  time out than in time in. He has several tantrums per day and when he starts screeming and crying he can go for an hour.
We try to put him in time out but this doesn't seem to work. We tried to comfort him and help him calm down using a very calm voice and this doesn't seem to help neither. My husband and I take turns to deal with this situation so we don't loose our patience. He usually starts the tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants. We hardly ever give in but we are very tempted to start doing so. I am sure we are doing something wrong!!! I read a lot about what to do but we are lost here.
We are using the same techniques we used with my 6 years old but they don't seem to ork with this one.
Any help!! Thanks in advance.

In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Nov 10, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

I sounds like you are doing your best and for some parents being consistent is important.  I would ask his preschool teacher if he has one or sitters how they deal.  Is he different with them?  He is three so time out may work in some children but not all.  However, he should be able to read your body language and tone of voice when you are upset with his behavior. Don't give in!

Speak with your pediatrician as well.  Are we missing something in his make up? It would appear that he can see and hear well.  Is this an oppositional streak or is there some other factor that needs evaluation?  

What ever you do (and it requires stamina) don't let him outlast you in the negative behavior.  If he does not have an outside peer activity such as nursery school or library, go to one and see if that changes things.

In any case,  you are both insightful parents.  Good luck.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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