Psychologist Secrets to Stopping 5 Year Old Temper Tantrums

By Dr Randy Cale

Are 5 year old temper tantrums really different?  More difficult?  More challenging to eliminate?

Are there ‘secrets’ that psychologist use to quickly eliminating those exhausting 5 year old temper tantrums?

Well, it’s really, “Yes” and “No”

First, the “yes.”

5 year old temper tantrums are a bit more challenging because often, in my practice as a Licensed Psychologist, I discover that the 5 year old with severe temper tantrums has been practicing now for several years.  Often, but not always, they have several hundred temper tantrums “under their belt.”  In other words, they have practiced and refined the art of throwing a really horrible, screaming, out-of-control temper tantrum.

Add to that the fact that the 5 year old child who is throwing the temper tantrum now is bigger, stronger, and understands more about how to damage property and/or upset mom and dad.  It’s not an ‘evil’ thing.  It’s just the reality that the 5 year old has more cognitive understanding.  And this may mean that you will have to be sharper, better and more precise in your understanding of how to stop temper tantrums.

One more challenge is that the temper tantrums of the 5 year old have probably seen mom and dad try lots of different approaches, all aimed at stopping the tantrum immediately.  These ‘quick fix’ approaches picked up from other parents or floating around the Internet often are based in bad psychology and aimed in the wrong direction.

And even if the tantrums have just emerged with the 5 year old, these temper tantrums do not need to be cause for serious alarm.  I would never make the assumption of some serious issue before first teaching parents how to handle temper tantrums with ease, so you can help your 5 year old drop the temper tantrums within days.

As far as psychological secrets, the only real secret is in the understanding of how to change behavior.  These tools are the exact same parenting tools I teach parent every day in my parent coaching programs, and you can learn them in just a short time.

Now, the “NO’s”

5 year old temper tantrums aren’t really different, or more difficult to fix. Here’s why!

The 5 year old child is developmentally much more sophisticated.  This is true.  However, that sophistication is not the cause of the temper tantrum, and ultimately will not the solution to the tantrum.

How often do we see very bright, capable adults still throwing temper tantrums?  I see it all the time in my practice!  So you can see that cognitive development, or the lack of such sophistication, is not the problem here.  It’s also not a factor in you teaching your 5 year old to drop their temper tantrums.  (If it were, then teaching you how to stop the 5 year old temper tantrum would be much more difficult!)

Secondly, just because the 5 year old child is bigger and stronger, it doesn’t necessarily give them an advantage of any sort.  Why?  Because we do not want to teach children, whether 2, 5 or 15, that we will control their behavior by force.  (Of course, sometimes in very extreme situations, this is necessary.  Likely, that’s not true with a 5 year old temper tantrum!)

Finally, all temper tantrums are seeking one of two things:  First, they are not getting what they want (i.e., a demand is placed on them, they must change what they are doing, or something is not available or being taken away.)  In other words, they aren’t liking their world at the moment.  So, your 5 year old throws a great big tantrums, as if in protest!

Secondly, the 5 year old may not be able to get exactly what they want first, so they will settle for something almost as good.

That something…is YOU!

Your energy and attention is like fuel for the temper tantrum monster!  You have to have a set of parenting strategies that allow you to avoid feeding into that temper tantrum monster!  If you can do that…then magic!

Remember, if you have 5 year old temper tantrums, you don’t want to leave it to chance any longer.  Get my solution to Stop Temper Tantrums right here!  These tools will change your life, if you are coping with a 5 year old temper tantrum.

More about how the magic works soon!

Randy Cale, PhD

Licensed Psychologist

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  1. Sandra says:

    I have a 5 year old client that has out of no where started tantrums at home and school. Only at moms house not at dads

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