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Temper Tantrums - Treatment Overview

Most children learn other ways to deal with their anger and other strong emotions as they grow older and do not need medical treatment for temper tantrums. Ignoring the tantrum behavior and helping a young child learn how to handle his or her feelings is most often all that is needed.

Parenting workshops can be helpful for parents of a child who has temper tantrums. These types of programs often help parents become familiar with growth and developmental stages and provide strategies on how to handle difficult behavior.

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Medical treatment for temper tantrums may be recommended for children who:

  • Have long-lasting and frequent temper tantrums.
  • Regularly have temper tantrums after 4 years of age.
  • Hurt themselves or become violent.

Talk with a doctor if:

  • You have concerns about your child's temper tantrums.
  • Your child's temper tantrums frequently last longer than 15 minutes or occur more than 3 times a day.
  • Your child's behavior does not improve after 4 years of age.
  • Your child hurts himself or herself, other people, or objects during a temper tantrum.
  • You have problems handling your child's behavior, especially if you are concerned that you might hurt your child.
  • You want help with learning to cope with your feelings during your child's temper tantrums.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 20, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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