Dealing with Anger and Temper Tantrums

Parenting September 27, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Parenting Tips for Your 10 Month Old Baby


Your baby has shown you anger for several months now. It is important to understand the stages of angry behavior to help you decide how to handle difficult situations.

It might start when your baby wants something he can't have or when something is taken away from him. He looks angry, and his body is heavy and tight. He focuses on what he wants and won't be distracted. He may kick and scream. He is having a temper tantrum. He is being controlled by his anger. Now, you have to help him learn to control his anger.

Yelling and punishing him are not helpful. Actually, they make things worse. He is out of control. So you have to be in control.

Think about when and where your baby gets angry.

  • Is he hungry or tired? If so, either feed him or change the schedule.
  • If it happens in a particular place or situation, see what you can change to prevent your baby from becoming angry.
  • If your baby is frustrated because he doesn't know how to do something, show him how. For example, if he can’t crawl back down the stairs, show him how to crawl backward.
  • If your baby is frustrated because you have set certain limits (such as no cookies), try to interest him in a different activity or object. If this doesn’t work, pretend to ignore him as you straighten the room or wash the dishes. Stay nearby and be patient. When he sees that you are not paying attention, he will eventually quiet down.

Once your baby is calm, give him a hug and a little understanding. His strong emotions are no fun for you, but they are scary for him, too.

What if your baby gets upset in a public place, such as the grocery store? This can be difficiult. Once again, try to interest him in something else, such as a toy or a picture on a cereal box. If he continues to be frustrated, you may have to pick him up and leave the store.

Your child is not the first to scream or cry in public. Even the people who frown or make comments have probably gone through this themselves. Ignore them.

Don’t be tempted to spank your baby when he is upset. He is already out of control. It scares him even more when you are out of control and angry.

This is just the beginning of helping your child deal with anger. Creating good habits to handle anger now will pay off later.

Learn more about Your 10 Month Old Baby from Just In Time Parenting. You can also go to our Resource Links for additional information on child care and development.
Note to Parents: When reading this newsletter, remember: Every baby is different. Children may do things earlier or later than described here. This newsletter gives equal space and time to both sexes. If he or she is used, we are talking about all babies.
References: These materials were adapted by authors from Extension Just in Time Parenting Newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.