About irritability, anger, and tantrums

These symptoms can feel so tough to manage—and the whole family can feel it. Together we can start to get you some relief. To help you manage things like tantrums before your appointment, we wanted to share some strategies you can start using today. 

We’ll guide you through a program developed at the Yale Child Study Center that uses science-backed strategies and live coaching support to learn positive ways for you and your child to manage tantrums and other tough behaviors. 

Research suggests there are four functions of tantrums, and each type is best met with a different response. So where do you start? It helps to understand how to tell the type of tantrum your child is experiencing: 

  1. Your child is trying to keep doing something (e.g., wants to keep bouncing the ball indoors)
  2. Your child is trying to avoid something (e.g., does not want to leave the playground)
  3. Your child is trying to get attention (e.g., wants you to look at their drawing immediately)
  4. Your child is expressing outrage over a minor provocation (e.g., is upset their pen fell on the ground)

As you prepare for your first appointment, try to look out for which type of tantrum your child may be experiencing. This will help us understand what’s going on and work on the right strategies with you and your child. 

We’ll walk you through ways you can best respond and practice to the tantrums your child experiences. For example, exploring other options when your child wants to keep doing something (e.g., bouncing the ball outside instead of inside), making transitions to other activities more inviting (e.g., asking the child to taste dinner before anyone else once it is ready), or using countdowns (e.g., letting the child know they can continue doing something for a defined amount of time). 

We know this is tough stuff, and we’ll be with you every step of the way. We can’t wait to start moving forward, together. See you soon!