Just Another Manic Mommy
Tantrum Throw down
Dear Manic Mommy: At what age do tantrums stop – or should they stop? My son is nearing 5 and I see no sign of them disappearing.
Manic Mommy: I’m not sure if tantrums ever entirely stop. I occasionally have one where I’ll slam some doors, race up the stairs and scream at my kids, “I’M GIVING MYSELF A TIME-OUT!” Then I throw myself onto my bed. And I’m 39.
But ideally by the age of 3 or 4, I’d say, tantrums should be winding down and not be a regular occurrence. Most tantrums stem from a baby or toddler being unable to communicate how he’s feeling or what’s wrong. When a child is at an age where he can’t communicate his feelings and is having a tantrum, it’s obvious that he’s not getting his way, and he’s most likely over-exhausted, hungry, over-stimulated, angry and frustrated, but he just can’t tell you what’s wrong.
At the age of 5, though, your son should be able to articulate his feelings and tell you what’s bothering him and why he’s upset, and he should be able to do so verbally, without throwing a tantrum or making a scene. I’d say (and please remember I am not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on a soap opera or a Web site) if he’s having regular tantrums without any of the obvious reasons I’ve brought up, it may be time to discuss the situation with your pediatrician.
Of course, throwing yourself onto the ground, flailing your arms all over the place and screaming like a seagull that hasn’t eaten in a week might just make him realize how silly he looks, and that could do the trick too. Not that I’ve ever attempted that. It’s just something I’ve heard about. Really. Okay, my mother did it once. Maybe.