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10 Montessori Tips to Deal With Tantrums

10 Montessori Tips to Deal With Tantrums

The Montessori approach to tantrums is one of the most environmentally friendly and acceptable, and these tips are used by both educators and psychologists. However, parents of preschoolers most often encounter children's tantrums, so let's focus on the basic tips that can help.

When it comes to how to deal with tantrums in the Montessori method, you will find several key strategies:

  • If you are going to public places like a store, where many triggers and stimuli can cause terrible behavior in children, it is worth bringing along a favorite toy or other items to help distract the little one.
  • Try to understand the reasons for the tantrum and the child's feelings. Even better, explain them to the child.
  • Another Montessori strategy regarding tantrums is to adhere to education in the spirit of freedom with limits. This means saying "yes" to things that are not harmful to the child or others and limiting them when it is really important.
  • Routine is the Montessori approach to tantrums that works even with adults who have anxiety. When a toddler knows what to expect throughout the day, it calms them, and adds confidence and organization, making tantrums much less common and easier to deal with emotional outbursts.

The main thing noted by Maria Montessori in her lectures and works is that tantrums are bursts of emotions that are quite natural for a child when there is a conflict between their desires and expectations and reality. They occur especially frequently in transitional periods. Therefore, parents and educators should always be prepared for this.

10 Best Tips to Deal With Tantrums

Let's take a closer look at the Montessori approach to tantrums and its tips that will help overcome this challenging aspect of parenting. First of all, it is important to understand that a child does not arrange acts of bad behavior intentionally: it happens because of their inability to express their emotions when they are unable to communicate effectively.

1. Remain Calm and Patient

The most difficult part for parents is to remain calm and patient, as such situations can be frustrating and exhausting. The first (and also a quite natural reaction) of parents is anger and irritation, especially against the background of lack of sleep and many tasks that modern people have to deal with. You have to take yourself in hand and calm down foremost. Take deep breaths — everything will be fine.

By the way, you can also teach your child simple deep breathing techniques to help them calm down. Encourage them to take slow, deep breaths in through their nose and out through their mouth. Practicing deep breathing together during calm moments can make it easier for them to use this technique when upset.

2. Validate Your Child's Feelings

During a tantrum, it's essential to acknowledge and validate your child's feelings. Let them know that it's okay to feel angry, frustrated, or upset. Use phrases like, "I can see that you're feeling upset right now," or "It's okay to be mad, but hitting isn't safe." Validating their emotions helps them feel understood and supported, which can de-escalate the situation.

3. Set Clear and Consistent Boundaries

Make sure your child knows the rules and consequences for their behavior. Be firm but gentle when enforcing boundaries, and follow through with consequences consistently. 

4. Practice Empathy and Understanding

Empathy is key to managing tantrums compassionately. Try to see the situation from your child's perspective and understand the underlying reasons for their tantrum. Are they tired, hungry, overstimulated, or feeling overwhelmed? By empathizing with your child, you can better address their needs and help them feel supported.

5. Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement involves praising and rewarding desirable behaviors. When your child manages their emotions effectively or follows instructions without resorting to a tantrum, praise their efforts and offer positive reinforcement. 

6. Offer Distractions and Choices

Provide them with alternative activities or choices to help them regain control. For example, offer them a favorite toy or ask if they would like to choose between two options for snack time.  You can also engage your child in physical activities that can help release pent-up energy and reduce stress levels. Take a walk together, dance to their favorite music, offer them to use a rocker swing, or encourage them to jump on a trampoline or bounce on a yoga ball. Physical activity can help regulate emotions and promote overall well-being.

One more thing you can do: designate a specific area in your home as a "calm down corner" where your child can go to regulate their emotions. Fill this space with comforting items like soft blankets, stuffed animals, or sensory toys. Encourage your child to use this space when they need a break from overwhelming emotions.

7. Maintain a Consistent Routine

Kids thrive on routine and predictability, so maintaining a consistent daily routine can help prevent tantrums before they occur. Establish regular meal times, nap times, and bedtime routines to provide structure and stability for your child. Predictability can reduce anxiety and frustration, making tantrums less likely to happen.

8. Foster Effective Communication

Help your child develop their communication skills to express their emotions and needs more effectively. Encourage them to use words to express how they feel and validate their attempts to communicate. Teaching them simple phrases like "I'm mad" or "I need a hug" empowers them to express themselves in a healthy way.

Take the time to listen actively to your child's concerns and frustrations. Empathize with their feelings and let them know that you understand why they are upset. Sometimes, just feeling heard and understood can help calm them down.

9. Lead by Example

Children learn by observing the behavior of their parents and caregivers. Model positive coping strategies for managing emotions and stress. Show them how to use deep breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, or other calming strategies when feeling upset. Your calm and composed demeanor can help reassure them during tantrums.

10. Seek Support and Resources

Parenting can be challenging, especially when dealing with tantrums. Don't hesitate to seek support from family, friends, or parenting groups. Educate yourself about child development and effective parenting strategies through books, online resources, or workshops. Remember, you're not alone, and there are resources available to help you navigate through challenging moments.


When your child throws a tantrum, it can be tough to know what to do. But by staying patient and understanding, and using some simple techniques, you can help your child work through their feelings in a healthy way. Some things you can do include staying calm yourself, acknowledging your child's emotions, setting clear boundaries for behavior, and talking openly with your child. Remember, tantrums are a normal part of growing up, and with your help, your child can learn and develop important skills for coping with their feelings.



What if my child's tantrums occur in public?


Dealing with tantrums in public settings can be stressful and embarrassing, but it's essential to remain calm and composed. Assess the situation, find a quiet and safe space if possible, and use distractions or redirection techniques to help calm your child.

How can I stay calm during my child's tantrums?


Staying calm during tantrums can be challenging, but it's essential for effectively managing the situation. Take deep breaths, remind yourself that tantrums are a normal part of development, and focus on responding with empathy and understanding.

Will my child outgrow tantrums?


As children develop and gain better communication and coping skills, tantrums typically decrease in frequency and intensity. With patience, consistency, and support, most children eventually learn healthier ways of expressing their emotions and managing frustration.

How can I prevent tantrums from happening?


While tantrums cannot always be completely avoided, some strategies can help reduce their frequency. Establishing a consistent routine, addressing your child's needs promptly (such as hunger or tiredness), and providing opportunities for your child to make choices can help prevent tantrums.