How to Raise a Child with a Bad Temper

Do you want to know how to educate a child with a bad temper? Today, we'll give you some tips and recommendations that may be useful to you.
How to Raise a Child with a Bad Temper
Mara Amor López

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Written by Mara Amor López

Last update: 27 December, 2022

It can be difficult for parents to educate a child with a bad temper because sometimes we lose our patience and things get even worse. There are children who get angry more easily than others, but in general, we all externalize a bad mood from time to time.

If parents use violence to control their children’s anger, the situation becomes more difficult to handle. The first thing we have to do is to reflect on our behaviors, as sometimes our patience runs out for reasons beyond our control.

But don’t worry! There’s always time to review strategies and improve them. Therefore, in this article, we’ll give you some keys that can help you manage your child with a bad temper.

Educating a child with a bad temper: What can parents do to avoid losing their patience?

On many occasions and for various reasons, parents feel overwhelmed and stressed and this leads us to lose patience very easily. But the best thing for all of us is to try to regulate ourselves and not act poorly, especially if our child is a child with a bad temper.

So what can we do? We’re here to help.

A mother who's overwhelmed because her daughter's screaming at her.
Stay patient, even in moments of exhaustion, and redirect the attention of your angry child so you can talk later.

1. Understand the child in front of us

A child, no matter how bad-tempered they are, isn’t going to get angry if there’s nothing to provoke them.

In addition, we must take into account that in that critical moment, we won’t be able to reason with them. So, instead of using violence, either through yelling or punishment, what we should do is ask them what’s wrong and why they’re behaving like that.

If the child is already talking, it will help them to let off steam and, if they aren’t, they’ll still feel our support and understanding. The most important thing is to help them find a more positive way to express their emotions.

2. Help the child to analyze the situation

Once we know what the reason for the tantrum or anger of the child is, we can help them to analyze the situation and give them advice to solve it. As parents, we have to guide our children to solve problems in a calm and peaceful way so that in the future, they don’t resort to violence but to words.

3. Teach them to express their emotions in other ways

Children don’t know how to handle emotions and parents must be close to guide them in this process.

We can rely on books or stories oriented to teach them how to handle emotions, as well as videos or games. Any attractive resource for them will help them to express their emotions in a calmer way.

Recommendations to educate a child with a bad temper

Educating children isn’t an easy task and if they also have a strong personality and bring out their bad temper easily, things get complicated for parents.

We’re going to give you some recommendations to educate a child with a bad temper.

1. Promote the practice of physical activity and sports

These activities are highly recommended for children with a bad temper, as it allows them to channel that extreme energy and modulate their character. Karate is one of the sports indicated for these children.

2. Get the child to think in their room

If a child explodes with parents or siblings, we must ask them to take a moment alone to calm down. Our aim isn’t to make them see it as a punishment, but as a way to self-regulate.

3. Teach them to put words to emotions

From an early age, we must teach children to express what bothers them or makes them angry before they have a tantrum or lose control of the situation.

4. Reaffirm the child’s safety

It’s important that the child’s convinced that the parents are trying to help them to control their temper and not to repress it. This will help them learn to channel their temper.

5. Don’t provide an example of a bad temper

If you want your child to overcome a bad temper, you can’t respond in the same way. You must be an example of calm and serenity when talking to them, even if they’re angry.

You shouldn’t scold a child who’s nervous or angry at that moment because the only thing you’ll achieve is to make the situation worse.

A mother screaming at her toddler son as he cries and covers his ears.
Shouting at a child with a bad temper in the middle of a crisis only ends up making the situation worse. The best thing to do is to remain calm and speak to them with authority, but without authoritarianism.

6. Use authority, but avoid authoritarianism

Authority calms and improves coexistence, but authoritarianism doesn’t. Doing things because I command it isn’t the way to solve these conflicts. It’s not a matter of seeing who wins in this battle, but rather of calming tempers.

7. Teach the child to disconnect from the situation that’s causing them discomfort

If your child gets angry with someone, what they have to do is to move away from this person and go to another area in order to regain their calm. When they feel recovered, they can come back.

8. Always encourage them to express what they feel

There are younger children who won’t be able to express what they feel because they don’t yet know how to speak, but through drawing, dancing, or games, they can externalize those feelings.

Also, we can use some useful methods, such as the volcano technique, to help them express and manage their emotions.

On how to educate a child with a bad temper

The recommendations that we’ve given in this article can be of great help to educate a child with a bad temper, but they can also serve with any child in the face of a tantrum or anger.

It’s difficult for the little ones to self-regulate and express their emotions in an appropriate way and the only way they manage is through their temper. For that reason, it’s important that we teach them some ways to channel and control the situation when they feel they’re going to explode.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Snel, E. (2013). Tranquilos y atentos como una rana: La meditación para niños… con sus padres. Editorial Kairós.
  • Shapiro, L. E., & Tiscornia, A. (1997). La inteligencia emocional de los niños. Buenos Aires: Javier Vergara.
  • Bourcier, S. (2012). La agresividad en niños de 0 a 6 años: ¿energía vital o desórdenes de comportamiento? (Vol. 68). Narcea Ediciones.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.