9 really common reasons why toddlers have tantrums

Posted in Behaviour and Discipline.

There’s a lot going on emotionally for a toddler, but that doesn’t make the tantrums any easier to deal with. After the fact, sometimes, the only thing left to do is laugh. 

There are a lot of reasons why toddlers have tantrums (read: MILLIONS), and there are a few common threads that parents have reported over time.

Kinderling asked their fam, why your toddlers have had tantrums of late, and here’s what they said …

1. Entertainment-related tantrums

  • “Because her big brother said ‘Peter Bunny Rabbit’ instead of ‘Peter Rabbit’.”
  • “There was too much singing on Playschool.”
  • “The wrong baby shark video was on Amazon prime. (Not the one with the kids dancing) While I was trying to explain this to her, mid-tantrum, she told me to go to my room cos I was rude.”
  • “We changed the TV channel because it was our turn to choose. ( we do this every night but somehow it comes as a nasty surprise…)”
  • “My LO wanted me to read a story but couldn’t pick one. Told me to pick … I picked the wrong one.”

2. Physical-constraints related tantrums

  • “Because he couldn’t turn his head around backwards.”
  • “I took her out of her cot after she said she wanted to get out of her cot.”
  • “Because her bum had a hole in it! Literally went on for weeks !”
  • “I told him he was too young to drive the car, he’s two.”

#POLL! What's the most ridiculous reason your child has had a tantrum?

Posted by Kinderling Kids Radio on Wednesday, 19 September 2018

3. Filth-related tantrums

  • “He wanted his mess back from the vacuum cleaner.”
  • “Because I took his dirt when I wiped him, he then demanded I put it back – 3 year old.”
  • “Because I ‘stole his snot’ when I wiped his nose.”

4. Food-related tantrums

  • “Her muesli bar broke into two and she wants me to make it whole again. Complete meltdown.”
  • “I cut her sandwich the wrong way – classic.”
  • “Because she wanted an apple, so I gave her an apple.”
  • “He didn’t like the bottle I put his juice in.”
  •  “I wouldn’t let her drink hand sanitizer.”
  • “When she wanted a hot cross bun and I told her that her dad had stopped baking hot cross buns at our bakery……. it was September!”
  • “Cutting her strawberries to make sure there wasn’t needles in them.”
  • “I was making his breakfast and didn’t realise he was watching me put the blueberries into his porridge until I heard the meltdown.”
  • “Couldn’t put his brussel sprout back together after taking it apart.”
  • “The (freshly baked choc chip) cookie she was offered wasn’t as big as her head.”

5. Stalker-related tantrums

  • “Because I wouldn’t let him follow an old lady to her car while I was at reception in the doctor’s yesterday. Tantrum was right in the entrance, people had to step around him.”
  • “Because I didn’t follow the garbage truck when it turned off on another road and we were driving straight ahead.”

Listen to Kinderling Conversation:

6. Fashion-related tantrums

  • “Everyday. Because she wants to go to daycare, the park, for a walk – only in her underwear.”
  • “Little miss almost 3 asked me to paint her nails blue, and then lost it because they weren’t pink.”
  • “Because she wanted to wear one boot and one shoe at school pick up … The shoe was not even her size!”
  • “Yesterday was Pirate Day and Miss 3 threw a tantrum because she wanted TWO eye patches, not just one … *sigh*”
  • “My 4 year old wanted to wear his 8-year-old brothers sneakers out to the shops today.”

7. Animal-related tantrums

  • “The cat refused to eat and ran away … this happened this afternoon.”
  • “Because he wanted to buy a shark and not a toy one.”
  • “‘Cause his mandarin wasn’t around anymore.”
  • “I wouldn’t let my 20-month-old eat cat shit out of the little tray.”
  • “She didn’t like the smell of ants.”

8. Parent-related tantrums

  • “Husband told kid he loved him.”
  • “She wanted her mummy… I was holding her at the time.”
  • “I accidentally breathed in her eye when I gave her her morning cuddle.”

9. Miscellaneous tantrums

  • “Let’s see… was it because I wouldn’t do face painting at 5.40am … or maybe because she asked me to press play on the DVD player but as soon as I did went into meltdown coz she wanted to do it … nope I think it might be because when we made jelly I wouldn’t let her have the boiling hot mixture before it had even been refrigerated.”
  • “I closed the garage door.”
  • “Over a kinda surprise in Coles yesterday.”
  • “The pink spoon wasn’t pink enough.”

So next time your kid is having the meltdown of the century, just know that it could have been any of these truly bizarre reasons.

This post was originally published on Kinderling Kids Radio. Download the Kinderling app for more great stories. 


Get more babyology straight to your inbox