Arlene Hernandez is the manager of, the government’s official source for kids to find all kinds of government information.

When I was a teenager and hanging out at the mall, I used to see young kids whaling and crying and throwing a fit at the toy store.  I would think “Geez, what’s up with that kid?” and I probably rolled my eyes.

Now that I’m a mother of a 3-year-old, when I see that situation all I think is “Oh that poor parent… I feel your pain.”

The other night, my son had a big meltdown. He refused to put his pajamas on. First it was a whimper, but within a few minutes it was a full-blown tantrum, complete with yelling, tears, stomping and throwing his body on the floor. My husband and I were just looking at each other like “I have no idea what to do… Can someone please call Super Nanny?”

I wish that I would’ve known about the Child Welfare Information Gateway. They have a whole section on dealing with temper tantrums (also available in Spanish). Some tips to remember:

1. Redirect your child’s attention to something else, like a favorite toy or a trip to the library.
2. Remain calm and don’t lose control.
3. Hug or hold your child until the tantrum subsides.
4. Put your child in a quiet place where he or she can calm down.

So for all the parents out there – how do you deal with tantrums? Do time outs work for you? Has anyone tried using positive discipline?  Any suggestions for me and our readers?