The Science of Temper Tantrums

Dr. Renee Clauselle on understanding your child's emotions.
5:30 | 12/06/11

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Transcript for The Science of Temper Tantrums
Child temper tantrums are source of dread and helplessness for many parents teachers and even bystanders. But new research suggests there may actually be science behind these seemingly out of control episodes. Joining us to explain and share some tips is child psychologist doctor -- about -- -- thanks for joining -- -- -- tell a little bit about this new study regarding child temper tantrums. The study is really exciting because it -- parents with information. On how they can handle temper tantrums a little better and hopefully stop them right it's it's important state that the study is a preliminary study and they used a very small sample size. But what this study does its categories categorize the sounds. That children are using during temper tantrums and match the sounds of different emotions and intensity and there are five different sounds they recognizes that -- right so they're recognizing screaming as being in intensive anger. Where S busting might be a more mild discomfort with the child everything in between so -- got what's. Amy neat d'alene. Crying. And whining and fuss and OK interesting so that if the parents -- sort of identify which of these. His or her child is exhibiting they can sort of understand the level of anger. The level of anger and and respond better -- him and the reason why this is so importance because all of the research shows us that. Emotional socialization starts when kids are toddlers -- and what is very connected to how emotionally mature child becomes. -- the parents -- action to their tantrums. If you think about us as parents especially if -- -- having attention and public it's easy it feel anxious or angry and that's what most parents do. Right so what are we supposed to when art tile hits that out of control they have I guess that would be the top the screaming the intense anger. Are we supposed to step then or let the child ride it out until they come down a few. Will Gwinnett child is angry and that kicking screaming and that sort of thing. That's not the time to try to intervene -- rationalize with them because they're not can hear you. And it probably will make -- more angry and the thing to do when they're out of control that way is moves into a place where they can't. Hurt themselves or anyone else -- he kind of wait for them to tire out -- the tallies they tire out pretty quick right. And then later used her bag of tricks to teach them feeling identification. And emotional maturity and -- is there a stage once they've cooled down where they actually need comforting. Yes they can meet comforting after they've calmed down but every child is different -- you know there -- a lot of individual differences with that right that's why it's important to be -- -- to -- kidding -- Gauge what they need at the time you ever recommend punishing a child after the -- for the -- Well I do recommend behavior modification which you can put in place. After detention is over and you're talking about it. But with research shows this is that when parents get angry anxious about -- -- They usually do more punitive -- they respond in a more punitive way and that is detrimental to children research shows us that when you respond punitive -- To kids it arouses -- even more so that Tampa. The -- just continues and it doesn't teach them to modulate their own behavior you should respond in a very calm and measured manner very calm. And measured. And and strategize what you're going to do and that's why this research is important because you can listen now to the types of -- right very very interesting and you have some -- some tips on ways parents can teach children to manage their emotions but ultimately this. Comes back to learning to manage her emotions correct yes I love that you have an -- thermometer tell us about yes we love anger thermometers anger at -- is very popular. -- and what it is is C a picture of visual representation. Of a thermometer where kids can. Talk about that intensity of their anger and it's great because it gives the parent in the kid. And I'm as would that mean -- compared has been making keep them -- right right now we will also help. Help them by modeling appropriate words to that right right well. Before you had emotional regulation you have feeling identification with kids are having tantrums we always say -- -- words will we think given the words to -- rights. So part of that is -- -- every parent needs to have a feeling chart in their home. Because what you do -- she -- -- the face of the feeling with the label of the name. That way they can say. I'm upset I'm sad I'm angry. And we should never be judgmental of our children's emotions -- and sometimes you see a child. Totally overreacting to a situation that happens in my house a -- time. And it's so easy to say -- why are you upset about that that is so silly to be upset about that but we should recognize that -- child promotions -- genuine act absolutely validating. The feelings validates the -- -- -- all -- validate their kids. And those situations -- great to used anger thermometer board just a feeling the mom how do you respond as a parent when your child does become. Totally upset over something that is. -- -- clips when I mean and -- the response is far out of proportion to the actual. Events how do you respond to a great way -- take that to -- -- and say okay you still Janelle you're upset on scale of one to five. How drastic is that most kids will say one -- -- you right. Then you -- -- but how are you responding. Are you kicking and screaming while looking out the mom added that's at a five. So what do we do to bring down the thermometer so our behavior matches I'll gored advice -- didn't make up up -- seven yes.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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