Need Some Advise on How to Handle My 8 Year Old Bad Tempered

Updated on November 05, 2019
I.R. asks from Elgin, IL
19 answers

Where do I start I have 4 kids ages 23 ,11,8,and baby that just turned 1. Well my 8 year old girl has such a bad tempered she can be happy one minute and we say something she don’t like and she starts screaming that she hates us to shut up that we are so annoying I’ve tried to be calm and talk to her I’ve yelled I even cry because I’m so frustrated because she doesn’t stop yelling I don’t know how to talk to an alarm because after she comes down after like 20 minutes to 30 minutes screaming and crying she’ll come down and say I’m sorry mom I just can’t help myself I try and I try but I can’t help not getting so mad I’m to the point where I have no idea what to do no moreI think maybe I should talk to the doctor see if I take her to see someone but I’m not sure if this is normal because my 11-year-old seems to be very calm and my one year-old well she still a baby. Any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you so much

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Portland on

Never argue with a kid who is misbehaving. No one wins. Just as you get more angry when she doesn't stop, she also gets more angry when you continue to try to get her to stop. Walk away before you get angry or calmly tell her to go to her room.

Once you get upset the situation becomes a power struggle. Consider the possibility that she is wanting attention. Negative attention is better than no attention.

I suggest you learn what triggers the screaming and find ways to prevent both of you going into full blown anger.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My suggestion would be send her to her room and let her get her frustration out. If it doesn't get better or gets work I would try and find a councilor for her. Next time you take her to her Dr you might talk to them about it as well.

More Answers



answers from Portland on

I always handled it by saying "I'll deal with it (whatever issue was) when you're able to act reasonably" (or calmed down)

They calmed down (away from us) until they could be reasonable. If I needed to leave the room so I didn't say something, I did.

Mine were usually tired, needed space, long day, etc. Moved up bedtime, one on one time with mom/dad, etc. Kids have growth spurts and it's no different than when babies, sometimes things feel out of sorts.

If it's a behavioral issue (you don't mention if she does this anywhere else), then of course, address with her pediatrician or teachers.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You two are falling into a pattern where she yells and then gets all your attention to try to calm her down. You need to change that dynamic. When she starts screaming send her to her room and don't engage. Once she calms down she can come back and join the family.

The whole thing of 'I'm sorry mom I just can't help myself' means that she doesn't take responsibility for her actions. She can help it. She chooses not to because YOU GIVE HER ATTENTION.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

The correlation of the outbursts and change are basically a year old, correct? She is upset she isn't the baby of the family anymore.

STOP yelling at her. STOP CRYING. Come on!! You're the mom!! Stop showing her how to behave. Instead, remain calm. Tell her to go to her room. Tell her she can come out when she is ready to talk like a rational person.

i'm surprised that you haven't experienced this with your other children. Especially with the age difference in kids you have. I'm sure they went through some sort of adjustment period where they were feeling left out and no longer important.

She's reaching puberty. If you feed a lot of processed foods? She has extra hormones from that so she could be reaching it earlier than expected.

Basically though? You need to stop yelling at her. You need to stop talking TO her. There is a HUGE difference between talking WITH someone and talking TO or AT someone. Just because she's a child doesn't mean she doesn't deserve some respect and have a conversation WITH instead of AT or TO.

When she has her next episode? Ask her to go to her room. Tell her that she needs to calm down and she's not going to do it here for people to scream at. If she wants to be treated nicely, then she needs to treat others nicely. Simple as that.

Keep track of her outbursts for 2 to 3 weeks. Figure out if they are happening at the same time each day. Is food an issue? Is she not getting attention?

Maybe you need to start planning family nights where there are no electronics and games are played?? I know our family does that. We even turn the phone off so we aren't bothered.

Good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Keep in mind that your 8-year-old is basically a “middle child”. Make sure to carve out time to do things one-on-one with her. She is headed into the difficult “tween” years...hormones and peer pressure will kick in soon. Maybe some “grown up fun time” with you would help.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia! Lots of age differences here. And you didn't go through this with your 23 and 11 year old?

Stop giving her attention when she has her fit. Tell her to go to her room and scream it out until she is ready to discuss things like a human and not in a snit.

At the age of 8, she's most likely starting puberty and having emotions and hormones all over the place. Maybe take her to the pediatrician for a blood test to see where her hormones are???

Your 8 year old went from being the "BABY" of the family to the 2nd to the last. She's feeling left out and not special anymore. She is doing anything she can to get your attention - whether that attention be good or bad - she's getting your attention. STOP giving her the attention.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i'm sorry your little girl is high-strung and difficult. got to be a challenge.

but you're an experienced mother. i'm very taken aback that your coping methods are to talk at her, yell at her and cry. you are modeling for her the exact behavior you dislike in her.

that screaming and hate talk and shut up would get instantly sent to the cooler in this house. no arguing, no persuading, no screaming back, no tears. banishment for as often and as long as it took.

but that's only in the moment. you have to look to finding the root cause of her inability to handle her emotions.

at 8 she doesn't have the tools to handle frustration well. you need to help her develop them. that can't be done in the heat of the moment.

your 'talking to her' needs to happen when you're both calm. you need to lay out your family philosophy (you have one, right?) about respect and boundaries. ask her questions about her frustration levels, identify her triggers, learn how to discern when she's approaching meltdown. to do this you have to LISTEN to her and observe her. right now all you're doing is reacting to her, then joining her in the anger dance.

you need to decide how you will respond when she comes to you with an issue. you need to figure out how you will give her positive reinforcement when she comes to you with respect and control, and what you'll do when the control slips and she's raging. and you need to let her know what these responses will be. then you need to stick to them.

like any other kid, she needs to understand the consequences and she needs to know they'll be applied consistently. most of all she needs her mother to hear her and understand her and help her. maybe that will involve role-playing or acting out with stuffed animals or therapy or just a sympathetic ear. you're her mother. it's your job to figure out what your kids' basic needs are.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

It's hard to be the middle kid and it sounds like she naturally has a temper. My son was like this at age 8...he would get so angry. My daughter never was like this. Hormones are coming in. It's difficult to not be the oldest or sister says it feels like you never get any attention. Plus your daughter went from being the baby of the family to a middle child only a year ago! With my son we would have him go to his room till he could calm down. He would storm and stomp and yell and scream until he ran out of energy. He also would always apologize after. I had him see a therapist from about age 8-11 and she focused on teaching him how to be responsible for yourself and how to handle very strong emotions properly. She gave him things to work on for the week and together they would come up with ideas of what he could do when he felt angry and what was not appropriate. I think bc it was not a parent and he really liked her that the therapy helped a ton. I recommend it! He grew out of this and is a very mature teen now.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

When she flips out - she goes to her room.
No one needs to listen to her meltdown.
Do not engage with her beyond telling her 'go to your room'.

When she is calm you need to talk to her about anger management.
She needs to learn to recognize what triggers her and then try to calm down before the tantrum is at a point of no return.

Does she do this at school or only at home?
If she can hold it together at school then there's no reason she can't do the same at home.
If she's flipping out at school as well as everywhere else then I think you need to talk to the pediatrician about this and have her evaluated for behavioral issues.
It could be that she really can't help it and maybe needs some help possibly some medication.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If she is yelling, she needs to be in her room or ignored. It’s pure temper. Sounds to me like she was the baby who always got her way until the new baby arrived...
She needs structure, consistency, and discipline.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Along with the other good advice you've already received...

Pay attention to what's going on when your child has a tantrum. Are you feeding the baby? Is it just before or after supper? Is it after school? Has she had a snack? Has she just returned from school? Keep a log of the tantrums for several days and look for a pattern.

Also, evaluate her eating/drinking habits. Does she drink sodas or sugary drinks? Does she eat what would be called a healthy diet (fruits, vegetables, protein) or does she eat processed snack foods or canned foods or fast foods primarily? Some kids react negatively to sugars, or processed artificial ingredients. And some can't handle caffeine or artificial sugars.

She may be experiencing hunger, if she doesn't eat much in school. Try a healthy snack after school that has some good fats and protein (a healthy, non-sugary yogurt, fruit, peanut butter on whole grain bread, cheese, but no candy or pre-packaged convenience stuff).

I do think an evaluation by your doctor could help. She may be low on a particular vitamin, or other simple things.

In the meantime, try using a physical sign with your hands (a "stop" signal like a crossing guard would use, or open your hand wide and then close it quickly) to give her a silent signal to calm down, and go to her room and do the screaming there. Don't react with your facial expression. Don't stop what you're doing. Don't let on that you're frustrated.

In a calm moment, try asking her if she knows when she's getting angry. How does she feel? Does she know she's about to explode in anger? Help her learn some relaxing breathing techniques, or help her realize she needs to leave the room.

Above all, don't react to her angry words. Tell her in a calm moment that your family doesn't say "shut up" or "I hate you" and that using those words will result in a loss of family time and mommy's attention. And of course, make sure that your language and that of your older children are calm, kind, and helpful. Talk to her about what you do when you're tired, or angry, or frustrated. You don't scream at your kids (hopefully), but you go take a relaxing shower or take a brief walk or count your blessings or think of something helpful, etc.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

In the short term, I'd suggest you talk to her more when she is in a good mood, not at all when she's screaming, and since you have discussed her screaming before, never discuss it afterwards. Those discussions may be fulfilling her need to have time with you. And I'm quite sure she knows what behavior you are expecting. I do love the idea of a hand signal to warn her and another to send her to her room to cool off.

In the longterm, it never a bad idea to have a school counselor or family therapist involved for several weeks. Both you and she could use new techniques to respond to each other and both of you deserve someone to listen to your frustrations. Everything you each learn will be helpful in future years.

All my best.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Talk to a doctor. Our daughter can be like this. She just turned 9. I have a feeling she's entering her tween years early. She's very defensive and can be quite reactive. She and her daddy are CONSTANTLY butting heads. I'm one who reads parenting books. I try the advice, and sometimes it works. But I've come to the conclusion that we might just need some outside help. There could be more going on than we realize. We haven't done that yet, so I can't tell you how it helps (or not). I am convinced, however, that when you get to the point where you feel utterly lost, it's time to pull someone else in, an expert who can guide you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Don't yell or cry, but also don't indulge her tantrums, she can have them alone in her room or she can be grounded. It wouldn't hurt to talk to her doctor or see about a therapist, but in the end she has to learn to control her behavior. Does she have outbursts at school? If not that proves she can control herself and chooses not too, at least to some extent.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You had good advice below on handling the tantrums. I would also like to point out that being the 3rd child of 4 can be challenging. Sometimes a child in that situation learns that the ONLY way that they get attention from a parent is by throwing a fit. I would like to suggest that in addition to not indulging her tantrums (lots of advice on that below), you make sure that you are making one-on-one time to spend with her so that she feels valued in your family.

Actually, it's good practice to carve out one-on-one time with each of your kids (every Wednesday is mommy-child night, when just you and a child go to dinner, rotate kids (your 1 year old won't understand it yet, but they will soon enough) so that each kid gets time just you and him/her, once a month).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Is all this new for her? Or has it always been hard for her to manage big feelings? If it’s new, then it’s probably related to no longer being your baby and missing feeling special to you. In this case I would look for opportunities to help her feel good about being a big sister, “look, our baby loves it when you sing to her,” or “thank you so much for helping me today, babies are a lot of work!.” Set some time aside during a nap to play with her, or take her out for a movie or shopping trip, something that she and you would enjoy together that isn’t really for a baby. Help her feel good about growing up.

Also, try to ignore the screaming. Stay calm yourself, let her know how much you would love to listen to whatever she is concerned about when she is calm. Let her know how you would like her to show you anger, think about how you show anger. You want to model what you want to see. Encourage her to learn things that might help her calm down when she’s upset, like listening to music, rocking in a chair, or whatever she thinks might help her calm down. Remind her that it is OK to feel upset, but it’s not OK to scream at people.

If her difficulties are not new, and especially if she is also having trouble at school or with friends, then I would suggest seeking counseling.


answers from Houston on

I'm not saying you have the same problem I had but my husband allowed our daughter to do that when I was out of town for 03 days and didn't correct it. I got home and O.M.G. thought my daughter needed an exorcist. After talking calmly, time out (that was a joke) I hate to day it but I held a hotel size bar of soap on her tongue for 10 seconds and went to my room and bawled my eyes out in disbelief that I had just done such a thing... However.... IT WORKED!!! I KID YOU NOT SHE KNOCKED ON MY DOOR I WIPED MY TEATS FROM MY FACE OPENED MY DOOR SHE HUGGED ME APOLOGIZED AND NEVER HOLLERED, SCREAMED, YELLED, NOR DISRESPECTED ME AGAIN LIKE THAT..


answers from San Francisco on

How challenging this must be for you! I have found great help through They have online support for parents. Once you get some good emotional support for yourself, as well as some very helpful ideas about what kind of support your daughter needs, things might calm down. At the very least, you are likely to feel less upset so you can think more clearly about what your daughter needs. Sending you the very best.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us