Angela - posted on 05/24/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )
Hi ladies, I need help...My son is 21 months old and in the last few weeks he seems to have changed or is at least going through a new phase. I work from home 2 days a week and am in the office 3 days a week and my husband is home with our son full time (he was laid off). It seemed to start during a bad week for him sleep wise, and I've noticed it's more when he's tired that this is an issue. Normally, he's a pretty independent child, can play by himself and is rarely upset about anything. But there are days lately that everything sets him off and he goes from mild tantrum (which normally would last less than 20 seconds since we don't pay attention to them) to a complete meltdown which leads to gagging since he always puts his fingers in his mouth when he cries. The only thing he wants is me to hold him. If I do, he calms down and things go back to normal. Until the next thing sets him off. If I don't, it escalates until he's thrown up or is completely hysterical and it's no longer a tantrum, he's really upset. I have no issues ignoring tantrums and my son knows that and corrects his behavior. He always has. But this is different and I'm not sure what to do. I should mention I believe in attachment parenting more than Ferber or other similar methods, although I do give my child a lot of latitude in becoming independent, which he normally is. I just believe if he's upset, it's my job as a mother to comfort him and make sure he's ok. He's not communicating verbally much yet either, but we can avoid most tantrums just by explaining to him what's going on. It's the times where little things set him off (today I didn't want to put my shoes on when he and Daddy were going to the store, I stayed home. I asked him if he wanted me to walk him to the garage door, he said yes and was fine, gave me a goodbye kiss and started to leave and then lost it again). In the car or eating out, he wants to hold my hand. If we're home, he wants me to hold him if he's upset. My husband says I need to be harder with him, especially since we're expecting baby #2 in a few months. I agree, but I don't want to lose my child's trust or make him feel like I'm not there for him when he needs me. Has anyone dealt with this? Is this just a stage or am I creating the monster by being there for him when he's upset...And what do you do when a tantrum turns into your child truly just being really upset? This is heartbreaking and frustrating all at once...