How do you handle tantrums?
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Joy - posted on 12/03/2010
Mine's been having a lot of tantrums too. I've been reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block - that has a few suggestions for tantrums and figuring out why toddlers have them.
Right now, I try to figure out if my daughter's tantrums are because I want her to do something (or not do something) she doesn't want to do, she's frustrated at something she's trying to do or she's tired/sick/teething. Depending on the reason for the tantrum, depends on my response to her. Tired means a nap, sick means tlc, teething means a teething ring. If she's frustrated at something she trying to do but can't, I try to show her how to figure it out or distract her with something else. If its something I want her to do and she doesn't want to do, it depends. I sometimes sing to distract her, I sometimes let her win (except on winter coat, diaper change and carseat - things that have to be done for her safety.) Sometimes I hold her. Sometimes I repeat in toddlerese what I think she wants to empathize with her, then redirect her tantrum - that takes a lot more of my patience though. Sometimes she just needs to have her tantrum and nothing I do will stop it.
Sarah - posted on 11/03/2011
I try to remember that temper tantrums are a result of my son's (he's 3) inability to understand or express his emotions. It helps to put my mind into the notion that I can use it as a teaching moment. I have a 5 point method I use to diffuse the temper tantrum.
1. I try to help him name his emotion, "are you sad? angry? frustrated? etc." until he says what he is, "I angry."
Toddler's don't necessarily have the verbal skills or emotional maturity to realize what emotion they are feeling, it helps them to have a name for it. It also helps to validate that it's okay to feel whatever they're feeling.
2. Then I as him if he's angry because (ex. I took the toy away for fighting over it) ... Again, I try to validate his emotions. I think it's important to identify the stimulus for the emotion.
3. Then I ask him to help me count (or name colours, animals, something that can be grouped) because it'll help him become less angry (sad, etc). We sometimes have to do this 3-4 times, but eventually it works.
4. Once he's calmed down, I explain why the toy was taken away (or why he has to hold a hand crossing the street, whatever caused the temper tantrum).
5. Ask for an apology for the temper tantrum and move onto other play. Usually our temper tantrum diffusing goes like this once we've identified his emotions: "I understand you were angry that we took the toy away because you wanted to play with it, But we don't need to scream and cry if we're angry, we just need to say, "I'm angry Mommy and tell me why you're angry." I would like you to apologize for your temper tantrum." Once he apologizes, I explain that little Johnny wanted to play with the too, and if you can't take turns, then we'll have to find another toy to play with. Then we move on to something else to play with, do, etc.
I think the worst thing to do is lose it yourself because you lose that teachable moment with them where you can teach them a healthy way to deal with their emotions. I think if you keep this in mind, it makes it a bit easier to cope with.
Gwendolyn - posted on 12/06/2010
After my first child my 16mo tantrums make me laugh, they are probably bigger than my first but my first always had my full attention. My little one needs to work through her issues herself otherwise she is going to be like her big sister still having tanties at 3.5years. I either walk away, distract her or put her to bed.
Amanda - posted on 12/05/2010
When my 15 month old is having a tantrum I try to figure out what she wants. She usually throws a fit because she if frustrated, and wants something. I try getting her something to drink which usually works, but if not then I try getting her a snack. If that won't work I try to sing to her and comfort her and if she is still throwing herself around screaming then I try giving her all natural teething medicine. And if that doesn't work and she is still throwing herself around screaming then I will just lay her back on the floor and let her continue for a little bit longer and then I try picking her up and soothing her again. I find that after a while of her screaming and throwing herself around she gets tired and just wants me to hold her and then she will usually take her cup and calm down. My daughter just had a really bad tantrum last night and nothing I could do would help her. She was inconsolable. Eventually she just went to her dad and calmed down and ate something. I find that sometimes she doesn't want me at all, and just wants him and sometimes its the other way around. Good luck! I know they are tough!
as long as my son isn't in danger of seriously hurting himself i'll say something like "big boys don't act like this when....i'll be over ding...when you are ready to act like a big boy" and then i walk away. if he follows me that's fine but i'm not picking him up until he stops whining and crying
Carolyn - posted on 01/20/2012
often times kids want to see your reaction. I ignored the tantrum. The kid realizes that this tactic did not work and they usually try something different. If that doesn't work, take away something that is extremely important to the child. That works!
Allison - posted on 01/11/2012
well the kid is only fifteen months right so ignore it. teach them now that tantrums are rewarded with aboslutely nothing. turn up the radio stick them in the play pin or something and ignore it, when they stop and start entertaining themselves go give a kiss and a hug. if they are older and there fore a little more physically free tell em to knock it off or go to thier room and if they refuse put them in thier room and hold the door shut until they stop. thats what i do. my youngest just started tantrums and i see an amazing resemblance to his older brother who didnt really start throwing tantrums until he got into daycare when he was just over two. his tantrums seem to get worse every year, i wonder why i even took him to a shrink. he has no behavioral disorder even though originally six months ago his pediatrician said it was possible that he had add/adhd/ or a more severe problem. nope shrink said its just a kid being a kid and doing what his friends do. i have now seen some of his friends and realize that yes the shrink is right. problem is we dont have the money for me to give in even if i wanted to and i dont want my kid to end up being that kind of spoiled brat who thinks freaking out and calling mom will get him his way. so dont give in!! hold strong just pay attention to what your doing and not the kid. even if he/she screams louder ignore it
Jaime - posted on 01/03/2012
Avery~ I ignore mine and then when he takes a breather, I ask him if he's done yet, he then screams for a bit more. I ask him if he's better. He screams a bit more. Then when he has quieted again, I go over and hold him. I tell him I love him and it's ok to get frustrated. Then I ask him "do you want your cup? Do you want a cracker? Do you need to go nuh-night and he will usually pick one of them. My daughter is the hitter..I have no idea to how to stop that! I don't know how you talk to your son, but I talk to them as if they were adults. I get down to their level, hold their face in my hand, tell them to look at me and calmly, but sternly explain to them that they cannot run from me when I call to them because they could get hurt or taken and Mommy loves them. Then I ask them if they understand and make sure they look me in the eyes when they answer. Usually, I get tears and I'm sorry Mommy! and 2 days later it happens again!!!!
Tori - posted on 12/31/2011
My daughter's about that age, and is an only child so I'm not sure about how differences in social dynamic with siblings may be affecting the problem, but usually when mine starts throwing a fit and I know she's not hungry/wet/whatever, I pick her up, tell her firmly that she's being grumpyfaced and that it's chill-out time. From there she goes directly to her crib to cry it out. Usually she's either calmed down or asleep in about a half an hour. If she's awake, I go and pick her up and ask if she's done being grumpy. Usually doing the sign language for "grumpy" at me amuses her enough that she forgets she was mad.
Leah - posted on 12/29/2011
Calmly walk over to your child and lead them to their room. I always tell my daughter (once in her room) its okay to be upset and I tell her I love you. And as soon as your body's calm and quiet than you may leave your room. Love and logic. My daughter is only 17months she is starting to throw more and more after seeing another child throwing them and that child's parent made open ended threats that she did not follow through with. I just stay firm tell her no once and if she continues it's a time out.
Jimena - posted on 12/29/2011
Toddlers throw tanttrums when they're bored or want/need mommy's attention too! My most recent trick is letting my 18 month old be my little helper,,, I get him involved in whatever I'm doing around the house and it just turns everything around,,, a big fit will become so thrilling and challenging and fun! And he loves to learn,,, so now I let him beat the eggs when I'm cooking, rinse the dishes when I'm , u guessed, doing dishes, etc, and he acquires life skills, coordination, independence, self esteem, win/win!!
If that doesn't work, I make him look at me in the eye to make sure we're communicating (that in itself is soothing) and try to get him to tell me what he wants (he already has a pretty good vocabulary for his age and can name most of the things in his daily life) so i say "don't cry, speak! You know how to speak, so tell me what you want" and I also make him say "please" and when he does this i hug and kiss and say "yes, my love" and give him what he asked for (unless it's not safe in which case mommy has to do some explaining and distracting, hehe),
Marlene - posted on 12/23/2011
talking about trantrums lol my 16 month old , started this around 14 months.he is a good baby out my 2 oldest he is the best quiet baby i ever had ..till now he has a thing that he yells at everything and throws himself on floor,throws things ,pulls hair,screams and throws himself on floor and starts crying for no reason,he is a faker lol. but it goes away he only does that for like 2 minutes.but lateley i can't do anything ,if i'm in the kitchen he crys for me to carry him every minute.so i stop that habit ,what i do is get him lots of toys sit on the rug.it helps for like 6 minutes.he just can't see me stand up.so i try talking to him,seems to work he is understanding a lot.so t.v. works i'll give him a snack and he sits down.but he is more all over the place,he is a good baby .i go out with him he loves it very quiet ,but loves to walk,don't like sitting in stroller long.i guess is b.c ,he can't talk yet .he say's little words.but to communicate is hard.i try my best to understand him.
Lily - posted on 12/20/2011
you over anything need to have patiense, maybe she does it because the massage some parents give to they´re kids sometime is: they cry then they get attention and kids love attention even when is bad, so you have to be calm and tell her or him that it´s not acceptable very pasifico way then if it doesn´t stop just give him or her time out for the 1 minute in 5 second that´s they count of the age for the kids then when she or he is calm you have to take her or him get in the same level of the kid and talk to then so they understand why they where having time out and that they need to apologyse if they want to be out of time out, if they don´t apologyse then very calm you have to put then the same amount of time back to time out till they understand, never hit the kid because then what you are teaching then is to react violently wish you don´t want.
Kelli - posted on 12/15/2011
Omg my husband and I delt with this last nite. We haf alittle extra money and went out for a reallly nice dinner which we don't do often at all. My 15 month old threw her food bites I tryd to give her was cryn and throwin fits when I wouldn't pick her up and when I di she tryd to scoot out of my arms! It was imberising and bein a 1st time mom idk wat to do.we felt rushd 2 leave. Usually @ home I'll ignore her or put her in time out. How do I do that in public wit a lot of people?
Hope - posted on 12/11/2011
My son is now 18 months and we are just now figuring out what will work for him.
He has melt downs that can last up to four hours plus. I have tried everything and nothing seems to work, and if it works this time it doesn't work the next.
He never took naps before a month ago and I started enforcing quiet time in the early afternoon when he was seeming to have the most meltdowns. If they happen at other points through out the day we try quiet time in his room. I have a weighted blanket and we'll lay down in the dark. If he doesn't settle down in a couple minutes I try a sound machine or some of his favorite music.
So far this is the only thing that has consistanly worked. The weighted blanket has been the biggest help. It is only 3 pounds but he loves it and it calms him down so quick. We have also noticed that if I am the one to lay down with him and talk to him he calms down quicker.
Hope you find something to help. I have been dealing with the violent meltdowns for eight months now-on bad days he hurts others, himself, and his toys-I don't ever wish any one else to have to go through that.
Joaquinna - posted on 12/03/2011
My 1yr Old always falling out when he cant have his way to be honest I dont really know how to handle the situation but I just tap him on the leg lay him down and give him a bottle you got to discipline them early or they going be hand full as they grow up
Laura - posted on 11/26/2011
Tantrums nearly always land my daughter in the 'naughty step' she gets a warning, and if she continues, she gets put on the naughty step. We were at soft play just the other day and she kicked off, I took her biscuit away and put her on the 'naughty step'. She screamed the place down, but I wasn't about to just give in because I felt embarrased, so we continued and then i let her off like I would normally do. She was fine after that.
Barbara - posted on 11/20/2011
Our motto around here is "Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative!" I've found that the more attention of any kind they get in a tantrum, the more it "feeds the flames" so to speak. I try to ignore them completely, or as completely as possible. I did time outs for a while with my oldest, but found that it just prolonged the tantrum. Since we stopped focusing on punitive ways to stop bad behavior and instead try to focus on what they are doing well, ie. "Great job of cleaning up! Extra tv tonight!" Lots of high fives and pats on the back. Then when they misbehave we keep it really calm and short. "No tv tonight" and leave the room immediately. No matter what they say or do after that point they will get no more out of me on the subject.
We solved the problem of the older one smacking the younger one with the same kind of changing focus. Instead of yelling at the older one, we just run and pick up the little one and cuddle him and give him ice or whatever, making a big deal of helping him while completely ignoring the hitter. It's made a big difference in how often hitting happens, and how he reacts to his brother being hurt. It used to be that he said "I don't want to go to time out!" Now he knows it's not about him in that situation. The smacking has dwindled down to nearly nothing, and when he does react in a physical way it's because the little one has been really provoking him, and he instantly knows he needs to get him some ice, find him a special toy, or do what he can to help him to feel better instead of just worrying about what kind of punishment is coming. We use almost no punishment of any kind around here, and it's actually made things much calmer, smoother, and easier.
Josie - posted on 11/17/2011
my son is a handful! im still trying to master this one. i usually let him fuss a bit (let out his frustration) then i give hm this look.. lol im not sure what it is, but its a "mom look" you know, the one our moms gave us as a kid.. and hell usually stop. if his tantrum is really outta control, i send him to the room and he sits on the bed for about 5 mins (maybe less) then i give him a small talk about how its not nice to throw himself/bite himself. he then gives me a hug and kiss (means hes sorry) and i hug him. im not sure if im doing this right. if its out in public, i remove him from where ever we are and we sit it out until hes ready to behave. he doesnt really speak yet, but i know for a fact he understands.. if not all of what i say, but most of it.. any tips or advice will be appreciated if you wanna throw it my way...
Rebeca - posted on 11/17/2011
my son is 18 months and boy can he throw a fit, iv learned that he does it at certain times of the and i know what will cause them as well, after i pick him up from the babysitter is the worst but im patient with him because i read online and found out that its part of his seperation anxiety for his age, but when it comes to him wanting to do things hes not supposed to i give him a firm no and a negative look and when he starts in on the fit i walk away from him and ignore him and he gets over it faster, when u pay attention to the fitting it only makes it worse and if that doesnt work then i get him interested in something else.
Karyn - posted on 10/24/2011
I try to ignore her as much as possible but if she's going to hurt herself by doing something she's not supposed to do, like touch the stove, i will give her a spank. I hate it and I dont spank her hard but she needs to learn before she really gets hurt. She will purposely touch it when i tell her not to and try to explain its hot, she goes, ohh its hot? and tries to touch it!! She's not a big fan of the word No either but LOVES to say it. Its getting very frustrating but i try my best to not lose it, but doesn't always work!
Nickee - posted on 09/26/2011
hi all need abit of help please... this is not linked to this subject personally just not sure what to do...we have a hv who we have recently just had to change as she was really intimidating and not helping more critizing. now we have swapped though she has put my details forward to social services. my childs looked after very well and hes very cared for and has everything he needs. im so upset and i dont know what to do :/ if someone could help me can you please add me on facebook my name is nickees page :) all or any help & advice would be much appreciated :) thanks ladies.x
Jenny - posted on 09/21/2011
My 16 month old girl is a terror. She throws her head back as a reflex when she has a tantrum. I've learned to place her down on the floor gently, away from anything to kick and bang directly into and walk away.
Sometimes she wouldn't want to leave a room I didn't want her in by herself (i.e the bathroom) so I would pick her up (always a hand at her head to privent her from falling out of my hold) and remove her from the room placing her gently on the floor where it was safe to kick and scream all she wanted. She'd always be too mad to get herself back up. heheehee. And once she did get up again she'd be done.
Kelly - posted on 09/17/2011
I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 14 month old. My son, whose 3 1/2 years old, used to throw thew worst tantrums ever before my daughter was born last year. I just put him time out in a corner away from distraction and it was in my kitchen. he doesnt have too many tantrums now that he's older, but my daughter, whose 14 months old, screams and hits and bites and everything. We put her in time out and make her sit down until she calms down.. we just keep putting her in time out everytime she gets up. if it gets out of hand, she goes into her crib and screams for us to come get her but we dont, until she's calm and quiet and ready to give hugs and kisses (her sorry until she can say sorry and give hugs and kisses)
Heather - posted on 09/13/2011
Ignore it. My son did the same stuff and I used to tell him "no" and to "quiet down" before I asked his pediatrician. They told me to ignore him because he's only being a turd since I will pay him attention when he does it. If ignoring them doesn't work after a few weeks to a couple months, do time outs. I give my son a warning and if he doesn't change his attitude I put him in time out until he's got it out of his system. He went from kicking and screaming for HOURS (I wish I was kidding but I'm not) to maybe five minutes tops. When he's calmed down I go to take him out of timeout, get to his eye level and tell him in a low voice that it's not okay to behave the way he did, give him a hug and we go back to the pre-meltdown task. It will work and it will work FAST if you stick to your guns, and for awhile it'll seem like they are living in timeout (it's true) but it pays off. Don't forget to do this with their siblings too so they don't get mixed signals and end up more agitated than before.
Autumn - posted on 09/09/2011
My son has an awful loud high pitched scream. I usually spank him, give him to the count of 5, & if that doesn't work I put him in his bed with nothing 'fun' in reach & finish a chore then go back if he hasn't quit we start over until he decides to straighten up!
Jackye - posted on 09/04/2011
my 15mo is definitely my payback... shes my first child and has some of the worst tantrums ive seen, she usually throws them when i tell her no. time outs dont work and neither does distracting her it seems all i can do with her is ignore it. i have to admit that its hard to do sometimes because it makes me feel so bad and getting up and walking away seems to just make them worse.
Diane - posted on 09/04/2011
CONSISTENT REPETITION OF THE SAME RESULT FOR THE SAME ACTION:) When they run away they are stood in the corner. U will needs to monitor them and be CONSISTENT. A swat on the butt is not a spanking! Time out in a play pen where you can monitor him will work. But
U will need to be monitoring him. I don't believe it is safe or therapeutic to lock a child in a room by themself.
Carly - posted on 09/04/2011
I have a 15 month old son who has progressed to slaming his head on the floor or the edge of the table when he throughs a tantrum and i have no idea how to stop it. i ignor his tantrums but when he starts doing that i cant just walk away does anyone have any suggestions
Tammy - posted on 08/29/2011
Tamara I know how u feel cause my 5 year old is the same way. At 15 months have started the time out in the corner? For every year of their age that is how long stay in time out. Have her/him sit on a chair in the corner facing the corner with no TV or other distraction. For me this don't work but maybe for you it might. Let the child know that the behavior is not acceptable also.
Jess - posted on 12/29/2010
Ava was throwing monumental tantrums and usually over really silly things like laying still to have her nappy changed. I know she is doing it out of frustration and she only wants to feel a sense of control, so I don't ever punish her for the tantrum.
I just put her somewhere safe, like on some pillows on the floor, or her baby couch is she is on our tiled floor. I just put her down and let her go. I've tried holding her, but that just fuels her tantrum.
So I let her get it out and as soon as she calms down I go back and ask her if she would like to continue on with what ever we were doing. After a couple of days of doing this she learnt really quickly that it was pointless and now we have very few tantrums !
Julie - posted on 12/22/2010
one of my daughters is 16 months old..... and the other is 6 years old..... the 6 year old cries until she gets her way...... she gets her way most of the time with her dad... but when her dad is not home...... she does not dare to cry and try to get her way.... she knows that with me she will never get her way...... and when she cries.... i just ignore her...... and send her to her room.... and tell her that she can come and tell me what she wants when she can stop crying and i can understand what she is saying... so she goes to her room and then when she is calmed down she comes and tells me what she wants and she always tells me that she loves me and hugs me and she tells me that she is sorry for whatever reason... when she comes out of her room.... then i sit her down and tell her what she wants is not going to happen and then i list for her all the reasons...... on the other hand.... my younger daughter is crazy....... she cries and throws tantrums a lot.... when she wants something and i will not give it to her...... just like today... she threw a tantrum cuz she wanted her bottle that i took away from her cuz she was putting the milk on the carpet..... she wanted it so she could continue making her mess on the carpet... i just did not give it to her.... i layed her on the carpet and let her scream and shout and cry until she calmed down..... and when she calmed down she came to me and slept on my lap.... i found that the best way is to ignore them...... until they are calm......
Karls - posted on 12/20/2010
Yes... Lol, I believe attention for negative behaviour only enhances them. I often respond with silence and ignore them. If my 16month is out in public I strap her in pram or car or highchair n ignore. I wait about 2mins, then firmly and in a controlled tone. "Stop" "Calm Down", when she stops her crying, i then say "Mum will NOT tolerate that" "When you are ready we'll get on with fun stuff".
She has quickly adapted and now in her way, I briefly say what she did wrong, she is to say sorry, n we cuddle. We instantly switch to a good mood and Im careful not to hold a grudge. If she lays down in the supermarket... Lol, I often put my foot on her belly n shake her, which results in laughs! I have dragged her by her feet to where I am and continued to ignore her aswell. And for angry tantrums I find being held upside down tires them quicker!
Tina - posted on 12/15/2010
I have a 16 month old and she is having the tantrums to but hers go along with hitting me or biting me or throwing things. I have tried everything saying no. time out, ignoring it nothing has worked for me either and i also like you am losing my patients so when you get something that's works for ya let me know lol.
Julie - posted on 12/14/2010
I try to remind myself that she's doing it because she needs something she can't communicate with words to me and then I try to figure out what it is in that instance. When she responds to what I offer her in a way that tells me it's the correct thing , I try to call it's name over and over and if she repeats it I listen to how she calls it.
ignore...thats the only thing i have seen work esp in a public place. doc say that tooo. they r trying to seee your limit...so set one:). My 15 month old does it too so u r not alone dont worry..they will past...i hear n have read its gonno happen and we gotto deal with it:)
Alice - posted on 12/10/2010
I have a 16 month old with a 5 week old.... my 16m old was constantly screeching in order to get his own way when she was first born. I kept my cool and approached him with "I know you're upset, but....", let him process what I just said, and turned his attention to something else. Now the screeching's been replaced with "Mama" and much better behavior.
Anita - posted on 12/10/2010
I agree with Jessica Whitehead, you have to be firm yet loving in dealing with them. As the parent, we have to protect & teach our kids the right way to respond. They are just kids & it's up to us to point them in the right direction. So be firm & say "no".If it means a tap on the hand & firm "no" to stop them from getting hurt, then do it but ALWAYS balance it with lots of love. In the end they will appreciate it and hopefully, you wont end up with a rebellious child.
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