How can I keep my 14 month old from throwing tantrums and screaming for no apparent reason?

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Meghan - posted on 03/18/2009

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Quoting Sarah:



What is with the changing table? My daughter loses of her mind when I put her down to change her diaper.  She arches her back B4 I get a chance to lay her down and then she does a alligator roll thing. I am having to pin her down, which makes me feel terrible.  She only  does it for me though. My husband has no problems, heck if he comes into the room during one of her fits she stops right away...stinker!!  The whole swatiing thing, I hope is just a phase. She doesn't swat so much but she throws things at me then laughs about it.  I do 3 strikes then the toy, book, cup, whatever is gone.  which is not really working.  what do you do?






He will swat at his cup off the tray when hes in his high chair.  I'll put it back and if he does it again I take it and put it on the table and tell him he sone with it.   He's been more difficult lately but i think its because hes had poo issues and has been uncomfortable.  Its so hard sometimes but I try to be consistent.  He does the same thing with my husband when he cans to "help" me change him...daddy can do no wrong  :)  The alligator roll is the most annoying thing EVER, don't feel too bad, i have to pin him down too...and he just screams more...its a vicious cycle!

Meghan - posted on 03/18/2009

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Thanks everyone...seems like we are all in the same boat.  Glad to see its not just him and that I have a problem child  :).  I've been trying to ignore him and sometimes it works, though sometimes he just screams louder but the hardest is the changing table...especially when poo is involved..ugh.   He likes to fling  himself when I say no and take whatever it is away so I try to catch him and re-direct and your right Amber he normally get distracted by something...just hopefully its not something else he can't have/do. 

Meghan - posted on 03/18/2009

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Thanks everyone...seems like we are all in the same boat.  Glad to see its not just him and that I have a problem child  :).  I've been trying to ignore him and sometimes it works, though sometimes he just screams louder but the hardest is the changing table...especially when poo is involved..ugh.   He likes to fling  himself when I say no and take whatever it is away so I try to catch him and re-direct and your right Amber he normally get distracted by something...just hopefully its not something else he can't have/do. 

Felicia - posted on 03/17/2009

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hi there going through the same thing with the tantrums and fits on the changing table. I try to be firm and put a serious face on and my son laughs at me, then I laugh and well... at least it stops the tantrums and fussing.

Kara - posted on 03/16/2009

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First of all, YOU have to be the boss! If your child thinks he/she can push you over, that's exactly what's going to happen. My son is 13 1/2 months too, and I am very laid back, but with all my education, and now experience, I've learned that I have to make myself speak firmly, and then be consistent every time. It is so hard some days, but it's already paying off. When I lay my son on his changing table and he starts to whine or roll, I say his name firmly, and responds by calming down, and muttering "no-no". Dr. James Dobson has some amazing resources online for strong-willed children. Google him or "Focus on the Family"

Amber - posted on 03/15/2009

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I also wanted to add:

the only thing that works with my son when I am changing him is for me to sing to him. He studies my face when I sing to him and he looks at me like I am an angel. It is something that I have always done with him and he really enjoys it. Otherwise, he twists and turns all over the table/floor and that is my pet peeve!!! It burns me up when he does that. Never ever ever ever turn away from your child while they are on any kind of table, ever. Not at any age is that safe.

I also never swat at my son for anything. I don't want to teach him how to hit just yet. He is too young to know how or when to swat and the last thing i want him to do is swat at me. :)

Amber - posted on 03/15/2009

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At this stage, tantrums have to be ignored! LOL. Children are very smart. They pick up easily. Somewhere or somehow a child sees that a tantrum can get them what they want. When they want something and you won't let them have their way, they just throw a fit and expect you to give in. When my son, 14 months old, wants something he cannot have, I tell him very firmly "No, that is not yours" the first time. The second and third time I just tell him very firmly "No". If he still throws a fit I take him by the hand and redirect him another way and he will probably get distracted. I usually never have a problem with it after that. I can see by the look on his face that he is really thinking about it and wants to do it again, but chooses another way. It is really important to teach your child that you are the parent and they are the child. This is a good way of getting that respect. You should give it a couple of trys and see if this is a good method for you. I feel that it also easier to handle the situation by ignoring it rather than fighting it. Your child will fight less with you and you still have enough energy to get through the day! I too feel that my son gives me a harder time than he does with anyone else. For security and nurturing reasons.

Kara - posted on 03/15/2009

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I am going through the same things with Jack.  He's 14 months today.  The most effective strategy I have is helping him figure out why he is frustrated and attempt to work through the problem.  We have also learned the sign for "wait" which seems to help him know that while he can't have it now, he can have it later.  If nothing works, I just try to ignore the behavior.  I, also, agree that our children are worse behaved for their mothers.  It's the security issue that they feel with us.   Good luck!  We need it!

Elly_dormouse - posted on 03/13/2009

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I think they feel most comfortable with mom so they give into feeling out of control or whatever because they feel safe (lucky us). Apparently, a lot of it is because they feel everything really intensely, so to us it seems like 'what's the big deal' to them its a major issue. I think the ignoring is a good method. I do it, he seems to lose interest pretty fast.

He is very distracted by having a book when I'm changing him now.

Sarah - posted on 03/13/2009

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What is with the changing table? My daughter loses of her mind when I put her down to change her diaper.  She arches her back B4 I get a chance to lay her down and then she does a alligator roll thing. I am having to pin her down, which makes me feel terrible.  She only  does it for me though. My husband has no problems, heck if he comes into the room during one of her fits she stops right away...stinker!!  The whole swatiing thing, I hope is just a phase. She doesn't swat so much but she throws things at me then laughs about it.  I do 3 strikes then the toy, book, cup, whatever is gone.  which is not really working.  what do you do?

Cara - posted on 03/12/2009

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My son will be 14 months on the 15th.  He is also doing the same things!  We will put him down as soon as he starts throwing a temper tantrum...but some where safe because he also throws himself backwards.  As far as hitting, I take what ever he is swatting at away and tell him he can have it back when he's calm.  Talking to him about it seems to work.  They do understand more than they let on!!   I have also started giving him time outs, even tho he doesn't really understand.  He at least figures out that if he acts like that then he doesn't get to be with Mommy and his toys for a minute.  It seems to work, I then give him huge hugs and kisses and tell him calmly why he was in the playpen (his time out area).  He also screams!  I am pretty sure it's just a phase, so when he screams I ignore it.  After all he seems to do it to get attention!

Meghan - posted on 03/12/2009

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Thanks.  I'll try that.  My son does the fling himself back thing too, and hes hit his head pretty good a few times. I guess I'll have to start changing him on the floor because lately he's been doing it on the changing table and scooting himself down the dresser so I can't turn around in case he falls.  Hes now starting to swat my hands and other things away ...ie bottles, cups, binkis. Has she does this?

Sarah - posted on 03/12/2009

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It's the million dollar question!! My daughter has been doing it for about 3 months now!  I try to ignore her or turn my back to her. I still have to watch thought cuz she will drop to her knees and bang her head off the floor, softly. I know she knows she is being silly but it drives me crazy.  The tantrums are getting fewer and farther between so I think it is working, guess I would suggest ignoring it.  This may sound completely cruel but when she is super crazy I am at my wits end I put her in her crib for a few minutes. it gives us both a chance to calm down a little bit and honestly it works.  Good luck!!

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