I have a 15 month old daughter who is normally sweet as pie but today, she threw an enormous tantrum outside and i'm not sure why. I couldn't understand what she was trying to communicate to me and she started bawling, screaming and arching her back. I know this is VERY typical of a child this age who is learning to be autonomous and independent but my question is more so, "how should i react when she does these things?" I have read that i should stay close by her while she is throwing her fit so that she feels safe and doesn't feel abandoned. But i'm not sure and want to know how other mom's are handling this if it has happened to them. lately, she is also starting to hit me (or herself or the cat) when she is angry. i try to stay out of her boundaries when she is that upset but sometimes if angry, she'll come up to me to try and swap my face. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!

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Jillian - posted on 11/15/2008

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I guess i do things a little different then someof the other moms Liam threw his first one yesterday in the Drs office. as soon as we got in the room he bit me so i restrained him so he could only bit himself which of course happend so he started screaming crying holding his breath til he was almost purple and it lasted for a half an hour i just sat there . the only time i got up or paid any attention to it was when i was directing his body away from things that could hurt him

Crystal - posted on 11/13/2008

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my daughter does this when things dont go her way or if you say no. i just let her throw her fit and let her get over it her self. bc if i baby her than she thinks that she will get whatever she wants when she throws her fits and thats not going to happen! thats what i do and yea she doesnt throw her fits as much now.

Liz - posted on 11/06/2008

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We were having the problem. I noticed she smacks when she is getting close to snack or nap/bed time and her limits are getting pushed. Of course the distraction game helps but there have just been some outbursts that were pretty dramatic & seemingly out of left field. So when it happens in the house and I try to calmly redirect her & if that doesn't work, I leave the room. Would you believe she stops, gets up, follow me, then lies down and trys to re-create another tantrum! The last time this happened, the 'break' in action gave me a chance to redirect her. I'm rarely saying 'no' to her. We try to reserve it for something that may result in harm or when we ask ourselves 'would i really want my kid to grow up to be an adult doing this?' type stuff. The last time she wanted to play with some nasty wet rags my dear husband left out to be laundered, he just told her 'NO, they are dirty (I think they were drenched with detergent and such' we just stuck to our few words...Sorry your upset, but this can hurt you' story. She got over it pretty quickly. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tracy Hogg 'the baby whisperer' she has a book out now on toddlers, i think its a keeper, check it out.

Melissa - posted on 11/06/2008

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My daughter does the same thing. She is almost 16 months old. Basically I just try not to give the tantrum any attention. I try to figure out what she wants first because obviously she's trying to communicate something and I try to get her to point at whatever she is trying to tell me she wants. If she doesn't seem like she wants anything in particular, I just try to ignore the behavior until it stops. Then after she's done throwing her fit and is calm. I will sit down on the ground and play with her or give her attention. She just needs to learn that the tantrums are not an acceptable way to communicate or behave. So I try to reward her good behaviors and ignore the tantrums so I don't end up rewarding the bad behaviors by giving it attention. I also usually (unless I know why she is upset or is hurt in some way) don't try to calm her down. Little kids toddler age need to learn how to calm themeselves down- so they learn how to handle aggression on their own. Now her tantrums usually just last a couple minutes then its over and she's perfectly fine. Also with the hitting thing- I've started practicing 'nice touches' with her because she was also hitting and pulling hair and clawing. I think that babies just don't know how to touch appropriately and they will immitate anything they see- it's not neccessarily that she is trying to be mean. When she does these things, I tell her 'no that's not nice, that's not how we touch' and I take her hand and I put it up against my cheek and calmly say 'nice touches' as I rub her hand nicely across my cheek, and then I do the same with my hand on her cheek. And then we nicely pet her stuffed animals or her doll- all the while telling her good job and nice touches or we touch nicely. It seems to work with my daughter. She's not pulling my hair anymore and she doen't really scratch or claw anymore either. Basically I think it's trial and error and figuring out what works best for your family- these are just ideas that seem to work for us. Also consistency and positive reinforcement is the key and if it's no once- it's no all the time. They'll learn. Good Luck!

Tara - posted on 11/05/2008

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my son has started doing this as well - the back arching thing has nearly broken my back several times! kudos to Crystal for taking her kids out of the restaurant - I too have had to do this but it's only fair to everyone else who is trying to enjoy dinner...although you get knowing looks from moms of older kids as if to say "I've been there, it's OK"...which is nice. I do my best to remain calm (because they choose the most inopportune times to do this) and tell him "no" and that his behavior is unnacceptable and to stop. Sometimes if it really is for no apparent reason I will try to hug him and calm him...it's trial and error w/ each kid, it seems.

Tennille - posted on 11/04/2008

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I distract her. The art of distraction is wonderful. Bribe if it's positive....."We'll read a story if you...", which you we're probably going to do anyway :) I also try to talk very softly so she has to be quiet to hear me and I talk to her like an adult....reasoning with her. She usually stops what she's doing to hear everything I say. Be interesting. Reward positive behavior so she's excited to reap the reward. They get it. Good luck.

Ashley - posted on 11/04/2008

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When my daughter throws fits like these i just let her do it and get in out of her system. Unless we are in public them i pick her up and wisper sternly to so screaming! But make sure you aren't smacking her, b/c then she will hit back. my daughter smacks at us and we grab her hand and tell her no, thats not nice.

Crystal - posted on 11/04/2008

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My son did the same thing today in a restaurant, we got seated, he threw a fit, which made his brother throw one too. We got up and left before we even placed our order. I don't know if this was the right thing to do, but I wan't going to sit and ruin everyone else's lunch. If we're at home, I usually let him throw down, ignore him and when he's done go to him and pick him up, snuggle and tell him I love him but that behavior is not going to get him what he wants. I don't know how much of this he understands, but it seems like once he gets if off his chest he's ok after that. I know it has to be hard for him because he doesn't have the words yet to express himself, but I also know he has to learn that kind of behavior isn't acceptable. It's really hard, especially when you get conflicting advice. I just want to raise respectable, well behaved boys, not spoiled little brats!! ;) I guess it's pretty much just trial and error!

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