Tricky tantrums? What to do

Cecille - posted on 04/12/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone, My little girl is 16 months and is throwing the wildest tantrums. Am I the only one struggling with this. The other night she screamed for up to half an hour and no matter what I did I could not calm her down. During these tantrums she won't even allow me to pick her up.

A week ago she started throwing herself on the ground!
Any suggestions? I feel alone

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Clara - posted on 04/12/2010

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you are not alone, can I refer you to website rather - the best advise I ever got ?



naomi.aldort.com



She is a child therapist and changed my whole life when it comes to parenting. I like taking advise from the experts, because some of the advise i otherwise received didnt sit right with my heart.



you can just read her articles on the site, i got her book and wow !!!



Most important lesson I learned from her : when they cranky, let them crank, they are either going to sleep or feel better.

[deleted account]

Hi Cecile,

Don't feel alone. It is normal. We are going throught the same thing with our 17 month old. My co-workers 19 month old does it also and my 22 month old niece does it also. Sometimes we just leave her and let her go through it. Other times we tell her to stop and she stops. Most of the time she does it because she wants something from her brother's that is not hers. When she does that, we do not let her get it and she falls to the ground. Most of the times she stops but we have to use a stern voice. We also hug her and let her know that she is being a good girl when she stops. We also tell her that she cannot always gets what she wants. I think that they understand a lot of what we say. Don't give up and most importantly, you are not alone.

Jen - posted on 04/12/2010

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You are soooooo NOT ALONE! My lil' one does it too. But see usually they are doing it for attention because they want something. I just walk away. You would be surprised how fast the tantrum stops without an audience!
They need to know they are not going to get anything acting like that!

Sherri - posted on 04/20/2010

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If tantrums happening in evening- evaluate bedtime... is your child overtired? My first never had tantrums at this age, my 2nd (17 months)---- boy oh boy! One night we realized it was because he was thirsty and couldn't express that this is what he wanted (not talking and resists using signs). Check out Happiest Toddler on the Block- wonderful info-- great strategies you can immediately implement... look for DVD that goes with the book- many local libraries carry both. I don't ignore tantrums-- redirect (like I think you mentioned in earlier post or I just try to love them.

Rachel - posted on 04/20/2010

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All these people are saying ignore them. I find my son is having a tantrum because he is trying to express something that I cannot understand. I get down to eye level with him (i get down to him, not pick him up to me) and tell him, "Trevor, mommy doesn't understand crying. I know you need something/are trying to tell me something, but I cannot understand you. Please show mommy what you need." We are teaching him signs so that he can better communicate. I make sure he knows that I understand he is frustrated, and that I am trying and this works 99% of the time to calm him down and get us both on the same page. Your child is VERY smart, but probably not very verbal yet, and it is super frustrating for them to be ignored when they are trying to tell you they need/want something. Ignoring them only teaches them that you wont be there for them when they need it.

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Jade - posted on 04/30/2010

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my little girl is such a lovely well behaved little girl but my oh my can she be a madam when she wants to be. usually when she cant get her own way. i had an incident the other day and she screamed for about half an hour, no calmin her down. she threw herself on the floor and banged her head which she did not find amusin and made the tantrum worse haha. i just leave her to it and try not to let it stress me out. it gets worse if they see that its gettin to you. she bangs her head against her highchair repeatedly sometimes as a bit of a tantrum thing so i just ignore her, it soon stops, mite be that shes givin herself a headache tho hehe xx

Izay - posted on 04/23/2010

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my 17 months son doing the same thing.always bangs his head when he is angry and when someone is saying byebye to him..he always wants to go with them..when you scream at him he will stare at you and bite his lower lip like thinking of some ways for revenge.he will just run to you with a pointed head like a bull..hehehehehe..but no matter whats he do he is still adorable.

Lisa - posted on 04/20/2010

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Ive read that this is the age that children start realising that they are their own little person and that they can assert themselves, and this is a way that they can do this. My little girl is 17 months and shes been doing it since about a year old. Children are alot more intelligent than alot of people give them credit for. They also understand alot more than they can can say at this age, so this is a way for them to express themselves, i would imagine that our world may be very daunting for them at times so i think we just need to let them have their moments and UNDERSTAND that its a bit scary for them. I hope what the experts say is true in regards to " it will pass". Heres hoping also that all this info that everyone has given you is helpful but not too confusing, you just do what you feel is right for you and your child, you are both important. Take care and good luck!!

Patricia - posted on 04/20/2010

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Hi! My little one is sort of trying to get there but I am not allowing it. Today for example, she thrown herself on the drive way because I told her not crawl on it. I gave a choice to stand up by herself or I would count to 3 and do it my self. I praise her a lot for all the great things she does. During the tantrum nothing you say will work. My advise is be firm as of what you need her to do, and clear by lowering yourself to her level and looking into her eyes showing that you can come to her level, but you still the "boss". Good luck!

Josanne - posted on 04/20/2010

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my baby girl is 16 months as well and she always snap and try to bite us when she ants her way. It's weird and funny at the same time but i dont know what to do she just bites

Tina - posted on 04/20/2010

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My 17 month also throws himself on the floor to throw his fits. It started with head butting the floor when he was 11 months old. He has gotten MUCH better at throwing the fits!? I tell him to throw his fit and I leave the room!?

Andrea - posted on 04/20/2010

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OMG My son does the same thing (throwing himself to the ground). I wouldn't allow him to feed himself last night so I attempted to put the spoon in his mouth and he slapped it out of my hand. As a punishment I removed him from his highchair and told him when he's ready to eat I will feed him. He fell to the floor screaming and kicking.

Ruth - posted on 04/20/2010

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my daughter was doing this several months ago. she even gave herself bruises if she got really mad. the tantrums are almost gone now. what i would do is just ignore it and it will go away, my husband doesn't totally understand that so what tantrums she has she does around him so she'll get attention. She also got daddy's attention for awhile gagging herself until she threw up until he stopped messing with her while she tried it.

Annette - posted on 04/19/2010

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My 17 month old does the exact same thing, just yesterday I washed her favourite doll and I thought I could get It on the washing line without her noticing It but I was wrong! She threw herself on the ground and screamed at the top of her lungs for about half and hour and the same thing I couldnt calm her down I ended up just Ignoring her and that seemed to work, Hope this helps you are so not alone! It makes It hard for me too as I have a 2 and a half year old and a 5week old bubba too, they both look at me as If to say whats her problem!

Kristen - posted on 04/19/2010

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You need to make sure she isn't hurt, then if she continues, ignore it, hard to do I know, but they are testing their waters of what they can do and get away with and if people will do what they want when they want it. My brothers all went through awful temper tantrums, I'm sure I did too. And my son is doing it right now, over little things to big "you know you aren't suppose to have that anyway" things. It's a phase and when they realize how it's not "working they way they wanted" they will stop, or make it shorter at least, one of my brothers only shortened it till he was 5, then finally stopped. Sometimes they ahve too much energy and need to wear themselves down, sometimes it's pure rebellion and testing of their not allowed and oks. If she continues after 3 my dad finally solved it by throwing himself on the floor and doing it too like my brother did and he was so shocked and said u look funny daddy, and we told him that was how he looked, he got over it. Good luck prayers and patience sent your way.

Laura Brody - posted on 04/19/2010

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We haven't hit the tantrum stage yet, thankfully. However, in my experience as a special education teacher, I've had some whopper tantrum throwers. My best method for diffusing such tantrums is to ignore them. Make sure there is nothing around that your little one can hurt herself on and go about your business. It can be difficult but she will most likely get the message that a tantrum is NOT the way to get your attention or what she wants. When she stops, as calmly as you are able, ask her what is wrong and what she needs. She probably does not have to vocabulary yet to really explain, as my grade schoolers did, but you can offer options, such as "are you hungry?" "do you need a rest?" "did you want to play with the yellow block?" or whatever you suspect might have been the cause. If you find a good solution though, share it with the rest of us. I guarantee you, those of us that aren't there yet, will be!

Iris - posted on 04/19/2010

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What I do is put on the headphones and turn my iPod on because its hard for me to just walk away when I know my baby is upset and crying. My daughter throws herself on the floor too and at that point you just gotta be able to walk away. If you have a little tail for a child like I do it's a little harder but it can be done. The other day she threw a fit because I wouldn't give her anymore chips so she threw herself on the floor in the kitchen. I walked into the living room and sat down and started watching t.v. like I didn't even care. When she finally got up, walked over to where I was sitting and practically yelled at me she was crying so hard I just walked into my bedroom and closed the door behind me. She sat at the door screaming for maybe 20 minutes and then forgot what she was mad about and started trying to get me to play with her through the crack underneath the door. Now when you're trying to "ignore" your child it helps to not even talk about them either. Like if they start throwing a tantrum at a get together, make sure you let everyone know not to talk about your child. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for 9 times out of 10 and if they hear their name and know they are being talked about it could reinforce their behavior and the tantrum won't stop - or get worse even! It stinks when they hit their terrible two's before they even turn two-years-old but we will survive! Haha!

Brandi - posted on 04/19/2010

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u have to ignore the tantrums. the more u cave in and resolve it, the longer it will last. all kids go through this especially my two. they either have a tantrum bc they want attention or something that they want and cant have. its the begin of terrible twos

Sam - posted on 04/19/2010

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my daughter has a very bad temper,she hits her head on the floor during a tantrum.when she has her temper tantrums nobody can settle or calm her.i have learnt that the best way to deal with her tantrums is to ignore her.she soon stops the tantrums and comes over to say sorry then she has a cuddle and kiss.after she is fine.

Kim - posted on 04/19/2010

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No, most kids go through this stage. Unless they are hurting themselves physically just leave them alone... a tantrum needs an audience and paying her attention (positive or negative) during the tantrum will only be giving her what she wants. Ignore her, it is the best way!

Jen - posted on 04/18/2010

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What a relief to read that so many others are having the same experience! Our nearly 17 month old has had 2 or 3 of these episodes in the last week, generally right after he wakes up from his afternoon nap. He doesn't want up, but he doesn't want down. He doesn't seem to want me, yet cries even harder if I hand him to my husband. It helped this weekend when I scooped him out of bed at first whimper and then we rocked in the rocking chair for a little while before we left his room. It seems like he needs more transition time than before.

Genevieve - posted on 04/18/2010

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haha, so normal. My son is a head banger! He will either sit with his back to the wall and bang his head or sit on the floor and bang his head on the floor. I was talking to one of my neighbours about it the other day and she said her brother did it when he was young and her mum stopped him from doing it so he developed this thing where he would roll up and down the legs of their pants. Aparently if you stop them when they are having a tantrum they develop other things. An hour does seem like a long time though. I am definately going to check out that website from Clara.

Nisha - posted on 04/18/2010

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I have just been thinking that I need to get some parenting advice to deal with MY 18 month old! Checking that site now!

Jill - posted on 04/18/2010

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE! My daughter, also 16 months, is doing the same thing. She screams now and cries and there is nothing I can do for her! When I try to hold her, she sits down and throws herslef on the ground screaming and crying! Usually a tantrum is triggered when she doesnt get her way, she's very strong willed. Our pediatrician said it is very important not to give in to irrational or unimportant demands. I try to choose my battles. Its really difficult because she only says a few words so I cant always tell whats wrong. Another thing I found out is that she has allergies which has caused her to have 3 ear infections (2 double ear infections) in 2 months! With allergies, its hard to completely get rid of the infection because of the drainage. She is also getting some back teeth, which adds to the discomfort and the tantrums. For us, I try to distract her with something she really likes, like going outside or music. As you know, there isnt much we can do, except wait until its over. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I have a 17 month old daughter who has started the defiance thing. I find that the more consistent her routine, and if she naps properly, the less likely she is to act out. I've heard that at this age they are are physically unable to control strong emotions (I know some 30 year olds who have a hard time with that), and that a tantrum is just a physical release of excess adrenaline. I'm still able to distract her for the most of the time, or make her laugh. I also have some songs that I have tailored to her where it's call and response, and I'll start singing them and eventually when she calms down she joins in. Good luck everyone.

Madeeha - posted on 04/17/2010

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oh huni hi i have 17 months old aswell and trust me u r not alone i think mine 1 is the worse one in the world i will defenately check the website

Jaclyn - posted on 04/16/2010

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I have a 16mth old boy and i'll tell you what when he doesn't get what he wants..look out!! But you know what i do...i ignore him completly and walk away...he soons stops once he realizes that he's getting no attention for his tantrum. But it's hard when his big brother gives him attention saing 'you okay Noah' lol but it seems to work. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do to calm them down so just let them be and scream..i'm sure she'll get over it and it doesn't hurt them to scream a little. good luck.

Rachel - posted on 04/16/2010

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My son, Bruce 16 months, likes to Head Butt me when he can't get his way...and his head head is HARD!!!!! I just try to ignore that and I also try not to give in to his toddler demands!! : )

Danielle - posted on 04/15/2010

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i know the feeling too my daughter gave me a shock the other day throwing a tantrum and hitting me in the face and pulling my hair and then pushing me away and she is 18 months i had no idea wat to do so i just sat there stunned while my girlfriend was trying to pull her off me

Deborah - posted on 04/14/2010

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Grace does the same thing. She hits her head repeatedly on the wall, ground or whatever is around. She screams, cries, hits, kicks and bites. I have learned to ignore her tantrums at home and they stop just as soon as she realizes she is not going to get her way or attention. For the screaming, hitting, kicking and biting I have started putting Grace in time-out, which we are both learning to do.

This is the time in a baby's life where they are mobile and learning some independence, so they want to challenge authority and figure out what they can get away from. Most importantly, they do not like to be told no. I'm sure with lots of patience we will both survive this stage :)

Good luck!

Jazi - posted on 04/13/2010

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My house hold all subscribe to the simple belief of "if you ain't bleeding, broken, or dying come to us for a hug" it started at 4-5 months durring the crawling weeks and still continues now. But now, we get tears for little trips only when he's cranky and its nap time.

This has helped out immensly in dealing with his tempertantrums. He knows crying isn't going to get him much, he's learned that when we go walking he walks with his monkey (aka his leash) and holding mommys hand in the street/parking lot. A temper tantrum gets no more attention than "Z we need to keep walking you have 30 seconds" he gets his count of 30, gets placed on his feet and we walk on. ( I do admit being in western WA, it also gets a prayer of "Please miss that mudpuddle" but Z don't hear that) normally once Z is back up on his feet, he may kep crying, but we're moving again.

Hope this helps. - Jazi

Cecille - posted on 04/13/2010

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Thanks for all the comments. Its nice to know that I'm not the only one struggling with this. I'll definitely have a look at the website.
I also do the ignore thing or let her get rid of her frustrations first and then distract her for instance by saying that I'm going to go play outside, when she is feeling better and if she wants to she can come with. Its just so hard not to get frustrated yourself especially after working the whole day. Thanks guys! Good luck with your tantrums too.

Christine - posted on 04/12/2010

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Probably she is just hitting her terrible two's early. We are having the same problem with my daughter. She throws herself on the floor occasionally, and has hit her head repeatedly on the floor a time or two. She only did these things a few times because we ignored her and once she realized we werent paying attention it didnt matter to her anymore. The one thing she's stuck with longer is biting her hand when she gets mad or frustrated. We plan on just ignoring it till she realizes she is only hurting herself. The other day she started to say ouch whenever she bites herself...it's actually a little funny.

Kelly - posted on 04/12/2010

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VERY normal! My son, Kody, will cry for up to 30 minutes for no reason and I cannot calm him down at all. I just need to let him let it out and afterwards he is fine. I find no patterns to when he does it, but I think this is the age that begins the "terrible twos". :)

Vicky - posted on 04/12/2010

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I feel your pain, my daughter is 17 months and she has started this about 2 months ago. She is not in daycare to learn this from other kids, and she is very well behaved overall. But when she has these it gets crazy!!! I've been ignoring them if we are in public and I've been doing time outs if we are home, they have decreased overall. It doesn't help that the grandparents give her what she wants when she has these w/ them.... Good luck you are not alone I feel your pain!!

Amanda - posted on 04/12/2010

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Yes u r not alone, just tried to change a diaper and for no reason (none I could see) he threw himself on the floor and cried! It's happening alot lately, not sure what to do but let him cry it out until he allows me to pick him up! I think I'll check out that website though Clara. Really helps me knowing my child isn't the only one!

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