My 21 mth old throws the worst fits! HELP!

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2010 ( 30 moms have responded )

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My daughter was the sweetest most behaved child around until about 4 mths ago. She started screaming at the top of her lungs when she gets told no.
She doesn't listen when I tell her no.
She can have her butt spanked over and over and she still ignores me.
When i tell her to come inside she tells me no and runs from me screaming!!
I'M AT A LOSS, spankings, time outs, taking away her toys, i've tried it all! I don't understand though because she used to listen better than any of my friends kids and she never got into trouble it's like someone took my angel and replaced her with this rebelious child. She did a 180 on me and now i need to find a way to get the ball back in my hands, I feel like I have no control over her and I refuse to give in. I refuse to be one of those mothers that can't take their kids anywhere without getting embarrassed and running for the car. Please help.

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Cara - posted on 07/27/2010

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First off...What is wrong with people today? Has no one ever heard the saying "spare the rod and spoil the child"? There is a huge difference between spanking a child and hitting/beating/abusing a child. Each child will react differently to certain methods. One parent may find that ignoring works well with tantrums, another may find that time out works well, another may find that A(emphasis on the A) swat on the butt is what works for their child, some may find that positive enforcement works best. Each child is different and isn't going to learn the same way. As an older child my brother did very well with just a pop on the butt where as thats method didn't work for me, I responded better to being grounded. Yes, my mother spanked us and you know what...we turned out just fine. She was constantly complimented on how well behaved we were. I didn't go around hitting people and telling them "NO". Some parents chose not to spank their kids and other find that it works for theirs. If you are one that chooses not to spank then good for you, but don't put down other for doing so just because you don't do it. Also, I generally do not spank my daughter unless she is doing something that could hurt her(or someone else) and she has already been told to stop. Then I give her 1 swat on her butt and it gets the point across and she doesn't do it again.





That being said...My daughter is going through the same thing. She just suddenly started throwing tantrums if she doesn't get her way. Sometimes I send her to her room to "pitch it out", other times I can just tell her to cut it out. then there are times when i pop her butt and she stops and times when i just sit her in my lap and explain to her that she can't just have a fit if she doesnt get what she wants. Then there are times that no matter which method I use she just keeps on acting up. Try different methods each time, sometimes one will work for my daughter that won't work another time. It's basically just a trial and error thing with her. You find out what may or may not work and you go from there. Good luck to you and I know how you feel.

Tiffany - posted on 07/23/2010

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My 21 month old can be similar. Luckily, its usually when she's tierd, teething or hungry...
but here is how we deal:

First, allow her to scream it out for a min or two before butting in. Kids emotions are not yet in check, and they literally overwhelm them, and therefore they have no sence of reasoning.
Once they have gone on for alittle bit, very quietly talk to them, looking for something to distract them. Once you have her distracted from whatveer her fit is over (which doesnt always work, but 80% of the time it should) you then tell her you dont tolerate yelling/screaming/running away etc and that next time she must listen. DO THIS CONSISTANTLY. Dont give in sometimes, and be harsh others. It confuses thier very impressionable brains.

Next thing is - spanking doesnt work on all kids. If you are over-using it, or using it on the wrong type of child, it will do nothing but make your kid laugh or frusterate you both. My suggestion - stop. Its clearly not working, and spanking really shouldnt be used without a VERY good reason (and by spanking, I mean one hard tap on the bottom to get a very clear point accross - we use it only when she is doing something very dangerous, to help scare her away from it, and no other time. We find it more effective that way)

Also, if all else fails, removing her from the situation, and ignoring her as she sceams alone. Then making a simple explanation to why that cant happen again.

Nichole - posted on 07/22/2010

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Positive reinforcement, you should not be hitting your kids, they did nothing to deserve it, they are creatures you are molding them into, if they have outbursts its likely they dont know how to handle there emotions anf its YOUR job to show positive enforcement, we dont need our kids being raised to think its ok to hit yell or say no. I never use the word no, I say, lets not do that, or hum, mm mm, and follow it with why, this teaches them in the long run there are consequences from misbehaving. If you are having a hard time talk to the dr or a specialist to give you tips, remember it's you who needs to teach them to be good, they dont know any better.

Missy - posted on 07/22/2010

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When my 21 month old throughs his fits, I usually pick him up and tuck him under my arm and carry him to where he is suppose to go. I don't even acknowledge his tantrum. Then when I say get in the house I just set him down and walk away. He usually stops when he realizes he's not getting any attention over it & he still had to do what we asked of him.

Toni - posted on 07/21/2010

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Deb - posted on 08/05/2010

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I had a similar problem with Ellie when she was being sleep trained. I read so many books on the subject and they always said not to let them cry for longer than an hour, but that babies can't cry for more than hour.... So, ok, but mine could. And it was more of an issue because I would get her and basically give in after the hour mark. She knew exactly what she was doing and she was winning the fight. I finally sent my husband and son away for the weekend and let her cry it out until she couldn't cry any more. It took SIX hours. I checked on her, made sure she was ok diaper wise, not in any danger, had water, but I did not make eye contact with her, did not pick her up, did not talk to her, nothing. She finally went to sleep. It was only after that that she stopped using the shrieking to get attention. She still gives the tantrum a half-hearted try, but she knows better. So, 6 hours sucked... big time. But the resultant understanding between the two of us that mommy is boss does not. It is a much more peaceful household now that the tantrums and the sleep are under control. And I have no DOUBT that the two go hand in hand. Sleep deprivation contributes to so much negative behavior and it is behavior that they can't control because they are in pain and don't know why. I'd start there as a solution. Track your child's sleep... Like every minute... for a week. If he/she isn't gettting at least an average 12.5 hours per 24 hr. period, that could be a very big part of the problem.

Heather - posted on 08/05/2010

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My child is the same but she screams all the time when ever she thinks some is not listening to her request. I try to first explain...I have to get your food ready, then I proceed to ignore her and she is so stubborn she never stops! I don't know what to do...I may try the going to her room and shutting the door but I don't think she ever stop crying. What about when your not in your own home to do that? She is on tough and stubborn cookie and always has been...I don't want this behavior forever!

Stacy - posted on 08/01/2010

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I know exactly what you mean! My daughter who is 21 months is the same way! She is so spirited (and always has been)- I knew this stage was coming but it does not make easier or any less embarrassing! Like many of these other moms, I tried everything! I have done a zillion time outs, spankings on occassion when she has been exceptionally naughty, even "1,2,3 magic". If you havn't done 1,2,3 Magic, I highly recommend it- you will have to adapt it to work for you but here's how I do it. When she is doing something naughty I start my counting 1....2.... and if I get to 3 she goes into a time out. For us, its 2 minutes in a room that is child safe with the door shut- it used to be our pack n play until she could crawl out of it. She hates being alone for those two minutes and when I go in to get her, she is ready for the explanation, sorry and hug that comes with time outs. If she continues to do the same thing she gets a spanking. Its hard but I just keep with what everyone tells me as its a stage and this too will pass. Hope this helps!

Amie - posted on 08/01/2010

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Hi, my daughter was the same when she was that age. Firstly please dont panic - it will past. To anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable for your child having a tantrum, well, they should mind their own business. We can all say that our children arent 'one of those kids' but the truth is ALL children are one of those kids at some stage in life. I was lucky that my daughters terrible twos only lasted a few months, my son is 21 months now and is just begining them. What worked for me was if they were having a tantrum - i let the have it out - right there on the spot. She would kick, yell, scream and cry and i would patiently wait until she was done. Give her a big cuddle and kiss and finish what we were doing. I'd get down on her level and talk to her, she has an opinion too. I found that most of her tantrums were because she was tired or i wasnt listening too her properly. Sometimes we would just have to stop and i'd let her talk it out. Usually it was more tears and screaming before she would start talking, but we would get there. If she didnt like the outcome ie. we still have to leave etc, and started having a tantrum again - we would just let her have it out again but give her more cuddles and kisses and tell her that we love you but this is the way it is. I've told people to stop staring and to mind their own business - i dont care. My daughter has learnt to communicate her emotions in a very healthy way now. She is three and we rarely see tantrums. If it does happen at her age now (because she understands) i feel now that i can put her in timeout or take the toys away. She isnt the perfect child - no one child is. The most important thing is that it will pass. Nothing that a bit of love and patience wont help.

Good luck and dont feel like your failing. A good book or parenting class can always help
x

Deb - posted on 07/30/2010

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My daughter also gets loud when she is told no, but I don't acknowledge the tantrum. If I do it is to make sure she is safe and to tell her to come get me when she feels better. They never last more than 30 seconds. I NEVER, EVER give in to them. It sounds like your little one is as headstrong as mine is. Try to remember how frustrated they are at this age. They have a lot to say and only minimal language skills, comparatively. I have also noticed, in the past couple of weeks, that my daughter has needed more sleep than she previously had. When I got wise to that, the tantrums cut WAY back. She's averaging about 14 hours a day where normally she's around 12.5. She's also going through a major growth spurt and getting molars... Any of this sound familiar? Good luck and hang in there! :)

Sarah - posted on 07/30/2010

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I'm not saying the cause of her tantrums is related to spanking. And while I agree it's about Amanda's issue, I believe it's OK for us to share our general feelings about discipline issues here, as it may help others to read our ideas.
I'm having a lot of the same issues as many are, including Amanda, and value any advice, general or specific, people have here.
And I don't believe I "berated" or "harangued" anyone. Just sharing my own feelings about the issue.

Sarah - posted on 07/30/2010

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We're all moms and we all know how difficult it can be. This is supposed to be a place where we can come for support and encouragement - it's not appropriate to berate or harangue another mom for her parenting choices. The issue at hand is about Amanda's daughter's behavior - and since every one of our children has thrown a tantrum, regardless of whether or not we spank them, I highly doubt the two are related.

Sarah - posted on 07/30/2010

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OK, I usually just read these posts and don't reply unless I see something that really bothers me or feel I have helpful input.
The whole "spare the rod, spoil the child" argument is SO outdated and misunderstood. Anyone that takes this literally enough to mean that you're supposed to hit (spank, swat, whatever) for discipline is choosing to interpret this in their own way. If you choose to interpret this saying that literally, then why aren't you hitting with a "rod"? What it is really referring to by "sparing the rod" is holding back in discipline in general (not literally physical punishment). Parents need to be encouraged to practice healthy and safe discipline with their children (as opposed to those who let their children run amok).
I WAS a child that was spanked and am still scared of my father to this day. I agree there's a difference between mild spanking/swatting and outright child abuse/beating. BUT, that doesn't make it a healthy alternative for disciplining your child. Provide them with tools to work through issues in their lives other than violence!

Kim - posted on 07/30/2010

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My almost 22 month old was an angel until about 2 months ago or so when tantrums started. I have found that the only way to get him to stop is to ignore it. It is absolutely the hardest thing in the world for us to do and it breaks our hearts, but that's the only way that I have found to calm him down. Time outs only work when he hasn't worked himself up into a tantrum yet, and he's just done something wrong. Once I started ignoring it, the tantrums got shorter and shorter and there are longer spaces in between the tantrums. Also, if you're making him (her) come inside or put down something they are playing with, you have to use distraction - "It's time to go inside to play with (their favorite toy) or (something they don't get to play with often) or stickers usually works... always use something for distraction and that helps get their mind off of not being outside anymore, etc. And be sure to keep them well fed and well napped! Those are two key problems to tantrums. And to get him to eat when he doesn't want to when I know he's hungry? I carry him with me to the kitchen and start giving him some of his food while in my arms, then I'll move him to his seat and usually he eats just fine. : )

Sarah - posted on 07/29/2010

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My duaghter is 21 months and has started the same thing - even the teachers at her daycare school have noticed it. The only thing I can tell you is that if you can give YOURSELF a break you will be much better equipped to deal with it. Your baby will eventually respond to consistent disciple (whatever form you choose to enforce) and as long as you are able to react with firm rather than frustrated responses, it will help both of you. Best of luck to you!!

Emma - posted on 07/29/2010

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im afraid it wot they do my lil girls 4 now she was like it my son 21 months he not got there yet but it come best thing u can do is just explain it upsets mummy when she does it and just keep up wiv the time out and taking toys away it take it time but it will work i just now got the prob wiv my 4 year old as she startin school all fun games lol

Maggie - posted on 07/28/2010

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this age sucks, for some reason its really trying for all involved. anynody that claims their child is a perfect angel just hasn't had the horrible stage hit yet. let them wait and see how tough it can be! especially if you have a very stubborn child!

Kali - posted on 07/26/2010

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My 21 month old son started having tantrums several months ago. He is testing his boundaries. At our house we ignore him when he starts throwing a fit. Telling him we will talk/play/go outside when he calms down.
Once he wanted to go outside and play (which we had every intention of doing.) but he wouldn't put his shoes on. We went into a screaming fit to go outside. It took an hour of him screaming to get his way before he finally calmed down and we went outside. (It has never been that bad again.)
I only use spanking when he could get hurt, like running into the street. (So far I have only spanked him one time. He got the message it was serious, and he needed to listen.)

Kali - posted on 07/26/2010

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My 21 month old son started having tantrums several months ago. He is testing his boundaries. At our house we ignore him when he starts throwing a fit. Telling him we will talk/play/go outside when he calms down.
Once he wanted to go outside and play (which we had every intention of doing.) but he wouldn't put his shoes on. We went into a screaming fit to go outside. It took an hour of him screaming to get his way before he finally calmed down and we went outside. (It has never been that bad again.)
I only use spanking when he could get hurt, like running into the street. (So far I have only spanked him one time. He got the message it was serious, and he needed to listen.)

Brandy - posted on 07/26/2010

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I have her twin! I just bring her to her room and tell her when she's done crying she can come out. That way I don't get frusterated and when she comes out she gives me a hug. Then we continue where we left off.

Shai - posted on 07/25/2010

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I know exactly what you mean, my daughter is to the point where my dad calls her Cybil because she has so many personalities. She literally makes my ears ring and I can not put up with the fit throwing. When she does her screaming she gets walked right to her room where she has to stay until she can gather herself enough to join the rest of us, she is safe in her quiet room but is not getting the attention from the screaming. She usually stops for the rest of the day after i tell her why she had to go to her room. Try shutting the door and not giving in, eventually she will stop!!! I wish you the best of luck and if you find something more effective than what i do, please send that my way lol!

Barbara - posted on 07/23/2010

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First of all...my sympathies...temper tantrums are tough! My advice would be to ignore as much of it as possible, that way she is not getting the attention she is trying to get by acting out. When at home I ignore the fit, and it dicipates quickly. Second, I know there is a debate on this one, but spanking only teaches children how to solve their own issues with hitting and violence. Good luck.

Stacey - posted on 07/22/2010

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my 21 month old does the same thing...my advice is to stay consistent (sp) We might have to talk him to where he is suppose to be 3 or 4 times but he will do what we tell him too. It's gotten better since the beginning...Especially at night...he's in a big boy bed (not a toddler bed) and can open his door and come out when when pleases but we take him back and put him in a few times and eventually he will stay. You can't give in....stay strong you can do it! We also do timeouts and I use to do 1 minute per age...so I would do 1...i had to up it because he thought it was a game...so now he is at 3 minutes when he needs one...and if he gets up and moves it starts over until he sits for his 3 minutes. Hope you find something that works for you!

Lauren - posted on 07/22/2010

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You guys are not alone. I have a 21 month old son and I can't say how relieved I am to hear other moms going through what I go through on a daily basis. He has started his fits and now does what I call "puddles on the floor" where he curls into a ball and cries and throws his fit till he is done. I try to ignore it and not give in. My sister and mom think there is something wrong with him. I am glad to see I am not alone in my battle.

Melissa - posted on 07/22/2010

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You are not alone! My daughter has jumped full force into the terrible 2's at 20 months! Nothing works with her either....Positive reinforcement, time outs, loss of toys, spankings....I'm even trying to reason with her! lol...Looks like we're in for it in the next few years!

Emma - posted on 07/21/2010

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My daughter is the same and 21 mths old, I tell her no and she gives me this look in the corner of her eyes and does it again. I too don't want to smack and even when I have smacked her hand she continues to do it as if it doesn't hurt at all.
She also screams sometimes after tellng her no. She always has had a high pitch squeal since birth and contiues to have it, it's now just not fun at all, both my husband and I are at a loss. Sometimes she screams so much she is hysterical and I have a lot of trouble calming her down and she'll through herself all over the place.
Now with number two who is 2 mths old, if Eliza is on trouble and cracks it, sometimes she'll try to take it out on her sister, luckily I have caught her before she has done anything.

September - posted on 07/21/2010

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Have you tried positive reinforcement? Works like a charm with our 20 month old. It's all about love and logic in my book! :) I've never spanked my son and rarely use the word no and he is an angel! I'm currently reading a book called Parenting with Love and logic and I love it! You should check it out. Positive reinforcement usually works better than negative reinforcement in my opinion. Good luck!

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