Tantrums/Overwhelmed. Help?! :(

Courtnee - posted on 09/04/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I am 19 years old, with a 19 month old son. Who is my WORLD!!! I would never, ever trade him for ANYTHING. But, lately he has just been sooo bad. Throwing bad, bad tantrums for 2 hours at a time. I have tried putting him in bed, letting him stay in the spot and not paying attention to him, laying down with him, everything. He goes on for so long, he makes himself sick. And I hate seeing him like that, but I know if I give in he will get his way, and the tantrums will stay and get worse, which they seem to be doing anyways. I very, VERY rarely go out, or get a break. Which is fine, bc he is mine, so he is MY responsibility. But, it's just driving me mad. :( I'm to the verge of breakdowns, and crying when he does and just feeling so overwhelmed. HELP?! :*(

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Kimberly - posted on 09/04/2012

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All day tantrum can be killer but I have found that usually the main cause comes down to hunger, boredom or tiredness, either on there own or together. It is hard cause he is only 19 months so is at the age where he wants to push the limits but doesnt have the words to express himself so can be very frustrating for him which usually results in crying/screaming. What are the tantrums over? If they are over little things pick which things you want to have a battle over. When my daughter would really through one I would put her in her cot for time out giving her and me some space for a few minutes then when I would go in I would talk calmly to her and make sure we went to do something other then the thing that cause the tantrum, usually the destraction would work. She will be 3 in nov and we still have our days where she can go from angel to devil in a blink but she usually gets sent to her room for it and only allowed out if she is a happy girl again. Sometimes she is just overwhelmed and needs quiet time so we cuddle up together and read a quiet story or watch a show she likes. I dont know if any of this helps but even if you can also get a little break every now and then for an hour can sometimes let you recharge and refresh so you dont feel so overwhelmed too good luck

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Amber - posted on 10/15/2012

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Scary tantrums! Thats what I called them, when my ONE year old daughter would claw at the back of her neck, pull out handfuls of her own hair and bite down hard on her hands and arms. It got so frightening, I wondered are they really tantrums? Or is something else, I am unaware of going on? Be concerned. Betrayal comes from those we trust most. I thought the worse. I've been around kids before. My mother ran a home daycare from our house, since I was four years old. I started babysitting when I was twelve. Tantrums did not intimidate me until I couldn't get away from my own young daughters fits. I couldn't dial in, on what the issue was. Her tantrums lasted an hour or more. And she only threw them for me. No one else was going through this, not even her father. My instincts assured me, my daughter knew her boundaries and was simply taking advantage of my attention and nurturing mannerisums. But, I couldn't ignore my other instincts that alerted me this could be a cry for help. A red flag! I wanted to bring my daughter to a child physiatrist, after months of freaky tantrum fits. But I feared that might lead to an investigation and child protective services taking away my daughter until they determined she was safe. So, I started talking to everyone else. Having someone tell me how to parent or raise my child, was not something I was comfortable with but I was so desperate and afraid for my daughter, I needed to hear other perspectives. I talked to friends, family, coworkers, clients, strangers...ANYONE who would listen and respond. That was one of the best decisions I ever made! My coworker was aware of how often I was at work and away for my daughter. She asked me if I had special time set aside everyday to focus, play and spend with my daughter, after long days at the office. Ouch! But wait. Was nursing my daughter in front of the television set and carrying her on my hip around the house and on errands, enough. I wasn't dining out without her or spending nights away to be alone with my significant other, EVER. I was the extremist. She went where I went! Still, I was sparked by this question. Maybe I needed to teach my daughter how to play and how to have fun. She isn't a young adult, she was a child! So, I got down on the ground after work and played! And played! And the games grew and took on lives of their own. My daughter discovered how to imagine! All because played with her and stopped assuming she would naturally know how to engage in playtime her self or by observing the other children at the daycare. And guess what! Yes, the tantrums my daughter termed as "kick a fit" dwindled down to nothing more than shameless whining and pouting, by the time she reached the terrible twos. Don't have your feelings hurt. People will judge a mommy. But reach out and communicate. Speak of your concerns, even the worst ones, even if they are "impossible" concerns. Don't let your guard down but listen! And trust your instincts. And remember that sometimes our kids just know how to stay dedicated to a very normal tantrum. I'm 28 years old and I can't help but throw a tantrum sometimes. It's an outlet. A way of communication. And it's not the best way to communicate but when people give up on listening, you feel there is nothing left to do but "kick a fit". So listen. Communicate. And __________.

Ashlea - posted on 10/09/2012

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My son has tantrums too. Its usually due to him being tired or hungry. Also when he first wakes from his nap he can sometimes be a terror. Everytime he swears hes not hungry or tired. The best thing i do for him is coddle him. I talk to him like i would talk to a baby and give him my undivided attention. One of two things could happen he either would appreciate the attention and would be normal again or he would scream cause he is so overly tired i would have to ignore him. Both of the outcomes are the same. He would search for his blanky and fall asleep. When he wakes up he is ready to eat. I never try feeding an overly tired kid. He also throws tantrums at night cause he dosnt want to sleep. "Im hungry!" "I have to pee!""I cant sleep without my toys!"OMG! Nighttime is the worst for me. Im really good at daytime tantrums but nighttime tantrums, I have no advise.

Bobbie - posted on 09/21/2012

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How are things coming along Courtnee? Has any of the advice been helpful? Be interested in knowing if he is more structured or if other things have helped. I hope you have stopped trying to sooth him. Apparently he has had about all that he is willing to tolerate. LOL

Hope - posted on 09/21/2012

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This may sound crazy, but mimicking him is probably the only way you can get through to him. Show him how obnoxious it looks by getting down on the floor and throwing a tantrum yourself. It worked for my son....he started laughing at me LOL!

Tami - posted on 09/16/2012

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he may be cutting teeth. there are natural teething tablets to try if that is the case. terrible two's doesn't start at the age of two but more before hand, My daughter would throw some crazy tantrums. With my daughter I would put her a side and calmly explain to her let me know when your done. I had issues with putting her in time out so now she stands with her face to a wall till she is done crying. no sitting no laying down. and don't feed into it. other then explaining time out no positive or negative reactions either way your giving the tantrum attention it could be fueling the fire. My daughter now to knows she cries and screams and hits the wall for a few minutes and when she gets it all out she turns around and says done and i explain to her what she did wrong, whether you have to listen or we go in time out or not hitting etc. can you say sorry to mommy, i give her a kiss and i tell her i love her when everything is done. I've done this in stores, at the park any where she knows she cant escape a good time out.



Naps are extremely important. it gives the brain time to soak in what has happened in the day. a child around this age should be sleeping 12 hours a day about ten hours at night and 2 for a nap. you cant force a child to sleep but you can try cooing him to sleep the first few days and slowly edge your way out of the process. its best to have nap at the same time everyday. sometimes its not possible, i know. lastly when putting my daughter down for a nap or in time out and she decides she's not going to listen and gets out of her bed or out of where i put her in time out i put her back immediately( at first this took a good 15 times) being persistent and keeping calm is the only thing you can do.



Sweetie, i know how hard it is. sounds like you need a time out your self (a time out in the sense of a break (: ) it will get easier nipping this in the butt as soon as possible will give you both peace of mind. Good luck.

Bobbie - posted on 09/16/2012

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Courtnee, I am only going by the little information I have here but I think I have a handle on what is happening. I have a nac for little ones and love them dearly but also believe that they are miserable without structure. So if your day is set by his needs. You wake when he wakes. you eat when he acts hungry, you lay around with him when he gets to crying, he is actually stressed out. Doesn't seem possible I know but a child can feel overwhelmed with boredom and a sense of not feeling right but not being able to put his finger on why he is miserable. As a first time mother you are also feeling these same overwhelmed feelings from the lack of structure. So in this case, I hope you can see where structure will be a good thing for both of you. If you co-sleep this would be the signal that it is time to stop. Having you in the room doesn't allow him to sooth himself. This a learned behavior when a young one realizes that even when mommy isn't there that they can calm down, relax and dose off to sleep without music, mommy rocking, hugging, etc.

To put balance in both of your lives and to bring structure and peace you will need to put on your observation hat. Really watch him when he starts to throw that tantrum. What was he doing and what were you doing when it started? Learning to read your little one's cues as to what there needs are will seriously cut down on the tantrum.

1) you decide the new daily schedule. If he normally sleeps in late get him up at the same time every morning. Get to his room before he wakes up and gently wake him with a smile. This will start your day off right. Let's be honest. If he is sleeping you it is because it brings you comfort. This is something you will have to give up since he is so out of sorts with his tantrums.

2) A calm day filled with a pretty regular time that you eat, allowing him to help you set this time by reading his emotions. If you are trying to feed him while he is rubbing his eyes and whimpering then that should signal to you that his meal needs to come early so that he has time to wind down and digest before nap.

3) A calm loving hug and kiss no matter how he is screaming, should be given to him as you place him in his bed and walk away. This should take place every day for a nap and every evening for bed. At that age they need tons of sleep. It isn't crazy to put him to be at 7:15 to begin with since he is going to scream and cry. But, since you want him to be happy, well rested for tomorrow you will swallow the urge to hold him or even check in on him. He needs to know that he can calm himself. If you go into his room at any point you are setting a time marker in his mind that he will have to cry for at least that long the next night before he knows he will get your attention. This is how it has gotten longer and longer with his fits. He has thrown his fit until you stumble upon the reaction that he is requesting of you. (all the things you have said you have tried above to sooth him). So if you take nothing else from this message remember this. You are doing him a great injustice when you follow him around all day trying to find what makes him stop acting out. Then sleeping with him is causing you both to develop hard to break habits that cause dependency on your part as much as his.

3) Get him out of the house and to the play ground or free play area inside the mall on a regular basis to wear him out. He must have energy to burn and if he is in need of burning it.

I am big believer in active hard play even in the house. I have a 2 year old grandson and we play, 1 2 3 go down the hall. He races as fast as his little legs will carry him every time though he isn't racing against anyone. He is just running to me where I am cheering him on happily to go go go! I have taken a blanket to the park on chilly days and let him run around the blanket and jump on it when I say STOP. Sounds like you are in a rut and playing with him will bring back the joy. BUT, if you don't have him eating, sleeping and napping at around the time that his body clock says works for him then you don't know when is the best time to take him out to play. Nothing is worse than an exhausted over tired toddler. They get so cranky. Then a quick cat nap in the car seat just sets them up to be exhausted but not have enough energy to go down for a real nap. See what I mean?

Good Luck Courtnee. It would be so great if they came with owner manuals wouldn't it?! :)

Cynitra - posted on 09/05/2012

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You need some primary music for him. Music has power to the soul. He needs mommy's attention wholeheartedly because he is going through the growing pains - curious to what this world is about. Make a playscape for him and play with him...that will tire him out. refrain from too much sugary foods or drinks because that will make him too hyper. have mommy reading times and read him a book afterward, that should make him sleepy after all the playing. Make sure you set a time management schedule for all this that way he can get familiar with the routine everyday. Then, it will be smooth sailing.

Courtnee - posted on 09/05/2012

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Thank y'all!! His tantrums are just horrible! And they start as soon as he wakes up until he goes to bed. Like yesterday, he woke up at 7 (which is wayyy early for him), took NO nap. So, I put him to sleep at 8, and he was up by 6:30 this morning. :(( I don't know what to do anymore..

Tyla - posted on 09/04/2012

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Take a deep breath and you need a break every mom does do not be ashamed even though he is yours if moms never got a break alot more of them would abuse their children. He is now in the terrible twos and you are doing everything right so just take a break!!

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