Help! My toddler is having major tantrums and I can't find anyway to calm him down!

Morgan - posted on 03/18/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )




My three and a half year old son who is typically a good natured, happy kid has recently began throwing temper tantrums. Usually, they occur during times when he wants to do something and I tell him no or it's time to leave. At this point he becomes very angry and aggressive. He says no, runs from me, laughs, and kicks and screams as I end up carrying him away. I have tried to take things away such as no television, v motion, snacks, etc. He has lost these things for days at a time and does not seem to care. I talk to him and try to calm him when I sense a tantrum coming on and also after the tantrum. He always seems to understand that what he did was wrong but the next time a similar situation arises, he seems to forget completely about what his consequence was the last time. I am at wits end! I feel like a terrible mother whose child hates her and am in desperate need of advice! Please help!!


Nicole - posted on 03/18/2009




Try to give him a special place in the house to have his tantrums and every time he has a tantrum let him know he needs to go there ( his room, a special chair) you might even have to pick him up and put him there. i would also try to ignore the negative behavior. Don't give in to it. Don't let him get what  he wants cause then he will know thats if he throws a tantrum he will  get what he wants from you. I also think thats its a good idea to reward good behavior. If he is acting good let him do that special thing he wants. Maybe even start a reward system if he has good behavior he can get a sticker on a chart or calendar and at the end of the week if he has the required  stickers he gets something special. It could be a special trip to the park, toy, special 1 on 1 time with either mom or dad etc. I wouldn't expect him to great behavior every day of the week especially at first so you might wanna start it with only 3 days of good behavior then as he gets rewards and becomes excited about it gradually increase the amount of days of good behavior for the reward.

Also don't feel like a bad mom tantrums are a part of normal behavior and You'll have to go threw the phase and  wait it out and try every thing you can until you find something that works. What works for one child don't always works for another child.

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Vicky - posted on 03/20/2009




i was in the same place when my son was 2 and a half he is now 3, i was so scared to even go to the shops, he would go crazy if he didnt get his way. I agree with try and explain things before they are going to happen prepare them for whats coming because i feel if their whole world is unpredictable, they dont know how else to express their frustrations, so what i did was tell him before we would do something or go somewhere so he has some idea whats coming and if tantrum then i would say i know youre cross but we have to go now, ignore the tantrum and wait till its over,  or just put him in the car and go ignore the kicking and screaming till he has calmed down. if we were at home i would put him in his room and tell him to stay there until he feels better. dont look at them and do your own thing, ignore it. if you talk and try and calm them down you make it worse, they wont listen when they are in that state anyway, after the tantrum i would ask if he feels better give him a hug and explain when youre cross you dont scream and shout you tell mommy why youre cross or upset .  also it is pretty easy to predict when a tantrum is coming so try and avoid it, DISTRACT and change the course of the situation. yes praise good behaviour and say mommy likes it when youre such a good boy, im so proud of you etc...  time out is the best because thats what they need and you, tantrum = to the room and door closed till you feel better, hold the door closed and minutes according to age. they need to know its unacceptable to behave in that way . I think they get to an age when they just cant explain how thay are feeling and also need an outlet for their inability to communicate how they feel.  so please dont feel sad and a failure, we all go through it, just chin up and i believe we all have the ability to ultimately do the best for our kids. dont give in and dont let them manipulate you. if you do they will be the boss till they leave the house. be strong and make a decision and stick to it.


Daisy - posted on 03/19/2009




Very true,"what works for one child don't always work for another child."-Nicole Dacey.

Two months ago I had a similar situation with my 3 year old.Most of the time he threw tantrums because he could not find the words for his feelings.So I found that reassuring him that I understood what he was feeling helped. I would say something like "I know you're angry/sad because we need to leave." Also, I tell him in advance what we are going to do. For example if we are going to the market I tell him in the car, "We are going to the market to buy___,please stay next to mommy and when I'm done we can look at(his favorite thing at the market)." Before we leave I tell him "when the lady(pick a person) finishes paying we need to go so I can cook." My doctor said that at this age they have no concept of time(in five minutes,etc.),so true.When my son was in the middle of or about to throw a tantrum I find something to distract him,it works.If all fails,let him throw a fit and make sure he is safe.Good job on talking to him about it.PATIENCE and ENDURANCE on your part.He will learn.Don't forget,your son LOVES YOU but he just needs to understand his own feelings right now.

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