How do I stop my 1 yr old from throwing a fit?

Ashley - posted on 01/24/2013 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My son is 1 yr old and he is constantly head butting the floor and anything around him. I don't know what to do. Timeout doesn't work, help!

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Niki - posted on 01/30/2013

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Hug him in a bear hug till he is done. When he starts to calm down redirect him to a toy, book - something you want him to be doing. Don't punish it, he can't tell you what's wrong. Make a predictable schedule for him. Pay attention to if they happen at a certain time of day, then change what's going on to ease his frustration. Give him words for what he wants - for example, "wow, you are angry", or "you want to eat right now". This will pass too, I promise.

Gigi - posted on 01/30/2013

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Oh well, that explains the time out not working. He is very young, so it would be more difficult for him to deal with frustration when he is told "no". Try re-directing whenever you can, such as "you can't play with that, but look here, you can have ___ to play with" or "but you can help mommy do ____". When he does accept your alternative, and is playing nicely, praise him.
Also try to observe do tantrums tend to happen more likely at the time he is tired, such as during the hour before nap/sleep. If they do, you could allocate that time to be more actively involved with him in reading a book or such.
At 13 months he is noticing many more things and he will want to interact with all of them. Thats understandable, but it is up to you to put limits. For example, my daughter became interested in my laptop at about that age (even earlier) but every time she would go to it, I would gently tell her "that belongs to mama and it is not a toy". For obvoius reasons I was very constant with it and she eventually got it.
What I also did with my daughter was define the emotion (as well as I could) for her (such as "I see you are angry") and also tought her to ask for help if she needs it (which prevented some tantrums).
Tantrums will stop once he learns the limits and is able to express himself with words.

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Ashley - posted on 02/11/2013

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I have two boys one is 5yr old and the little is a yr old. But my 5yr old goes to school while I stay at home with my little one.

Melissa - posted on 02/10/2013

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awe he's still a baby, I wish I could bring my 4yo back to 1 and hold her ever more than I did, which was alot! If he's your only right now then no worries, it won't spoil him to give him all the love and attention he needs that little, and he obviously needs you, he's telling you and showing you he does! He will grow in independence and before you know it he won't want you to hold him even when you want to so enjoy his needing you now and give him more of yourself whenever you can!

Mrs. M. - posted on 02/06/2013

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My son and daughter did try me a few times, but I was ready. I ignored them, and more than that, I walked away. my son got up and walked to where I was and threw himself on the floor in front of me. This is for attention. BUT this is for those tantrums that really arent....

Keep in mind children are easily stressed and unlike adults, they cannot determine this or even resolve the problem themselves. They might need a bath, or a nap. Maybe something to eat, maybe even have a toothache. All this has to be sorted out through a flexible schedule. and then sometimes, it'll happen, because it will.

Keep calm, ignore, and look for the source of the tantrum and not necessarily at the immediate problem. Sometimes they are having a bad day, and it causes tantrums a lot. If you give in, then it starts to become a behavior.

Dont do the time out for throwing a tantrum. . Tantrums are about an underlying issue, and not about the immediate. so my guess is, that he may have an underlying general reason why he does this, and if you are giving in, then he is learning the art of manipulation, in an unhealthy way.

Gigi - posted on 01/29/2013

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Ashley, it look like you are already doing everything that you can. I would expect that tantrums will get less and less very soon. How old is your son exactly - you mentioned a year, but it makes a difference if he is 12 months or 18 months.

As for picking him up every time he comes to you, I don't agree that it should be done. It depends a lot on a child of course, but from what I have seen, some children often use their mothers as a constant attention source with wanting to be carried around. Its different when the child is a still a baby, but once they are over a year I think they should be able to amuse themselves for a while without coming to their mom. I am only talking about situations when the child comes to the mother constantly and wants to be picked up and shows little interest to interact alone with toys or whatever.

Ariana - posted on 01/28/2013

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Thanks for taking what I said into consideration.

I just wanted to add that maybe you could just pick him up if he wanted to (not after you refuse and give in, but just don't refuse...). Maybe I'm just weird but I picked my son up all the time, I carried him a lot. He didn't need to be picked up all the time when he was older, and I do make him walk or use go in a stroller, but at home I carried him a bunch. Now I usually don't pick him up but I'll let him crawl up on me if I'm doing stuff. If he's having meltdowns over not being picked up it may just be easier to pick him up. The problem is he may really want your comfort, and once you refuse to pick him up there's no way to soothe him (through cuddling or picking him up) since that would be then giving in to his tantrum.

It's up to you though, I personally would rather pick a kid up then have them tantrum for an hour or more, at least for a bit.

In other areas though you definitely can't give in just because he yells. And once again I'm not saying if heyells change your mind and pick him up, but that if it's such a big deal to him picking him up when he wants might not be such a terrible thing.

Ashley - posted on 01/28/2013

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*Gigi, my little sister and brother has these fold out couch and i fold the couch out and put my son on the couch so he doesn't hurt his self or i hold him, I walk away from him. I ever give him his way for anything. His language skills he still learning but has some down. plus he nows some sign language so he can tell me what he wants. the reason I don't hold him is because i don't want him to think that every time he cry's im gonna pick him up and hold him. *Amanda B, I have try almost everything. *Sarah Elizabeth Taylor, You asked if He can probably understand more words than he can say, right? that's a yes, he just learning. Im gonna try this pick a book and reading aloud, pointing to shapes, colors and see if that helps. * Ariana, I have tried to ignoring him, I have walked away he gets up and walks to me wanting me to pick him up. Im gonna try to see if it will help by going up to him and tell him You are MAD, I said NO, You want that!! and see if that helps. I do have a playpen and a crib. thanks y'all so much for all y'alls help. if y'all can think of anymore Please let me know.

Ariana - posted on 01/28/2013

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Have you tried ignoring him? Sometimes if you walk away and ignore what they're doing they stop after 15 minutes. I know my son used to cry over nothing sometimes and if I just walked away from him and pretended like he wasn't doing anything he'd stop on his own.

You can also try going up to him and saying, "You're MAD, I said NO, You want that!!". It could help give him some more words. If that doesn't work I would get up and ignore him for a few minutes, then come back and try again, and then ignore him once more, and try to see if you can distract him with something else.

If that doesn't work do you have a playpen or crib you can put him in where he would be safe but contained? You could try putting him in that for a little while. You don't necessarily need to leave him in there by himself but you could hang out and ignore the wailing until he calms down and then try to talk to him. It's not a time-out but just keeping him somewhere he can't really bang on to much stuff.

Whatever you do don't give him what he's yelling about! Otherwise you're showing him if he yells and bangs his head he'll get what he wants. Not saying you do but if you do DON'T.

Sarah Elizabeth - posted on 01/28/2013

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Perhaps he is doing the "head butting" out of frustration. His communication skills are developing, but he cant express himself like he wants to. He can probably understand more words than he can say, right?
His little fits are a direct result of him realizing he has free will, and any reaction he gets is attention from you. Try ( with a lot of patience) to not give in to his negative behavioral patterns, and give him extra (wow you are such a good boy) praise when he is being good. Dont allow him to do things you would normally do together ( go to park, story time at library, ice cream outing) when he is especially bad. He will learn that good boys have more fun with their mommas.
If it is really trying your nerves (long fits) I would suggest picking out a book and reading aloud, pointing to shapes, colors, whatever. this shows him you want to interact without really stressing anyone out. If that doesnt work, try a stroller ride, go for a short drive with the music on...whatever helps your state of mind. It always gets better. If you find a magic wand to make your child behave please post the whereabouts so all us moms can have a secret weapon.

Amanda - posted on 01/28/2013

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Timeout isn't suggested until the child is 2 years old. Timeout for my middle child didn't work until he was 3. Is he tired? Hungry? Bored? Lonely? He is still a baby and unable to speak his needs to you. Have you tried holding him, sitting him next to you, or even just sitting down in front of him when he begins throwing a fit? Sometimes they just need to know you are there.

Gigi - posted on 01/28/2013

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That sounds like a lot of fits! Is he tired often? That could be part of the reason for tantrums. What do you do when he is doing it?
Do you give him what he wants when he throws a fit? If yes, then the "fit" is a way for him to get his way. If you don't cave in, then I would say the same thing - he is trying to get you to change your mind, but also he is frustrated that he is not getting his way (how are his language skills - can he express himself through words?). If you are consistent with him and when you say no, it stays a "no", then you can expect him to stop the fits soon since he will see they are not getting results.

I am not sure why time out doesn't work for him and how do you do it, maybe he is too young?. But if he is head butting anything, you can put him in safe zone such as bed or sofa so he can't hurt himself. you could also hold him gently until he calms down and then you can talk to him.

Whatever you do, do not cave in. There will be plenty things in life that he will not get and he needs to learn the limits and how to accept them.

Ashley - posted on 01/27/2013

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It's every little thing, telling him no, falling down, not getting held. And something just for no reason. Friday he throw a fit for 2 hours non stop. Have any suggestions that make help.

Gigi - posted on 01/27/2013

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Why is he throwing a fit? Is it a reaction to you telling him "no" or he just does it without apparent reason?

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