How do you deal with tantrums?

Nicole - posted on 02/21/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have a 21 mos. old who has a temper like you wouldn't believe. She will turn beet-red, shake, and scream her head off. Bedtime for the past week has sounded like someone is murdering her! She used to go right down and off to sleep. Her temper is just as bad out in public, and I HATE going out to eat or shop right now.



Add to that my 34mos. old who is arguing everything, saying 'no'for everything, and being terribly behaved out in public. HELP?!!!

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Tracie - posted on 02/24/2010

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If you are out and about- take them out to the car seat - buckle them in, shut the doors (open windows to the other side of the car so you can't hear it too loudly!) and wait outside the car not looking at them,- pop your head in, after a minute- ask if they are ready to join the others yet? No? shut the door and wait a little. Repeat this untill they decide that they would much rather join in with the others than wait in the car alone listening to themselves screaming. If you end up just going home, they will soon learn, that this is what WILL happen every time, and you can soon say "would you rather wait in the car for a bit?" and they should change their behaviour quick smart! good luck :-)

Julie - posted on 02/24/2010

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i know exactly how you feel. my daughter from the age she could stand up threw almighty tantrums. her dad was once doing some work around the house and she got his hammer needless to say we had to replaster the wall. she would stamp her feet, scream, throw herself on the floor and go a lovely shade of purple. we were in a shop and she got on the floor under the clother rail and clung onto that screaming and carrying on. i tried nicely to coax her out and in the end just grabbed her leg and pulled. the rail wasnt fixed to the floor it was free standing. well free laying when we left the shop. the best thing i did was when she was 4 i totaly lost it one day and threw her out. litteraly i opened the door and put her in the garden and told her that i was not listening to her any more, she was not allowed back in untill she learnt to behave. 20 minutes she was still kicking and screaming. almost an hour then she shut up and just cried to come in. every time she started i threw her out. each time got less and less time to calm down untill eventualy all i had to do was open the door and look at her then she would calm dfown immediately. you know your child you know her responses. mine wasnt tired or in need of anything when she threw these tantrums she was just a bad tempered little madam. she stopped throwing so many tantrums when she was about 6 and settled in school. she is now 21 and when she watches home movies (cos i taped her to show her dad) she will sit and apologise every time she sees it.

Chasity - posted on 02/24/2010

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The most important thing you can do is stick to what you say to her. My almost 2 yr old did it today. She WOULD NOT pick up the cards she purposly spilled. After explaining to her she would be taking a nap if she didn't pick them up, I ended putting her down for a nap. Then when she woke up she wanted to color and I told her not till you pick up the cards. And guess what.... she picked them all up. I gave her a hug and kiss. Then she got to color. I felt good about what happened and she got what she wanted when she learned that she had to follow the rules. Hope it helps. I have a 13 yr old to. Just take a deep breath and remember that they are only little once. Say a little prayer, it helps me.

Marie - posted on 02/24/2010

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My son tried this at about 18 months. I ignored him & he found out real quick that it was not getting him anywhere. They want your attention, whether positive or negative. My son is now 2 1/2 yrs old & does not even attempt to throw tantrums. Good luck!!

Patricia - posted on 02/24/2010

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We have tried almost everything for our two year old son, from just ignoring it, to showing him what he looks like when he's throwing a fit (with a mirror or pictures after the fit is over), to getting down on the floor an throwing a fit with him, but we finally found something that works for us. We have a crying room, and when our son starts throwing a fit, we ask him first to use his words and if he still persists at screaming he's told to go to the room until he's done, he's told that we can't understand him when he screams and cries, so when he's ready to talk to us to come back out. It normally lasts for about 2 minutes before he comes out saying he's done.

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Cara - posted on 02/28/2010

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I recommend reading up or taking a class on Redirecting Children's Behavior. Very helpful to all involved. This helps me stay sane with my 3 yr old! It a very peaceful way to manage your relationships with your children.Try the book by Kathryn Kvols, "Redirecting Children's Behavior"! I think you will love it!

Tracie - posted on 02/24/2010

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Run, Run, Run away from her- (you do this in a really silly way- it's perks you up)- then do something housework related and don't look back at her. Speak to her when she's talking nicely to you, tell her you will only speak to her if she's talking nicely. Tell your 34mo that you will go to shops without them next time if theres trouble (never go when they may be tired or hungry) Offer a treat for good behaviour at the end & only give it if they are good, it may mean giving one a treat and not the other and more tantrums but it's worth it in the long run because they WILL remember the last time! :-)

Jessi - posted on 02/24/2010

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My daughter (she’s 4) doesn't do as much as yours does, but she does have her moments at home and in public. Most of them are meltdowns, I think I can count the number of tantrums on one hand. To me a meltdown is when she’s crying, maybe hitting; a tantrum includes crying and screaming and hitting or kicking. If we're at home, I tell her that when she calms down, we can talk about it. She cries it out and when she's down to whimpering, I tell her to settle down and then we talk about her problem. If we're in the car, we do the same thing (usually this is about putting her seatbelts on) we just wait until she settles down and then put her belts on. if we're late I use just enough force to get the belts on and let her scream it out while I’m driving. If we're in public, I will take her to the bathroom and let her scream/cry it out in there. Once in a while I have to spank her (yes, I do spank). Usually it’s to get her attention because she has gone out of control (she can’t control herself)and she gets a grip on herself.

Jacqueline - posted on 02/24/2010

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I calmly ask him if he is finished yet. I wait a little longer and ask him again. When I do lose my temper or do anything other than that I find that am only adding to his temper tantrum. It is amazing how fast he gets himself under control when I don't feed it. But it is a true test to keep myself calm.

Adrianne - posted on 02/24/2010

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My oldest never really had a tantrum problem. Right now I'm doing it with my two year old, and she has a set of lungs lol. Neither of mine were that extreme though. My two year old will squat on the floor and put her head on her knees and scream. I will ask her if she needs to take a nap, and she'll whimper out a pathetic no and then I'll say " will you please stop crying now and come give me a hug?" works about 98% of the time. She'll come hug me, and we usually just sit and rock together for a few minutes then she's ready to get up and run =) Goodluck. And i will have to agree with the others when they say that one of the best things to do is to ignore them. They kind of feed off the attention and when they dont have it they will usually give up ♥

Barbara - posted on 02/24/2010

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Been there 6 different times. A tantrum needs an audience. We simply removed the audience. When she throws her little tantrum you take her to her room, shut the door, and let her scream. When she finishes and has worn herself out, you go to the room and ask if she's ready to join the rest of the family. You do this out in public as well. I've left full grocery carts or meals to take my children home when they throw a fit. It usually only takes one time of you leaving and telling them because of their behavior we have to stop doing whatever you are doing. Yes, it's difficult because you need the food, return later to finish your task. Yes, it's embarrassing when they do it in public. You have to remain calm, and remove her from the situation. As for the older one saying "No". We don't permit our children to say "No" unless they have information that will change our minds. We call it the Appeal process. If I say "Dinner in 5 mins" It's either Ok Mom, or MAy I appeal, we're about to finish this board game." Then I decide whether I want them to stop the game and come to eat, or allow them to finish the game. IT's a teaching process. I also tell ones that young that they're not to tell me "NO" only when what I'm asking them to do is reasonable. (It's time for a nap). I'm in the process of doing that with our 2 1/2 yr old. HE cries and says "No" to me when I tell him it's nap time. I tell him that I'm sorry, but you're very tired and you need a nap. By the time I finish changing his pants and give him a kiss to lay him down, he has stopped saying "No" because he realizes that he has to do it any way. Be strong. Let your "Yes" be "Yes" and your "No" be "No". Hope this helps.

Nicole - posted on 02/23/2010

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Thanks to everyone for the replies. Sometimes it just helps to know that I'm not alone! I think I'm a good parent (who really knows, though?!) so it's frustrating that my kids are able to manipulate a situation like this! It's also frustrating that when it comes to leaving a store\restaurant with my little offender, it's me, not my husband, that does it! I do have a time out chair, but my son will not stay in it...so I gate him in his room if we're home. But it's the out-in-public, or at the in-laws house, tantrums that I find harder to deal with!

Jennifer - posted on 02/22/2010

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I wish i knew what to say to help. I have twin three year olds. One of them will go to their room to have a tantrum cause he wants to be left alone and the other is totally different. the other boy has tantrums that last up to any where between forty five minutes to an hour. The only way to calm him down is by holding him and being away from everyone else and everything. And by telling him that everything is okay and to breathe.

Jacquelin - posted on 02/22/2010

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My 3 year old went through the temper tantrum stage. I was told by her pediatrician to ignore it.. the more you try and talk to them or get them under control the worse they get. Just ignore your child eventually they will stop

Adrienne - posted on 02/22/2010

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The best thing to do is ignore them. I know it is hard but that is what i do and she perks right up when she notices she isn't getting attention from throwing herself on the ground. Even in public the more you talk to them and say straighten up the more they will continue to cry the best thing is to ignore them keep doing your shopping and walk away they will get up and follow you I promise.

Carlie - posted on 02/22/2010

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I'm so sorry, and I feel for you. :(
my son is only 15mos, and has been having tantrums for months, literally. since WAY before he was even a year old!
they have gotten MUCH worse though over that past few months. he screams and shakes, throws himself on the floor and kicks and arches his back, will try to hit or throw things on floor...they're awful.
but, we try to ignore them. we're thinking it's maybe time to invest in some sort of form of "time out".
good luck momma!

Jamie - posted on 02/22/2010

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My almost 2 year old has also been having fits. I have found a lot of it has to do with lack of sleep. Even if she sleeps the entire night, it may not have been enough due to a lack of nap the day before. My child also fights to go to sleep. To deal with that, take her away from all activity to get her to rest or I have even taken her for a car ride. Another issue, is that if your child is in daycare all day, they have to follow all the rules. They may have been trying so hard to be good at daycare, that they need to let out frustration. I try to ask her to use her words instead of just crying about everything. Also might help, just to let her rest or be alone until she calms down.

[deleted account]

awww.....I feel so badly for you! I don't have any words of wisdom because my 17 month old daughter up until now has been an angel BUT..........in the last month she's had the occasional tantrum and I'm sooo worried that they're gonna become more frequent??! I hope the best for you Nicole and I'm curious to follow this feed because I'm sure at some point in the near future I'm gonna be asking for the same advice! Good luck!

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