Tantrums of a two year old

Stephanie - posted on 05/02/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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my two year old has just started screaming. For everything she wants or doesn't.
I'm slowly getting very, very tired of it. Her latest accomplishment was screaming for 3 hours while I drove back home from my parents house. She screamed herself into a frenzy. I pulled over, took her out and everything was fine. We had a quick break and I had to put her back in her car seat, the screaming continued. My question is how do I react to it (screaming in general)? So far I have ignored it. If she is approachable, I tell her not to yell and instead to say what ever she wants calmly and ending with please. She usually repeats after me, and then gets it. with a "thank you and your welcome" following. however, if she doesn't, I give her one more chance to repeat after me and if there is no responds I walk away and she doesn't get it. The then following screaming I usually ignore. I do ask her if she is done. If she is, she may get up. If she isn't she has to stay seated until she is done.
Is this a phase? How do you respond? How do you deal with it?

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JuLeah - posted on 05/02/2011

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3 hour scream fest? Wow. That is a lot to handle. 1st, get ear plugs.
2nd, keep doing everything you are doing
3rd, look at other issues. Tantrums are normal, 3 hours, is excessive. So, does she sleep at least 11 hours a night? Someone her age ought to, yes, including naps.
A little one in my family had a reaction to red dye. She went from sweet to screaming meme after about 20 minutes of consuming the red dye - and her fits would last for many hours.
Some kids react this way to dairy, some kids react this why to wheat, and some react to sugar (low blood sugar can result in this type of tantrum as well)
My mother would tell you that I pitched fits to this degree. I was very very allergic to gluten, and the behaviors followed any consumption of foods with gluten ...
Good luck

Melanie - posted on 05/03/2011

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Well you are doing the rite thing as she is looking or a reaction.. What i do with my girl is i get her to count with me to 10 with my fingers(doing this may help her to forget what has upset her and to move on) by the time you reach 10 all is well.With that done mayb you can ask her why she was upset and mayb you both can agree on the next time she feels fed up to tell you rite away.

Amy - posted on 05/02/2011

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could have been tummy ache as well. combo of tired and sugar never good thing. :(

Amy - posted on 05/02/2011

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I think you're pretty much doing it right. We always went in twos to the grocery with a 2 year old - ie, husband or my mom with me. If he started to throw a fit it was to the bathroom or the car. I told him he could NOT shop with us until he was done. I did it immediately. We only had about 3 public meltdowns. More may come, he just turned 2 a few weeks ago, but same thing happened for his sister. At home, we just told her and him if they were having a fit to go in the bathroom - was nice and loud and they could hear themselves, but what I'd said goes [either a no, you can't have/do this, etc] but I told them it hurt my ears and they could come out when they're done. My daughter's 4 and hasn't had a fit for a while. She started to the other day adn I asked if she needed a trip to scream in the potty room like her brother and she just stuffed it up and said "no, i'm not a baby." lol. I was proud she made the decision to follow MY decision.

Always standing firm and consistent and fits go away rather fast. But, if you're a pushover and give in to the fits, they get worse and worse. You're doing alright!! :)

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I try to get my daughter to calm down and use her words but if it is ongoing with no means to actually discover what she wants (or if it is because she cant actually have what she wants) I tell her I dont want to hear it and go to her room until shes finished. This usually works for us - she calms down alot faster when there is noone around to watch/hear her scream

Alexandra - posted on 05/03/2011

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consistency is the key. you must ignore and when at home, i would personally put her in time out until she stops screaming. if she starts trhowing up, then it is time to call the doctor and ask for some advice.

Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2011

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my daughter is 2 yrs old, she does the same thing, scream, then if she doesnt get what she wants she still screams but i walk away until she is done,

Sara - posted on 05/02/2011

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Yay, Stephanie! =) That was my goal. No, it wasn't funny at the time (except to my mom who found it all hilarious), but I'm trying to find humor in the everyday traumas of mothering!

Please feel free to comment on the blog, "follow" or re-post on Facebook. I'm hoping to someday turn writing into a full-time career...

http://ladynamedcarlos.blogspot.com/

Stephanie - posted on 05/02/2011

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@Sarah THANK YOU! It probably wasn't funny at the time. But you have me laughing tears.

Jackie - posted on 05/02/2011

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I'm dealing with the exact same thing right now! My 2yo has recently hit a stage where everything is a full meltdown! the main trigger right now is getting her dressed. I've even given her choices and as soon as I try to take her jammies off... it's an all out scream and kick fest. I don't know how to handle it other than to ignore it but when we're both trying to get ready for work and out the door, I don't have an extra 45 mins to and hour to wait for her to calm down!

We went to Busch Gardens this weekend and trying to explain to a 2yo that you have to get OFF the ride to get back in line to ride again is impossible! Let the meltdown ensue.

Sara - posted on 05/02/2011

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Yikes... I wish you the best of luck. I don't have additional advice from what the other moms have posted, but I did just start a blog about my 3-year-old's tantrums and behavior issues. Basically it's my virtual form of therapy so that I don't lose my mind. I hope it gives you a laugh. Check out my first entry - Tequila-Me Elmo at:

http://ladynamedcarlos.blogspot.com/2011...

JuLeah - posted on 05/02/2011

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@ Schmoopy
Yes, I do. I know a few adults that can scream all weekend long. My father for one, and in spite of my many hours watching Oprah, I married one who can also scream for an entire weekend. (Divorced now)

[deleted account]

To your question, "Is this a phase?" I'll simply ask you this: Do you know any adults who scream and carry on for 3- hour stretches?

Sounds like you're doing all the right things. Just keep ignoring (and reasoning when possible). And try saying, "I can't understand you when you talk that way." And don't give her what she wants until she changes her tone.

Hang in there. It will pass because EVERYTHING in childhood is a phase.

Stephanie - posted on 05/02/2011

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@Elizabeth. That might work if she's not fixed on something. but when she's screaming and throwing herself because she wants something, (1) she is not interested in anything else and (2) I don't want it to be a reward system: she wants one thing and I give her something else because she screams.
But yea, when I want her to leave something alone, I usually do try to interest her in something else.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/02/2011

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This may not be the solution, but it helps. Rather than telling them no, they can't have it. you can say, how about this instead. just try to work your way around saying no. If they don't hear know, they think they've somehow won the battle.

Belinda - posted on 05/02/2011

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something else to consider is that 3 hours in the car is not always comfortable. If I had a lot of energy (thanks to being a toddler and the chocolate) and had little sleep the night before I would be incredibly grumpy if I had to sit still for 3 hours.

Well done for making it through those 3 hours though! I have been there and it is one of the most nerve destroying things to go through. Especially when you can't just stop the car for the day and continue tomorrow.

Stephanie - posted on 05/02/2011

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@Juleah. That was my thought exactly. I don't think she is allergic to anything. but prior to our departure (about an hour) she had some chocolate. A little more than I would have liked her to have. Since I have never heard her doing this THAT long, I do blame it on the lack of sleep that night and the consumption of the sweets.
She gets at least 11 hours at night and about 1-2h nap. Her sleep schedule is good. She eats well.
I do believe the excessive screaming in the car was due to the chocolate.
I've heard about the red dye, and she has never had it.

Amy - posted on 05/02/2011

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good point, juleah! gluten made a huge difference with my niece. true - red dyes did make a huge anger difference in my kids.

Nikki - posted on 05/02/2011

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It is a phase, my 2yo is there too. I wait for her to stop screaming (demands are not responded to) and then tell her to calmly use her words. If she has trouble forming the sentence, i help her out. But she doesn't get anything unless she asks politly, please included. Hold your ground.

She is testing boundaries and trying to become more independent. screaming is something she can control. that is how she deals with stress. Just keep doing what you are doing.

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