20 month old throwing tantrums for hours on end

Jessi - posted on 02/05/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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my 20 month old is such a sweet baby during the day while at daycare. i usually pick him up around 5 in the afternoon. when we get home i clean up and try to prepare dinner and dinner is usually at 6 or 6:30. it is almost instintaneous that he start having a tantrum as soon as we walk inside. he needs to eat at a certain time of the day or he becomes very upset but he makes everything difficult by having his fit in my way. i have resorted back to the baby gate to prevent him from coming in the kitchen while i am cooking dinner but that doesnt keep him from having a tantrum? pls help!!!

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Gwen - posted on 02/05/2010

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Kelley's right. He just wants your attention after a whole day away. Spend a few minutes playing or reading with him before you start dinner. Imagine this from his perspective..he's just seen you for the first time in 8-10 hours, after a short drive in the car you lock him away behind a gate and ignore him for another 30 minutes.



Try using a crock-pot so dinner is ready to eat when you walk in the door. Then you'll have more time to spend with your baby before bedtime. Clean up (unless you mean wash hands) after he's asleep.



I'm a single mom, so I completely understand how hard it can be sometimes. But I've decided that some things can just wait. Time with my daughter is more important.



Sounds like he's got a great mom :-)

Kelley - posted on 02/05/2010

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Ugh! That sounds so frustrating. I guess I would try to figure out what was upsetting him so much. I know that my kids have sometimes started crying when I pick them up from day care because they save their strongest emotions for when they see me. So if something particularly good or bad happened that day they want to let out those emotions. Doing some kind of transition activity, reading a book before you leave daycare, playing special music in the car, talking about what happened at daycare, having snuggle time at home before starting dinner, might help him transition.



If it is a violent tantrum I would hold him until he calms down to make sure he didn't hurt himself. I would let him know that I understand he is upset and that I won't let him hurt himself or me. When my son would have tantrums at that age I think the strength of his emotions and his physical strength scared him. I tried to let him know that even if he wasn't in control at that time, someone was and I wasn't going to let anything happen until he could calm down.



If it is a matter of him being hungry I would bring a healthy snack for him to eat before leaving daycare or in the car. A half a banana may go a long way in helping to have a more peaceful evening. If you make it a light enough snack it may hold him over to dinner time without spoiling his dinner.



That's what I got... hopefully others will have some good ideas. Good luck!

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