Michelle - posted on 10/29/2008 ( 13 moms have responded )
Michelle - posted on 10/29/2008 ( 13 moms have responded )
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Kris - posted on 12/08/2012
Mimic everything he does. If he plops on the floor and starts screaming, you plop on the floor and start screaming. If he stomps his feet, balls up his fists, and growls, you stomp your feet, ball your fists, and growl. Get down on the floor and throw a fit with him. He'll get distracted by your tantrum, that he'll forget about his. And he'll be so thrown by how you look, he'll start to change his mind about throwing another one.
I did that with my daughter. Even in the middle of the store. People were staring, and pointing, once, and old lady got security and told them I was beating my kid. It's one of the most embarrassing things I've ever gone through, but in the end it was worth it. About 3 weeks after I started throwing fits with her, she stopped. She then went to pouting and ignoring me when she got mad.
Try letting her help with the baby; changing diapers, bathing, feeding, whatever she wants to do, within reason. She'll feel more grown up, and might feel like she's too old for tantrums. That she's grown up enough where you trust her with the baby, so she needs to act grown up. A lot of the times, when you give the first born more attention after you bring home a new baby, they'll get used to it, and when the baby isn't such a baby anymore, and doesn't require as much of your time, your oldest will expect you to keep spending that time with her, if not more time.
Try a behavior chart. Make a Good side and a Bad/Naughty/Not Good side. when she does something good or bad, put something on that side. If she has more good then bad, she gets a nice reward. If she has more bad then good, pick a punishment you know she hates. I don't recommend punishing her with cleaning. She'll eventually associate cleaning with a negative aspect, and could grow up to not clean her house. But something like no tv, or no toys. It's been a while since I've had a 2 yo, and I've slept since then, so I can't think of a good punishment for that age lol
Deborah - posted on 09/12/2009
You've been given some great advice. I just want to add... consistency. Your response has to be 100% consistent. If you give in one time, it will take another 50 to stop it again. But, the good news is, they learn quickly, and will love you for it.
My oldest is 10 yo. and has 2 best friends. I am very strict, as is one of her best friends' parents. The other friend's parent is very lenient and STILL the girl throws tantrums and STILL the mom gives in. I overheard them talking the other day. Two of them said they love their parents, one says she hates her parents. Guess which way the split goes. Yep, the two that were given the boundaries honor their parents for it. The one who has been pampered doesn't appreciate it. Stay strong, you can do it. It's well worth the training.
Stefanie - posted on 09/12/2009
I have 2 little ones that are not so little anymore. I was a single parent full time with a full time career the fits got out of control one night in the supermarket and I had had it. I was hungry, tired, and I was embarrassed so I did the first thing that came to mind I sat on the floor started to kick my feet and make a little noise. Both of them (2 and 3 years old) stopped with this blank look on their faces got up walked to the cart, looked at each other and tried to leave me there. Sure I looked like a fool but I only had to do it 3 times before the fits stopped. There were a few times after that they would try to start all I had to do was sit on the floor and it all stopped. It is worth a try, I have a hard time controlling myself in stores now where kids are having fits I want so bad to run over and throw myself on the ground with them to make them stop. But you never know how people will react.
Patti - posted on 03/20/2009
I agree with last mums advice but must add... Don't forget to praise everything good he does, big-time ! We have all been there, it was my daughter...she is now a loving responsible mum of four herself. so hang in there girl, there's light at the end of the tunnel. All the very best babes.
Lenora - posted on 10/30/2008
It's also important to look for the triggers that bring on the tantrums. Ask the W/Wh questions: Who, What, Where, Why, When? Is she hungry? Is she tired? Has she been over-stimulated? What are her surroundings? Is her environment structured, or is the world around her chaotic? It's impossible to create a perfect environment for our children and keep them fed, rested and happy all the time. Nor would we want to, as they need to learn to cope in the "real world." That's one of the things we're here to teach them. But reducing the triggers is important, and the environment this is happening in most often (probably in the home) may need to be restructured to accomplish that.
As a previous poster said, giving choices is critical - two choices is enough - any more and it could be too overwhelming for her. Predicting for her, by telling her what is next on the agenda so that she has time to mentally prepare for it, like, "Honey, in 10 minutes, we're going to eat lunch," then set a timer for 10 minutes and give her a 5 minute, then 1 minute warning to help her with the transition (I LOVE the timer from Time Timer - they can SEE how much time is left).
You can also use a picture schedule to help you with transitions, so she has a general idea of how the day is going to go. Do an online search for "picture schedules" or "social stories" and you'll find all kinds of help in doing this.
Make it a point to spend small bites of time with her throughout the day. You have a young baby to take care of now, and it's hard, but in the end, you will spend less time than if you had to deal with her tantrums, and EVERYBODY will be happier! Set a timer for yourself, say for 30 or 45 minutes, and when it goes off, stop what you're doing (if you're able), and sit down with her and read a book with her, color with her, play with her on the floor - whatever she wants to do. Also predict this for her, so she knows she has this to look forward to. You only need to spend a few minutes with her, just enough so that she can "re-connect" with you. If she is an especially needy child (a "high needs" child), then try to include her more in what you are doing throughout the day. Have her help you with the laundry, dishes, sweeping, getting you diapers, wipes and rash cream for the baby. She will love it. Yes, it will slow you up a bit, and you may have to re-do the sweeping, or just accept less than perfect work and go with it, but it's still better than her tantruming.
Of course, even if you are able to implement all of these methods all of the time, it's not a perfect world, and she's still going to have tantrums sometimes. As the other posters stated, ignoring is the best method for dealing with tantrums. If she is hurting herself or someone else, of course you need to stop her from doing that, but you still need to ignore her. You do this by holding her arm (if she's hitting) or her body or whatever, and turn your face away. Absolutely do not look at her at all, even for a second. She will be looking at you to see if you will. Do not talk to her, except to tell her that when she has a quiet voice, she will get a reward (name the reward and make it something she would really want, like watching a favorite video or a piece of candy or time with mommy, etc.). Pay very close attention, and AS SOON AS she's quiet, even if it's only for a moment, IMMEDIATELY say, "Good quiet voice! Let's watch your movie now!" She may start right back up tantruming, but go ahead and divert her attention to the movie that you're putting in. Make sure that she knows that the movie is her reward for having a quiet voice, not for tantruming. You want to focus on the positive (not the negative), and reward her when she does good, even if it's only for a split second. She will eventually come to understand that being quiet gets her a reward, and you will slowly be able to fade the rewards back to praise (most of the time).
Another important aspect to this is rewarding her (either by something tangible or just verbal praise) when her behavior is good. Make it a point to "catch" her being quiet and playing nice, and make a big deal about it (you might set a timer and if she's played for 1/2 hour with no tantrum, then reward her). This will go far in keeping the tantrums at bay. She will learn, over time, that good behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is not. This is the key.
One more question I would ask is, "How are her language skills?" Is she on par with her age group? If her language skills are slow in developing, or even if she's on par, she's at an age where she is learning to communicate verbally but it is still emerging. Communication problems are a huge cause of tantrums in children with emerging language skills. They know what they want to say, but they can't always say it, or say it the way they want to, causing extreme frustration.
I'm not trying to alarm you unnecessarily, and you did not say anything in your post that would indicate so, but tantrums that are more extreme and frequent than is normal for her age group may be worth investigating a little further. A lot of children with developmental delays and neurological disorders, even mild, will have greatly increased tantrums, usually due to communication issues. But I would first implement these measures and see if you don't have great improvement. For most children, these measures, if implemented consistently, will work wonders. Have patience and things WILL get better!
My son has a neurological disorder and we have received behavioral training for him. Everything I posted has come from that training.
Blessings to you and your little ones!
Lauren - posted on 10/30/2008
I haven't read any of the other post, so if this is already up I'm sorry.
My 2 1/2 yr old started them recently too. I have started giving her choices about her attitude. I tell her she has two choices. She can either have a good attitude or she can go in her room and have her fit. I don't wait for her to calm down, I know she can hear me through her fit. I give her a moment to decide, if she doesn't I tell if she doesn't choose I will choose for her, and then I count to 5. Sometimes she changes her attitude and sometimes she chooses her room, either choice is acceptable. She knows that I am not going stand there and listen to her crying and carrying on. Often she ends up in her room by not making the choice herself, and I let her know that when she can have a good attitude she can come out again. Hope it helps.
Janelle - posted on 10/30/2008
I agree with most of these I just usually told my kids that is too ugly to watch if you are going to do that you have to do it in the room with the door closed. Then they would go and do it it makes no audience for the tantrum and no fun, no attention and don't act like it bothers you either. I told them when your done you can come out. It really will just stop after a while with most kids be consistent with what ever you do and make alone time for each child. You can even go on a "date" with them. Just something fun that is just for the two of you and it doesn't have to cost money.
Michelle - posted on 10/30/2008
thanks alot for all the help i started to think maybe i was doing everthing wrong i will try the things you have said and i will see how i go thank you all so much
Maureen - posted on 10/29/2008
Have you tried alone time with her? When daddy takes the baby and the two of you read a book or some thing that just involves you and her. She is probably having trouble dealing with the fact that you are not just hers anymore. I agree, you should just ignore her when she starts her tantrum. Or maybe just put her in her room. let her scream it out.
Melissa - posted on 10/29/2008
I have four kidos. I love the Love and Logic Book by Jim Fay. I have used this technique and it has really helped with my three year old and when he was 2. First of all, she does want your attention. And well, sometimes small children like your reaction. When our son has thrown a fit, we just tell him to scream so the neighbors can hear him. Get it all out. Sometimes we tell him that he can even do better. He really does not like this and usually the fit is very short lived. (Plus, you are not as frustrated trying to get them to stop). When he has been a little to out of hand, we will then put him in his room and tell him that we are done listening to him. He can scream all that he wants in his room and when he is ready to come out, then he can do so on his own. It puts the choice on them. They suffer the consequences, good or bad, of thier actions. I wish that I knew about these techniques with my first daughter. It would of taken so much frustration out of it. Love and Logic: Parenting Magic from birth to six years old is the one that I love. Good luck.
Nicole - posted on 10/29/2008
Speaking from a mom with a 2 1/2 year old son who throws tantrums all the time I have learned to pick my battles. I have learned that it is so much easier to let some things go and my son is still a good listener, uses manners, and is kind to others. The other thing I have tried is to give him choices. It makes him feel like he is in control, but really it is me. Giving warnings has made a huge differences so that he knows what is expected. When we are at the park, I let him know that he has 2 minutes before we leave. That has eliminated tantrums all together. He will not give me warnings. Hope some of this helps. Good luck!
Ashleigh - posted on 10/29/2008
I know exactly what your talking about from experience... When we brought our son home things sure did change... She was kind of out of the tantrum stage but she did little things for attention... Although she went through a bad stage of tantrums and really the best thing to do is ignore them... As hard as it is to do it't the only thing that works... That's the best advice I got... Im a softy and I gave into her all the time but that doesnt make things better it just makes them do it more because they think they will get their way by doing that... When she realized I would not respond to her tantrums they eventually quit... It's harder with a new baby you get frustrated easy... just take it one step at a time... Good Luck and congrats on the new one
Jamie - posted on 10/29/2008
When my son used to throw tantrums, I ignored it. What they want is the attention. So if you take the attention away when they act like that, they will eventually stop. Basically dont reward tantrums and bad behaviour with attention. Let her throw her fit and then come to you. Good luck!