Need some advice on my 22 month old son throwing tantrums and the best thing too do with him when he

Eleanor - posted on 02/08/2010 ( 182 moms have responded )

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He throwing them when he doesn't get what he wants, but he's banging his head on the floor, I'm scared he hurts himself.

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Trina - posted on 02/09/2010

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He is not even two so I would say that was you are seeing is a normal and healthy part of child development at his age. Nonverbal children will often have tantrums because they are not able to articulate what is wrong or what they are feeling. All they know is that they feel bad and they cant fully tell you why. At his age I would reflect his feelings and try to encourage him to use his words. By doing this you are able to help him to communicate with you better. Redirection and playful parenting are great tools at his age. When he has a tantrum, try to focus his attention on something else. Make a game to play. What situation seem to be causing his tantrums? How is his speech? Do you have any developmental concerns? Aolff.org, and GOYB are two excellent parenting resources. "Playful Parenting" is also a great book.

I would start asking myself things like is he tired? Is he hungry? Is there some way to prevent the tantrum from getting so far. For instance, if you know he is tired or hungry when he has these make sure you keep lots of good snacks around the house for him. Does certain food seem to trigger the behavior? Some kids will react to dairy or food dyes (my kids react to red dye and it causes tantrums). Last but not least you need to know that while right now this is very frustrating for you and him it is a passing phase. He will outgrow this and you will get through this....but until that happens stock up your parenting tool box. :)

Deborah - posted on 02/09/2010

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my middle child did this too.and we would react every time but that is what she wanted and she was in control..we started to ignore her then when she did this and that confused her.try taking them away from the room altogther sometimes that helps.but stay strong i wont last long

Penny - posted on 02/09/2010

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Throwing tantrums is just a form of frustration. All children try to push their boundaries and see how much they can get away with. My first child's tantrums used to last ages but I found that just ignoring her (because they are beyond help at that point) and leaving her in her room to calm down was the best solution. If you have a second child, then whoever is having a tantrum make sure that you ignore the 'screaming' one and praise the one who is behaving nicely (worked a treat for me).
All children have different ways of showing their frustration but if you stand him up and take him to his bedroom (or maybe some other room where there are no distractions) - just walk out and leave him. He will tire himself out eventually.
Just remember no one can control a child having a tantrum - walk away and make a cup of tea, read a magazine. I hope I don't sound too harsh - it worked for me. I promise they all grow out of it. All the best of luck

Sarah - posted on 02/09/2010

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Mary Beth, I don't know where you got your teaching on repentance, but I belive true repentance cannot be forced, it's an act of the will and heart, not something that can be beaten into someone, and yes I think that hitting someone with a stick is beating them. Also, expecting your children not to be angry is unhealthy. Anger is a genuine, acceptable emotion. What needs to be taught is an appropriate way to control and channel the feeling rather than suppress it. Passive aggression is a learned behaviour from a young age.



I'm glad you can be cheerful while discipling your children, it really upsets me. I'm sure yours appreciate that you're enjoyiong it so much!

Angie - posted on 02/09/2010

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help him clam down try to re-direct him. Most times they are eaily destractable when the fit first starts (before the brain shuts down to brake down mode) if not remove him from the area all to get here and put in in a cool down area. (some were he can kick and bang Like a large carpeted room. Somethimes we all need a minor brake down, adutls even, so sometimes little people have to let it out to. Just make sure your with in eye shot of him when he's ready to talk he can talk to you alike a big boy) when he is banging his head on the wall, when he really hurts himself, he will stop. Once that head hit the ground hard enough to make him cry for real, the tantrum will stop) I hope this helps any. I know it's kind of "text book" but it worked for me and my kids and daycare kids. It takes a lot of paticnes on pareatns part not to lose your temper. just rememgber, they are always watching you. If you loose your cool when they are haveing a fit, they are going to find that funny/cool/intsting, and it just mite make it worse. Try to keep your cool and it'll pass, Hopefully sooner then later. (Ps, i do NOT recommended holding the child down unless you feel his health is in danger. I've been bit, head butted and kick and came out with more boo boos then my son would have had if i had just let him be.)

Karen - posted on 02/09/2010

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pick him up and put him on soft surface and tell him mom is right here you need to stop or you are going for time out then tell him you love him

Maggie - posted on 02/08/2010

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make sure he's safe and give him space to work through it. you could place a pillow under his head. young children need to learn to work through strong emotions and we should not interfere. when he is finished, talk to him .. label his emotions for him. "i can see that you are very frustrated that you could not have _______. sometimes i feel frustrated when i cannot have what i want, but instead of being upset, i choose to do one of my favorite things. let's think of something fun to do together ..." etc. he needs support and encouragement to learn that there is more appropriate (and head friendly!) ways to channel our emotions. if he still seems worked up, invite him to do play doh, it's a great way to release frustration/aggression.

Dara - posted on 02/08/2010

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Hi. I think that one of the most important things you can do is remember that your son is a tiny person with limited reasoning and language abilities. I also have a 22 month old...and what I hate is that sometimes I'll wanna just "give up" on her when one of the other kids will "translate" for me and they tell me what she's been TRYING TO TELL ME...and then I feel SO BAD 'cause once I understand her...she settles down...And, one time, it was just because we were heading out the door and she wanted "parker" and I had NO IDEA what she was saying so I was getting impatient and just getting her ready to go and she just had A FIT and finally one of the other kids said, "She wants her sparkly shoes!!!"...and when I said to this panicked mess on my floor, "Do you want your sparkly shoes?" she stopped screaming, whimpered, "Yeaaahh..." and that was ALL she wanted! But...she couldn't tell me!

Spanking him, as some have suggested, can stop the "outbursts" BUT...the outbursts...tantrums...are a symptom of something "in his heart"...a frustration he has that's too big for him to handle or just something "simple" (like sparkly shoes) that he's SO FRUSTRATED 'cause he can't tell you...and don't "we" sometimes even feel like we wanna "bang our heads against the wall" when our husbands or bosses aren't HEARING US? Yor little guy...he has no words for what's eating at him sometimes. If you stop the tantrums (with spanking) you CAN effectively control his symptoms...but his heart will not change and may possibly you may just get him to stop trying to communicate to you...and me personally I don't want to ever do that 'cause I fear what happens when they're frustrated and 16...

It IS HARD to stop and TRY to reason with someone that small and with SUCH a limited vocab...and I find myself wanting to bang my own head on the floor sometimes...BUT...when you really really pay attention to them...often you CAN help them find what they're trying to express and help them work with it. The little ones are "just like us"...they wanna be heard...understood...it's just a hard job to break that "language" barrier...

Lindsay - posted on 02/08/2010

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I think that the most important thing would be to move him somewhere safe so that he wont hurt himself while banging his head such as a carpeted floor or a folded up comforter. Than let him have his tantrum, kids thrive on the reaction of there parents so walk away and pretend to focus your attention on something else. After time he will get bored because he will realize that you are not reacting to his fits and it should subside.

Mary Beth - posted on 02/08/2010

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I have two boys, age 3 and 2. When they throw a fit in response to instruction, they are corrected in a couple if different ways. We do believe in spanking (not beating!), but both our boys respond differently to that, so it's a matter of knowing your child. We go through a whole "ritual" when we spank, so they are never scared of a spanking just coming out of nowhere. It takes consistency on our part, but it is paying off BIG already and our boys are only 3 and 2.
We take our boy into the bathroom, remind him that behavior X is unacceptable, and that they know the punishment for it is swats. We do swat them on their bare butt, because that way we know we're not hitting them too hard (if you're swatting through clothing and/or diaper, you could be bruising them!). When they calmly receive their swats (as in no more fits - we understand crying 'because it hurts', but they are not allowed to be angry because of the punishment...otherwise they get a couple more swats)...anyway, when they receive their swats, they have to look us IN THE EYE and tell us they were wrong, and they were sorry for disobeying/being unkind/etc. If they can't look us in the eye, we know their little spirit is not repentant, and we'll issue a couple more swats. And have them try again to apologize.
Golly, that sounds like we beat our kids, but if you give yourself the swats w/the spanking instrument of choice (we use a very thin dowel rod), you'll know how to swat to give a little sting w/out lingering effects.
The whole key to this is to be cheerful, calm, and consistent when administering any correction. Well, that and to be just as cheerful in training them to what is right and what is wrong, not just spanking them for something they didn't know was wrong in the first place.
I struggle every day w/consistency and cheerfulness, and I can tell a difference when *I* am upset when I correct them. They key off our attitudes - and wow does that set me straight again. No wonder they're being brats - I'm showing them how to not like instruction/change in plans/etc with how *I* am acting! If mommy can throw a fit, why can't they?!

Sorry that was so long! Hope you are able to conquer the will of your little man while maintaining and growing his bright and happy little spirit!

Angela - posted on 02/08/2010

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My child used the get upset and bang his head on things (mostly floors and walls). We later discovered that he had a sensory processing disorder. Hopefully you have ruled that out before trying to discipline.

Sandi - posted on 02/08/2010

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My Daughter is 10 months old and will never throw a tantrum or scream her head off. She will be the perfect angel and tell me she loves me while we bake cupcakes and eat them under the apple tree....uh, can you tell I feel slightly unprepared for the terrible toddler stage?! Haha. Thanks for the tips and advice.

Eleanor I think head banging would scare the living daylights out of me! Best of luck in resolving your issues with the little chaps "Big personality" :)

Tammy - posted on 02/08/2010

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hi, I'm and Early Childhood Special Needs Specialist. Your son will not hurt himself by banging his head on the floor. His skull is more tough than we thing. Yes he is throwing a tantrum, but there could be 2 reasons here. 1 to get attention, and if you are giving him attention when he does this then he got what he wanted. Try ignoring him when he does this and see what he does, he should stop but it may not be right away this may take a few times. The other concern is develolpmental, if he continues to do this when you are not giving him the attention, you may want to have a develolpment specialist take a look at him. It could be much more than a tanrum. But he will not hurt himself, he will stop before he hurts himself.

SAMANTHA - posted on 02/08/2010

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oh i forgot to tell you the whole head banging thing , trust me hes not gonna hurt himself hes alot smarter than that ,,, if he does it to where it hurts he will stop hes just doing it enough too get you to do what he want .... kids are very very smart even at this age.

SAMANTHA - posted on 02/08/2010

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ignore him..i know that sounds mean but i got two boys and i have been their and done that... kids that young know how to minipulate and get what they want, if you give them attention they know its working and they usually end up getting what they wanted in the first place, plus even if they dont get what they want they still see that their in control even if its by you picking them up or putting them in time out.... i promise if you ignore it and tell them have your tantrum i dont care it will stop, their testing you to see what they can get away with and how to control you and ur actions....dont get me wrong it may take a while and get on ur nerves but stay strong and dont give in and one more major thing dont let them know that their getting too you bc they also feed off of that too.... just act like their not even in the room and you dont here them.... just try it... it will work............

Angela - posted on 02/08/2010

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I've been through that (I have 7 kids). I would suggest some small punishment. First I would let him know that it's unacceptable behavior. Tell him, "No" and not to do it. Explain why (on his level) he shouldn't do it and be sure to explain a consequence for his behavior if he still chooses. The best thing would be taking a toy away or removing him, if you can, from the environment for at least 22 seconds (being he's 22 month).

He may kick, scream, and throw a tantrum, but ignore this. Continue letting him deal with the consequence of his behavior and he will soon catch on, but be consistent.

I had to do this w/my third child. My husband and I loved going out to dinner and we couldn't because he would carry on so. I would have to remove everything that was in front of him for the fear of what he would do. I talked to a very wise older woman who told me not to move anything and to start training him, my son, now about the consequences of his actions. She said this is where the training started and my 4 and 5 I wouldn't have to worry about certain things b/c my son will have learned about consequence and me saying what I mean and meaning what I say. It worked! I did it w/all 7 of my children. It was so noticeable to people how behave they were (to them, I still saw all the work that needed to be done, but on the outside looking in people thought my children were very well behaved) when we went out to eat until they would pay for our meals and comment on how they hadn't seen children so well-behaved in a while. Of course, being a stay-at-home mom and being a mom who worried about these sort of things, it really was a good way to reinforce that I was on the right track.

Best of luck to you. Don't worry though it will pass.

Jenny - posted on 02/08/2010

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Most of the time kids won't really hurt themselves while throwing a tantrum. Or if they do the first couple of times, they learn quickly it's not a good idea! I agree with the moms who have said to ignore it. He may have learned that screaming isn't enough to get your attention and that is why he has escalated to banging his head, but trust me, a few good bumps and he'll realize it's not such a good idea!

Tiffany - posted on 02/08/2010

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my little one went through it too. try to pay attention to how much time you play with them if the child is an only child. We found that our only child just wasn't getting the good attention that he wanted. So we played with him more and like everyone else ignored his outbursts, and after we would talk about why we don't scream and yell and throw a fit. Eventually he learned that he gets enough good attention that he didn't need to throw fits. of course I'm not saying that my 2 year old doesn't occasionally throw a fit, but they are much less severe and less frequent! and good luck.

Debbie - posted on 02/08/2010

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I had the same problem with my first child. She would throw her head back on the tile floor and begin screaming and kicking. I finally talked to her doctor about it and he said to completly ignore her, that once she starts throwing a fit walk away and if I have to be in the room with her (we lived in a small appartment) to not look directly at her or make eye contact, then once she was finished talk to her about the reason she threw the fit. It took a week or so but eventually she stopped throwing fits all together. If you are worried he will hurt his head try putting a rug or taping a blanket to the floor. Make sure whatever you put on the hard floor is stationary though, otherwise you take the risk of it slipping benith someones feet.

Christiane - posted on 02/08/2010

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the thing is every child is different, and each child has a diff outlook on the same things. all of mine have had thrown tantrums, and with each i have had to repond diff. but my mane culprit gave me ever so many worries as he ALWAYS managed to hit his head on the skirting board, i swore he was goin to give himself brain damage or epilepsy. but he no longer does this and no the is no long term damage lol. i was so over hearing that "it was a phase". but it really was. wotever u do decide just remember not to give in. the thing is ask for our opinions and theyre all diff, and no one of us is wrong give it all a go

Kerry - posted on 02/08/2010

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hey there, not sure of your style of disapline but heres how I handle it, he sounds very strong minded and banging his head on the floor he has seen your reaction and worked out its the quickist way for a reaction. I give my kids options and chances, warnings, then naughty spot or seat dependant on age and if its a full on brat attack of the tantrums I ignore it. His head is quite resilliant my cousin used to run the length of the house and headbutt a radiator to get a reaction, they soon grow out of it. Be strong and consistant, you can watch him for saftey without him seeing your bothered by his tantrum. In my house it is tough be a good girl/boy and have a good time of be naughty and have a bad time.
If his behaviour is ongoing after youve tried this for a good month or two then see if its mildly food related- as most behavioural disorders have food related triggers such as squash, sweetners in drinks and food like yougarts etc. The health visitor can visit and a doctor can do tests if everything fails.
It seems like a tough patch with a child is longer than it is and sometimes somthing new helps, trying to keep your cool is difficult but anything to get them to learnt the right way is worth it,
Sometimes i find my kids are mischievious around dinner times and sleep times.
I hope iv helped, nothing worse than feeling like your stuck in a rutt xx

KIMBERLY - posted on 02/08/2010

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okay like the post above all children are different. It worked for me and my child does now throw tantrums since she turned two

Dee - posted on 02/08/2010

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Eleanor - you need to ignore him. These are attention seeking tantrums. If you will ignore them, they will begin to subside. Keep in mind they may escalate before they begin to taper off. Giving him any attention is exactly what he is wanting.

Eleanor - posted on 02/08/2010

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Thanks e'one for ur tips and advice I'll try e'thing I can because it scares me that he will hurt himself, thanks again everyone, Eleanor

Amanda - posted on 02/08/2010

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the "drama" starts, we ignore. ask. and then distract. and then remove reason of the "drama" and if that can't be done, we pick him up and put him in his room and shut the door. Count to 50 and go see where is at, ready to play or keep on the pout. Normally we dont get too far in to the routine...but we do try to get into one.

Mirna - posted on 02/08/2010

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well i had the same problem with my 3 years old kid so we did the naughty corner thing whenever he gets mad at me or do sth wrong i'd warn him twice telling him that the 3rd time i'll be sending him to the naughty corner.. and when i'd do that i'll put him there 4 like 4 min expalning to him why i did that if he laeves his place just put him back without talkin ti him untill the time endes. then go talk to him explaining why u did what u did and ask him to apologise and never leave the corner upset kiss him and tell him that u love him... it worked with my son like magic but it's gonna take time till he get used to it.
now my son is 3 years old and whenever he gets angry for sth i just ignore him and when he sees that it's not workin he stops crying or better say screaming he knows that talking is the best way to communicate with me ...

Tricia - posted on 02/08/2010

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rah we had similar,it use to scare me rotton cos we thumps and heads its awful. i did try for a while the opposite to telling off, which u cud try,sumtimes the shock method works, for instance, giving him extra gooey mushy kisses and love cos he cud have hurt himself,an needs extra mooshy love! hugs and that. they can really hate the over the top mush! ;)

we tried ignore,it got him worse for effect,tho see if it works for u cos u never know.i even closed doors on him so we cudnt see,it sumtimes worked.

hope u find a solution,x

Tiffany - posted on 02/08/2010

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It's a phase that they go through. It's just a way of trying to get what they want. Don't over react because it will make it worse. Just pick him up and tell him firmly to stop. Then put him in his cot or playpen if he continues so he doesn't hurt himself. Like a timeout. Tell him that he will be picked up only when he stops. Once he is done, talk to him calmly and tell him that throwing a tantrum is not the way to get things.

Another way is to distract him and give him something else to do/play with.

Never give in when he is throwing his tantrum. Otherwise, he will think it works and continue doing it.

In a public place, just pick him up and tell him if he doesn't stop, you are just going to bring him home. If he continues, follow through and leave the store. After a few times, he'll learn that throwing a tantrum is not going to get him that toy/candy.

Christiane - posted on 02/08/2010

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let him go and ignore them best u can. dont give in, be strong mine have all done it and nothing un towards has happened, well not yet

Kirsty - posted on 02/08/2010

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my daughter is the same age, although it seems harsh when she throws a tantrum she is ignored, which she then covers her face n trys peeping at us to see if we are watching her when she realises were not she stops, but like th recent comment every child is different

Renee - posted on 02/08/2010

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my advice is to pick him up right away, make him stand up and calmly tell him that if he does not stop he will be spanked. (if you dont spank then put in his room or away from where you are at). if he continues, put him in his room or another room and shut the door. let him finish his fit and only open the door when he is finished. it will take a while because he is doing this to get a reaction out of you. you will have to stay strong and hold to it, but after a few times of being put by himself, he will stop. hope that helps

Jamie - posted on 02/08/2010

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You could hold him still in your arms until the tantrum is over with. Each child is different but try different things to stop the fit throwing because it will only get worse.

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