My son is throwing horrible fits

Jessica - posted on 04/25/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )




My son has been screaming and throwing himself on the floor he will grab my shirt push me away scream for an half and hour to and hour, and its not your regular screaming its like hes being beaten with a baseball bat its an ear shattering scream, idk why he is doing this. he does it numerous times a day. anyone have any ideas what i should do?


Jay - posted on 04/25/2010




well; first of all- does it look like he's in any pain? I would check and see if anything is bothering him like ear infection, bright lights, urinary tract, headaches, etc. If all that checks out then it's more of a emotional/ psychological matter.

Look at his schedule: does it happen around the same time every day? Is he getting too tired, hungry, or bored? If you can remedy any of those then maybe that will work.

You can try different things during the tantrum; 1)redirecting his behavior to something more appealing (favorite toy, fun song, dancing, funny sound, etc) anything that gets his attention away from the tantrum.

2) ignoring the tantrum- place him in a safe place like an unused pack and play (not his bed so he doesn't associate it with bad behavior or a form of punishment) or a time out corner that you can calmly place him in without chasing him down that he can work through the fit himself.

3) breathing/holding techniques: work through the tantrum with him by holding him in a gentle figure 8 hold and work on belly breathing and counting. Face him towards a wall so he can't see any other stimulating objects.

Let me know if these things help- we can try some other things if these are not working.

Jay Rosenbaum

Early Childhood Elementary teacher and mommy of 2

Lisa - posted on 05/01/2010




My son has started doing that, he is 14 months. I do think they're is a reason for it. I noticed that when I put hurricane gel on his teeth he seemed to calm down. So maybe it is teething.


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Hope - posted on 05/09/2010




well around 12-24months they do start to test the the limits and boundry of what they can and cant do or have. we have read a book called "to train up a child" it has been a big help with raising my first. I had babysat for yrs. but this is the first of my own i have raised. Even though I dont agree with him on every point i do on many. we have tried most of his techniques i believe and they have worked each and every time.
hope that helps its the best advise i can give other than what you have already recieved.

[deleted account]

Thank you for the advice! My son started throwing scary fits several times a day about a month ago. Who would have thought that a young toddler could feel such rage? I talked to our pediatrician at his 15-mos. wellness visit yesterday and she said that he may be angry as he's grieving through his adoption- we brought him home about 5 months ago. She gave the advice to let him rage & tell him that we are there for him when he calms down.

Jamie - posted on 05/08/2010




When my daughter does stuff like that its either because i won't let her have something, she's craving attention or theres something really wrong. If its the first we usually walk and and keep walking away from her cause they want their crying to get to u. Walking away shows them that your not going to give into their "demands" so far its been working shes doesn't take as much of a tantrum or for as long. Sometimes they just want attention (in your case though hes pushing u away) and then theres cases where theres something wrong. Right now Alyvia takes them because shes teething again. Shes getting her molars in.

Stacey - posted on 05/07/2010




my son is 14 months and also is another one that throws these tantrums and as alicia we also started to blame the "red headed temper" but i have learned to just ignore him but i feelas though hes never gonna stop it and grow out of this stage and if he gets mad enough when he doesnt get what he wants he will hit and im a big no no for hitting and i cant break him of that either. also any ideas my son will start to throw food on the floor off his plate if he doesnt want it and we have started to just take his plate away when he does thinking he is full but i want to make sure he gets enough to eat any ideas on how to get him to stop doing that?

Alicia - posted on 05/03/2010




My son is 14 months also ~ And he is throwing the same tantrums, we were teasing and blaming it on the "red headed tantrum" but it only happens when he doesnt get what he wants. If someone is standing and they are not holding him he will fuss, and if you walk by and ignore it he throws himself on the floor and kicks his feet, he has hit his head on the floor (not hard) a couple times, just a down right tantrum and I would pick him up and try to calm him but I have found it eases up if I ignore him.... My husband on the other hand picks him up and holds him while standing which makes it worse on me... haha ~ Good luck!

Mommy to 2....

[deleted account]

The length of tantrums makes me nervous too, I would definitely talk to your dr about it first, rule out any health things.

Mine has been throwing horrible tantrums the last couple of days that are making me suspect teething or growth spurt. But before that, he was having more frequent tantrums, usually when he doesn't get his way, and it isn't pretty. The huge one yesterday was at my daughter's soccer game, oh the stares the stares. Do you not want to say, have you never seen a 14 month old not get his way before? (Christiano wanted to go out on to the field and play himself.)

When my oldest was about 15 months, I said to the dr, you'd think he was going through the terrible two's already. He said he is. The terrible two's don't actually refer to the numeric age 2, it refers to the 2nd year between 1 and 2 when they are really trying to gain their independence but are still very dependent and don't usually have the verbal skills to state their case.

And I have to vote that Jay's advice is awesome too!

Dawn - posted on 05/02/2010




1st - Thank you so much Jay for your imput!!! :) :)

2nd - My son has started throwing similar fits but I know they are just tantrums because they always happen when he is told not to do something, or when things don't go how he expects (putting a square peg in a round hole!). He has been experimenting with his voice so sometimes his screams are ear-piercing!! He is also learning about his body and will wave his arms violently, stomp his feet like crazy and try to hit if you are holding him. I hold his hands and scold him if he hits but otherwise I calmly tell him that I don't like his response and then I walk away from him. These outburst only last about a minute. That is what concerned me about your post...the length of his crying. If it was me, I would first go to the doctor to rule out the physical reasons, then tackle the behavior. Good luck :)

Rose - posted on 05/02/2010




My Donovan does the same thing especially when I tell him no towards something he should'nt have he'll just fall down on the floor and it sound as though he hits his head which only makes the situation seem more intensed, I eventually either pick him up or just let him waddle on the floor until he relizes that i'm not paying him any attention. Then he moves on to something else or wants t be picked up. it's really their way of expressing themselves without the words.

Joel - posted on 04/29/2010




my son use to do that. what i started to do is to play with different type of toys to see what he likes. then i will sit and watch a dvd with him or read a book. then at nights i will play music for him when he is in his bath. before that i use to just let him cry for him to get over it. sometimes i use sit in the room and watch him. it hurted me to sit and watch him cry, but i knew it was the only way he was going to learn that just because he is crying that i;m going to pick him up. i use to cry after he stop. now he don't do it no more...he cand just want your time with you. where its just the both of you by yourself

Ez - posted on 04/27/2010




Jay's advice is fabulous! My daughter has started throwing tantrums, but they don't last anywhere near the length of time you mentioned, and they're usually over something obvious (like because I took something away from her). In most cases I tell her quietly that she needs to calm down because I can't tell what she wants when she's screaming. Then I ignore her until it stops, and resume playing/talking as though it hasn't happened.

There has been one case the other week that was similar to what you've described.. I still have no idea what triggered it. She was in the bath and just went ballistic. I let her go for a minute, hoping she'd calm herself down, but when she didn't I got her out and held her in the towel. She continued screaming and thrashing, and the only thing that settled her was me 'sshhhhhhh'ing her like I did when she was a tiny baby. It really freaked me out so I understand your concern.

If this is happening several times a day and you honestly can't identify what is causing it, I would take him to your doctor. He may have ear problems which is affecting his hearing, and thus confusing and frustrating the hell out of him.

Shanah Cheyenne - posted on 04/26/2010




I think Jay's response is great. We are dealing with the same thing with Adam but its not often. My husband would get on to him and yell "no!' or "stop it!" until I pointed out that only makes it worse. I would try to talk calmly to him, rub his feet or hands and comfort him. that works sometimes but not always. when i've tried everything i can think of i just ignore him. it doesn't take long after that and he is fine... maybe a few whimpers here and there but he is ready to be held so usually i end up cuddling him and telling him mommy doesn't like to see him upset. also, i learned that hearing a baby scream can seem like so much longer than real life time. i gave myself a 15 minute rule. i set a timer for 15 minutes and if he is still screaming then i would go back and give it another try. i would try to calm him or hold him etc... i've discovered he never even makes it to 15 minutes even though it seems like so much longer. lol

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