Throwing tentrum

Abasha - posted on 07/26/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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My 17 months is forveva throwing whateva comes her way how can I control it e.x her bottle, my selfone is that normal....

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Julie - posted on 07/29/2010

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I just talked with my son's pediatrician about this yesterday during his wellness appointment (in fact, my son demonstrated this behavior perfectly for almost 20 minutes during the appointment). In any case, our pediatrician (whose's been practicing for 30+ years) just happens to specialize in behavior and he said there are two options-one, IGNORE the tantrum-as hard as it is (and yes, we've all been there) it's important to remember that your child is testing you. If you give in to this behavior you are essentially positively reinforcing the tantrum and your child has learned that if they do A (tantrum) they get B (attention, reward, etc.) and the tantrums will not only continue, they will get worse. The other option is to punish the behavior. My pediatrician recommends "theatrical" displays of parental disapproval leading to time outs-for example, when your child is throwing a tantrum, pick them help and "yell" "No, no, no...we don't do that!" Look very mad, make big bodily gestures, put them in their room/crib and slam (yes, slam) the door. By this time your child will probably be crying. Wait a few minutes. Then go back in and pick them up and remind them how much you love them (hugs and kisses) but not that behavior. Good luck.

Julie - posted on 07/29/2010

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No, actually it doesn't. Remember, it's important to constantly and consistently demonstrate love and affection to your child (tell them you love them, hug them, kiss them, play with them, etc.) EXCEPT when you are punishing-the thing children often fear the most is the sense of rejection from their parent (as opposed to spanking, yelling at, etc.) and children need to learn that particular behaviors (tantrums) and actions (biting, running into the street, etc.) are not acceptable to you, the parent. Remember, you are NOT their friend, your are their parent and that they should respect and see you as such-this method teaches your child that you do not like that behavior and your are disappointed in them at that particular moment (this is why you return after the time out to reassure and remind them how much you love them, but not that behavior)-but...if you are a detached parent or have a personality that doesn't show or demonstrate a lot of love and affection, then this method will not work for you and your child could mistake disappointment for fear and intimidation, as you put it.



Also, to answer your question, children begin to "learn" from time-out between the ages of 18mos. - two years.

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Dikeledi - posted on 08/05/2010

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my 18mnths also had tentrums nd hurt himself at his creche,i was called nd w took him to a doc they did some x-rays nd found that he was bleeding inside his head btn the skins fortunately.tried all this but nothing helped it keeps on getting worse

Jennifer - posted on 08/04/2010

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Julie, my post was not intended as a personal attack against you or your pediatrician. I don't have anything against pediatricians, I have one I like very much actually and I do value his opinion, but pediatricians, while they are generally pretty smart people and quite helpful, are just that, people, with their own perspectives and ideas on things that may or may not be based on sound or current child development knowledge, or necessarily work for every child in every situation.
As for my being JUST "someone who posts on the mommy blog", which is what you are too I might add (!), I'm actually more than that. I have a degree and quite a bit of formal training in child development and infant mental health. I've also worked, for more than 20 years, directly with infants, toddlers and their families (as well as preschoolers) and have addressed MANY challenging behaviors (biting, tantrums, aggression, attachment problems, you name it, I've probably seen in) quite effectively without ever raising my voice, or slamming a door, or leaving a child alone. This isn't a contest of qualifications, but a difference of opinion. My only point in posting is to offer an alternative perspective, based on my own knowledge of child development and some pretty extensive direct experience with lots of different kiddos and lots of different parents. There are OTHER strategies that can be just as effective, if not more, than the method you outlined.
As for my making assumptions about your parenting, I only referred to the strategy that you advocated in your post, which I don't, based on my personal philosophy and professional experience, agree with or see the need for frankly. I make no assumptions beyond what you said your pediatrican told you to try. I referred only to your own words. Maybe you've never tried it, maybe you use it every day, I have no way of knowing. However, I did notice that you have taken quite a bit of liberty to stereotype ME and my parenting style. Where do you get the idea that I'm some wishy washy, free flowing, do whatever you want kind of parent? I get the sense that you think my child runs wild and nothing could be further from the truth! I believe in guiding children's behaviors and teaching them appropriate behaviors with patience and respect. That doesn't mean I'm trying to be my child's "friend" or that I don't have boundaries for my child. Now that's presumptuous. My child has limits and I have expectations for his behavior. Discipline does not have to mean punishment. Even young children can and do learn how to behave, without being "punished." Discipline, in my mind, is about guiding children's learning when it comes to social behavior and developing self control and respect for others. I set limits for my child every day. I say no all the time and he often gets mad at me because he doesn't get to do what he wants to do but that's just fine with me. I want the same thing that you want for your child--a well adjusted, responsible, happy adult who has satisfying relationships with others and is respectful and kind. The best way I know how to produce that kind of a person is to treat him with respect and kindness as well. Our goals are the same, our strategies for getting there are quite different.
It is true that there are a lot of adults floating around out there with no impulse control and who think only of themselves but the worst of the worst--the people who end up in prison, who actually hurt people and commit terrible crimes, were almost always abused as children. This is well documented. Most of these people were raised in overly authoritarian homes where there was little respect or love shown and children were bullied, intimidated and beaten. They grow up to be angry adults who don't have much love or respect for others. No limits and no discipline is bad for children, no question about it in my mind but so is the other extreme---children who are raised in fear and with little or no compassion. I don't, for a second, believe that this is YOUR style, but you mentioned that children without limits become horrible people, I'm only pointing out that the other extreme can have terrible consequences too.
As for your pediatrician's "theatrical" strategy, I don't know anyone in my field of early care and education, who would support this method, as you described it, not when there are other strategies, that could get you the same results, with less unintended consequences (a fearful or stressed out kid). But you don't have to take my word for it. You, or anyone else, can check out these resources: www.naeyc.org; www.www.zerotothree.org;www.wested.org. These are internationally recognized and acclaimed organizations, and you will find articles and perspectives by speciallists in the field of child development and early care and education, even some with 40 years or more of experience, doctorate degrees, medical degrees and probably even some well adjusted adult children of their own.
Again, we want the same thing, we have different ideas of how to get there.

Julie - posted on 08/04/2010

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With all due respect Jennifer Pare, I will trust and listen to my child's pediatrician, who specializes in childhood behavior, has nearly 40 years of experience, and has himself raised three children (now successful, productive, compassionate and loving adults themselves) than someone who posts on the mommy blog and, who frankly, is making quite a few assumptions about my style of parenting, who I am as a person, and how my child responds to me, which is quite rude, to say the least -perhaps you are one of those parents who wants to be FRIENDS with their child and not the parental figure or adult they NEED-children need to learn what's right and wrong, manners, and to respect their elders and this comes from discipline (demonstrating disapproval for things we don't approve of, including things that could seriously injure them (e.g. running into the street) and love (hugs, kisses, repeatedly saying I love you, smiles, encouragement, etc.). We have a whole generation of young adults who were loosely "disciplined" by parents ("That's ok Jimmy, just don't do it again...") who were more concerned about being FRIENDS and well-liked by their child/ren, no matter what the cost -these children were attempted to be reasoned with in the manner you advocate (sorry, but children DO NOT have the cognitive reasoning/ability to comprehend the touchy feel-ly method you advocate-immediate gratification vs. consequences don't get flushed out till someone is in their early 20's) and what did we end up with? Children and young adults who are selfish, who do NOT respect anyone or anything but themselves, who are rude, consistently make bad choices (drugs, teen pregnancy, dropping out of school, juvenile crime, posting nude pictures on FB, etc.) demand from their parents/society rather than taking initiative and working hard themselves, and importantly, do not understand the consequences of their actions until it is often too late. Suffice to say you do it your way and my husband and I will do it our way, which was thoroughly researched, has been proven successful, and advocated by our child's trustworthy and knowledgeable pediatrician and others in the field as well.

Jennifer - posted on 08/04/2010

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Julie, with all due respect, I could not disagree with your pediatrician more. Toddlers do not need to be "punished" in a "theatrical manner." Toddlers (and all young children) need compassion, patience, guidance and support, not punishment. There are plenty of ways to socialize a very young child and to teach appropriate behavior without frightening them or threatening them with abandonment or rejection (a very scary prospect to a young child). What you describe--being warm and loving until your child "misbehaves" and then suddenly and very dramatically yelling at them, leaving them in a room by themselves and slamming the door shut is not only inconsistent and confusing behavior to a young child but very frightening and potentially traumatizing. As someone with many years of experience working with infants and toddlers and their families, I can assure that such frightening techniques are not only potentially harmful but are completely unnecessary. There are plenty of other strategies that are much more appropriate to help children learn what is and is not acceptable behavior. Moreover, if you help children understand why they can't do what you don't want them to do and what to do instead (addressing such unwanted behaviors as hitting, throwing tantrums, running into the street), they are much more likely to learn to develop the self control they need to manage their own behavior instead of complying out of fear that you will suddenly turn from a warm and loving parent to someone who will yell at them and slam the door on them and leave them alone! Sure, this technique might work to stop the behavior you don't like, but at what cost? And why risk scaring your child when there are other, better ways to get what you want? Discipline does not have to mean punishing children for "bad" behavior, it's about helping them learn self control and positive social and emotional skills and I am convinced that this is best done with respect, compassion and love, not tactics of fear and intimidation. Part of me is really hoping that you mis-understood your pediatrician...

Jennifer - posted on 08/04/2010

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Abasha, what you describe is not truly a tantrum but a toddler behaving quite normally--exploring her environment and learning about cause and effect. Lots of toddlers at this age like to throw. They like to make things happen and see what will happen. You can re-direct her behavior and give her things that ARE ok to throw--like soft blocks, that won't hurt anyone or break anything. Or, buy her some balls and if you can, take her outside to throw. If she throws your cell phone, keep it out of her reach. If she throws her bottle, she's done with it and you put it away. Simple as that. If my son starts to throw his food at meal time, we say "oh no, no throwing food, you must be all done" and we get him down. No big deal. Your girl is just experimenting and exploring and playing---and her behavior is so normal.

Stephanie - posted on 08/03/2010

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My son throws everything he can get his hands on! It is especially annoying now that I have a 2 month old because I'm afraid he's gonna end up hitting him in the head with something. I usually tell him not to throw and put him in time out when I catch him doing it. I can tell he understands too because he gets this look on his face when he realizes that I saw him do it... it's kinda funny actually. I reccomend getting a time out chair, rug, or just pick a spot in the house that is always the "time out spot" b/c this has been very effective with my 18 month old!

Trish - posted on 08/02/2010

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I agree with the other women here, beating or hitting for that matter is not the solution. They are too young to understand what they are doing and why they should not be doing it. Don't forget that they learn from what they see. So if they see other people doing things, they are going to do it too.
My husband and I agreed to do time outs and kneeling down to their level and saying "no" in a firm voice. If he continues to do what he isn't suppose to, then he gets to sit out for a min.
He may be too young to stay in one spot, but eventually he will learn and that is how they learn, through being consistant. NOT BEATING. No child should be punished in that way, no matter how the parent was punished when they were young. You are just teaching them that it IS ok to hit and then they continue to hit as they grow up, getting into fights and then becoming a spouse abuser. No wonder so many people blame parents for the child's bahaviour.

Jackie - posted on 08/01/2010

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ignoring is best policy most definately .....sometimes walking to school in mornings i can see some parents who choose the shouting technique and if anything it makes the situation worse and as for giving in to hem just because there throwing a paddy in the middle of town or a supermarket does not mean you give in to them so they will be quiet.....let them scream........any 1 who stares at you because your child wants to join the local drama club clearly has no children and needs to learn to look the other way.....just remember your the adult and there the child....who's boss???? if you look at your self in the mirror and shout at your self like you would at your child and see how scary you actually look you will understand that shouting does not work it just scares them.....and who wants a child who's s cared of mummy??/daddy??

Marianne - posted on 08/01/2010

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yeah i agree, i do the handing things back & forth & thank them for not throwing it. She don't throw things much so it must be working, i think you somtimes have to be cruel to be kind even thou it's hard to do so.

Holly - posted on 07/31/2010

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n mmy experience it's cause and effect. They see that they can make it happen. Now you see it now you don't. ... my little girl tries to do the same thing. Food mostly lol when she throws something I don't give it back to her. I ask her to pick it up if she doesn't I do & put it away. I say balls are for throwing & we do that outside. Seems to be working. They understand a lot more than we think they do. Practice handing things back & forth & thank them for not throwing it. They want to feel like a big girl/boy. Hope this helps. Patience mommy :)

Marianne - posted on 07/31/2010

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My little girl has them a lot too, we have chosen to just ignore them as hard as it is, we have tried the distracting method but when she has one she just gets worse if you try to do anything to stop her. Plus i am partly disabled and she is so strong, so it is easier to let her get on with it. If she's does the hitting biting thing we give her three warning and put her on her time out mat. We have been doing this now for a few months and her tantrums seem to be short and sweet and she has not bite me since she was put on the mat and we don't seem to have as many.

Sebrina - posted on 07/30/2010

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my baby girl is 18 months and does many of the same things and i mostly worry about her safety cause when she gets mad or upset she hits herself or others as well as hitting her head off things and throwing things telling her no and giving her time outs haven't really made any difference but it seems to be a stage they go thur and i think a lot of it comes from her not being able too express her self and say whats bugging her or why shes upset and yes she understands many words like no, don't and stop ect but she doesn't understand why and i still explain it too her every time but in till she can understand the why i don't think she will stop all i can say is hang in there and do what you think is best

Melissa - posted on 07/29/2010

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I wish there was a simple answer but theres not. Its a phase they go through. Just be consistant with them.

Sara - posted on 07/29/2010

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Wow, the "theatical" display may work but seems like it would inspire fear and intimidation, which really isn't the way I want to parent.
I am glad to see that people are starting to have luck with timeouts, I think I will give that a try. I was curious to know when it was appropriate/effective to begin timeouts.

Kristen - posted on 07/29/2010

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I agree, to "beat" your child is not the way to go! in fact, it is illegal now a days!! So I really hope no one here beats their kid :-/

Nithya - posted on 07/28/2010

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You can try telling her that if she does it once more, we will not be doing her favourtite activity or anything that we share with her. Tell her she is not supposed to do it, be firm with whatever you say

Ashley - posted on 07/27/2010

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Wow, not trying to start anything on here, but I don't think "beating" your 1 1/2 year old is the answer, however you meant it. My son does this and I firmly tell him no we don't throw things. If he keeps doing it I'll put him a quick time out which actually works. Occasionally I pop him on the hand. The toddler years are just starting with plenty of tantrums ahead.

Holly - posted on 07/27/2010

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My son does it also and I make him pick up whatever he threw and then sit on the couch for a time out! He is getting better!

Kristen - posted on 07/27/2010

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My son also throws! It is very annoying but his doctor said at this age, it is very normal ... he suggested to sit the child down for a minute say "no" and "you think about what you've done". Yeah they may not get it, but it's a start ...

Christina - posted on 07/27/2010

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yes, because my 18 month old does it and u just have to beat her tolet her that she don't do that.

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