throwing herself around

Karyn - posted on 03/06/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone. I have a 16 month old daughter and she has started to throw temper tantrums all the time. She will walk about 5 feet away from me, throw herself on the ground, cry, and then she will bang her head on the ground once or twice then cry even more because it hurt. I ignore this behavior and sometimes walk away. She did it in the bathtub yesterday because we were all done with her shower time and she got upset and hit her head into the bathtub (not hard). I immediately took her out and put her on a pile of towels to do it and sat close by so she wouldn't hit her head into anything else in the bathroom. She has been doing this behavior for about a month now and it doesn't look like it is going to stop anytime soon. I consistenly ignore the behavior, Is there anything I can do?

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Karyn - posted on 03/07/2010

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Thank you everyone for your advice! I read through it all and I'm taking it all in. I especially like the bathtub advice where I offer her something else that she will like. I've been working on sign language with her and she has a few of her basics down. She is just a very independent girl! :) She also has that side of extreme stuborness! haha
In the mean time, I'll continue to be patient and just wait out this phase. Thanks again!

Kristin - posted on 03/07/2010

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You are doing the right thing by making sure she is safe and then ignoring the behavior, leavng the room if possible will remove her audience. She is doing it to get a reaction from you about something she cannot communicate to you.

Some things to try are redirecting her before she really loses it. Give her warnings that a tantrum is not okay and then removing her from where ever she is (playground, market, playgroup, etc.) when it happens seems to crystallize that this isn't going to be tolerated. I did sign language with my boys for some of the major issues that pop up; hungry, thirsty, milk, more, sleep, pain/ouchie. It really helps with the preverbal period, which you are at the beginning of. She understands lots of words but hasn't got the oral muscle development necessary to say most of them. Just imagine if you couldn't speak and really needed to get a something said. I also needed to start giving a sort of countdown for activities. For example, we are leaving in 10 minutes, we are leaving in 5 minutes, we are leaving in three minutes put ... away please, we leave in 1 minute let's get your coat on. They know exactly what's happening and what is expected of them at each stage.

These are just a few things I've used and that have actually worked for me. I know there are other things that can be tried, do a little research if you have time and be patient with both yourself and your daughter. This will end.

Elaine - posted on 03/07/2010

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I had the same problem. after consulting with drs, development specialists, therapists about the problem i was told to ignore it. I took that advice and eventually it did work. It's hard to watch your child throw the tantrum and you get told how horrible you are. I received lots of nasty comments from spectators. Bottom line you have to stop it now. Hope this helps. good luck!!

Christine - posted on 03/07/2010

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I had the same problem with my son....he JUST grew out of that phase...he started at 13 months and he is now 17 months. I would try my best to ignore it. Whenever he would start up I would just lay him down on the floor and walk away and if he hit his head too hard and would cry I wouldn't run up to him and make a big deal of it. When they aren't getting their way, this is how they get your attention. He'd have bruises on his forehead and eventually, I think he realized that it hurt too much. The worst was when he banged his head on a step and had a huge lump on his forehead...soon after that he stopped. But then he went to biting, which he has now kicked that habit as well. My nephew on the other hand would bang his head and throw tantrums for a few years and finally stopped around 3. Alot of it has to do with the fact that they cannot express their feelings with words. My sister advised me to have other options available when I knew he was going to have a tantrum...When you need to get her out of the tub, try to lure her out with a snack or a favorite toy, something that will get her mind off of being in the tub. I've also trained my son to "take me" so when he wants something he'll take my hand and go to a toy he can't reach or to the fridge for a drink. It is very frustrating and alot of work, but in time it will pass. Good Luck.

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Both of my daughters do that. It seems to be part of the terriable 2 stage. My oldest is almost 3 and doesn't do it as much. Just be patient it will pass.

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