Getting a handle on tantrums

Karla - posted on 09/23/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 18 month old has started the tantrum stage. I know it is because she can't fully communicate her wants/needs but it is still so frustrating for both of us. The biggest obstacle seems to be the car. She loves to walk to the car when we have to go somewhere but as soon as I pick her up to place her in the car she freaks - starts screaming, crying, makes herself stiff as a board - makes it impossible for me to strap her in. I pretty much just ignore this until she relaxes enough for me to strap her in but this could take 5 mintues or more in some circumstances. Any suggestions for making the transition from walking to getting into the car easier or more fun?

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We prep our son a lot for upcoming activities. So when we wake up in the morning, we do a quick run down of what we are doing that day. If we are going out after breakfast, we'll say that we are going for a ride in the car after we finish eating. Then when we go outside, we tell him to go to mama's or daddy's car. The times he has been upset, we get his attention and let him know that screaming doesn't help but if he tells us what is wrong, we can fix it. It took several tries but now he can indicate that he's hot or his shoe is coming off or even that he is not ready to go yet or whatever.

Dora - posted on 09/23/2010

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I would start talking to her about what is going to happen when she gets to the car. Make her feel comfortable and make a game out of it so she thinks it's fun to get into the car. Also distractions are always good with toddlers. Before she gets to the car get her mind off of it. Give her something that she really likes to hold.

Julie - posted on 09/23/2010

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have you tried letting her climb in herself. she sounds like little miss independant and like you say anything to make life easier is worth a try. my daughter used to throw some almighty tantrums and like you say you try to ignore it so much but you flip eventauly. tantrums in the house can be banished to another room in public its a matter of taking her out of that shop but getting in the car to get any where is your first obstacle so if she wants to walk to the car then let her climb in. it may be she doesnt want to get in the car but walk outside so maybe setting off 5 minutes earlier and letting her walk up and down the sidewalk or the garden may help a bit. getting her excited about an outing before hand telling her where you are going what you will see and making fun activities for in the car.

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