Terrible Twos Meltdowns: Help!

Miranda - posted on 03/31/2014 ( 42 moms have responded )

19

0

5

My daughter is 18 months and is definitely entering her terrible twos. She throws a fit over anything, whether it be me not letting her stay outside, or not letting her drink from my cup, she has a complete meltdown. I feel as though I'm failing as a mother not being able to calm her down or control tantrums. It's like every time I do something she's unhappy with me. I definitely do not give in to her tantrums, but it's really hard for me to ignore it like I've been told to. I've tried to distract her and make her laugh, but sometimes it's not enough. It's also become a real hassle taking her anywhere and I really do not want to keep her cooped up in my house because it's just not good for her. So does anyone have any advice on how to avoid tantrums or how deal with them? I'm desperate!!!!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Juliana - posted on 04/17/2014

1

0

0

Toddlers' biggest issue in life is control and they hate it when SUDDENLY they have to do something, have to leave, have their drink taken away, etc. The solution is often very simple- give them lots of warning. A minute or so before whatever you want to happen, squat down and catch her eye and say something like "you can keep playing but we will need to go bye-bye soon'. Then, when it's just about time, get down at eye level again and say

"Okay, when I get to 10 we're going bye-bye, you can keep playing until I get to 10. 1, 2, 3..."

Keep your counting happy and smiley so your toddler doesn't think it's a punishment.

Most toddlers I see will drop everything at about 2 or 3 and leap into your arms, some will wait until 10... Even if they refuse at first, follow through, no matter what, at 10 so that they learn the routine. Bonus- they also will start to recognize numbers and some aspect of time.

In my experience, this works best for 18-24 month olds, once they're a little older a timer works a little better, one of those loud mobile ones that they can set and hear easily (not on your phone- way too many distractions there!)

Good luck!
Remember, tantrums are almost always about losing control,, so if you think of them that way, it's easier to prevent or end them...

J (clinical psychologist for children)

Sara - posted on 05/10/2014

1

0

0

This is a hard time. Us veteran moms will tell you, it takes all you have and more sometimes. Ignoring is good advice only when the tantrum does not cause danger or damage and at times it just isn't possible. One thing I always try to remember with my own children and the children I work with, is to pick your battles. There are somethings that are just nonnegotiable, as common sense would tell you. Yet there are other things that just aren't worth a drag down battle. Also consider their state of being: are they hungry, sleepy, overstimulated. As these will all factor into their emotional state. As your child grows you will learn the triggers and how to avoid them. In the meantime take a step back, make sure you are getting time for yourself so you can give freely to your child. And remain calm (I know this is easier said than done), also don't be so hard on your self, you are doing the best you can and your child will always love you (well at least until teenagers LOL). If you see her getting out of control try to remain calm, this will help teach her how to act. Remove her from the situation to a quiet and calm place if at all possible. Tell her firmly that once she calms down and acts more appropriately the activity can continue. A few times of this and she will come to see that the quicker she calms down the sooner she can get to do what she wants. This can work for not wanting the fun to end. Start giving a warning like "We will be leaving in 5 mins". It may mean nothing to her now but as she grows she will learn the consistency and come to welcome it. Toddlers tend to be schedule oriented and welcome consistency so they can predict what comes next. I hope this helps some and hang in there we have all went through this.

Sana - posted on 07/06/2014

1

0

0

Hi my name is sana, I have son name ayaan n he is 15 months , hav same problem don't know what to do?

Hersch - posted on 05/31/2014

3

0

1

Hi Miranda,

I have a daughter who is turning 4 this 16th. Before she turned 2, all the mothers I know throughout my life warned me about this "terrible two" phase, but you know what, from my experience, even if i was a first time mom, those were just minor tantrums but not terrible at all. I was really expecting something pretty much terrible that would go beyond my control or would really lose patience with her, but I must say I did got through it alive and survived. Don't think about this "terrible two" and just stay positive and in control of things even though its hard. We all go through this so you are not alone.

Kids love toy stores and I have seen children would be all over the floor crying, whining, giving a fit because they had to leave or the parents wont buy what they wanted that day. So when this happens and my daughter is around to see it, I always nod my head and tell her dont follow this because its not good. And she always says "baby crying" so I explain things eventhough shes too little to understand but it did pay off(the explaining part) ... Now that she is bigger, she understands that quite clearly that its not nice to roll over and start crying on the floor. This was my biggest fear that my own child would do this(rolling on the floor whining and crying and screaming) which I seriously cant take at all, im thankful shes not like that!!!
Everytime I take my daughter out to the shops I always explain to her, even if she really doesnt understand fully, but I show her that you can look(me pointing at my eyes) at the toys, but no buying. And even in childrens playhouses, its very hard to get them to leave, so when she starts to throw a fit or shows signs shes not ready to leave yet(at some point we had to because the store closes) I'll ask the staff to take over and tell her nicely its time to go, and she goes without whining. Going out with your kid is a challenge, but once you set the rules and routines it will get easier in time. One thing with tantrums is you have to ignore them, give them a minute or two and then go back and see if they are ready to listen. What I did with my daughter, especially when we are out and she starts a fit, I simply look at her with a straight face and acknowledge her resistance but i make her understand that i wont tolerate this. I know they are too young, but there is a need for them to understand you are the mommy here and they need to listen to you.
My advice is just have a routine with your daughter, even for short walks or few hours out each day. Keep in mind the things that could trigger a tantrum and try as much as to avoid those things from happening that way you both will have a good day... And if such tantrums cant be avoidable, take deep breaths, stay calm, have patience, give your daughter some time like 1-5mins tops try to see if she stops, take her out of the zone and divert her attention. Use diversions think of any that makes them happy, be sure to bring some snacks or juices or chocolates or candies with you at all times .. anyway hope all goes well for you, sorry to make this a bit long :) Happy Weekend all!

Girlnesting - posted on 05/15/2014

1

0

0

I am so glad you posted this! I felt very discouraged today with my 18 month old daughter who is also showing this same behavior. Ignoring her is hard...but I too try and pray it's working. I count a lot and take deep breaths when she's not looking lol. I try to remain positive when she ends her tantrum. I find something interesting and fun to explore: from a toy she's forgotten about, or even the plastic measuring cups I can wash later lol. It's a great challenge of patience to watch your child have a tantrum for something that seems so small to us, and we love them so very much it also breaks our hearts that they would treat us this way...don't take it personally momma. You are doing an awesome job! These are the words of encouragement I hear from my husband, and heard today! Big hug to you - you are not alone. I definitely teared up today...so reading this was a nice reminder that this is just part of raising a toddler! Keep your head up, we can do this! :)

42 Comments

View replies by

Elijah - posted on 04/19/2015

13

0

2

Hello Miranda!
I have 3 turning 4, 2 turning 3, and 4 months... You just need more patience!

Nicole - posted on 02/24/2015

12

0

0

Babies and toddlers can reflect the mood of their environment. Flower essences can be helpful with tantrums.

Nicole - posted on 01/25/2015

1

0

0

My son is 20 months and has just started to get overtly whiney/can throw a tantrum if he doesn't get his way or we aren't understanding what he is trying to communicate. What works well for us is me getting his attention and holding up 5 fingers and calmly counting down to 1. At 1 we both do the "all done" sign in sign language and he knows that he has to calm down and stop whining.

Sometime it might take 2 rounds but he has the understanding now that mommy can't communicate with you when you're throwing a tantrum or whining.

Cassidy - posted on 01/03/2015

32

0

0

Hi! I agree with what the other moms have written.

1. Make sure you let the kid know when you will transition activities
2. Establish some sort of routine during the day and night so your kid feels the security of structure

And I'm going to add two suggestions that really work for my 2 1/2-year-old...
3. Make the transition of activities fun too! Sometimes I will pick her up on my shoulders when we transition activities or we will hop like a bunny to the car. If she's having a lot of fun playing outside but it's time to go eat lunch, we growl like monsters and walk backwards. Try to make stopping an activity just as fun and the tantrums might lessen!

4. Keep your rules consistent. No means NO. Don't give in when she has a tantrum. Keep strong, Mama, and keep your word. She will learn that you mean what you say. Even if the tantrums continue, your consistency will help her into her teen years. You don't want a teenager who thinks her Mom is wishy-washy.

Cassidy Cruise
Best of luck and check out my website for more advice.
http://tuesdaystantrum.blogspot.com/2014...

Addie - posted on 12/27/2014

3

0

1

Give her what she wants, then you don't have any stress and she gets what she wants.just kidding. Instead try compromising. If she wants to stay out side, give her 5 more minutes. If she wants to have a drink from your cup, tell her she can have one. That might work. I hope it helps you!!!😃

John - posted on 12/04/2014

7

0

0

Send her to her room and wait for her to calm down. If your out and she throws a tantrum either take her out of the store and make her wait in the car with your significant other or . It embarrasing but most people won't judge you for it. Since alot of them have children themselves. Even if they do who cares what random strangers you don't know think. Nows the age where you need to make her understand that the world doesn't rrvolve around her. When my boys started doing this I wojld take them to there room and tell them to stay in there until they until they were ready to talk. You're not ignoring them just letting them know they should.

Stacy - posted on 11/22/2014

2

0

0

My daughter is almost 2 and a half but i think she went through it early (just before 2).
My advice, as hard as it is, ignore her.
I use to walk away and let her go for it, lol.
Once she was finished she would see i didnt give her attention and come to me.
Shes over that stage but is speech delayed so gets stressed over that now.
Be strong, it wont last long ;)

Chofis - posted on 11/20/2014

6

0

1

I'm new to this motherhood thing. I have an 18 mo old, so it's my first time around. She throws some tantrums--for example when asking her to come back indoors from the backyard, or taking her away from something she wanted to do, asking her to lay down and take a nap etc. What I've found is there are different types of tantrums. The ones that happen when my kid is tired, hungry, or uncomfortable are the easiest. Once I fix it (ie food, sleep, change of diaper/change of clothes) then she's back to being a happy baby. In other cases where she cries and screams, mostly because she doesn't want to do something I've asked, I've learned a couple of things: 1) If I can anticipate a tantrum I try to have a plan of attack beforehand. For example, doesn't want to come back indoors from the backyard. In this case I try to have something ready indoors that she'll agree to do. I ask her if she wants to read a book or drink her bottle. She agrees to come back indoors, we do what was agreed, and then continues with play. 2) If, for example, she cries b/c she doesn't want to go back to her stroller at the mall, I leave the store (if I'm in one) then wrestle her into her stroller (she's still small enough) and talk to her, calm her down, and hug her until it goes away. ---> even in this situation the real reason behind her tantrum it's she's overwhelmed by so much stimulation. So after calming her down we usually leave.

Hope it helps!

Natascha - posted on 08/19/2014

16

0

2

Miranda,
My heart goes out to you. My son was exactly the same way. He was running from the time he got up until the time that he passed out at night. And let me tell you, he literally passed out. There wasn't anything that I tried that would get him to calm down. I was caught in the same situation, I was going to school, had a 4 yr old, worked full time, and didn't know where to turn. My son is now 16 yrs old and I sit back and wonder how I managed. I believe that this generation of mothers is blessed in the fact that they have a resource to reach into for assistance and a shoulder to lean on.
Anyway, I digress, I have heard other mothers talk about success that they have had when dealing with their two year old's. They are using a system called Talking to Toddlers: Dealing with the Terrible Twos and Beyond. Here is a link that will take you to a page where you can view a free video...
http://7d121guke1i16scpdq-7m8tjze.hop.cl...
I really do wish I had had access to a community of individuals who were dealing with the same issues at the same time when my children were small.

Good Luck...I hope this helps.

Unathi - posted on 08/19/2014

1

0

0

Hello moms,,,,,, my daughter is 16 months, is it normal for a child not to want her parents not to kiss each other in front of her,,,, my daughter yells at us or cry.

Sara - posted on 08/09/2014

2

0

0

My first son NEVER went through the terrible twos, and I thus wondered why people gave it such a terrible name. His first tantrum was at 3.5, ie years later and so different by then. My second son began his super stereotypical tantrums at about 17 months, and for some reason, i'm suprisingly able to just look at him and think, you are so silly. Okay, lie down on the floor face down again, kick and scream and get it out, and then we'll talk. I feel badly not feeling bad, but it's almost so fascinating to have a "typical" child this time around, that I understand it so objectively instead of emotionally. He's just trying to get what he wants, and as long as we know we're being super reasonable, it's okay for him to work it out within himself while we gently explain things. So far, it's worked. He does it, then calms down and moves on.

Abi - posted on 07/28/2014

1

0

0

I really appreciate this post. My daughter is 21 months and I think she is absolutely perfect, but right now she is a nightmare. I am a really young mom, and I just returned to college and trying to balance school and entertaining her every second of the day is leaving me in constant tears and extreme feelings of depression. I feel absolutely horrible all the time. I take her to the zoo or different children's groups for two hours a day, then I take her to the track at the park down the street and have her run laps hoping it will tire her out, but nothing is working! Every time I try to get any homework done she sobs and lies on the floor kicking and screaming. I sit on the computer until 2 in the morning many nights trying to figure out what to do, but I have found no solutions. I have spent pretty good portion of my student loans trying to buy her things to occupy her time. I live in Oregon, which is the most expensive state for daycare and I really can't afford it. I tried to get my fiance to take her out the other day so I could get homework done, and he actually came home crying saying she was too overwhelming for him. I have tried keeping her on schedules, switching them up, tiring her out, dropping her with different family members and basically everything I can think of. My family members say she is too busy to watch and they are all too exhausted after watching her to do it again. My fiances family is extremely critical of me saying that I am neurotic for trying schedules with her and they refuse to enforce it and make fun of me to my face for trying. I need any suggestions to help handle these terrible twos, because they are truly TERRIBLE!

User - posted on 06/29/2014

11

0

0

So much to say... #1 terrible 2s are not really it... at 1-2 you can encourage your kid to help... and praise them so they constantly keep busy all day. Also they need reassurance in everything and consistency in everything good and bad... you say something will happen do it! Lots of bonding and also time with others without mom and dad help. But really 1-2 you can get them to feel important doing what you direct them to do at 3 they fully her no and the power in words and start to try to gain control of their wants and situations... 3 is when the acting out really starts. Also emotions we all learn to control but kids can't yet because of it being so new and everything is so big and when something ends it feels like an eternity. My kids are 10, 9 and 1... my youngest is just understanding us and us trying her best to communicate... she gets frustrated so I have to stop myself and pay attention to her and explain in words she understands... its like having a foreigner in your house since English isn't really their language fully... they aren't fluent yet... so stop and breath because the little ones prob frustrated about the words not coming out right or not knowing them... slow down and after a year of this get ready for the 3s that's when kids battle to try to find weaknesses and inconsistencies in your parenting with the other parent. Both of you need to be on the same page so practice and talk and accept to bend on lots of stuff. Imagine if you went to a foreign planet or country and knew nothing... it'd take time and be so frustrating... now imagine you barely can control your body and can't control a thing about your day/life... it'd be frustrating because we all sometimes want to indulge in our fun or sometimes treats... so calm down you being worried or anxiec only feeds into it because your kid picks up on that. Realizes how she feels and know sometimes doing what's best is a battle. My kids know it but my baby doesn't... I will miss these tears on her pudgy cheeks and looks... going to be sad to see her grow up and move out some day...so love the moments whether it be sad or happy.

Amanda - posted on 06/25/2014

20

0

0

I'm new to this site but your post grabbed my attention automatically. My son, Gavin is 17 months old, only last week he started having tantrums that included slapping, hitting, screaming, kicking, and crying. This happens when I bring him in from outside, I won't let let him chew on dvds, play in my cabinets, OR EVEN TELL HIM NO. My son is a very heavy handed little boy. And I'm a new mom so this behavior has taken me off guard. The only thing I have noticed that I can do to avoid the tantrums s make him the center of attention. He wants me playing with him 24/7. Sometimes I can't do that. So I found a baby Einstein DVD, and he sits in the middle of the floor the entire time it's on while I get my chores done. Those tantrums are no joke, he has them in public and I'm torn as to what I'm suppose to do, if I don't discipline him I'm seen as a push over that lets her child run wild, on the other hand if I do discipline him (I believe in physical discipline) I'm abusing my child. How the public think you should raise your (my) child has certainly clouded my judgment.

Christabel - posted on 06/07/2014

4

0

0

has your sons or daughter becomes a turn to your flesh that you find it difficult to control them at home?here is the lasting solution to your problem.i met a man online called DR MAKA.i laid a complain about the way my children behaves at home.they behave so rude that they no longer heed to my instructions. iwas deverstated until i contacted DR maka on this link makabelbenorspellcaster@gmail.com.this man casted a spell and my children are the best i have ever had.no side effect,no doubt.it works like magic.you can also contact him on +2348164186469

Erisreignssupreme - posted on 06/03/2014

58

0

0

people need to learn to go through their emotions. so trying to control other peoples emotions is not a great idea. trying to apease the emotions so they go away isnt great either. imagine you broke up with your boyfriend and you went to a girlfriend and started ranting about all the terrible things he did....if she just tried to wave ice cream at you or ignored you or tried to calm you down about it would you feel she was being supportive. most of what any of us wants is someone to just be understanding of our emotions. just to listen to us have a whinge or a moan or a whine and say i understand life is hard. we dont want to nessisarily have someone get our boyfriend back or get someone new or be distracted by shoppign sometime we jsut want someone to witeness our emotions and not try to do anything about them to solve them or make them go away. :) hope this helps the idea that our kids are supposed to be constantly happy {or us fo rthat matter} makes us try to live a magazine life and thats not reality so dont feel like your failing if your kids not happy all day like they are in those glassy mags!

Dominique - posted on 05/03/2014

11

0

0

My son is almost three and does the same thing..leaving the park, can't play on the porch, can't hurt the dog, can't climb the entertainment center...it's always a fight and a tantrum and it makes me crazy :/ I'm right there with you

Bethany - posted on 05/01/2014

1

0

0

Hang in there mama, it will pass--eventually. My daughter had me in tears daily and I found myself losing it sometimes--yelling and crying--basically acting like her. Just stay calm, ignoring Her may not work, but remain calm and be firm. Keep an even keel and stay the course. It may last awhile, my little one came to her senses at two and a half. I reminded myself everyday that she is only two and communicating and expressing herself is difficult and frustrating for her. Think twice before you speak or react and offer kisses and praise whenever she does do something well or correct.

Jennifernider - posted on 04/17/2014

76

0

8

I went threw the same thing with my girl I would always calmy ask what's wrong n if she's just so far gone in her tantrum I count to three n throw her in her room she will usually calm to within a min or two sometimes it's longer lol the let her out when she's calm the go back n help her with what maid her so mad so when we were out n she would have one I would tell her if you don't calm down at 3 (doing the count down) we will go home and to her room worked pretty good it is a tuff time but you will get threw it just show them that there is a consequence to there actions I still use it today it is good for them to calm down then to just have a screaming match

Tracie - posted on 04/16/2014

1

0

0

At 18 months, little ones live in the here and now. To say we will come back another day means nothing. Reasoning with one that is having so much fun is also difficult. After already raising two, which are grown, and now helping a dad of a 18 month old, it can be embarrassing to see yours in convolutions. I always use a firm voice and announce it is time to go. Then, take the child, either by the hand or pick them up. Who is the adult? When you get the child in the car seat and they calm down then you can use small words to try to explain. I always practiced at home, so it would not be such a show out in public. Whether I had to go in or not I would say, It's time to go in. Promptly taking them in. After getting a drink, changing a diaper, using the restroom, or wiping mouths, we would go back out. I did it many times a day. I would stay in from 5 minutes to 2 hour naps. Practice makes better kids. When they come in without fuss this is a great time for lots of praise, high fives, and lots of hugs.

Lynn - posted on 04/14/2014

113

49

11

My son is now 4, I found that when I got to his level spoke with him to seemed to calm down. Really bad ones Id just tell him when he is done, he can speak to me properly. And he'd calm down because he wouldn't have that attention.
Just remember they don't last forever. Its frustrating but trust me, it ends.

Miranda - posted on 04/07/2014

19

0

5

Thank you everyone for the advice. I've used basically all of what you all have said and I can see improvement already. :)

Cheryl - posted on 04/06/2014

3

0

0

I am experiencing the same as a first time mother at 44 years old.. Never think you are faling as a mother this is just one of the things you will have to go through. It can be terrifying to travel with them on a plane in the car taking them out woth you to eat and so on!! Try entainering her with CLASSICAL music, dance music and dance along with her make it fun - give her little fun things to do and help her if she will let you. My 18moth old was doing what your sweet angel is doing now it too shall pass.

W JO - posted on 04/06/2014

1

25

0

I think the best way to work with tantrums is to e on your little one's "side". Let her know (with not too many words) that you know she is sad, frustrated or sad and tell her, " I know you want to stay outside longer, but right now we have to go home.." Take her by the hand and let her know that you will come back tomorrow or soon. These little one's are trying to assert their power and also need to know you are in charge. If you align with her, it really helps. Be kind and clear--we'll come back soon.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms