hi! how to handle childs tantrums..

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Christy - posted on 11/01/2009

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Put him/her in their bed or another place they can't get away from until they are done crying.

Rachel - posted on 10/27/2009

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We don't allow tantrums. Our son is almost a 2.5. When he first started clearly throwing fits, we decided to put him in time out in his crib. He was allowed back out when he calmed down. We've been really consistent with that. Now, when he starts to get whiny and nearing a tantrum, all I have to say is, "Do you want to go to bed?" Usually he will say (with his adorable pouty voice and I have to maintain serious control to hide my smile), "No." And I respond with, "Then you need to stop throwing a fit. Pitching a fit will not get Momma to change her mind. You can keep throwing a fit and go to bed, or you can stop and continue to play with Momma. It's up to you." Most of the time, he decides to stop the fit.

I like this approach because it teaches him consequences. He can choose either course of action, but he knows the outcome of each option. This was something my parents did with me. My dad was especially good at showing me he loved me no matter how I acted or what I did, but that there were always consequences to my actions that I had to live with!

Deciding what the consequences for certain things (like tantrums, hitting, spitting, biting, disobeying, etc.) ahead of time and then telling the child what the consequences are for each action is really helpful and teaches the child to think about his/her actions. While a one-year old doesn't understand the concept quite at first, the more you repeat the question "do you want ____ consequence for this action?" the more he/she will associate the consequence for the action and as his/her reasoning skills progress, he/she can start making a conscious decision about what he/she wants.

One more thing about tantrums: Sometimes they are about needing attention from a parent. I know our son is really social. So, if he hasn't had enough social time and feels like he isn't getting it from us, he sometimes gets whiny and acts out. So, one of the first things I do when I see this behavior is try to evaluate if this is a cry for needed attention or for another reason that requires a follow up of the above discipline. If it is a need for attention and socialization, then I tell him that he is not allowed to act that way and tell him what I feel is appropriate for the situation (such as bringing me a toy or a book to play with or read with him). Then, if I'm able, I'll give him hugs and kisses and spend time with him. If I'm not able right then to be with him, I'll explain that "Momma has to finish this project (or whatever), then she can play with you. I'd like you to play by yourself until then." Usually he does.

Everyone told us how awful the terrible twos would be. And our son has a bit of a strong will (he comes by it naturally from his momma). But, he is incredibly well behaved in most situations and circumstances. He is very secure and happy, plays well with children and adults alike. But, we had determined ahead of time, even before he was born, what aspects of discipline were important to us and how we would understand what action was needed and when to use it at various ages/stages. The planning and consistency is clearly paying off for us and our friends and family who find him a joy to be around.

Carolee - posted on 10/27/2009

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I put him in "time out", which is a chair in our living room. I sit on the couch and read or crochet (every couple of minutes, I'll calmly tell him that he needs to calm himself down and use his polite voice) until he calms himself and can politely ask for what he wants. For my fiance and I, that means that he has to come over to one of us, say "please", take us to wherever the thing he wants is, point to it, and say "please" again. Sometimes (especially at first) it takes a WHILE on the chair, but, eventually the tears will run out, he'll calm down, ask for "down" and "hug", then ask me for what he wants.



Whatever you decide to do, be extremely consistant with it, though! If you're not, they will drive you absolutely bonkers!

Tashamonique - posted on 10/27/2009

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I agree with Mary! ignore them, all it is; is an attention getter... ! stay in control of how you discipline your child. one technique that i use on my son is called 1,2,3 take 5. count 1,2,3 if they keep doing the same thing over and over within 45 mins of counting 1. as soon as you reach 3 have them take a 5 min time out either in their room or in a corner

Marcy - posted on 10/27/2009

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Janice I think it all depends on your parenting style and the amount of patience you have. This is a very tough question as it can be answered a million different ways. I am sure you will get some good advise and some suggestions. This is what we do and it works for us. We stop everything. TV goes off, all the toys go away and then I put my son of the sofa. I sit on the other sofa and read a book while he just sits there. I explain to him what he did and that I expect him to act like a big boy. When he is ready to act like a big boy he can talk to me. He usually sits there for 10-15 minutes or so and then comes over and I make him tell me what he did wrong in his words. There is hardly any crying. If you don't have the "patience" for this method you can stick with a regular time out. I am not in to spanking/swatting etc as a form of discipline. This is just how our family handles tantrums and it works for us.

Danielle - posted on 10/27/2009

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I always nip them in the bud. I swat them right on the butt and let them know that will not be tolerated especially if we are out in public. I don't agree with the whole ignore technique because it will wear you out before it will wear the kids out. Its a bad place to be in with no patiece and a whiny or tamtrum throwing child

Mary - posted on 10/27/2009

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I would ignore them, but say "if you're going to cry n throw a fit you can do it here' and then put em somewhere they can cry. In public ignore people bc my oldest daughter threw fits from 18mo-3.5. Consistency is key bc if they know they can get away with it or get something if they throw a long enough fit they will do it every time. Just keep your cool and say its inappropriate behavior to act like that. I have said for years 'use your words" But def keep your word after you say it. "No means no, im the parent not you"

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