How do I deal with my 20 month-old's tantrums?

Terri - posted on 01/14/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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It seems like every single thing we do has to be a negotiation to avoid a tantrum. I'm always having to cajole him or trick him into everything. I'm getting so tired of it! How do I teach him that tantrums are not the answer to getting his way?

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Brenda - posted on 01/18/2009

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It is so hard to do but as long as you ignore the tantrum when it happens, he'll understand it isn't doing him any good. Never show your frustration or anger.  Put on a placid face and keep going.  Alternatively, removal from the situation is another way, such as heading to the car or something.  With mine at that age I'd also try tickling him out of it.  It sounds funny, but I had several times when I'd start poking his ribs and tell him "don't smile!"  and he'd forget all about his tantrum.  I usually did this in the store or something when I really didn't want a scene.  Sometimes though, nothing works, and eventually, they're throwing a fit and even they don't remember why because they get caught up in their own frustration.



I'll never forget my son throwing on in walmart over a cake.  I just looked at him and told him that if I couldn't scream more than that I'd quit.  He was probably about two and a half at the time.  He just looked at me and got really mad for a little while, but he tapered off and quit once we got out of the situation.

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Jolie - posted on 01/19/2009

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My 3 1/2 year old tries it - and I just "send him away." I tell him to go to his room, or to sit in the corner, (on the wall, anywhere he is not in the middle of things). Then I tell him when he can be nice he can join the rest of us. It takes about 30 seconds, and he will come back and say "I not cying anymore, Mama!". All is well then.

Sam - posted on 01/19/2009

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wot i do with my 2 and a half yr old is ignore and after about 5 mins ehe forgets all about it and strats 2 do something else hope this helps

Terri - posted on 01/18/2009

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Well, it seems like the majority of people have been suggesting ignoring, so I've been giving that a shot. I'm definitely starting to see some positive changes. Thank you for the advice!

Ashley - posted on 01/16/2009

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My oldest did the same thing.  She wanted a little independence, so we gave her choices on some simple things.  When she throws a fit, which is very rarely now, I just ignore her.   If she continues I put in in time out.  She stays in her room for a count of 10 and then she is ready to listen and get a hug.

Andrea - posted on 01/15/2009

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MY experience with the 2 year orn nearly two year old tantrums went like this... Beyond her trying to define her independence she was getting really bad, so upset sometimes it made you not want to keave the house with her.  I finally sought help when she began pulling her own hair out.  All she needed was some work on her speech, she was so frustrated because her speech was a little delayed and she was getting very stressed out.  I did all the normal stuff, time outs, not acknowledging bad behavior, rewarding good behavior etc..   It was not until she literally had a bald spot ont eh top of her head I took her to see a child psych, she quickly identified the problem, we went to a speech pathologist who gave  us some great tips on how to bring her up to speed, the psych also suggested 123 magic which is a tome out method so simple... when bad behavior starts " That's 1 "  say nothing for 5 seconds, if it continues, "That's 2", say nothing 5 more seconds if it is still going on " That's 3, Take 5"  Time out to you room.  There is a bit more to it then That  as far as how to get them to stay in time out etc.. and immediate take 5 for any physical behavior such as hitting  etc.. I found it at my library it's a vhs though, I am sure it is available on dvd somewhere.  So the long and short is, sometimes it's more involved than just bad behavior so use you best judgement and just  be consistant.

Teegan - posted on 01/15/2009

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My son used to throw some good tantrums at home and in public, the best way to deal with it is what everyone has said ....ignore it!! They soon learn it's not the way to get your attention just be sure to praise them lots when they are being good otherwise they wont recognise the difference. In public when I take my son to the shops he gets put straight into the trolley in the seat and if he has a hissy fit for any reason i just ignore it!! It is hard but they don't usually take long to get out of it. Don't worry what other people think either, other mums will understand what your going through and other people just have no idea so ignore them too!!! Hope this helps, all the best =)

Carissa - posted on 01/15/2009

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When my daughter throws a tantrum, I walk away and let her do her thing. I am trying to teach her that she can't have everything that she wants. If I ignore her, she doesn't last long before she's standing in front of me and wanting a hug. I have to agree with Amirah though....Out in public is a toughie....I limit my time in public with her, just in case she does throw one. It can get really frustrating when she's throwing a tantrum and people are staring at you, making you feel like a bad parent.

Amirah - posted on 01/15/2009

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At first I didn't ignor I would just keep asking whats wrong, why are you acting this way, are you fustraded (his doctor told me to say that when he's frustrated so he can indentify the emotion he's having). But with all this I have to agree inoring is the best why to go. My only prob is when we are out in public.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/14/2009

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Ignore him. Eventually he will stop. I have tried the negotiating thing too but, ultimately if no one is paying attention to him then he stops.

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