Stop, drop and roll tantrums - how do you combat them??

Emma - posted on 07/08/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My LO will be 2 in 7 weeks. He was always a lovely placid baby and I hardly had a problem with him. He hit 18m and it all seemed to go pear-shaped! He is tantruming and, although I've posted before and have been reassured that it is normal, I need a little more help in dealing with them!

He does what I call the 'stop, drop and roll' technique. If he is going in a direction I do not want him to or will not leave somewhere and I attempt to grab him hand and walk with him, he drops! Flat out on the floor! Sometimes this is accommpanied by screaming, sometimes he does it silently. What gets me is that he is impossible to move without causing a scene!

He goes completely and utterly floppy. If I drag him upwards and stand him on his feet he will apply no pressure and slither back down again. As soon as he feels pressure to go somewhere he does not, he's down. If I try and pick him up he will raise his arms above his head so there is no grip and once again he slips through my fingers and is on the floor. If I do manage to yank him up he will fling his head back and head but him! VERY embarrassing when in public!!

I have tried all sorts. I will leave him on the floor and once he gets up I will grab him again and say, "Mummy says we are going this way." I thought he'd get the message. He doesn't. We'll still be there 20 minutes later. I've tried plan dragging him in the hope he'll not like it and get up and walk. That doesn't work. I've even help him arms up and so he's in a standing position and when he won't apply pressure to his legs I've just carried him with his arms hoping the pull down will make him drop his legs. He isn't bothered...infact, sometimes he laughs!! Usually I resort to be battered and carry him before wrestling him back into his buggie!!

What else can I do? Is this a storm I need to ride out of is there anything I haven't tried that work for your LO's?

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Aarin - posted on 07/09/2011

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First off I don't mean to laugh but you typed this perfectly! My little guy does the same thing, going limp ect. You have a wonderful way with words.
What I have found works best with my little guy is to hide, I can see him but he can't see me. He continues to throw his fit and looks up and "OMG where is Mommy!" hits. He has only thrown one major wingdinger in public and that's what I did and now he has only has to be warned. I go with the rule of 3. Warning, 2nd warning, time out.
It's what my Mom did with my brother and I as well and she said it worked very well with both of us as well.

Good luck!

Josette - posted on 08/18/2011

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LET HIM GET IT ALL OUT WHEN HE IS CALM ENOUGH EXPLAIN TO HIM HOW HE COULD GET HURT BY FALLING OUT LIKE THAT. AND SING WHATEVER HIS FAVORITE SONG IS FROM NICK JR. T'M SURE HE HAS A FEW LOL ANYWAY MAKE IT FUN FOR HIM TO CALM DOWN. GOOD LUCK IT DOESN'T ALWAYS WORK ;)

Jennifer - posted on 07/10/2011

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Lol I used to do that with my daughter when she didn't listen and wondered off, I would hide where I could see her but she couldn't see me. And when she would realize I wasn't there the panic would set in. But I would show myself just as the tears were going to set in.
I've personally never tried it for a melt down, though, but I don't think I will, either.

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Josette - posted on 08/18/2011

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MAKE IT FUN FOR HIM TO CALM DOWN FOR INSTANCE HIS FAVORITE SONG FROM NICK JR. THEY ALL LOVE THAT CHANNEL ANYWAY GET HIM ALL EXCITED AND LAUGHING BEFORE HE REALIZES WHATS HAPPING HE WILL ALREADY BE IN BUGGIE HA! ALSO SOMETIMES I JUST LET MY SON CRY IT OUT AND TOTALLY PAY THE TANTRUM NO MIND UNTIL HE SURRENDERS LOL

Jennifer - posted on 07/31/2011

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Funny story lol When you tried walking away from him was it for a melt down? Lol if so, that's why I wouldn't personally recommend you trying the walking away thing for a melt down. I used it when, say, I told her to stay by me and if she didn't listen and was slowly wondering off without paying attention I would hide behind something so that I could still see her and wait for her to realize she was "lost." When she noticed I was gone she'd start looking around for me and sometimes calling out for me and I would just watch until she truly believed she was "lost," then I would appear and tell her to come to me and she would and I would tell her, "See, if you had listened and stayed by me you wouldn't have gotten lost."

Megan - posted on 07/30/2011

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im afraid its not an easy thing to go through my oldest boy did the same thing and all you can do is what you have been doing. i tried the walk off method with my 2nd boy and he would still just stand there because he was determinant to go the other way i would just have to wrestle both boys back to the pram

Tierney - posted on 07/13/2011

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I have the same exact problem with my two year old daughter, and i think we have to ride it out!!!!

Jessica - posted on 07/13/2011

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My son did that and the only thing I could do was to walk away and ignore it. Easy to say, but not always easy to do! Once he saw that I wasn't paying attention he would calm down. I have sometimes put him in his room to calm down - but that was when he was older (4ish).
My daughter is almost 2 and is starting tantrums but she likes to follow me around and scream. I may have to find a different approach to that one! Good luck!

Molade - posted on 07/12/2011

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Lol...stop, drop and roll is a perfect description. My 20month old son does the same thing...if he doesnt want to go in a particular direction, he drops to the floor and goes limp when i try to lift him up. As other mums have adviced, hiding for some few seconds help...the he starts looking for me. But most times i simply pick him by 1 hand and drag him, the 1 hand position is uncomfortable for him so he quickly walks on his own..lol

Emma - posted on 07/12/2011

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Thank you for all your comments! I realise my original post was written terribly! I think I may have been dealing with LO with one hand and typing with the other!
Your comments have all been brilliant! I have tried the hiding technique the other day. He lay on the floor, I walked and hid behind the wall. He got up, noticed I'd gone, celebrated this fact and ran off in the opposite directions...I've not tried it again!
I will try the other ideas and let you know how I get on! He is getting slightly better in that he holds my hands when we go to the car and walk short-distances. Hopefully he will outgrow it!

Laura - posted on 07/10/2011

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my son is the same way all of a sudden. We call him 'Baby Floppers' when he suddenly becomes floppy and 'boneless' and squirms on the floor. I'm hoping it's just a phase. He isn't a big talker so I can understand his frustration right now. I'm hoping once he communicates better, we'll be able to talk out his frustrations rather than this!

Jennifer - posted on 07/09/2011

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There are several things I have done with my oldest when she was little, depending on how much time I had to spare. One of these things was if she was going to have a tantrum I let her have it, but would stand off to the side or sit down and ignore it (ocassionally, if I felt the urge, I would ask, "How's that working for you? Is it working?"), of course making sure that their tantrum is being had in a safe place and out of the way of other people. It used to be embarassing until one day I realized that most people (parents) know exactly what you're going through and aren't judging you and the ones that do judge you don't know you and also probably have never had children. When she was finished, whether it be on the floor or if I had moved her onto a bench to get her out of harms way or the way of people traffic, I would ask her if she was finished and if she started up again, I would say, "I guess not. I'll wait." And I would wait until she stopped again and ask her again. If she didn't start up again I'd talk to her then and we'd be on our way. The minute she tried to do it again, it was the same routine.
When she wanted to be out of her stroller I would explain to her what was expected of her, that she cannot run off and needed to stay by me (now at nearly 6 she is allowed to walk beside me pushing her sisters stroller, but usually is required to pick one side and put one hand on one of the stroller handles) and that if she did NOT listen, she would be going into her stroller. And if she didn't listen, she went into her stroller. No matter how loudly she cried while I did so I would not give in and I would follow through with my promise. I would remind her that next time she should listen and she wouldn't be in her stroller. I've also done this with my nearly 22 month old when she wants to come out of her stroller. But when I put her in her stroller after she's not listened she will cry about it for a minute or less, I'd say, because she knows that I meant what I said and am not going to let her back out.
If I was trying to pick my child off the floor and get her to walk somewhere I usually grabbed one hand to help her up, just one. And I would lift her up until it was high enough to where her feet would touch the ground with my hand holding her fully extended arm, even if she tried to curl her knees like they do when you hold both hands. She saw things my way and would walk, reluctantly (crying and all), because when they try to dangle by only one hand makes a huge difference in comfort for them. As a general rule they do not like it, so they'll walk. But while they walk I still hold their hand, keeping that hand at the same height. I've done this with my nearly 22 month old as well.
If all else fails because I'm in a rush, I will pick the child up and carry them.

Holli - posted on 07/08/2011

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It's seeming like these days what my mother tells me is "she needs a good butt whooping" about my daughter's tantrums, you can't do anymore for fear of getting hauled into jail for child abuse. I was always a believer of a swift smack on the hind end when something needs to be set straight but you just can't do that anymore. I have no solution, I have to drag, poke, prod, and try to keep composure when my daughter does these fits in the store or in front of company.

Claudette - posted on 07/08/2011

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I used to ignore my girls and as soon as they realized that I was not acknowledging their behavior, they got up and appeared to be very scared of how I might address their tantrum. I guess the fear of not knowing what I was going to do set them straight...

Anastasia - posted on 07/08/2011

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My son does same thing, when he drops on the floor I just leave and in a few minutes he starts wondering and going to look for me ) Or if I dont have time for that I'll just carry him. If it's in the store I always have a buggy, so I'd just load him in and go. Dont let him know that his trick will work and get him what he wants, or he will use it all the time!

Teejay - posted on 07/08/2011

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My son is 15 months old and he started doing exactly this a month ago. So i definatly know what you mean! I have gotten two split lips and even my friend was headbutted while he was having a tanty and her lip got split too. I have no idea what to do about it and it is very embarressing in public. Up until a month ago he was fine and didnt pull any of these tricks.
Im sorry I cant help you with the answer but hopefully someone else can answer it for us both now.
:)

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