Tantrum help needed: this morning my son had his first meltdown and I feel terrible about it. He asked for yogurt and cereal, and then seemed to want neither. He sat in his high chair with a full bowl of his favorite cereal and his favorite yogurt and cried until it was time to go to daycare. He would only eat his nutrigrain bar in his car seat, and he would only allow me to unwrap it for him while I was sitting in the driver seat. He was sobbing and heaving so much - I feel awful, but he wasn't responding to anything I tried to do.

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Casey - posted on 11/07/2008

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I know its hard to stop the tantrum once it has already started but you can prevent it by giving a choice. You can say..."do you want cereal and yogurt or do you want a nutrigrain bar?" You are still the boss but he will feel like he is making the decision. Let him throw the fit but don't give in to it. Don't try a million different things to get him to stop. He will just learn that if he screams enough...he will get what he wants which is to eat in the car and have you open his bar for him while you are driving. If it was in the morning before daycare, he could have been tired too. When I was working, my daughter had many melt downs before we were leaving. Your rushing and they can feel that stress which upsets them. Don't respond to the tantrum...don't look him, don't speak to him, don't reason with him....he will learn that this gets no response so he will eventually stop or lessen. good luck

User - posted on 11/06/2008

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While I totally agree with Jessica , my daughter is 2 in a few weeks and when she says a word for something and it is incorrect lets say cracker for cereal I correct her and ask her to say the correct word that way I don't have to crack a code when I talk to her. and she is great that way if she wants a pickle she says pickle once handing her one, she asks for two then says thank you, giggles and runs away. so needless to say she has no reason to throw a tantrum because I can understand her.

Jennifer - posted on 11/06/2008

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Lisa, have you thought about having her ears checked? My son just had tubes put in his and we have seen huge improvements in him. Also, my sis in law just had her 5 year old sons done last Friday and she is seeing a difference! I would check into it if she has had 9 ear infections. Trace had only had 5 when we asked for the referral, but my nephew had had 9 by the time he was 1.

Jessica - posted on 11/06/2008

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My 2 year old does that too! I find the best thing to do is to let him show me what he wants. Usually when I can't understand him he gets more frustrated, so I find that allowing him to look in the fridge with me and asking him to show me what he wants gets the tantrum out of the way. When he picks out what he was looking for (I keep his foods in the two bottom draws) which is usually applesauce or a yogurt, I take the opportunity to reenforce what it is called and listen to what he calls it and store it in m memory bank. After that he closes the draw and the door to the fridge like a big boy and goes to the table with his snack and spoon happy as a clam! Hope that helps... it does for me!

Lisa - posted on 11/06/2008

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My daughter melts down a LOT too... she is just wanting attention most of the time. So we do our best to be firm and not give in to her demands... The only thing is we have ear infection issues, so when she is sick or has an ear infection she tends to get really bad/long with her tantrums. Teething doesn't help either. Doesn't mean you give in though but if she is bad or worse then normal for a while and has other symptoms I have her ears checked just in case. In our case 9 times out of 10 she has an ear infections. Unfortunately she never tells us her ears hurt! She just acts out like a drama queen! Good luck! Take deep breaths and be patient.

Jennifer - posted on 11/05/2008

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Patience will be the key here! My mother has raised 4 children and my son is grandchild # 9 plus she has 2 great grandchildren. The advice she has given me is not to acknowledge the fit or the unapproved behavior when it come to tantrums. I have seen this as well. When they throw the fit, its normally for your attention, not that you havent been giving any, but its new and if you fall apart then they learn that it gets your attention and they will continue to try it. Some of the advice above sounds good to try though. Like if you try twice and they still throw a fit, put it where they can get it themselves.



Let me know what works! I know my tantrum days are coming and I hope that I can use my moms advice and not melt down myself!!!

Becky - posted on 11/05/2008

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Take charge up front or you will be dealing with it MUCH longer. Keep a cool voice and let him know you can't understand him when he has a tantrum. Offer him one or two more things, and then let it go- he will not starve himelf forever, but you will save yourself lots of headaches to come if you nip this in the bud now!

Sara - posted on 11/05/2008

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If this is not a regular thing, have there been any major changes or situations that would have upset him lately? Do you think something may have happened to upset him at daycare? It may just be a toddler tantrum, but I might ask his daycare teacher if she's noticed anything different just to be sure.

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When my son does this I try to get him to talk it out to me. Or I ask him to show me what he wants. Some times he tells me he wants a particular item and when I give it to him he cries and says he does not want it. It usually turns out that he said it wrong. He was thinking it was called what he got and when it was not that he was upset. So I try my best to be patient and have him go with me to the kitchen and pick it out.

Mindy - posted on 11/05/2008

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My son has been at this for about 2 months now. He starts whining and asks me for cheese, so I go get him some string cheese. He then starts crying and says he doesn't want the cheese. So I put the cheese back in the frig. He then starts crying even harder saying he DOES want the cheese and when I go towards the frig he starts screaming saying he doesn't want it. After the first month, I gave up. He asks for something, I get it, he says he doesn't want it. Then he says he wants so I ask him..."Do you really want_____?" After the first 2 back and forths, I put the item away, usually in a spot he can still reach it. If he decides to eat it, he can get it himself. Sometimes he'll go get it and eat it, other times he switches to another item. I think when they get tired (even after bedtime), they like to test our limits!!!! Hang in there, I'm told this is just another one of the many phases you will encounter through the years!

Melissa - posted on 11/05/2008

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My guess is he was probably still tired, and desperately wanted his yogurt and cereal, but didn't know how to calm down enough to eat them, which made him even more angry. My son does the same thing, he'll ask for something during a tantrum, then push it away or throw it as soon as I give it to him. When he's in that mood I'll try to hug him if he'll let me, but if not you kind of have to just put them down somewhere safe and let them sort it out on their own!



Hello, by the way :-) My name is missy and I'm new to the board, I have a 26 month old named Nathan.

Denise - posted on 11/05/2008

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He's trying to test your limits, so hold fast Mama! He has to learn that you set the rules not him. As for the sobbing, it does make you feel horrible...my son is a puker so we always try to stop him from going so far as to gague when crying. He's upset because he can't express himself or is confused and there isn't a whole lot us Mom's can do but comfort them and try to help them communicate the best they can... give options or distractions to try to get them over the hissy fit

Sheila - posted on 11/05/2008

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Be thankful, he would do something. My 2 year old will decide she want's something and will not take anything but that. Even if I say no. then the tantrum begins. Kicking, Screaming for Hours, Hitting and even biting. Yelling "leave me alone". Which if you leave the room she screams cause she wants me to stay and witness it.



It is just natural from what I hear... Them trying to do things themselves, but can't and wanting everything their way.

Emily - posted on 11/05/2008

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my daughter does that a lot. i think what it is is that thats the only words they know for some things. like cracker is the same as cereal in my house. and when she says cracker...i will give her a cracker and then she will start screaming and throw it back at me, so then I will try giving her cereal. sometimes this still might not work and it is actually something entirely different she is thinking of.

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