How do i get my son to stop throwing bad temper tantroms!

Haley - posted on 06/08/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )




How do i get my son to stop throwing bad temper tantroms, they are HORRIBLE. He is only 15 months and he is throwing things and screaming and hitting....its bad !


Krista - posted on 06/08/2011




Tantrums can be for multiple reasons. At that age, their little brains just have such a hard time processing fatigue, or disappointment, or hunger, and so every once in awhile they just get overwhelmed, and completely overload their little brains. Result: tantrum. So don't punish him for it, but don't let him think that a tantrum will benefit him, either.

The best thing to do is to just not react at all. If we're at home, and my son has a tantrum, I sit near him, but I don't look at him, and I keep my face expressionless. So I'm not abandoning him, but I'm also not rewarding him. I'm just there. And once he's gotten it out of his system, I ask him if he's all done, give him a hug, and we continue on with what we were doing.

You can do the same thing if you're out. Just make sure he can't hurt himself, and just ignore it while he gets it out of his system. Without having a reward (i.e. your attention), he'll grow out of the tantrums a lot faster, because there's no motivation for him to continue having them.

As well, I find that a big key to tantrums is to try to avoid them in the first place. It might be worth noting down WHEN your son has tantrums, and what the situation was leading up to it. You might notice some common themes. I now schedule my errands for after his naptime and snack, so that he's not hungry or tired while we're out. I learned that one the hard way.

You might want to read "The Happiest Toddler on the Block". It has some really great ideas for preventing tantrums and helping your kid process those emotions and feel understood.

Ai Lian - posted on 06/09/2011




I agree with what Krista had to say. How to handle a tantrum would depend on what causes the tantrum in the first place. Is it that he is over-stimulated? Is it he can't get what he wants? Is he frustrated because he is not being understood? For example, sometimes my kid throws a tantrum because I didn't understand that he wanted a drink of water. Yea, sometimes it is that silly. They are just learning to communicate at that age and we have to do a lot of guess work. It gets frustrating for them and us when we guess wrong :)
Anyway, I was reading a book and it advised parents to let the child cry it out if the tantrum is due to stress. Ya, our kids do experience stress too. You know how you just feel better of having a good cry? So it is based on that concept that there is healing in tears.
This is what I usually do:
1. Ask questions to figure out if they need something.
2. If it is something they can't have (e.g. playing with scissors), I offer something else, try to distract them.
3. Still can't stop screaming, I leave them alone for awhile and tell them that I will come back in a few minutes or when they are ready to stop.
4. I've noticed that after throwing a tantrum for awhile, my kids will usually reach out a hand (or I have to reach out my hand) and they are ready for a hug.

I hope you'll find something that works for you. Keep us updated.

Noelle - posted on 06/09/2011




Hi, Haley, when my daughter started throwing tantrums, I found some awesome advice in a book. The lady shared that she had picked her child up and put him in a cold shower. I thought that was a bit much so I adapted. Instead of a shower, I got a spray bottle. When the tantrum started, I would simply spray one squirt in her face and tell her that if she continued, I would continue. To this day, she has only ever thrown 2 tantrums. It has also worked on my son. I hope this advice helps you too!


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Christie - posted on 06/10/2011




One thing I must say, DONT let the doctors tell you it's "normal" As mothers, we KNOW when our children are in need of attention. I did not get my son diagnosed as Dawn did, but as he got older and I started demanding they have him tested and let the professionals (not the pediatrician) tell me nothing was wrong with my son did we find out he was in constant pain due to pressure built up behind his ear drums and was hearing "as though he was under water" he was almost 3 and speaking on a 15 mo old level. After tubes and ST he was a completely different child. Good luck and listen to your Mom voice :)

Kylie - posted on 06/09/2011




At 15 months old, the best way to approach this is be attentive and try and divert his attention as soon as he starts getting frustrated. I would;t scold or ignore him and definitely dont start spraying him with water. That is disrespectful and mean. I completely agree with Krista be there for him and catch it early.

Hayley - posted on 06/09/2011




Ha ha! A spray bottle? I do that with my Dog when he barks at the postman.

Dawn - posted on 06/09/2011




does he have sensory issues?? My son used to throw 20 to 25 MAJOR temper tantrums a day, we had him evaluated and came to finally find out he has Sensory intergration dysfunction. O.T helped beyond belief. Try to see if his tantrums are after he is overstimulated. Talked to your Dr.and an occupational Therapist.

Grace - posted on 06/09/2011




Hi Haley,

My oldest son would bonk his head on the woden floor when he was angry... can you imagine our faces when he did it for the first time? We were schocked! lol But, after reading a lot about temper tantrums, we realized that the best, was IGNORING it. Make sure you put him on a safe place, where he cant hurt himself, or pretend you are not looking, you can do this easily, and still see him. it works i usually said to other friends...'theres no teather without public'. :)

It is very helpfull if you stay calm (not easy, i know) and talk with a soft voice through the entire 'moment'. If you are on a shop, for instance... try to avoid problems, take him on the baby chair or shopping car...avoiding problems is allways the best... :)

If needed, give him a time out..and tell him 'when you are calm, you can come back'.... also works good. Dont worry if he screams and so..he soon stops, if you give no attention.

Good luck!! :)

Jodie - posted on 06/08/2011




This probly sounds really silly, i had a son with similar temper, the day i chucked a tantrum on the carpet really made a difference.

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