View Full Version : Need tantrum advice / BTDT
10-15-2008, 08:46 AM
I am really struggling right now with some of DS2's behaviour lately - he is throwing some nasty tantrums. He is almost 2.5 and while I can easily attribute some of it to "just being two" the tantrums are getting nastier and more physical. Yesterday, we had his first swim class and he did okay. At the end of the class, he wanted to play with a piece of equiptment that wasn't for the class. I nicely told him we were going to give that back to Ms. Instructor. Then, the instructor told him she needed it back and could he hand it to her? He would not look at her and would not give it back. So, she took it back. I carried him back to the family dressing room and full on tantrum ensued. At one point, he slapped me and pulled a clump of my hair out. He was screaming the whole time I got dressed and I was trying to dress him. We left with him only in shorts - no diaper, no shirt, no shoes. He continued the tantrum in the car and I had to hold him down to buckle him in his car seat - him screaming and trying to hit me the whole time. This morning he woke up at 5:15 am and wanted a fruit bar and to go down stairs and play. DH and I both calmly told him it was sleep time and we would get up and do that when it was time. Another tantrum. The tantrums have lasted up to 45 minutes. I try to stay calm, redirect his attention, move on to other things, but they just seem to blow over when he's "ready".
I am exhausted and dreading going out because this is where most of the tantrums happen. I am very patient and calm with DS, I try to count things down (we're going to leave in x minutes), I try to give him choices and let him do things for himself. DH thinks I give him too much and give in too much and there are just some things DS has to do when and how we want them done. While it doesn't really bother me what people think, I hate feeling the weight of the judgemental looks I get from people when we're out and a tantrum is going on.
Can anyone give me any advice, BTDT, anything? I feel like such an ineffective mother and I hate that DS is so miserable when he has the tantrums. TIA.
Happy 2B mommy
10-15-2008, 08:54 AM
Check out "The Happiest Toddler on the Block" DVD from your library. The book is in more depth, but it's all the same principles and I liked seeing parents act out the techniques.
DD isn't in the heavy tantrum stage yet, but we do the techniques (acknowledge how she feels is really important to her) when she has meltdowns and it works for us.
10-15-2008, 08:58 AM
:hug: You just described me and DS.
Must be quick but DH/I have really stepped up the limit setting with him. We were too tired to do it before and his behavior showed it. DS is in much better spirits because we're following through when he doesn't do as we ask.
The forewarnings are good esp. for him. He is very resistant to change so plucking him out of/plopping him into new situations is a terrible sight to see. He's so much more secure because he knows to expect from us what we say.
Another thing we stepped up what explaining why we do things and then letting him choose how he responds. In your scenario, I'd have given him the choice of giving the thing back or me doing it for him.
For the tantrums, I let him get his feelings out for a minute then distract him. Usually offering to hold/comfort him is enough to distract.
Hugs to you. I'd beg to differ with your DH. I/mine have had this debate. I've explained kids have a "special" way of behaving with the primary caregiver(usually mom) that is unique. They let themselves behave in ways that are unbelievable to most but it's a good thing because they feel comfortable with you. Not fun but a good thing. I still cringe at having told my sister(before DC) that her DD "didn't behave that way with me". I cringe, I tell ya....
10-15-2008, 11:26 AM
Totally btdt. I was at my wit's end. Then I read HTOTB and 1-2-3 Magic. Both really helped - happiest baby w/ understanding, 1-2-3 for solid strategies. Made DH read 1-2-3 so we could be on same page wrt discipline, and it's really worked well. Tantrums are now *very* rare.
10-15-2008, 11:54 AM
IMO/IME, while the phases where they are tantrum prone are tiring and frustrating, you can't punish away a tantrum, kwim? I once read that tantrums are an immature expression of emotion/"big feelings" and while they are not fun for anyone, you also can't expect a 2.5 year old to be equipped to handle those big surges of emotion yet.
The preparation for leaving, choices, etc. all sound good.
I don't give in to tantrums, but I also don't punish or try to make them stop "feeling" because in the end, I think that creates additional problems (look at our society of adults...so many can't process or handle their own big feelings effectively).
My favorite resources are:
Playful Parenting (Cohen)
and the website www.gentlechristianmothers.com (don't be scared off by the title if that's not something you would generally relate to. The gentle discipline board there is filled with great information. I learned about it from this board and I know many parents have found it helpful. Non-punitive, but not permissive either)
Other good books:
Raising your Spirited Child (Kurcinka. She also has a newer one out that I've heard is even better....Kids, Parents and Power Struggles. The spirited child book is good even if you don't consider your child "spirited" per se)
Haven't read, but have heard is good:
You Can't Make Me (But I can Be Persuaded)-Tobias I think is the author?
For normal development, the Ames and Ilig series, "Your Two Year Old" (etc. etc. they have one for each age).
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