Tantrums at 14 months, best way to deal with them?

Discussion in 'Toddler & Pre-School' started by hmaz, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. hmaz

    hmaz Well-Known Member

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    My DS is 14 months old and has just started having tantrums and I don't really know how to deal with them. I never thought they'd start this early so has taken me a bit by surprise.

    LO gets particularly upset if I've taken something away from him. He always gets really angry when I take the toothbrush away after brushing teeth and will throw himself on the floor crying. he's started reacting like this more and more if he's frustrated or angry, either dropping to the floor crying or throwing his toys or food on to the floor. I'm trying my best to distract him when he gets like this but it doesn't always work very well. I'm still breastfeeding LO and have found that the easiest way to calm him is to let him nurse for a few minutes after which he's almost always back to his usual happy self. Is this an ok way to help sooth LO or should I try different approaches for dealing with his tantrums/anger?

    Would be really interested to hear how other people think it's best to deal with tantrums and also if it's normal for them to start at this sort of age.
     
  2. QTPie

    QTPie Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    My DS had his first "mini tantrum" at just under 12 months... He has them very rarely now (more likely if under the weather/teething or tired) and they generally fizzle out almost straight away (since I ignore them.

    Suggestions:
    - do you warn your LO that you are about to do something. If he dislikes something being taken off him, have you tried saying "Mummy is going to take your toothbrush away in two minutes". Followed by - after a minute or two - "Ok, time to finish with your toothbrush. Mummy is going to count to 3. 1. 2. 3. Ok, all finished the the toothbrush"
    - have you tried asking for the toothbrush? This is always my favoured approach (they feel that they have done something good :) ). "Ok, we have finished brushing our teeth." (or you could do as above and the two minute warning, then countdown) "Please can I have your toothbrush?" and put your hand out. You might be surprised! Then "thank you! Good boy!" afterwards. If you can get this "asking and praising" culture going, it tends to work very well :)
    - if they are still upset, then "I know that you enjoy brushing your teeth, but it is time to finish now. You can do it again after your bath (or in the morning, or whatever)".

    Personally I wouldn't nurse after a tantrum, because that seems like rewarding it, but that is personal opinion.

    If I cannot distract, I ignore. I just make sure that he is safe (ie doesn't bang his head on the hard floor), then I walk away, do things and talk to myself (ie "hmmm, what shall I do for lunch today, I know... blah blah blah"). So I am ignoring his behaviour and not him as a person - if that makes sense...

    How you handle early tantrums is very important - because it will affect later behaviour and tantrums etc.
     
  3. Kimmer

    Kimmer Mummy to a beautiful baby

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    I've always found the best way to deal with a tantrum is to explain why you're doing whatever it is they don't like. Tell her I understand why she's upset and give her a cuddle.

    I then generally run away saying in an excited voice that we're going to play with some toys.

    I've never had a single time of this not working.
    I feel if a child is ignored while not in control of their feelings and not understanding why something is happening, it doesn't resolve the problem.

    It's not nice for us when they have tantrums, but it's worse for them. It's an explosion of emotion cause by something they don't understand and can't stop happening. They also can't speak very well or communicate what is actually wrong.

    You feeding him when he's upset will be a great comfort to him and I would carry on with that. If it relaxes him, it's the best thing for him at the time :flower:
     
  4. LilDreamy

    LilDreamy Guest

    I usually dismiss Alexa's Tantrums. She does the same with throwing herself on the floor.

    I don't give her any attention for her action, because I feel if I did, in the future she may think that this is how she can get attention from me, is by misbehaving.

    When she does good things, this is when I praise her alot and give her much needed good attention. That way she knows what will give her good attention and praises and what will cause for her to not get any attention. If she learns that nothing comes out of her tantrums, then what is the point in throwing them??

    Lol I don't know if I'm making any sense?

    Anywho. I am a bit curious as well with some Tantrums.

    The one I do struggle with though, is when I'm trying to change her Diaper or fix her hair... this is where I'm at a loss. Especially when she has a poopie diaper and I just undid the diaper to clean her, she thinks this is the perfect time to fight me and try to crawl away. AHHH! I don't want poopie to get all over the house, and the only thing I can do is hold her down and she screams and fights with me until she is exhausted or too much into hesterics to move. I try using toys for diaper changes and make diaper changing a game... but nothing works.

    And trying to fix her hair is a nightmare.
    I can't not do her hair because it is a frizzy mess. People will think I neglect my child if I go in public without fixing it. >=/
     
  5. QTPie

    QTPie Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this hugely! :thumbup:
     
  6. hmaz

    hmaz Well-Known Member

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    Thanks very much QTPie for your suggestions, I haven't tried a countdown and i don't think I've actually asked for him to give me the toothbrush or whatever else it is he's got. I'll definitely try both of those approaches.

    That's what I was thinking about the nursing, although it calms him it's probably not a good asociation to create. I just thought I'd have a lot longer to work out how to deal with tantrums, I don't want to deal with them incorrectly now and cause more issues in the long run.
     
  7. hmaz

    hmaz Well-Known Member

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    Kimmer, I'm sure a lot of the problem relates to DS's frustration with communication. DS is really trying to communicate what he wants and gets really angry when I don't know what he wants. I like the idea of explaining why things are happening and that I understand why he's upset. I'll definitely try this approach, thanks
     
  8. hmaz

    hmaz Well-Known Member

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    LilDreamy, we're having a lot of problems with nappy changes too. DS tries to run off as soon as the nappy comes off!

    I really agree with giving lots of praise for positive things. I try to give Thomas lots of praise throughout the day for good behaviour
     
  9. LilDreamy

    LilDreamy Guest

    Oh yea. And of course. Never just take something I usually ask for it, so she feels she has some control and then praise her and call her "Such a good girl" when she hands it to me.

    But there are some times she will squinch up her nose and turn her head and try to put her arm with the item in her hand out of my reach :haha: (as if I can't reach it. lol) This is when I have to just grab it and let her throw her tantrum. I also explain why she shouldn't have it. Like I'll say "That could cause an OWWY!" and she knows what an owwy is.

    One day she actually handed me the item and made the "O" face lol. as if saying... Ooooo I wouldn't want that to happen... lol she looked so surprised. :lol:

    Best of luck to you!
     
  10. QTPie

    QTPie Well-Known Member

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    Good luck :thumbup:

    I think that 14 months is a very common time to start tantrums (and certainly not early). You son is becoming aware of himself and wanting to have some control on his environment: he is becoming fed up of having no control of where he is going or what he is doing...

    So giving him a bit of control over his environment (or letting him think he has control) helps to diffuse certain situations.

    The whole "asking thing" (and please and thank yous) has the added bonus - hopefully - of introducing good manners at an early age too.

    Another thing that can work, in certain situations, is simple choices. My DS is older, but if he doesn't want to hold my hand when out, I say something along the lines of "do you want to walk OR do you want to be carried? If you want to walk, you hold my hand". I repeat the choice if he still fights holding my hand and 95% of the time it ends up with him holding my hand. Then I praise him for "good hand holding" and say "thank you, mummy loves holding your hand". Obviously I have to be prepared to carry him if he chooses to be carried ;). But the choice gives him some control over his environment (you have to be happy with both choices offered), but he ends up doing what I want and then feels proud of himself because of the priase. Then, in time, hand holding gets much easier and you don't need to offer the choice.

    As they grow you give them, seemingly, more control over their environment (although you always need to be happy with the choices) and praise for good behaviour. Making them feel good about doing what you want - win, win ;)

    QT
     
  11. AlwaysPraying

    AlwaysPraying Mom of two!

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    I'm in the same boat. I'm hoping it's the terrible twos starting early, which means it will end early (I'm sure that's not the case, but I can hope!).

    With taking things away, I ask for it, or I will tell him we are almost done playing with it, but one thing that works really well for us is if I say, "say goodbye to the toothbrush, say goodbye!!". He loves waving, so he opens his hands, waves and I'm so happy and proud of him for doing that, he's pleased with himself too. So sometimes I'll just say, "say goodbye to (whatever it is I want him to give me)". And he knows that means it's time for that thing to go bye bye.
     
  12. Cat lady

    Cat lady Well-Known Member

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    Thomas started throwing tantrums from about 12 months and today he threw the mother of all tantrums. We usually do ignore and distract or if he is trying to do something dangerous tell him it will cause an ouch! But today he was having none of it, he wanted a drink in a beaker which is fine if he is sitting down but not if he is standing up, so I asked him to sit down for his drink and all hell brook loose! He screamed for literally 25 minutes and nothing I did calmed him, as we were at a friends birthday party I couldnt just whip out a boob and nurse him (I do usually try not to do this), but he was red sweating and almost hyperventilating! It was awful, he stoped in the end when I was singing to him and gave him a bunny to hold. Animals always cheer him up!
    Great thread though hun as I could really do with help on this one too just to know what other people do!
    xxx
     
  13. hmaz

    hmaz Well-Known Member

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    Thomas absolutely loves waving too so I'll try this approach, thanks for the suggestion.
     
  14. Noirin

    Noirin Well-Known Member

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    my zak does this, hes sooo bad tempered its unreal, i usualy just laugh at him, he looks up at me sees me laughin then throws himself down and tries to cry louder then i laugh and say wat happened to my poor baby so he comes over and give me a quick cuddle and is off again......i find them hilarious lool
     

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