How do you deal with tantrums?

@GuateMom (1411)
Canada
April 18, 2007 9:03am CST
My son is in the middle of the biggest tantrum I have ever seen! Normally, he screams and rolls around on the floor a bit, but this time he is completely insane! He was bashing his head into the concrete floor, so I put him on the bed, but then he just started flipping around so much that I was afraid he would fall off, so I told him he would have a time out and stuck him in his crib. He is flailing around, tearing at his clothes and blankets and screaming his head off! It is like nothing I have ever seen before. It all began over a slight delay in reading his favorite book! How do you deal with tantrums? I am of the opinion you have to ignore them, but what if the kid doesn´t calm down on his own? This has been going on for about 15 minutes now! My son is 16 months old, if that helps. Early terrible twos?
5 people like this
12 responses
@harwoodkp (285)
• United States
18 Apr 07
You really need to get control of the tantrum before it starts. We are going through this with our son. Once a tantrum starts, even a spanking wont help, because they are on a mission to have control in the family. If the tantrum starts, we find that a time out is the best thing. You might have to sit there and hold your child until they calm done. I feel that a tantrum is a way for a child to control a family. That is problem , they child has gained control. Just be firm and you will win back that contol.
2 people like this
• United States
18 Apr 07
harwoodkp, I agree.
1 person likes this
@Stiffler07 (1356)
• United States
18 Apr 07
Our little one Olivia Leigh is two, & boy oh boy is she a handful. She is big on throwing a tantrum when things don't go her way. It was very hard at the begining, but now we found what works for us. We ignore it, yes it's truly that simple. Don't feed into it & he or she will stop in a few minutes. We must not feed into it, because they will see that it works & continue to do it.It will be hard at first to see them crying, but it will pay of big in the long run. Great Question. (Good Luck!!!)
• United States
18 Apr 07
My mom would say he shouldn't have a story after the tantrum because it will reinforce the behavior, making him believe that he can throw a tantrum to get what he wants and will therefore happen regularly. It's much easier to advise when you're on the outside looking in and not there dealing with an upset child. Talking in a low voice tends to help at times, and making him see that you are calm but firm may help him settle down. It does sound like he may be overtired, as someone else mentioned, or not feeling well since this is unusual behavior for him. Best wishes.
@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I think you did the best you could given the situation. My son used to head bang, and it scared the dickens out of me, I have inlcuded an excerpt and a link to articles that may help you to deal with these types of tantrums. I know that this site helped me alot. Good luck !! Identifying the meaning and purpose of the head bumping is critical for developing an appropriate response. In some cases, children head-bang out of frustration because they have limited ways to communicate their needs and feelings. Once children have the language to express themselves more effectively, the behavior usually stops. Kids may engage in this behavior to soothe themselves, most often when they are overstimulated or tired. They also use head bumping to get what they want, as parents will do almost anything to persuade them to stop. If this behavior works, your child probably won't give it up. And unless she is bumping against a sharp surface, such as the edge of the table, she can't bump hard enough to cause any serious harm. The more emotional you get, the more rewarding head bumping will be for her. Instead, take a moment to consider what she is feeling. Helping your child recognize when she is angry is the first step in teaching her to manage these feelings: "I know you are really mad that you can't watch another video." Tell her you will figure out what she can do when she calms down. Then go about your business while keeping an eye on her. When she does pull herself together, give her lots of kudos http://www.healthykids.com/hk/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/hk/story/data/1147371646073.xml&catref=HK220
1 person likes this
@GuateMom (1411)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Thank you very much! Very useful information.
• United States
18 Apr 07
you're welcome and thanks for the BR. I used that site very often and hope it can help you too...
18 Apr 07
Wow i dont know how id deal with this, my daughter is also 16months old but luckily i have never had a tantrum out of her, she doesnt cry unless she is extremely tired! But when it comes to smaller things like sulking or putting her bottom lip out if she doesnt get her own way, i just ignore her, or when she wont go to sleep on a night i leave her be, on her own until she drops off. I see you posted this six hours ago, how did you finally sort it out? I hope it went ok amy x
1 person likes this
@GuateMom (1411)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
He finally calmed down on his own in his crib. It ended up being about 20 minutes of screaming in total, which was hard to take, but hopefully he learned that it wasn´t worth it. :) Hopefully. Even my husband´s grandmother (our neighbor) came to see what all the fuss was about! He also just went down now for his second nap of the day, which is unusual for him (usually only sleeps once a day) so I think he is coming down with something, perhaps a cold, which I already have.
@fayzah (253)
• United States
19 Apr 07
try ignoring him, if he does not do it then try time outs, or taking away toys he likes, when he is calm then you go to him and give him back the toys, but maybe he started doing it and you gave into him one or two times, and now he knows he can get away with it, you just have to be firm and they will go away.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Apr 07
That age is sooooo tough! It's good to let him cry it out-but afterwards, I would hold him and give him some reassurance. They just don't have the capability to process some things at this age-and frustration is one of them. LOL
@cjthedog64 (1553)
• United States
18 Apr 07
DS is also 16 months. Love the picture by the way! When my DS does things like that, it usually means he's tired. I try to catch him before he reaches that point, but sometimes I miss it. Sometimes a bottle of milk will calm him down, sometimes we change his diaper and let him pick out a story. The change of environments will sometimes do the trick. If we can't control him, he goes to his crib for a nap. Usually he'll just fall asleep, but sometimes he'll just sit there and play for an hour or so and be ok. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@smilyia (45)
19 Apr 07
Sometimes i can control my mind ,but sometimes cann't.When i have bad mood ,I will hit something by my side ,and then I will be OK.Hehe...
@mari123 (1862)
• China
19 Apr 07
you must bring up his interest since in his childhood,and do not always to give in to him.i think your family environment plays the major role in your child'temper.
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
19 Apr 07
It may be the terrible twos setting in early. It also sounds like he is very tired. In fact, even being slightly tired can set off a child. Your first instinct to ignore him is probably a good one. You could also try just holding him on your lap and comforting him to see if that will get him to quiet down, but I would definitely try ignoring it first. If ignoring him works, then be consistent about it and eventually the tantrums will begin to be shorter and shorter and he will have less tantrums overall. Kids are very smart. When they see they don't get their way with a tantrum, they won't waste their energy.
@gemini1960 (1162)
• Philippines
19 Apr 07
maybe you spoiled your kid too much! i havent seen much of my children having tantrums because im always out working, it is my wife who deals with them and i will only know later on the night as i arrived what happened..