handling temper tantrums

United States
January 4, 2008 2:31pm CST
I have a 20 month old who has been throwing some pretty bad temper tantrums at home and in public a lot. He does the normal things like yell, scream, stomp his feet, throw his back out, and pretty much make it impossible to control him. I know this happens at some point with every child, but does anyone out there have any suggestions on how to control the tantrums? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
2 people like this
3 responses
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
4 Jan 08
My oldest daughter used to do this. I remembered something an aunt told about her son. She was getting ready to throw out some dish water when he started to throw a temper tantrum. Without even thinkinfg she threw the water on him. He was so surprised that he never threw another one. After trying many other things I decided to give this a try. I took a glass of just from the tap water and threw it on her. Tantrum finished. It took a couple of times but it worked. and when she started another one all I had to do was reach for the glass. With in a couple of weeks no more tantrum at all.
• United States
4 Jan 08
Thanks for the advice...someone else I know had suggested that, but I was unsure that it would actually work. I think I will give it a try next time. Thanks again.
• United States
5 Jan 08
Interesting, I am not sure I would try that, but, everyone to their own. I would suggest that (at least at home) you first take a deep breath and count to 3 (that allows you to calm down!) the child is probably too young to understand a verbal warning(ie give them 3 chances to calm down), so, in that case remove the child to a "time out" area (I use their bedroom). Close the door and walk away for about 1 minute per age of the child. Then return and let the child know you love them and comfort then(simple kiss, cuddle, touch), if they continue to throw the tantrum, leave the room again for another minute and then return after a minute or so, increase the increments until the child calms down. I hope it helps, it works with my 3 boys....sometimes!
@lightningd (1041)
• United States
10 Jan 08
First and formost, when a child throws a tantrum like this in public, I would stop whatever I am doing with the child, be it shopping, movies, whatever, remove the child from the surroundings and take him home. I would not take the child in public until the child learns that his behavior is unacceptable. As far as tantrums at home. If he is getting a rise out of you or attention for the tantrums, they will continue. What I would do, when the child starts the tantrum, let him, but ignore it to the point that you remain calm, tell him you are not listening to him until he calms down. If he hurts himself, doctor the wounds, but explain to the child that he did it to himself. Even kids this young will understand you. Say something along the lines of, "Well, I'm sure sorry you hurt yourself like this. You might get really hurt if you can't stop yourself from doing this. I hope you can learn to be a big man, and take care of yourself better." This puts it on them. They do it to themselves. Otherwise, if he's not hurting himself or others, ignore the tantrums at home, but do not allow them in public, if he wants to act out, he should be punished by not being allowed to go anywhwere with you.
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
5 Jan 08
My daughter is 19 months & doing the very same thing :) My daughter's favourite thing to do during her tantrums is to fall to her knees & bang her head on the floor (when we're home or she's not in her pram) - usually i just put it down to her wanting something but since she cant tell me, i have to guess :) The water thing above sounds like a good idea, maybe it could be worth a shot. Usually i just try & work out what it is that she's wanting & the tantrums stop. Although if it's something she's not allowed to have, i just try to ignore it. It's hard but they all do it!