Temper Tantrums(9 Posts)
I've got two LOs, DD is 22 months and DS is 11 months. I'm entering tantrum territory but ironically with my 11 month old, not my 22 month old! He's had a bad temper from birth unfortunately which is the total opposite of DD who, whilst strong willed, is very easy going most of the time and you could take her anywhere comfortable in the knowledge she'd behave amazingly. I'm at a loss with him as nothing will stop him or distract him, if you hold him he carries on screaming in your face, if you try to distract with a toy he'll throw it, and he'll keep screaming until he's hoarse. Not a bloody clue what to do as the last two have been 45 minutes long!! Distraction and comfort don't work so I've tried putting him down somewhere safe but it's excruciating as he doesn't seem to stop. He screams A LOT generally - for example DD will have a toy or book and he'll try to take it, she'll turn away, and he'll keep pursuing her screaming trying to take it. In the past she's just given him things to stop him screaming but lately she's got a bit tougher.
My question is, what age did your LO start tantrumming, what is their tantrum 'style' I.e. Breath holding / hitting / screaming etc, and how do / did you handle it?
For any really early tantrummers who would not be held or distracted, what was your strategy?
Only had one 'tantrum' so far (7 months) I left him to it in a safe place. He wanted to pull my hair which obviously wasn't going to happen, he threw his toy and then bit me as hard as he could in a frustrated way (thankfully he is a late teether).
It only lasted seconds and of course there is no discipline time out when they are so young so as soon as he was calm we just carried on with what we were doing.
Put somewhere safe and walk away!
Ignore! Ignore! Ignore!
He's 11 months old. He certainly won't be doing it manipulatively. Tantrums are when kids are completely overwhelmed and cannot compute.
Does he get decent naps?
Yep - 12 hours at night and 2-2.5 hours in the day, loads of stimulation and socialisation, he eats brilliantly etc. I've got him in a strong routine as with 2 under 2 it's very necessary for all our sakes. There are no tears, it's just full on screaming which he won't stop. Sometimes he goes purple with anger and literally shakes his fists if something is frustrating him I.e. Me handing his sister a drink before I've got him his.
I'm not saying it's manipulation, I just don't know what to do about them giving holding / distraction don't work. He's been showing a fierce temper since birth and recently he pinches / hits if you're trying to do something he doesn't like I.e. Changing his nappy / putting him in his Grobag. My sister took her shoe back from him the other day so that she could put it on to leave and he pretty much snarled at her!
DD1 started about 13 months - would just yell, scream, kick and flail about - developing on into the "throw yourself on the floor and wail theatrically" technique by the 2 year mark (note to DD1: when doing this, make sure the route to the floor is clear so you don't headbutt the coffee table on the way down - thus making the strop even MORE indignant!).
DD2 - isn't as fiery in temperament as DD1 is (they've been like this from the start) but can get cross with life now aged 13 months - but she's more of a sobber than a screamer and is very much a needing a cuddle when she gets her feelings all in a knot type person (she's kind of like me in the grips of PMT when the shop's run out of chocolate and it's all the WORST THING IN THE WORLD WAAAAAAHHHHH in how she reacts to things whereas her sister would be there playing blue murder at the store manager and probably trying to reprogramme their stock control systems).
Tactic's always been the same - give them a cuddle if they're in a cuddleable mood, if not - continue on breezily and ignore it until they come out of it. Nowadays DD1 gets into a much worse mood if you try to coax her out of it - you just have to give her time and let her come to you.
Two under two is rough going when they start to lose their temper anyway. It has one thing really going for it though - you can get the other child noisily engaged in something fun and innate curiosity/the determination not to be missing out on something will usually calm the other one down sufficiently and they'll come over to be nosey and forget what they were pissed off about en-route. Not that I cynically exploit this at all... oh no! (I've got the same sort of age gap - 25 months and 14 months)
Thank you Miaow - that sounds like really good advice. I particularly like the idea of doing something 'really fun' with one so the other is distracted enough to stop wailing....will employ this tactic! It is hard as my hands are so full and when DS is turning everything into a war it's very tough. He always screams, flails and tries to get away when I'm changing his pooey nappy and I'm thinking 'why are YOU screaming? I'm the one covered in poo!'.
What does worry me is if he's starting this young what on earth are we in for over the next 2 years!
Oh I have a nappy change escape artist at the moment as well - I resort to having my keys hanging from my teeth which distracts her enough to do the clear up as she tries to steal them... and then pull ups to get the nappy back ON quickly as she's legging it (she's walking now).
It's a very hard age gap- I really struggled at that point - then suddenly DD1 had a development leap whacking her understanding of language right through the roof and became someone you could have a very basic and amusing conversation with, and DD2 cracked walking which sorted her grumpy frustrated streak out and it became a bit easier again. She's also finally hit the point where she'll get utterly engrossed in a toy which again makes things a bit easier.
Good idea ref the keys! You've got a few months more practice than me clearly as these ideas are all great! I give DS a toy, he throws it...and repeat....unless it's wet wipes, which have a slightly longer lifespan. Luckily DD is very bright and chats non-stop, understands everything say and follows out fairly complex instructions...she also enjoys tidying up, telling DS off when he's making a mess, and fetching him toys when he's grizzling...so it's not all bad by any stretch! But then all my friends with one of each did tell me having a boy was a very different kettle of fish, he competes with his dad for who can be the most unwell and whiny, whilst DD and I take our respective medication (calpol / ibroprofen/ alcohol) and get on with it!
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