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2.5 year old DD TANTRUMS FROM HELL!!

(17 Posts)
xXYummyMummy2Xx Wed 01-Dec-10 15:52:28

My DD was such an angel, the best baby, so chilled and happy. Then, her 2nd birthday hit and the tantrums started. Nothing too major, quite manageable and infrequent. was still great 95% of the time!
For the past month however she has had her normal little tantrums (which seem to be daily) and she has had 3 MAJOR tantrums which I can only describe her as completely hysterical during. These can last up to an hour, so bad that she is coughing and finding it hard to breathe. One was because as we were clearing out my youngest's room upstairs there was lots of things on the floor and all i asked was for DD to move back into her room slightly... that was it! it was like she had been possessed, i couldn't do or say anything to calm her down. My DH tried to, my mom called and tried to(usually nanny can calm her) and i tried to... if we even spoke or looked at her she would get worse so we decided to ignore her and she just stayed the same... it carried on for an hour. Then she gradually went back to normal (if only a bit quite) shes doing it more often now and out in public where she will throw herself on the floor and i can't carry her. I don't know what to do with her. She is worse for me than anyone else and it was like no one believed me untill a couple of months ago when she started showing DH what she was like with me. Biting, kicking shouting "I don't like mommy" (which hurt the most out of everything as i look after her 24/7 while my partner works. I have a 4 mo too and its getting harder to deal with how naughts DD1 is all the time. sad

Suncottage Wed 01-Dec-10 19:19:45

I was a nanny to a little boy like this - Mum and Dad were at work and usually got back from work when he was asleep. I thought it was 'my fault' etc etc.

This was until I joined a nanny/mum's group and saw a lot of the two year olds were like this and this is what worked.

Steel yourself.

Remove your DD from the situation that has caused the tantrum, preferably to her bedroom where she cannot hurt herself. Stand outside for AT LEAST two minutes. Go back in and reassure her.

Do not offer treats or any other bribe.

If she is still having a tantrum, again reassure her and leave for three minutes.


It broke my heart but boy did it work. After three days he calmed down after two minutes, still all teary eyed and blotchy and then we had 'cuddle time' and 'talked' it through.

He knew I was there outside the door and he was 'safe' but did not get the attention he was craving because I said 'no' to whatever he wanted at that moment in time.

The other Mums and nannies had tried this and it worked.

Difficult in a shop though...

Rev084 Thu 02-Dec-10 01:11:22

My 2.3 yr old daughter is extremely strong-willed, and tantrums started from about 18months. They were very frequent tantrums, just rebelling at any little thing we asked. Obviously worse in a public place and she would frequently run off from us which would be quite worrying if we were near roads etc. It just felt like she was totally out of our control, she would hit us, it was horrible.

I would agree with alot of what suncottage says, theres a name for this sort of technique. Seems like your daughter gets extremely angry when having a tantrum so pandering to her might make it worse. Make sure she is safe and ignore her, don't look angry, you're not punishing her. Just go about your normal business. If she screams at you, hits you, just continue ignoring her. Only acknowledge her once she has calmed down, or at least as much as you think she is going to. Don't pander her, just pretend everything is normal again, offer her some food or play a game. This has been good for my daughter, though is difficult in a public place. If you're out and about and she has a tantrum, just take her to somewhere quiet until she has calmed down.

My daughter, fingers crossed, is calming down alot now but she can still throw a mega-tantrum, usually when we're out. Also, it might be worth mentioning that I took my daughter off dairy and that has seemed to help. Apparently alot of children can't digest the proteins in milk and it can build up as a toxin in the body causing behaviour problems, amongst other symptoms, google it. Apparently wheat is another big offender. Might be worth a shot, as long as she gets a balanced diet.

Honis Thu 02-Dec-10 10:34:06

My son also has tantrums and the only thing that seems to work is completely ignoring him, and as another mum said, after a while he will ask for a cuddle during which time I can normally take his mind off the tantrum and get him interested in something else, a book toy etc.

The hardest ones are when they happen outside. Firstly cause it can be humiliating and frustrating and secondly because the situation feels out of your control.

My son doesn't tend to have tantrums outside he simply sits on the pavement and refuses to move, the only thing I do is stand and wait. But obviously if you are supposed to be doing something or going somewhere you can't do this!

Good Luck.

xXYummyMummy2Xx Thu 02-Dec-10 12:09:52

Thanks guys i used to ignore it but i started getting very stressed about it so wouldn't be able to, i'm going to make the effort to start ignoring again. the only problem is when we are out. her tantrum lasted 45 minutes and i really struggled to get her out of the situation, this is the main problem because i feel completely not in control when we are out. how do i deal with her if this happens again. (especially if she is walking and my 4 mo is in the pushchair and im on my own? i physically can't carry her and push the pushchair anywhere and i don't have a car so we can just go home so i have to catch the bus)

Rev we are vegetarian so can't cut out dairy products easily, is there a test the doctor could do to see if she has a problem with dairy? (obviously if it is we will have to review her diet)

Rachelc9 Thu 02-Dec-10 21:34:41

OMG I am so glad to see that someone else is having this problem. I have been reduced to incontrollable tears tonight after another tantrum has finally tipped me over the edge.

Me & LO went to the pub for dinner with my parents (as we normally do on a Thurs, hubby is at college 2 nights a week) A table of 3 couples of 50somthings at the table next to us just stared the whole way through dinner at my rowdy daughter, playing near a window. One of the guys came over and wispered in my ear, "if you want to see children that have fallen through windows, just come down to the hospital where I work" and walked away. I then tried to stop her as I was so embarassed, at which point she had a hissy fit! My Dad then made things worse saying "give her to your Mum, no one in here wants to listen to that". And then the table of 50somethings decided to leave and glared at my screaming daughter while they got there coats on as I tried to calm her down. I picked up my dauighter and took her to the toilet. Where I calmed her, chagned her for bed, put her in the car and went home.

I have already stopped going for lunch with friends because no one else's kids seem so bad and its so embarassing. And now I fell like I cant go for dinenr in the evening anymore (its not like I stay late even, we are always home by 8).

How depressing...sorry to be so negative but really sad...why do people have to be so judgemental?!?

xXYummyMummy2Xx Mon 06-Dec-10 12:50:46

aww i feel for you this has happened to me more times than i can remember, though people have never had the nerve to actually say something to my face, there has been countless horrible stares, whispering and just plain talking about me like i can't hear. I'm considered a young mum so that seems to be even more of a problem for people, especially middle aged and over. People look at me like i can't look after my children because i look young. sometimes what is nice to see for me is when someone of late 30's has a child my daughters age and is really struggling with them being naughty too as it makes me realise that parents of every age have this trouble and i'm a good mother! there is nothing you can say or do to please the people who have opinions on the way you your children behave so unfortunately all you have to do is ignore it. i can guarantee these people think their children are gods gift... but they arn't! they are children and all children are naughty sometimes. hope things get better for you

chocolatemonkey Tue 07-Dec-10 18:47:17

Bring back memories. My DS had the most horrendous TT from the day after his second birthday until he was 2.3 shock I though he would never grow out of it but alas, as his communication skill improve so does his behaviour. He is now an absolute diamond bar the occasional out burst. This may sound a little crazy and I don't mean to offend when I sufggest this but if you see he's about to have a wobbly and you reaaly have no reason why - ask him what's wrong. He may not be able to put it into words so you could always ask him to show you or throw a few ideas at him. I did help and I was suprised I didn't think about it sooner. However a lot of the time tantrums are for thing you could never guess or even understand so brace yourself and try and stay calm. If you can't take a breather. x

Tgger Tue 07-Dec-10 22:42:54

Yes, I think it's best not to feed the fire smile.

Takes some doing when little person is staging award-winning tantrum, but if you can stay calm, completely ignore, ie not engage with the tantrum but perhaps try distraction/offer alternative activity etc.

I agree, tantrums out and about are the worst. My kids are the same as yours- one is now 4 and the other 2. I remember when older one (DS) was between 2 and 3 and younger one baby. I couldn't have gone out without the double buggy, it was fantastic and necessary for tantrums- strap them in and off you go! Would you consider getting one- can get them second hand!!! I did stop using it so much as DS got older, in fact I had baby-bjorn carrier for baby and then would strap tantrumming 2 year old into Maclaren?! You can put baby-bjorn just in your bag/in the buggy basket and produce when tantrum hits (you have to practise getting baby in carrier fast, I think DD got "plonked" in all sort of places whilst I strapped DS into buggy!!!

Not sure if this is helpful but hopefully made you feel that it's normal smile

Booandpops Tue 07-Dec-10 22:50:28

All good advise above Can u try a bit of special time with yr eldest now that c2 is getting older. I found when ds2 came out of the newborn stage, awake more etc dd1 got worse. Jealousy is a wonderful thing!

xXYummyMummy2Xx Tue 21-Dec-10 15:29:27

haven't been on for a while but I do have a double buggy - just a nightmare for on the bus. I ask dd1 what is wrong when she starts to get wound up and she is quite clear in articulating herself, most people think she is older than 2.7. she will tell me what's wrong but its 99% of the time something that she is doing that's naughty or she's not allowed to do so I cannot alleviate the situation by giving her what she wants. I try and distract, which hardly ever works as she still wants what she wants. Her memory is unreal (better than mine lol) and if for example I distract her while she is having a strop about something after 10-15 mins she will still remember what she wanted or what it was about in the first place and start again. She knows what she is doing as well with regards to if she hits me or pulls my hair because she will go to my partner afterwards and "tells on me" lol

DD - "mommy is nasty, she told me off"
DP - "why did she tell you off?"
DD - "i pulled mommy's hair and hit her"
DP - "why did you do that?"
DD - (laughs) "yeah, sorry"


anyway after 7 months only seems to be getting worse, completely at the end of my tether now and find myself just angry all the time. i take it out on everyone... i just wish there was a magic cure

NellyTheElephant Tue 21-Dec-10 16:32:09

My DD1 was like this. I simply couldn't believe the violence of her tantrums. Screaming, kicking, hitting. For 6 months or so I found it impossible to deal with and was getting nowhere (except exhausted, furiously angry and depressed). I then got a bit of a better grip on myself and was more consistent. When at home I physically picked her up (trying my best to avoid the kicks and punches) and put her on her bed with her comfort blanket and teddy then left and shut the door. She was liable to trash the room and scream. After a few mins (maybe up to 10 mins) I could generally hear that she was calming down. I'd go in and ask if she was ready for a hug / to talk. If she continued screaming and thrashing around I would go again, and come back 5 mins later. Once it was over I would give her a hug and try not to make a big deal of it. If there was something that needed to be talked about (e.g. if the tantrum had been sparked by her doing something naughty), I found it was generally best to discuss it a little while later.

I really wouldn't try too much reasoning with her (even though she is v articulate etc for her age), once in the throws of a tantrum all rationality is lost, so even if she can articulate what is wrong she is unlikely to respond positively to a logical answer or reasoning.

When out and about it was hell. I cannot count the times I had to struggle a tantrumming 2 yr old plus baby onto the bus and somehow get us all home. Be strict. First sign of a tantrum - leave, whether you are at a party, a friends house or a park. She will soon get the message not to behave like that. If shopping or doing something vital that you can't leave, I found that just stopping helped. Stop (in the middle of the supermarket), stand still and just wait. Don't reason or cajol or anything. Just stand there (I know - sounds odd!), but it seemed to help. When you see a chink in the tantrum say firmly that you have to finish this and the sooner you do, the sooner you can all go home, if she starts screaming again then continue to stand still and silent. Don't worry about nasty looks from strangers, in my experience the vast majority of people who see someone with a tantrumming toddler are supportive and wish that they could help or at least would give me a little smile of solidarity and support!

Oh - and sometimes, depending on what had kicked it all off and how bad she was, sometimes just picking her up into a huge hug and saying you silly old thing I do love you you know and blowing a raspberry on her cheek or something would kick her out of it (although sometimes she just kicked me!)

DD1 is now rising 6. Although most of the time she is a fabulous, fun, responsible little girl, she is still very emotionally volatile and still liable to have terrible temper fits. Interestingly these days during a temper tantrum she will often storm off to her bedroom and slam the door, then cuddle up with her comfort blanket and teddy until she calms down, so that tactic obviously sunk in and works for her.

DD2 never had tantrums. DS (now 20 months) is exactly like DD1, but I am so much better at dealing with it this time.

SkyBluePearl Wed 22-Dec-10 04:42:45

Is this all related to having a new sibling?
Is it worth trying to spend extra time playing with her and having fun together? Help her feel more secure. With the tantrums you could try three different approaches and see what works best -

1 ignoring and walking off, doing nothing.
2 Time out where ever you are (in a buggy, car seat, any old room/step).
3 Holding. Just quietly and calmly but firmly hold them until the event is over. You don't have to say much but must be patient and musn't be cross.

SkyBluePearl Wed 22-Dec-10 04:50:06

Also is she tierd or hungry when these tantrums start? Is her sleep being disturbed? Does she needs an earlier nap?

The holding technique seemed to work really well in any location for my second child. You just haveto be brave enough and self assured enough to sit down and do it idally away from people. My second was a much more emotionally charged child than my first who always responded well to time out and seemed to dislike holding.

pigleychez Tue 28-Dec-10 23:04:16

Glad I found this thread. I too am nearing the end of my tether with DD1 (2.5mths)

Shes always been highly strung and started tantrums around 18mths but have got much worse lately. The past few days its been major tantrums nearly everyday about something of other.
DH and I have noticed they have coincided with her being tired. Being xmas and visiting relatives has been a nightmare. Leaving in the evenings when she is tired results in a screaming fit. She would normally sleep in the car on the way home as we dont live locally to our families.
You cannot reason with her during one of these tantrums and she looks so incredibly angry with arms and legs wailing. Shes also getting to strong for me.

Shes generally a good kid but all these tantrums are really grating on me now and I feel emotionally drained
DD2 (7mths) has started laughing at her when she starts which does lighten the mood slightly but enough is enough now.
I love her but really dont like her much a the mo which feels awful to say.

At home she goes to her room till she calms down which works well but when at others houses and out its a bloody nightmare! Please tell me this phase will end soon!!

Ive decided DD2 is going to reach 1yr and stay that age forever!

allabouthim Wed 29-Dec-10 00:50:04

Im glad I have read this link. Im sorry that everyone is experiencing this, but I suppose reading it makes me realise that Im not doing anything wrong. My son has been absolutely awful this week and today I have actually resorted to just crying and walking away and not going out or doing anything.

Anything I ask he will do the opposite. The entire day was spent peeling the wallpaper or finding something ridiculous to do. I know its not the same as tantrums but he does hit me an awful lot and poke me aswell as shout no. Its not because he's bored because I also tried occupying him but it doesnt make the slightest bit of difference.

He is remorseful and I try not to cry because he could feel a sense of control and I dont want to upset him. Its so hard though and Im so so scared that I'm losing control.
Thank you ladies for sharing your experiences. Tomorrow I might try to wake up and tickle him and just sing with him and attempt to ignore the bad behaviour.
[breathe in deeply]

allabouthim Wed 29-Dec-10 00:55:50

And pigleychez dont feel bad for not liking her too much at the moment.
I totally relate and I let slip by accident (pls dnt judge me because I have cried non-stop 7 nights) that I hate him. Which I know I never should have done and I have to make sure I never say again.

Its just been so hard and especially as a lone parent, but thats no excuse. Good luck all.

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