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Start of tantrums support thread?

(15 Posts)
ArgumentativeAardvark Tue 16-Oct-12 20:36:51


My DD is 15 months and has just started having full blown tantrums. Lots of screaming, shouting, pushing me away and throwing herself on the floor. I'm a first time mum and have no idea how to deal with this sort of behaviour and I'm really struggling not to take it personally!

Anyone fancy joining this thread to form a support group where we can moan/rant/share tips etc?

ArgumentativeAardvark Tue 16-Oct-12 21:11:15

Just me? sad

ThePinkNinja Tue 16-Oct-12 23:24:40

Metoo. smile
No examples right now tho smile

malibulucy Tue 16-Oct-12 23:33:39

my son 18months is the same. i feel like ive tried repetitive 'NO' being firm, moving them away from things, he just never gives up. when he tantrums he will throw himself on the floor then cry cause hes bumped himself. one day i thought right when he gets really naughty i will put him in his cot for a few minutes to chill. now he hates going to bed :/ i have a 6yr old she didnt tantrum til quite old so i felt i could teach her right from wrong alot easier. my little boy just doesnt understand.

Inadeeptrance Wed 17-Oct-12 00:51:37

I need this thread! My DS is 17 months and has full blown raging tantrums. He hits, bites and was trying to head butt me the other day! hmm

I honestly don't know what to do, have tried (and keep trying) saying no, telling him it hurts, telling him to be gentle etc. which neither works when he's in a tantrum or just a bit arsey.

He is the most gorgeous child but oh my god, I hope he grows out of it soon.

I'm teaching him baby sign, which is helping a bit as he is learning more, which is helping his frustration. I can't teach him fast enough though! confused

Will be watching thread with interest (and hope...) grin

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 17-Oct-12 03:49:29

Me too, please smile. DD is almost 2 and a lovely child but has developed a personality and has discovered the power of making decisions. SHOES ON, ON, ON, ON. NOOOOOO SHOES OFF, OFF, OFF. The thing that has really upset me is that she sometimes hits me when really upset. I tell her to be gentle and she immediately is. Not today. Today she carried on hitting me.

ZuleikaD Wed 17-Oct-12 08:01:27

I can really recommend the book What Every Parent Needs to Know in terms of its advice about tantrums. I can't reproduce a whole chapter here but it's excellent for telling you exactly what's going on in a toddler brain when they have a tantrum and why, and the best way to deal with it. Even if you don't buy the book, I would definitely recommend reading the relevant chapter in the bookshop. The most important thing though is not to ignore or punish them.

ArgumentativeAardvark Wed 17-Oct-12 08:43:16

Hooray, glad I'm not alone! Fingers crossed for a good day.

ArgumentativeAardvark Wed 17-Oct-12 14:45:27

Mixed day so far, 3 tantrums this morning but then she let me cut her fingernails and get some hoovering done!

I've been reading some old threads on mumsnet about tantrums for coping ideas and I saw something about ignoring them but not excluding them, so sit them down for 60 seconds or so and carry on with your business but while talking to them about something unrelated to the tantrum - the weather for example. And then announce shall we go in living room/kitchen etc to do something else. I tried it this morning and DD did stop screaming and shouting and looked at me in a very bemused sort of way grin

Gillyt75 Wed 17-Oct-12 15:39:22

I have to agree. I have 4 children the oldest is 12 the youngest is 7 months. the older 3 all had tantrums for a short while. without a doubt the only way to deal with them is to ignore them. my 3rd son is 22 months and he has epic tantrums were he runs accross the room and falls on the floor squealing and flailing around. we ignore this behavior and as soon as he stops we change the focus completely eg ok now lets go and play with the cars or something similar. it is working as tantrums are dwindling.

ZuleikaD Wed 17-Oct-12 17:03:46

Tantrums often dwindle when the child feels unheard and as though his attempts to communicate and express big feelings of frustration and anger are being deliberately ignored. This can lead to difficulties managing anger and other strong emotions later in life, so in that sense, yes, ignoring tantrums 'works'.

ArgumentativeAardvark Wed 17-Oct-12 19:47:35

So what do you suggest Zuleika? I've never tried anything along the ignoring line before - never done any form of cc/cio but I just feel its different with tantrums and I need some sort of coping mechanism or ill go crackers.

Emsmaman Wed 17-Oct-12 20:17:38

I'll join! My DD is 18mo, has been tantrumming for months now but bang on 18 months they went up a notch.

I am now working on the premise of avoid avoid avoid. I.e. feed her before she's really hungry, get her to sleep before she's overtired, distract her before she gets really bored or frustrated with a particular task. This also means keeping to a stricter schedule (normally I'm a go with the flow kinda mum). If she doesn't eat lunch before her nap she wakes up starving, I can't get food into her quickly enough, and she will have a 1.5 hour tantrum. So if she's super tired I will give lunch as early as 11 and she will wake up much happier!

With regards to how to deal with it, I really don't know, but I often agree with Dr Sears' ideas and he says to give them attention when it's a tantrum borne of frustration at not being able to do a task e.g. not being able to put their shoes on, and ignoring if it's an attention seeking/I'm not getting my way kind of tantrum. That makes sense to me but the ignoring is difficult when DD is a headbanger, I'm constantly worried she will hurt herself badly.

Cupcakemummy85 Thu 18-Oct-12 20:32:41

Oh my goodness I'm so glad I've found this thread!! I've been posting so many things about this particular subject. Dd's tantrums have hit me like a ton of bricks! One minute she is a really pleasant child who sits still and watches me do the housework etc and them 1 year birthday comes along and all of a sudden she has the temper of a teenager a knows exactly what she doesn't want! I'd love to know how everyone deals will tantrums especially public ones!

ZuleikaD Fri 19-Oct-12 08:18:33

There are two initial main reasons for tantrums - tiredness and hunger. Toddlers have little enough self-control and if they're getting to a point where tiredness and hunger are kicking in then all bets are off in terms of behaviour. Sugar, sweets and additives can also have an impact on behaviour. Low levels of DHA (one of the omega 3 fatty acids) can also result in temper tantrums, sleep problems and behaviour problems.

After things like sleep and hunger are dealt with, we're into psychological desires for stimulation (this is why boredom can equal tantrums), recognition (because even angry attention is better than none) and structure (for instance just having to follow you around a shop feels structureless to a toddler). They may also behave badly to discharge big emotions - anger, frustration, jealousy, loss, disappointment. Helping them rather than punishing them can develop their higher brain functions so that they will develop the tools for regulating these feelings.

There are two kinds of tantrums - distress tantrums and Little Nero tantrums. Distress tantrums happen because the neural pathways between the lower and higher brain haven't developed yet and the emotional pain of one of the 'big' emotions mentioned above completely hijacks their thinking functions that enable them to understand and express speech. That's why trying to talk a toddler down out of a tantrum is a waste of time. He can't really hear you. But you can remain calm, reassure him, even if you're just sitting next to him saying 'I know, I know', remember that his distress is genuine and he's not just being naughty. Distraction is also a perfectly valid technique for pulling a toddler out of the path to a tantrum (though it won't work once they're really going).

Timeouts and ignoring a tantrum leave massive levels of cortisol washing around the brain and can lead to huge anger-management issues in adults (remember that next time you read about an episode of road-rage)

A Little Nero tantrum on the other hand, is about control and is usually in older children who understand manipulation techniques.

Hope this helps!

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