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1Year Old having 'tantrums' need advice please :o(

(19 Posts)
Haily111 Sat 30-Aug-14 18:41:35

Hello all,

I haven't posted in a long while so please bear with me.
I have a dd who is 8 years old and a ds who is 14 months old.

Dd was a very easy child. Ds to be fair is easy most of the time.
In the last month he has started to get frustrated and throwing tantrums.

He has always thrown things, and i do mean anything! I say no and usually divert his attention.

I am at my wits end at the moment tho. He literally throws himself on the floor every time something doesn't work his way (be it i say no, a toy doesn't move, food isn't quick enough)
He also throws himself back no matter where he is, which usually means he whacks his head and then cries out of pain rather than frustration.

I have tried distraction and also taking him out of the situation but he just carries on throwing himself back, if i am holding him or not. He also gets very cross and flails his arms at me to get off (usually whacks me in the process)

Just feel really lost at the moment, and not sure if this is normal grin(

I wondered if i should place him in a 'time out' place (like a playpen or something) but he seems really young for this.

Please help us x

givemecaffeine21 Sat 30-Aug-14 19:00:30

I could have written this. My 14 month old DS is exactly the same. We don't know what to do as none of the things we did with DD work with him. He actually laughs at us if we tell him no and carries right on. He has tantrums often and they are prolonged. He won't be distracted. He can scream for 45 minutes. He is incredibly strong willed and nothing deters him...ultimately a good thing I believe, but although we are very consistent parents, little works.

Anyone who has been there and come out the other side pls help myself and the OP!

Haily111 Sat 30-Aug-14 19:14:24

I know this doesn't help, but am glad we aren't the only ones!! X

givemecaffeine21 Sat 30-Aug-14 19:40:02

Oh me too! Our DS has the most horrendous scream that makes you want to throw him out of the window....staying calm during his frequent temper fits it so hard as every little thing results in an explosion. He's like a bloody time bomb.

BertieBotts Sat 30-Aug-14 19:46:08

At this age you just want to do damage limitation, it's not a discipline issue, it's just they get really overwhelmed by their feelings and can't cope with the situation. So remove to a safe place where they can't hurt themselves or others, and sit with them if you can. Giving a word for feelings can help too although presumably he won't be able to say it back to you. You could use a smiley face "traffic light" sign to ask him how he's feeling. Green happy face, Orange worried/sad/not sure face, Red angry/scared face and ask him to point. Make them quite exaggerated and easy to see the difference.

This is good - I know it talks about toddlers but this site classifies toddlers as 14-36 months.

Haily111 Sat 30-Aug-14 19:59:31

Thank you BertieBotts,
I have just read the link and it is good.
The interesting thing is he isn't good at napping either. I can usually get him down for one around 11am, but none after that.
Would you suggest a playpen? We have laminate which makes it hard to 'keep him safe' if you see what i mean?
Thank you again x

BertieBotts Sat 30-Aug-14 20:08:38

Personally I wouldn't go for a playpen because I think it would feel too much like a punishment which seems unfair when he's just little and probably isn't really in control if that makes sense. The ideal is to help him learn that control and taking himself off to another place to calm down is a good strategy, even though he won't be able to do it himself yet. But for this reason it can be a good idea to make the place you take him quite a nice or pleasant place.

Do you have space to set up a "calm down corner"? You could make it cosy with a duvet and pillows and little beanbags to throw, so it's soft but gives him a chance to get all of the anger out. You can use it for things like reading and singing together as well if you don't want him to associate it solely with times he feels overwhelmed. (But don't leave easily damaged books in there!) And of course make sure he has free access to it so he doesn't feel like he needs to have a tantrum to get in there. Maybe introduce it as a nice place to read etc first?

movingalot Sat 30-Aug-14 20:20:31

DD who is 19 months had a horrendous week of tantrums last week. I thought we were in for it til she was 3 or so. She turned out to have an ear infection, and surprise, no more tantrums since she started antibiotics! Might be worth bearing in mind if tantrums are out of character!

Haily111 Sat 30-Aug-14 20:54:45

Ok I will try that BertieBotts, thank you!
Movingalot, i hadnt even thought of that, might give docs a call and get him checked out, as it is all very extreme at the moment sad

givemecaffeine21 Sun 31-Aug-14 19:30:17

DS has been cutting molars recently and although he does throw oscar winning fits anyway, they are really awful when he's having a bad day with his molars. A few evenings he's gone ballistic and we've peered in to see his gum actually bleeding where a molar is trying to come through. It turns the mummy/daddy sympathy on instantly as the poor little guy must be in a lot of pain.

Haily111 Sun 31-Aug-14 20:36:03

I might check this also. He did have a frube yesterday which showed a bit if blood, i assumed (probably badlyhmm) that it was from where he had clonked his lip on his toy (during a 'tantrum') maybe i am not being sympathetic enough sad x

Jumblebee Sun 31-Aug-14 21:11:21

Nothing useful to add but my 13mo is similar. She doesn't throw herself on the floor (probably because she can't walk yet and has only just started crawling) but if I say "no" sternly ("no DD, we do NOT chew wires!!!") she looks at me and either screeches or cries. If I'm holding her or near her she'll try and hit me. Not sure if this is really hitting because she seems to little to understand that hitting is a way of acting out, but it still feels like she just wants to whack me hmm

CulturalBear Mon 01-Sep-14 11:44:12

My DS (13mo) is exactly the same OP. He's especially bad at the moment as his molars (I think) are trying to come through.

He's also getting very frustrated easily - he's walking now so sees he has more independence, and therefore is hating being limited in any way.

If I can see him going, I'll catch his fall if I can to soften it, wait til he stops the initial paddy (not long, maybe a minute or so), then I'll tell him I know you're frustrated because I asked you to stop that/the food ran out/the cat went away/you don't want your nappy changing/you dropped your toy on your foot - but it's not okay to hit/slap/bite and give him a cuddle.

I know he doesn't understand it, but staying calm (I have no idea how I manage this - I suspect if I didn't work full time I wouldn't be able to cope if it was all day everyday) and letting him know I'm there seems to help.

Oh, and calpol. As soon as he starts repeatedly bashing his head against something (a new, undelightful trick that emerged alongside the latest teething round) or two grumps in relatively quick succession will lead to calpol. So effective that I have no doubt a lot of his unpleasant behaviours are down to pain at the moment.

Ormally Wed 03-Sep-14 22:16:33

Don't know if it would work, but we would say (and it does need to be a double pronged strategy if you have a DP): 'You can have your tantrum but I won't let you hurt yourself or anyone else' - and with that justification, move DC to a safe place where he will not bang head etc. Then say 'When you're ready to come for a cuddle, let me know'. Then go somewhere else and don't feed the fire with attention or a stressed reaction. On a few long-running occasions we have chipped in with 'Are you ready for a cuddle yet?' which usually results in more 'no' protests, but after treating tantrums in this way a pattern was established and DD did come for a cuddle in the end. She now asks for one after a meltdown!

Goldmandra Wed 03-Sep-14 22:38:33

As others have said this isn't bad behaviour that you need to stop. It's him expressing his frustrations and his inability to manage overwhelming emotions. Nothing will work to stop them until he has the emotional maturity to cope when things go wrong and all you can do is wait until it happens.

Obviously you don't want him to carry on once that time comes so you won't be rewarding him now by giving him what he wants to avoid the meltdowns. That would just teach him that it's a good way to control you and make him carry on long after he has matured enough to control them.

Just be a calm, reassuring presence and be ready to dole out hugs when he has come down enough to accept them. Also bear in mind that children in full meltdown are often unable to process language so there is little point in trying to communicate or negotiate with him. Just wait for it to run its course then move on.

CulturalBear Thu 04-Sep-14 10:04:11

Ormally what a lovely way of dealing with tantrums. Will definitely adopt that.

Ormally Thu 04-Sep-14 13:03:19

Thanks! My DH has a number of staff at a medium sized office to manage, and he says that he essentially has to use a similar technique for grown up tantrumming and 'going off on one' - which works! Not the cuddles bit, well, I hope not anyway!!

Haily111 Sat 06-Sep-14 08:53:23

Thanks all, i will give it all a go. I just feel sorry for him when he gets so cross hmm x

Givemecaffeine21 Sat 06-Sep-14 20:34:26

ormally that's how we handled DD's tantrums when she started having them and it really worked - it meant timeout made sense a lot earlier to her.

Have started this with DS and it's starting to work too - I've put him in his cot twice this week mid-tantrum and waited outside asking him to tell me when he's finished and wants a cuddle by saying 'ta' (easiest word) and it's been working! Hurrah!

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