Hi everyone! Im new to this site so please bare with me, i think im in the right section! Haha my almost 20 month old son has been throwing horrific tantrums. I understand that its part of his development but he is so angry that he screans until he is sick and his throat is burning, he hits, punches kicks and scratches and throws things. I understand a child gets frustrated but not quite to the viokent extent that he does. Ive tried ignoring it, putting him in his bed when he acts out and walking out and waiting for him to calm down, restraining him (in a nice way like hold his arms by his side and tell him firmly not to hit), ive tried diffusing it by distracting him etc but everything ive tried doesnt seem to work and im pulling my hair out (and so is DS). Any advice? I think at his age its a bit young for naughty step/reflection room etc type things or to understand award charts and things?
Any and all advice appreciated!! HV doesnt seem to believe how violent he gets so im going to video it so she can see!! My mum just says to smack the back of his hand when he hits but i refuse to do that, id never hurt my child and dont believe that hitting him is going to teach him not to do it...
Please help! Any advice to help and prevent them please let me know! :/
There's some good info here on tantrums.
How's his speech and hearing? I found my DS' tantrums calmed as his language improved.
The only thing that worked with mine (and he had two HUGE tantrums around 20 months) was to stay close, not judge and the moment he began to calm down (sometimes 30 mins in) was sit down on the floor and pull him towards me so his back was against my tummy, hook my legs over his to stop him kicking and wrap my arms around his body. That would calm him in about 10 mins. I.e restrain him once the worse was over. I think he needed it as losing control is v frightening and he needs someone who does have control to take charge at that point. Having a little strop is one thing but a huge loss of control type tantrum is v frightening for them, would take my son ages for his heartbeat to return to normal. Afterwards we'd do a quiet activity like read a book. I absolutely wouldn't leave him alone unless it's a 5 min hissy Fit.
At this age, tantrums are about being emotionally overwhelmed and losing control. All that works is supporting them through the event calmly, offering cuddles and reassurance once they are over the worst and not reinforcing the behaviour by letting them have the thing they wanted to stop the meltdown.
Nothing you do is likely to reduce the meltdowns or make them happen less often. As he matures and his emotional regulation improves, they will decrease because he will be able to express himself in other ways.
Hitting him would be wrong on many levels including the fact that increasing his distress will not help him regain control.
Some children find holding reassuring and others are just sent further skywards by being touched.
Be close, calm and supportive and give him time. It will pass.
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