How to handle tantrums that will only end if I cuddle him?

(4 Posts)
Elmo311 Thu 12-Dec-19 19:57:27

Hello everyone!

My son is 18months old, and he is going through a "i only want mummy" phase (which is cute most of the time!)

But I'm not sure how to handle some of his tantrums. And I'll give an example of tonight.

He loves bath time with his sister, but whenever it comes to the end he always throws a tantrum, even if I give him pre warning that it's about to end.
Tonight I washed and dressed his sister first and she was playing happily on the floor in the bathroom in her bumboo. Then I got him out of the bath and ensue screaming, crying , 'no no no' / thrashing around whilst I try to dry him, stomping his feet ... all of it!
He also pushes back when I try to dress him or put his nappy on. I don't let on I'm annoyed but inside I'm soooooooooo irritated and getting upset by his behaviour. If I speak to him he will get worse so I don't say much during this. I might sing... to stop me from doing something I'd regret!

Once he was dressed and I was hanging up his towel he then went over and smacked his sister whilst looking at me. I told him "Ds no hitting, we don't hit eachother " so he hit the radiator. Then came up and hit me. I then went down to his level and told him the same thing again.

I had to pick him up to take him downstairs and he calmed down because he was in my arms- I feel like this is rewarding his behaviour!

When we eventually got downstairs and all had calmed down, he said he was hungry so I gave him a strawberry whilst I got the rest of his food ready and he had another tantrum.
I ignore him whilst I fed his sister, and he just sat on the floor for ages, whenever he saw my face he'd cry, and whenever I'd ask him a question or try to redirect his attention he'd just get worse.

Eventually I said " do you want a cuddle?" And he nodded, came over and gave me a hug and a kiss!
Then he had dinner and was fine.

It's like this a lot, he doesn't calm down until we've had a cuddle.
Is this normal? Am I making a rod for my own back?

He's very sensitive and loving , but also a little brat.

Help me be better !

OP’s posts: |
Elmo311 Fri 13-Dec-19 09:31:30


OP’s posts: |
Khione Fri 13-Dec-19 10:40:30

Cuddles aren't rewarding the behaviour, they are acknowledging it's over. He hasn't yet learned how to handle his emotions, when he is upset it is totally immediate and it's everything and all time - he can't remember not feeling bad and can't imagine not feeling bad in the future. A cuddle is a great way to change things round.

The only thing that needs addressing is hitting his sister and you. When he does that you did the right thing by telling him that doing that isn't acceptable but you could also add that you know he is upset and when he feels upset he can 'hit something soft' (eg the bed or a chair) or 'he can stamp his feet' or some other acceptable physical thing than can help dissipate his rage.

As he gets older teach him other ways to handle his anger rather than being physical but at his age a bit of physical exertion such as stamping can get rid of the excess and then a big cuddle reminds him that life is mostly good.

Elmo311 Fri 13-Dec-19 13:51:14

@Khione Thank you for taking the the time comment and reassure me smile that was very helpful! X

OP’s posts: |

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