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Help! My DS has changed into the Incredible Hulk!

(7 Posts)
Payney Mon 24-Jan-05 12:18:37

Help! My 20 month DS has been prone to having the odd tantrum (usually when being told "no") but this weekend has been one HUGE tantrum. He was worse yesterday when, upon waking up, he was furious with everyone and kept hurling himself at the floor and writhing about. To begin with, I thought he was in pain but it really did seem like a long drawn-out tantrum. We all ignored him but that didn't seem to make a difference. Every now and then he would snap out of it, but would suddenly start again for no reason. He also didn't seem to know what he wanted. He would point at something and I would say "no" (as I didn't want him to think that the tantrum was working) then later he would calm down and point at the same thing again, I would then give it to him as he had asked properly, he would go to take it from me but just as he was taking it he would fly into a paddy and chuck himself on the floor!! By yesterday evening, we were exhausted! I made the mistake of ringing my Dad to see whether he had known this kind of behaviour (by this point the yelling had been going on for 3 hours non-stop) and he basically tutted and said that I "read too much into things" and that I should go with my natural instinct. Unfortunately I burst into tears as I felt he was calling me a crap mother, and quite frankly, I feel like one at the moment because I really don;t know how to handle DS. Does anyone else have similar tantrum days (with your children, not you personally)? This morning, he was the same, but I put him back in his cot for "time-out" (with the light on) for 2 mins. when I went back in, he was back to being lovely, but 5 mins later it would all start again - I ended up taking him back and forth from his cot about 6 times in all - within the space of 1 hour. I have never been so glad to pass him over to the childminder before

Lonelymum Mon 24-Jan-05 12:24:27

It does sound fairly normal I am afraid. My youngest child is 23 months old so a similar age to yours and he does throw a few wobblies. He is easier to ignore though as I have three others and have to attend to their needs too.

Just a few thoughts to suggest to you:
is he tired/getting less sleep than usual?
is he hungry/eating less than usual?
is he talking yet? A lot of frustration can show itself before they can talk properly and will go the moment he does start communicating better.
are you giving him lots of attention or do you think he is feeling a bit deprived? (not a dig at you as I know how hard it is to sit all day playing with your toddler, but I do find my boy is fine if he has 100% attention - it is not practical to give 100% attention though, I know)

Just a few thoughts. Something might strike a chord in you. Otherwise, take comfort that it is normal and some children are worse than others.

Payney Mon 24-Jan-05 12:31:14

I do think he seems more tired - in fact he reminds me a lot of how he was as a newborn. He was really grouchy and this was (apparently) because he was over-tired. He was a bit off colour this time last week but was back to normal by the end of the week. I think the thing that's worrying me is the suddenness of the transformation and the fact that he can have such a marathon wobbly, when, usually, he is a very laid-back, happy litlle chap.

Twiglett Mon 24-Jan-05 12:34:33

Sounds like he's just frustrated because his poor communication skills don't allow him to express himself the way he wishes to

'poor' as in that's what its like when you're a toddler

he may have a bug or something that's making it even harder for him to control himself

I think you'll just have to live through this phase I'm afraid .. ignoring him is a good tactic but so would be lots of cuddles when he's being good

your instincts are spot on

don't worry .. they do all do it ..

Amanda3266 Mon 24-Jan-05 12:38:54

Hi payney

My DS did this as well - don't worry, you are not a crap mother. It's all part of his development and may also be exacerbated by the fact that he was off-colour last week - perhaps he's still not feeling 100%
My DS used to bang his head deliberatly on the floor (which apparently my DH used to do as a toddler). DS seems to have outgrown the headbanging bit but still throws a wobbly if he can't get his own way.
You're right not to give in to him. He's at a stage where he can't control his feelings and most toddlers are not backwards about expressing their displeasure when thwarted.
And, don't feel guilty about the relief of handing him over to the childminder - we all need a break sometimes - even if it's just to go to work.
Might be worth asking the childminder if he's the same with her. Mind you - they're always better behaved for other people.


Payney Mon 24-Jan-05 15:25:02

What are your thoughts on putting them in a room for "time out"? Does this constitute giving the child attention? I have been putting mine in his cot for a couple of minutes but someone told me at work that I am giving him too much attention.

Twiglett Mon 24-Jan-05 17:27:34

Time out for 90 seconds (as he's 20 months old) is fine ... Time Out is the very antithesis of giving attention so don't know what your colleague means by that

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