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are ds extreme tantrums normal?

(9 Posts)
somersetlass Wed 20-Aug-08 09:41:44

now I'm not stupid, i was prepared for tantrums but my 23 month old ds seems somewhat more extreme than i was expecting. We've never had an easy ride with him. he cried heaps as a baby etc... but the tantrums that started at around 16 months just continue to get worse and worse and this week have seemed unbearable. Its not so much the level of the tantrum i have a problem with ( although the high pitched screaming and shaking of body is very embarresing in public!) Its more the frequency of them. He wakes up screaming about something and anything to everything throughout the day results in another tantrum eg changing his nappy, getting him dressed, giving him a yoghurt, not giving him a yoghurt, putting his toy on the wrong bit of table, saying hello to him..... I guess i thought toddlers had blowouts every couple of days, not lots EVERY day??? I guess i just want reassurance that whilst he may tantrum more that some, his level and frequency of tantrums isnt abnormal?!

wb Wed 20-Aug-08 09:51:33

I once shared a house with a woman whose (just) 2 year old could quite easily manage 3 tantrums before breakfast - over what colour socks he was wearing on one occasion.

I don't think what you describe is abnormal, just at the extreme end of normal. It is a very difficult age - lots of frustration and inability to communicate. What my friend (above) used to do was to use a lot of routine (so he knew what was coming next), do things at his pace (v. difficult in the mornings as she worked) and removing herself from his tantrums as this helped her stay calm. Her son was a lovely boy between times by the way, just a very, very short fuse.

wb Wed 20-Aug-08 09:54:33

Oh - forgot to say - do you think he might be ill? Nothing like teething pain/earache to make things worse (as you said you'd had a particularly bad week).

Romy7 Wed 20-Aug-08 10:06:56

does he scream until he goes blue and passes out? that's normal too. grin
i looooove toddlers.
def agree with routine routine routine.
have you got 'toddler taming'? - i reread it for fun now, to remind me of the good old days...
like wb said though - no harm in a dose of calpol if you think it's definitely out of the ordinary for him, and if it calms things down for a bit there's a chance he might be carrying an ear infection (ds1 used to get lots at that age, and the first sign was always an increase in, erm, tantrum behaviour)

somersetlass Wed 20-Aug-08 16:11:15

thanks for al the great advice. he has got another 2 teeth just waitng to burst through at the moment so that could definately be aggrivating the situation. we pretty consisitent with our routines anyway, but v. good idea to keep him informed of whats coming next!! am now off to buy 'toddler taming'

Sophiale01 Wed 20-Aug-08 20:56:32

I'm in the same boat. My DD who is nearly 2 tantrums over lots of things. I have 4 tactics. Choice, Reverse phsycology, Bribery and lastly good old fashioned Blackmail . For example, she is picky about her clothes so now when we are getting dressed I give her a choice of 2 trousers, 2 tops, two pairs of socks etc and she feels like she's won. Reverse phsyc comes in when I need her to have a bath. I get in and tell her she's not allowed. She then wants to get in. Bribery works a treat i.e if you do stop screaming you can have some grapes and Blackmail I use when she takes her arms out of the straps in the car seat. i.e. if you dont put your arms back in, I'll take your blanket away. I'm also pre-warning her which helps, like telling her that Mummy wants to watch the news in a minute when her CBeebies programme is finished rather than just turning it over and having her then scream to high heaven.

Shilo Sun 31-Aug-08 20:26:31

Phew - I'm so glad to see I'm not alone! DS 21 months loses it fairly regularly and this has increased (understandably) since the introduction of DD 7 weeks.
I tell him that I don't like the behaviour and that I am leaving the room and will come back when it stops. Depending on the cause and type I also say that I'll give him a cuddle when it stops. The cuddle one now works better than the leaving the room as he can keep the show going for ages and just wander from room to room! When it's really extreme I use the advice from Toddler Taming about 'time out' in his bedroom. This actually works really well. Usually he lasts less than a minute, calms down then we have a hug, debrief very quickly and move on. I don't like timing him out and try not to use it excessively but when he's totally out of control it's the quickest and least distressing for all of us. Having said I don't like to use it excessively, he did have 3 time outs before 8am on Thursday! He was on an extreme tantrum mission that day!
Good luck. I hear that they grow out of it although I'm having difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel myself!

gagarin Sun 31-Aug-08 20:30:07

No, they don't grow out of it - but the tantrums do change from fullblown rages to verbal yelling and demanding and whining.

Sadly still to be seen in many adults - including me on a bad day grin

Shilo Mon 01-Sep-08 19:50:51

Hmmm ... not sure that's what I was looking for, gagarin! However, you're right. I work with adults who have far worse tantrums than my son so I guess it puts it in to perspective! grin

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