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tantrums... **sigh** - don't want to get it wrong!

(40 Posts)
potatofactory Fri 24-Oct-08 19:52:11

My dd is 18 months. Whenever ANYTHING goes wrong she throw herself around, and bashes her head on the floor, or on whatever surface is nearer - she has several bruises from the last couple of days, where I haven's managed to stop her. Everything (food, bath-time, etc.) has become a potential battlefield.

When she is not having a tantrum , she is exceptionally affectionate - very cuddly, etc.

What I really want to hear (apart from any red-hot tips) is that this is normal (ish). Two friends of mine said their children, although they may have hurt themselves accidentally during tantrums, did not bash their heads like my dd does.

anyone? sad

Overmydeadbody Fri 24-Oct-08 19:53:52

Yes it's normal. Ignore it. If she doesn't get any response you won't reinforce the behaviour and she will eventually stop (or so the theory goes anyway, in reality I hear it is quite differentgrin)

dustystar Fri 24-Oct-08 19:54:24

Both mine threw themselves down in a tantrum so often hurt themselves - completely normal IMOsmile

potatofactory Fri 24-Oct-08 19:58:14

thanks!

It's just that she seems to bash her head intentionally.

Should I stay near? speak to her?

kwaker5 Fri 24-Oct-08 20:05:06

They do eventually learn that it hurts. My DS often removes himself to a carpeted area of the house rather than throw himself on the tiled/wooden floors!

Bloodandchatkins Fri 24-Oct-08 20:09:09

My friends dd did this, she found that is eh made a fuss and worried about her hurting herself, she just got worse. IGnoring worked in the long run !
My ds is nearly 18 mo and has been throwing real whoppers lately - I find them rather funny, as my dds never really did it, they would whine and cry, but he goes proper mental !
I get many sympathetic looks from people, like today when I tried to leave the park, he threw a tantrum, so I said ok bye then and walked off. My dds would have panicked and ran after me, he didn't care a jot !

So I was forced to go back and pick him up, freakily strong octopus springs to mind as I struggled to get him into the buggy. He then screamed himself hoarse the whole way home. Lovely !

Just remember it will pass one day ! Oh and my ds is extrememly affectionate too, wants cuddles all the time, much more than my dds did. Guess it makes up for the stress !

potatofactory Fri 24-Oct-08 20:13:44

<<bracing myself to ignore head bashing on surfaces>>

I'll give it a go!!!

<<wince>>

potatofactory Fri 24-Oct-08 20:31:05

I have a freakily strong octopus too - that backwards or forwards motion towards the hard floor is pretty hard to stop! She thrust hers hand into the front of my neck if I pick her up, and it bloody hurts!

hellion Fri 24-Oct-08 20:35:47

My 24 month old was a great head banger, and reading this thread reminded me that he has not done it for a while.

I ignored it (yes it is really hard - sometimes I couldn't stay in the same room and watch it). Possible move them to a carpeted room but even this is not easy when they really go for it. My ds soon discovered concrete was not good for a paddy.

My ds is also very affectionate and is a great one for cuddles and smiles, but when he blew ......

redclover79 Fri 24-Oct-08 20:51:31

So glad I've found this thread! ds2 is a enthusiastic headbanger, we even thought he'd broken his nose for a few minutes last weekend! I don't remember ds1 being this bad, although he used to headbang too, I do remember him moving from the floor to the carpet to the sofa to a cushion on the sofa during a tantrum at around about 2 years old though so I'm hoping grin

potatofactory Fri 24-Oct-08 20:56:02

I might get some kind of soft bean bag or put a cushion down (!), but then maybe it's better if she learns it hurts (as kwaker5 suggested)

Bloodandchatkins Fri 24-Oct-08 20:58:03

I think sometimes the rage just takes hold of them and there is nothing you can do, just stand back and wait til it is over, or they are too exhausted to go on !
Perhaps major tantrums go with strong personalities or something!
My ds does not want to be touched or held when he lets rip, he will run away from you if you try to pick him up, (hence the octopus in the buggy routine !) I jujst wait now and he soon comes back for a lovely long cuddle.....

mytetherisending Fri 24-Oct-08 21:01:43

At this age I would put a playpen/travel cot up and dump her in it so she can tantrum without hurting herself and realise she gets no attention for it.
If she hurts herself do you tend to the bruised bit with a cuddle/rub? This will reinforce that if she hurts herself she gets attention.

mytetherisending Fri 24-Oct-08 21:03:24

sorry obviously the pen only works at home, if I was out I would strap into the buggy and point it away from everyone if possible and ignore.

potatofactory Fri 24-Oct-08 21:08:04

I'm really just trying to work out the strategy at the moment (this is all quite new). I HAVE rubbed soothed bruises, but only after she has calmed down. Obviously I would be horrified if I thought she would link hurting herself with getting attention - better watch that.

I still don't know whether to stay near (at home - not leave the room, say)

What do you think?

I as hoping she'd do this later, as she's too young to have any kind of conversation...

nooOOOoonki Fri 24-Oct-08 21:08:09

I think they can get scared of the tantrum and need a cuddle after though I would ignore it as it happens

I would try and put her somewhere where she cant head bash, as soon as she calms down I would cuddle her and say well done for being calm.

nooOOOoonki Fri 24-Oct-08 21:08:56

sforgot to add is v normal DS1 had carpet burns on his forehead constantly for a few months.

potatofactory Sat 25-Oct-08 07:50:14

anyone got any more tips?

she's thrown one already this morning!

mytetherisending Sat 25-Oct-08 20:29:50

just be consistent. Remove to a playpen/travel cot at the far end of the room. Say calm down and you can come out. Although she cannot speak she will have some understanding and will soon connect tantrum with withdrawal of attention. Take yourself to another room until she calms down. Once calm get her out and cuddle.
Don't stop going out, just sit her in the pram when it happens so she will associate tantrums with not having freedom, again saying if you calm down I will get you out. It will take time and patients. Be matter of fact and don't get flustered or she will play on it more. HTHsmile

ilovetochat Sat 25-Oct-08 20:40:32

dd 15 months does this and she also throws her head back in my arms and has headbutted me lots. she won't get in her buggy, and headbuts her high chair half way through dinner that she was enjoying 1 second earlier? it's a weird stage. i use the playpen which i have lined with blanket and cushions.

potatofactory Sun 26-Oct-08 08:46:45

My dd does the head-butting half way through dinner thing! So frustrating - she got my chin yesterday when I was holding her - painful!

Thanks for your tips everyone. More welcome!

smile

newtothisIOM Sun 26-Oct-08 20:51:00

I'm in the same boat! My nearly-2-year-old is throwing himself around and bashing his head on the kitchen lino on purpose (rather than carpeted surfaces!)

I find that ignoring a tantrum is tough.
Today has been exceptionally bad! As with you, as they are happening for any reason at all, regularly, throughout the day. He's just recovering from short bout of sickness, so has been particularly having things his own way for a little while...so I think that's made things worse at the moment.

I'm certain that he thinks that having a tantrum will ensure he gets his own way, although I don't give in if I've said 'No'.

Whilst I also try to avoid giving him attention, where do you draw the line? If you are concerned that they may have hurt themselves then you have to check their possible injury and I also want to reassure him afterwards and get him back to being a happy child. How do you do any of this without, apparently, re-inforcing the fact that you give them attention after a tantrum?

Very confusing to deal with!

potatofactory Mon 27-Oct-08 06:16:32

I wish I knew what the solution is - my daughter's forehead is green and yellow at the moment from bruises in various stages of healing..

I think that attention / hugs are ok maybe after a tantrum, as apparently they 'happen' to them (can you tell I've been reading a book?!) and can be quite frightening for them - but they do seem to realise they are good for getting their own way pretty soon and use them for manipulation in older children. (maybe as early as 2, newtothisIOM)

So - in conclusion, I don't know what the answer is - but I'm going to try ignoring, though it's hard...

cory Mon 27-Oct-08 08:56:44

I think the trick is not to give them the thing they had the tantrum about- whether it's a sweet or staying longer in the park or whatever. In other words tantrums don't get you what you want. But Mummy's love is always there and the moment you've calmed down I can show it to you. That's not rewarding them for tantrumming, they're not getting anything they wouldn't have had if that silly tantrum hadn't happened.

cory Mon 27-Oct-08 08:58:56

And I do think it's very important when dealing with small children to move on very quickly. You may still be seething an hour later, but once they've been dealt with they need to see their loving happy mummy back.

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