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Dealing with budding tantrums

(10 Posts)
Thurlow Sun 31-Mar-13 20:37:21

I'm just after some tips for dealing with the first signs of tantrums with a 15mo.

DD has started what I guess you would call tantruming over the past few weeks. She cries when she doesn't get what she wants straight away, though it's crying without tears, breath holdings, often sitting down on the floor and even stamping her legs about. At the moment we just carry on with what we are doing, as keep talking normally, don't react to the tantrum, which generally only lasts a minute or so. Often it is when she wants something, so when she calms down and asks nicely (she can say "ta" when she wants something) we let her have it, hoping that will teach her she gets what she wants by asking nicely.

This is all starting a little younger than I was expecting, so it is before she's got the language skills for us to try and explain anything to her. I'd like to try and get a good technique for managing tantrums now if we can. Does anyone have any good tips or advice?

Iwantmybed Sun 31-Mar-13 20:41:15

I walk away. Can't stand tantrums. Although changing the subject in a light carefree voice has made a difference here. Sorry if that's not much help.

PhyllisDoris Sun 31-Mar-13 20:45:17

IMO, distraction works best. Never give them what they want (ie the thing the tantrum is about).

Thurlow Sun 31-Mar-13 20:49:01

Is giving them what they want when they have calmed down and ask nicely not a good idea? I thought I read that on here somewhere, but I probably wasn't paying much attention.

I can't stand these tantrums either and I am a little frustrated that they seem to be starting earlier than with other babies (anecdotally from friends). I have a sneaky feeling that DD could tend towards tantrums. She's generally a very lovely, happy baby but she's just discovering her likes and dislikes and is making them known very clearly. Which is why I'd prefer to start dealing with them in a good way now, before we hit the terrible twos!

Iggly Sun 31-Mar-13 20:52:49

She's 15 months old. It's not a tantrum in the same way as a 3 year old (I have both).

When dd gets like this it's because she doesn't understand. I comfort her and move swiftly on. I don't ignore her.

However with ds, who's 3, I will ignore him. I did the same as I do with dd when he was 15 months old (comfort, distract) and he rarely tantrums now so I haven't created a monster.

Your job is to help her learn and manage her feelings. Set rules etc and explain briefly. Eg "dd you want x? It's all finished". So they know you do understand but that they cannot have it. As opposed to ignoring them all together.

Iggly Sun 31-Mar-13 20:53:34

I will also add - there's a developmental leap around now - wonder week 64. Google it! Very interesting.

Iggly Sun 31-Mar-13 20:55:41

And I do give the something when they've asked nicely - but only if the reason you've not let them is because they've asked rudely. If its something they can't have then they don't get it no matter what.

Thurlow Sun 31-Mar-13 20:57:42

Iggly, I guess that was why I have been giving her what she wants when calms down. I know tantrum isn't really the right word for it but I can't think of a right word. My gut feeling said ignoring wasn't the right way as, like you say, she doesn't really understand what is happening or why she can't just have what she wants (though sometimes I struggle to tell what has made her start crying).

She doesn't actually want comforting, which is frustrating. Cuddles don't calm her down, which is why I have been continuing with what I was doing - chatting on in the same tone of voice, say.

Iggly Sun 31-Mar-13 21:07:37

You don't have to comfort with a cuddle - my dd pushes me away. But I will pick her up and talk to her. She also knows signs which helps massively.

Thurlow Mon 01-Apr-13 18:47:58

I'll try distraction/comforting and see if that helps at all. Sometimes she just wants to sit and kick and shout and won't look at anything I offer her.

I know she is young but I can't help feeling that if you don't deal with things when they arise, then it's harder to deal with them suddenly when they are older. I wanted to do something age appropriate so we don't wake her up on her second birthday and suddenly start trying to deal with tantrums.

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