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22 month old tantrum hell

(7 Posts)
badfurday Sun 31-Jan-16 11:53:06

Please help.

I'm on the brink of some sort of breakdown.

My 22 month old has the most awful tantrums over nothing. She goes from being lovey to being terrifying. I can't pacify her and she lashes out. She has scratched both me and my husband.

I'm really at my wits end now, I was in tears earlier as I can't do anything to help her. Anything I suggest during mid tantrum she arches her back and screams, I try and cuddle her, again she arches her back and goes mental. I wince when she comes near me as she hits and scratches. Earlier she went crazy because I wouldn't let her open the dishwasher in mid cycle, I had to leave her in the end for a good 7-10 minutes before she finally calmed down.

I've tried saying no, naughty girl all sorts of things and she carries on. She doesn't seem care.

We were supposed to go out to lunch today but we've cancelled as she will no doubt have an uncontrollable melt down.
She's in nursery 4 days a week and is fine there.
Also nap times have become world war 3.

Please someone offer me some advice or help. I'm actually seriously tempted to go back to work 5 days a week instead of 4 to get away from her. I love her more than anything but feel like we are walking on eggshells around her and she's sucking the life out me and ruining anything nice we try and do.

Littlef00t Sun 31-Jan-16 14:47:12

Well everyone is different and my Dd is only a couple of months older than yours, but here are some things to try:

When Dd starts to tantrum I make sure she's safe on the floor and walk away or busy myself with something else. If she calms a little ill try and distract her but if it doesn't work, I leave her.

She shouts no and hits out when she tantrums and refuses anything.

I make sure i say yes to her requests as much as I reasonably can, rather than saying no just if something is slightly inconvenient. Eg painting 20 mins before bedtime, rather not, but no good reason why not.

I've also started having 'chats' with her on the steps or out the way somewhere if she's behaving violently or is being rude. I just take her off and sit her on my knee and explain what she did wrong and ask for an apology or ask her to apologise to the other person if not me. It often calms her before I've had to lay down the law, which would often lead to tantrum.

cornishglos Sun 31-Jan-16 19:34:52

Pre-empt? And intervene if possible,.
Ignore where possible.
Stay calm and don't raise your voice.
My toddler does tantrum but it's usually when he's hungry so I can recognise why which helps. I try not to tell him off for it as I think it's beyond his control. But I do not give in to requests which are shouted. I just wait for it to pass then ask him what he wanted and speak to him calmly.

ODog Mon 01-Feb-16 10:31:47

My 20mo isn't quite as tantrummy yet but I tend to distract if I can get in there quick enough. If not, I let him thrash it out safely and sit next to him quietly. Occasionally I will say I'm here when you need a cuddle, I know you're frustrated, it's ok to feel angry I'm here when you need etc etc. seems to work for us at the moment and he will eventually calm down. Only had one bad public tantrum so far and the techniques worked fine there too. Although I was sat cross legged on the floor in a garden centre directing people around us! blush

I have gleaned all of this from toddlercalm by Sarah ockwell-smith. I'm not a huge fan of her style of writing as it's a bit 'if you ever raise your voice you will damage your child' type stuff, however, lots of the techniques appeal to my natural instincts and have given me the confidence to follow them and adapt for my child. Worth a read imo.

knowler Mon 01-Feb-16 13:56:53

If it's any consolation, I found 22 months the hardest time with my DS1. We had a holiday at the time and in every photo he is either kicking me, pushing me in the face or having to be restrained in some way blush

It did however improve quite quickly, so fingers crossed it will burn out. In the meantime I'd advocate remaining as calm as possible - so no shouting 'no' or 'naughty girl', and giving as little negative energy to her as possible. Can you simply remove her from whatever the situation is - so for the dishwasher, explain calmly and quietly that we don't open the door while it's working and physically remove her from it. If you feel like you can't cope, make sure she's physically safe and then remove yourself from the situation. take some big breathes, calm down and try not to shout. easier said than done, I know.

You have my sympathy - lunches out etc probably will be a trial for a couple of months, but DS1 burnt himself out and from the ages of 2 to 3 didn't go in for tantrums much at all.

stugtank Mon 01-Feb-16 17:47:41

Hi OP I sympathise. My 21 month old is very draining at the moment. But I have two older children who are 10 and 7 so I have the benefit of knowing it does get easier!

I still have tears too though. It's such hard work. No new tips as such but wanted to say don't beat yourself up. I shout and say 'no' or 'stop being naughty' more than I should. But my older two are great kids now and I hardly lose my rag with them.

badfurday Mon 01-Feb-16 19:45:42

Thanks for all the replies all. I just keep trying to tell myself this is a phase, we will look back one day and laugh....

The things that's bothering me is the way she flips out. Earlier my husband took her up for a bath and she was absolutely fine, playing about etc. I went up and put something in the laundry bin and she went crazy, inconsolable crying, dribbling, screaming mama and reaching out to me like she was really distressed. I ignored her and tried to distract her with bath toys but she wasn't having any of it. In the end my husband got her out the bath, dried and dressed and managed to calm her down. We are just baffled about what is causing these outbursts. She was fine for her bed time story etc.
The other thing is the hitting, completely out of the blue, just sitting reading a story and bam, a really hard whack to the side of the head. Wtf is that about?! I'm going to talk to nursery tomorrow and see if she is violent with other kids. She has been in the toddler room for a month now and we are starting to wonder if she is seeing older kids act up.
Anyway, tomorrow is another day, a work day thank god. I'm exhausted.

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