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tantrums at 14mo

(8 Posts)
hairymelons Thu 17-Sep-09 00:25:27

DS has been really narky the last couple of days and has had a couple of spectacular tantrums. I wasn't expecting this just yet and I'm not really sure how to handle it.
I try heading them off with diversions, am careful that he doesn't get overtired/ hungry etc. He's not ill or teething, he just seems angry.
He starts by screeching "mummymamamummymama" and pointing frantically when he wants something/to get somewhere and it turns into a rage if I don't respond instantly!
Is this normal? Is it a bad idea to give him what he wants all the time when he's screaming for it? I know he can't help it but I don't want to encourage it IYSWIM.
I'd be grateful for any ideas.

piprabbit Thu 17-Sep-09 02:22:39

Sounds just like my DS (16 months). Especially the bit about expecting an instant response.
I think the idea of using diversions, and trying to stop the tantrum before it happens is really good. Also, once they get upset and angry they can find the experience quite frightening - this big rush of out-of-control emotions. So some times they need comforting to help them through.
There's not much you can do about feeling like you are giving into the bad behaviour - I try very hard not to react too much, but carry on talking and explaining what's happening (Do you want a drink, is that why you are pointing? well I'll get your cup and fill it with water, look it's nearly ready etc. etc.) At least that way one of us is having a polite conversation smile.
Hopefully your DS will soon realise that he can make himself understood just by pointing and squeaking and then he'll stop the screaming.

hairymelons Thu 17-Sep-09 08:23:59

Oh I hope so! I know it must be so frustrating for him, there's so much he wants to do but can't say it. I'm doing as you describe, giving a running commentary etc. but I just can't shake the feeling I'm making it worse long run. Thanks for your response, Pip.

bevlin Thu 17-Sep-09 16:56:22

Oh I remember this stage. You know, everyone goes on about the terrible two's - bollocks. I found from around 13-21 months soooooo hard for the reasons you are describing and a lot of friends said the same. Give me a two yr old any day!
Good news is that it is a phase, the hardest one I've had so far (DS 2.3). They can't speak, aren't co-ordinated enough, Can't reach what they want, Can't do much for themselves but have very active little minds that know exactly what they want/need.
They will gradually get better at all of the above and the frustration calms right down for both of you grin.
It's very hard work too, having to be at their beck and call and following them on their constant suicide missions!
It's not really easy to teach them the right way to act right now. Just try to stay calm (or as calm as poss) and let them know it is unacceptable but don't beat yourself up, as I did, thinking your doing something wrong and not keeping their behaviour in check. They are too small to really take it in but by the time they get nearer to two, they totally understand right from wrong and there are easier ways to get through to them.

MrsJamin Thu 17-Sep-09 17:07:33

stay calm. distract, distract, distract. and if that doesn't work, ignore as much as possible. things will get easier when he can talk and say what he wants.

MrsJamin Thu 17-Sep-09 17:13:00

I meant to add that you need to be consistent in what he can and can't have, and definitely don't go back on what you've said he can't have after a tantrum.

hairymelons Thu 17-Sep-09 23:28:15

Thanks, you put it so well bevlin. I'm glad it's not just me. I've been avoiding saying no unless he's doing something dangerous or massively inconvenient. Think I'll just carry on with that for now, along with the distraction.
MrsJamin, when you say ignore,do you mean blithely carry on as normal or walk away?

MrsJamin Fri 18-Sep-09 11:14:00

By ignoring, I mean walking away. That's generally the last option if distraction hasn't worked. You don't want to give the bad behaviour your attention. Instead do something really interesting really loudly, in their vision so he realises the most fun can be had with mummy, being good.

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