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  • 2 Post By shen7
  • 1 Post By alittlelost
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February 8th, 2013, 10:44 PM
klockert's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Near St.Louis, MO
Posts: 655
Gabby is 14 months old and recently started throwing fits over everything! Like throwing herself in the floor, screaming and crying. I try really hard to distract her with something and she just screams louder. If I pick her up to try to console her she flails around and tries to get down. It seems nothing I try to do works and it is becoming frustrating. Do any of you have issues with tantrums or have any advice for things to try when she is upset?

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February 9th, 2013, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,755
Holding tantruming babies never worked for me either.
I bring them somewhere safe and sit with them quietly until it's over, and then take the time to reassure them that having big feelings like that is okay.
If they're reachable during a tantrum I'll sometimes show them other ways to express being mad, like stomping feet or throwing pillows. That usually has the added bonus of distracting them from the tantrum.

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February 9th, 2013, 08:21 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 6,057
I've been posting these articles A LOT here but they have been soooo helpful for me!! I totally agree with breathing for two, these articles say the same thing but at more length so you can really understand why it is important to stay calm and present, and let them have the tantrum, not just distract them out of it. They need to release those big feelings and learn that they are safe to express (in the right place and with a safe person with them).

Hope these help you as much as they helped me good luck, staylistening can be really draining and tantrums are hard, but I feel so strongly that these techniques work and are the right thing for my toddler. It has not ended her tantrums by any means!! Haha. But she seems to be learning how to process them and get through her cycle more quickly and completely, and our bond has improved so much from when I was just helplessly trying to distract her and getting upset about her being upset.

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February 9th, 2013, 08:27 AM
alittlelost's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,905
Ditto the above. Go somewhere safe and "be there" for baby while they tantrum. Anytime they get quiet, let them know, "I'm here for you when you're ready." You want to send the message that feelings are okay and you can work through them (versus feelings aren't okay so hurry up and turn them off).

That said, you do also want to show them appropriate ways to handle anger in the future (and this takes time!). Maybe show them during (if able) or after better alternatives. Like scribbling on a piece of paper. Or take them for a walk after and say, "This is such a better way to calm down when angry." Try to keep statements short!

It's a hard age, because their language isn't THAT developed, which adds to them not having ways to express their feelings, and makes it a bit harder to tell them appropriate ways. Still, their receptive language is always ahead of their expressive language (with the exception of a cognitive delay, such as with special needs children) so don't feel like you can't talk to your kid! They may understand. Just keep is SIMPLE.

Also give words to feelings they COULD use. "Gabby, mad!" "Gabby no like ___________." etc. Don't worry, they'll learn proper grammar and not to talk like cavemen when they get older The key is to keep it simple. In fact, did you know that when a child is upset or angry they mentally "regress" to a younger age. So a 5 year old when angry might only have the "coping skills" of a 3 year old. They might not be able to "hear" as much talking while angry, so you have to keep it simple in how you talk to them and find a simple way for them to talk to you.

Now I'm going to move on to preventative tips!

See if you can start spotting the source of her outbursts. I know at that age a lot of time it goes from 0 to 60 in a flash, but on the chances where it doesn't, you can get involved sooner. If she seems frustrated and like that frustration is building instead of being worked through, you can say, "I'm here if you need help." Or, for a younger child, "Gabby need help?" (Pair this with the sign language sign for help might be a good idea, too...)

If you notice she gets mad about certain things, you can make little "cards". for example, if she gets mad about bedtime, make a card with a bed on it. If she gets mad about a toy not working, make a card with a toy on it. Keep it in a bag with a sad face on the front. Every time she gets angry, when she calms down, show her the bag and take out the card, then see if you can help her. The goal would be that in time when she's getting mad, she'll go get the card and bring it to you, and that could be her way of asking for help. If it's over something she doesn't want to do, you just say, "I know. We'll make it fun. Then a treat." Or something simple. Follow preferred activities with preferred activities. So say she is having a fit over brushing her teeth, and she gives you the toothbrush card from the sad bag, then you frown and say, "I know." (this is, the short version of "I know you don't like brushing your teeth.") Then say, "We'll be quick. Then cartoons." (or whatever her preferred activity is. "Then snack. Then play. Then outside. Then walk.")

Your kid's "cards" will be different from other people's. It's specific to YOUR child. It will take time for your child to get used to it, but soon they will realize, "Hey, I have a way to communicate these feelings now and get a better outcome!" and the bonus is these things really help with language, because they show you the card and then you give them the words for next time. Many children learn well when words are paired with other things (body language, facial expressions, pictures). It also teaches THEM how THEY can communicate with less words (especially during that time where they have little-to-no language skills/vocabulary).

I hope if these ideas don't help that they at least inspire an idea that will work for you and your little one. Also just know all kids do this, it's normal, and you will get through this! I know it's hard. EVERY mom knows it's hard. So just know you aren't alone. It's tough, ESPECIALLY at this age, but you'll get through it. *hugs*
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February 9th, 2013, 11:14 PM
IronMamma's Avatar -Child Advocate
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,286
Drake has also started to show signs of tantrums when he does not get his way. Usually I can hold him and calm him down or distract him with something else, but the times I cannot distract him I just sit with him and sing to him.

Thank you *Kiliki* for my perfect siggy

When you know better, you do better. And when you do better, you know HINTA.

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February 10th, 2013, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 128
When DD does it, I ignore her..why? because DD is testing the act if it will work on me.(this act include stomping feet, crying then sitting, throwing things and others--these are things that she had observed from my nephews).
When DD know that it won't moved me she won't use it again ...lol though when she is throwing things I would told her that it is not good and should not be done again.
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February 10th, 2013, 04:49 PM
NinjaCakes's Avatar Awesomesauce
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,473
I could not agree more with alittlelost. I've always held that there are different kinds of tantrums (I'm tired, I'm frustrated, I'm angry, I'm overstimulated, I want you, I want something else), and so different appropriate reactions. There is also more than one part to the tantrum. Each behavior has a trigger; if you can figure out the trigger, you can work on it.

Regardless of the type or the trigger, there's a fine line between ignoring a child and being present while not rewarding them for the tantrum. If you ignore their tantrums they either learn that their feelings don't matter and you won't respond to their needs, or that they just need to scream, cry, and carry on louder and longer to fight for your attention. I've worked with a variety of special needs children and have found that being near and waiting for it to pass before attending to them teaches them that they can rely on you, but also that the tantrum gains them nothing. Also very importantly, it does not teach them that expressing themselves is bad. That is never something you want to teach a child. Overall they figure out that they don't get what they want from the tantrum, but that they do get what they want if they're calm and communicative, and that you are always there for them.
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February 10th, 2013, 05:17 PM
klockert's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Near St.Louis, MO
Posts: 655
Thank you all for the advice, it is much appreciated.

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February 10th, 2013, 10:57 PM
IronMamma's Avatar -Child Advocate
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4,286
Let us know how it goes Kim. I am curious as I am going through the same thing, to a point. And please share what method you used.

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When you know better, you do better. And when you do better, you know HINTA.

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February 11th, 2013, 04:53 AM
TheOnlyPink's Avatar .... In a house of blue!
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ireland
Posts: 9,071
Originally Posted by NinjaCakes View Post
I could not agree more with alittlelost. I've always held that there are different kinds of tantrums (I'm tired, I'm frustrated, I'm angry, I'm overstimulated, I want you, I want something else), and so different appropriate reactions. There is also more than one part to the tantrum. Each behavior has a trigger; if you can figure out the trigger, you can work on it.
HUGE ditto to this. I dont think there is one blanket solution on how to handle tantrums. At the moment your little one is very young and doesnt understand why they cant have their own way. So the approach to that tantrum and the one of a 3 year old who wants candy is very different.
My son is 14 months too and when he has a tantrum I find just sitting near him while he works it out is the best method. Then when he is calm he often comes to me for comfort and I feel its more effective because he is ready for it. I just make sure he is safe.
If he is tantruming because he is bored or tired I will hold him and try and make it easier.

Tantrums are part of normal development, and while they are very annoying, embarrassing and upsetting, they are teaching your child a huge amount. So my advice is to sense what is upsetting her and then go from there.

Oh, and pick your battles. Sometimes its not worth starting the tantrum or it may be easier to allow a natural consequence.

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February 12th, 2013, 12:06 AM
KiwiMommy's Avatar Ashlynn's Mama
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 3,863
Looks like you have some great advice! With Ashlynn, though she is older, I have always let her throw her fit and I will wait patiently until she has calmed down, then offer her a hug and explain that I know she is upset and that is okay, and we talk about what made her sad. Now she is better able to explain her feelings and why she is sad, so we discuss it more in depth than "I know you are sad because mommy did _____, but I did it because ______"
it's more along the lines of "Can you tell me what made you angry?"
"I got mad because you _____"
"Yeah? I'm sorry sweetie. I know that made you angry. I don't want you angry, but I had to do it because ____. Is that okay?"
"Yes Mommy"
"Okay sweetie. I love you so much!"
"I love you too mommy. Kiss?"

Editing to add: She used to be completely unreachable when she was throwing a tantrum. She used to bite at one point, and would scream and throw herself down and kick. I had no choice but to let her get her anger out, and she was her sweet little self shortly after.

Last edited by KiwiMommy; February 12th, 2013 at 12:15 AM.
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