My 15 month old is generally laid back and enjoys people and also playing alone with his toys. Lately, he has been having more frequent tantrums. Minor outbursts, definetly over being frustrated about something. He screeches this high pitched scream and stares at me waiting to see what I am going to do. Lately he has begun throwing the toy he is mad at or throwing himself down on the floor. They don't last long, just a few seconds but it is the frequency that is bothering me.
I have been up to this point asking "What do you want?" using the sign for want. Sometimes he will tell me (he is starting to sign) or he will point to something. I am trying to get him to say "mama help" and sign help.
I have a lot of experience with preschool age kids as I have been teaching. With that age the best thing to do with tantrums is to ignore until child uses their words. The queestion is: What is the best way to handle tantrums at this age when he does not have the words yet? I don't want to encourage the scream and I get what I want behavior. But I am not sure what else to do. Sometimes he screams when bored and wants my attention ( I stay at home so beleive me he gets plenty of attention ,but god forbid I go do something else ) or screams when he can't have soemthing or when he is frustrated while playing, such as can't fit something into something. But he is also starting to scream over every little thing he wants now. I feel like maybe I have been reinforcing it by responding and helping him, or talking to him to calm him. But should you ignore a tantrum in a kid this young?
Also, to me it seems the tantrums and irritability have gotten worse since his MMR 2 weeks ago. But maybe that is a coincidence.
I am looking for input from other moms on how they handle this behavior. I do not want my kid being the kind totrhow a fit to get what he wants.
ignoring it is the best way to get it to stop. my second (she's 2 now) threw tantrums about EVERYTHING from about 9 months old until she was about 13 months before i finally convinced her DAD to ignore her tantrums! as long as at least one of us paid attention, she kept doing it! she finally learned at least to save it for when he got home and only did it for him (which is when he started learning to ignore it!).
my method was to check on her and make sure she wasn't hurt, and then tell her very nicely but firmly "mommy won't talk to you until you quit screaming" and then to make that point i'd either leave the room or i'd turn my back on her. as soon as she was quiet though, i was right there and i'd ask her what she wanted.
as far as MMR shots are concerned.... watch him closely..... both my girls got fever, rash and vomiting exactly one or two weeks (i think it was two weeks, but can't remember!) after their MMR shots. the doctor said it was coincidence, BUT with both kids reacting the same??? if he's having increased grumpiness, it's possible his body is reacting to the shots (not in a "he's going to be autistic" way, but just in a "his body is fighting off the illnesses" way - which is what his body is supposed to do!!!).
ALSO, he's right about the age for his molars and about a gazillion more new teeth, so his increased grumpiness could be due to teething!
whatever the cause, ignore the tantrums! it's the only way he'll learn to communicate with words instead of screaming!
When my DD started to throw tantrums we just ignored her as well. We made sure she was okay but we completely ignored her. She stopped throwing them right away when she realized that she wasn't going to get anywhere. Then a few months later she seen while we were out that a kid threw a tantrum and the parents let her do what she wanted. So 2 days later she was playing at a McDonalds and decided to throw a tantrum because she didn't want to go. Well we took her out of there put her in the car and did not go back there for 6 months. She learned quickly that there are concequences for her actions. My DD is 4 years old now and I swear she had only thrown 5 tantrums in her life. I never went through the terrible two's or the horendous three's. She has been a good kid.
If he is fustrated from a toy and starts throwing a tantrum take it away. Then after he has calmed down sit him down and show him again how the toy works. I know it is hard when they don't talk yet. But keep incouraging him. He will get it. I think the more you fold when they are young they do realize that is the way they get things and attention. If he is really kicking and screaming I would put him in his room (or some other place like a naughty chair) and wait until he calms down. Then after he has calmed down just tell him that behavoir is unexcepatble and if he wants something just to ask you (sign or point nicley right now).
Also big thing is praise him when he does ask nicely point nicely etc...
It will show him that if he does things like he is suppose to that you will notice. Try and find the things that he is doing right and praising him with that. Make it a big deal. They really want to please us and are happy when they do. Sherri
Thanks for the input. IT really helps. I was feeling guilty about ignoring the tantrums but I think you are both right. He started immedietly with the screeching this morning. As soon as he got up. Ignoring seemed to make it worse at first, but as the day has been progressing and I am recognizing how my own behavior has been reinforcing (scream= attention) I also did some observation today to see what are the triggers. Definetly boredom and wanting my attention is a major one. He never throws a fit as long as I am playing, reading or doing anything with him. As soon as I even look away such as at the TV, the mail, answer the phone, it starts up. Also I think he may be having some more need for physical large motor play. We live on a 3rd level apartment and I have no car. I sold my car in order to stay home we needed the money. We walk around outside but not much to do, not a real kid friendly complex we moved here before he was born. I do get him to the playground on the weekend. HE doesn't have much room in here to move around, sort of cramped conditions. We are moving end of Jan not sure where yet, but I am hoping to rent a condo or house, with a yard, large deck or driveway or something. I really think he needs to have a slide and climbing equipment. He is definetly becoming more active. I notice when I sit on the floor to play with him he just wants to wrestle and climb on me and play chase games. We are going away for a week next week so I know all the change will be stressful but I think good for him. HE has been in daycare the last year where there was a large room to run around, climbing stuff and a toddler playground. But he was getting bitten/sick constantly. Now he is not sick at all and no bites! But kind of bored and unchallenged. OK thanks for listening to my ramblings. I hhope this situaiton improves and I still welcome other ideas/advice. This is my first and only baby!
go to walmart or toys-r-us and get yourself a fold up slide (they range from $30-$40 i think)! your 15 month old will go nuts! i got one for my first, when we lived up north and it was too cold to go outside, and she just had a blast, and it kept her from climbing all the furniture! now we are using it with my two year old and same thing! every little kid that comes over just HAS to go drag that slide out to play on it! we have a huge playroom that is WAY over stocked with toys and all they want to do is slide! we've had it for three years now, and it's been through kids age ranges 1 - 10 years old. it's been outside for about 6-9 months, the girls played with it in their pool, then we cleaned it up and then brought back inside.... it's been through EVERYTHING!!! and if you live in a small space, it folds and fits neatly into a closet when you aren't using it! well worth the money, and it's perfect for Christmas!!!
(we got the red and tan one.... it was slightly more money, but seemed sturdier and had fatter steps than the red and blue one!)
At that age, we ignored the tantrums unless DD threw toys or hit someone. If she threw a toy, she'd lose the toy for a while. If she hit someone, hitting is ALWAYS unacceptable in our house, so she got put in time out for one minute. Other than that, we let her have her fits and ignored her. At closer to 2, the fits got a little more out of control and she'd get too worked up, so we started asking her "do you need to hug your mama?" which would calm her down and she'd go on playing after that. At first I thought she'd do it just to get my attention constantly, but I hug her and give her a lot of attention before her fits get out of control too, so she only seldom gets to that point where she can't calm herself down or we can't distract her with something else, and after about a 10-20 second hug she's happy again.
YES a slide! I thought about that about a month ago but haven't gotten one yet. Trying to convince my husband who thinks there is not enough room here.
It is good to know that tantrums are normal, but it makes me kind of sad when he has them because he was always so super sweet and calm. I guess it is hard to see your little baby start to turn into their own little personality.
I have been doing some ignoring and it has brought down the frequency a lot. However, the little guy is so smart he catches on quick. He figures now that he can sign or say what he wants (e.g.) signs "want" says juice (shooosh!) that he will get what he wants every time he requests it in a nice way! of course i do try to give him what he wants if it is not a safety issue but I can't and won't give in to every little demand! HE will say "book" and give me a book to read and I could read like 10 books then go do something else and 5 minutes later its like "book!" (very nicely) ME: I'm sorry I am doing something right now I will read it later, you read!" then HIM: tantrum and insisting yelling "book book!"
Well anyway we are still working on it but going away for a week to see family where he will be doted on by all the relatives. either tantrums will improve with all the attention or get worse with all the changes. we will see