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best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

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Old 03-08-2007, 08:44 AM   #1
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best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

My 22 months old daughter recently started to throw tantrums. Most have been at home. I am not sure at what the best way to deal with them.

Should I ignore them? Try to hold and comfort her? Distract her? Cave into what she wants?

She's too young to be reasoned with but I also don't want to start a pattern where she thinks she can get what she wants.

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Old 03-08-2007, 09:05 AM   #2
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Re: best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

When my 26 month old DS has a tantrum, I usually do one of two things. I either completely ignore it (which can be hard so sometimes I step into another room for a minute) or I redirect his attention to something else. It depends on the level of tantrum. I have been doing this for the last 3-4 months, and he's really only had a few tantrums. I don't give into what he wants, because if I do, then I'm teaching him that "no" doesn't always mean "no." At the end of the tantrum I hug and kiss him, then he's off playing again like nothing happened.

Old 03-08-2007, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

OH- do I remember the tantrum days! I am really glad my kids are teens now, although, there are a whole different set of issues in dealing with what they try and throw your way, haha. (Really they are good kids, not perfect, but good)

There are so many different ways to deal with the tantrums, and you will hear all of them. Each parent seems to have their own way in dealing with them, and as long as it doesn't involve abuse (or giving in to them), then whatever works is a good thing.

With each of my two children (daughter 17, son 12 almost 13) I had to deal with them differently because what worked for one, didn't work so well for the other. With our daughter, I was able to ignore a tantrum and that usually made her tantrums very short lived because didn't get the "attention" that her tantrum was meant to get. There were a few times this didn't work, so I had a polaroid camera, and my hubby decided on day when she was really throwing a doozie of a tantrum, that he would take a picture of her while she was throwing her marathon tantrum. He took one picture, she got angry and started throwing more of a tantrum. Well, my husband took another, and then another. She stopped her crying and said, "Top it daddy! Top it!!" He told her that she was too pretty to throw such a fit and that when she stopped her tantrum, he would stop taking pictures. Well, she turned the switch right off, because that tantrum ended right then and there. From there on out, if she was throwing a tantrum that didn't stop by being ignored, I would remind her of the pictures.

My son, on the other hand was really good a throwing tantrums and me ignoring them didn't work so well, so with him, we had to take him to his room and sit him in the middle of his bed and told him that when he was able to calm down, we would allow him to get off his bed and come out of his room. While he was on his bed, we didn't allow him any toys or books. Nothing to play with at all. I told him that it was up to him as to how long he stayed on his bed with nothing but the walls to look at. He was just about your daugther's age, so he had one of those "kiddy" beds that was really low to the ground. Yes, he was young, but was certainly old enough to understand what sitting in the middle of his bed was and he knew he didn't like doing that. Basically, it kind of gave him control over how long this punishment lasted.

You mainly have to remember to keep your calm, and do NOT give in to her tantrums. If you give in just once, then the tantrum cycle will more than likely grow and she will quickly learn how to get her way.

Good luck sweetie. Be vigilant, be firm, and hopefully your daughter will quickly learn that tantrums aren't going to get her anywhere with you.

Last edited by ozzybug; 03-08-2007 at 09:43 AM.

Old 03-08-2007, 10:29 AM   #4
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Re: best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

I've learned at pep class, that best thing is ignore like go to another room. If she does it at the store leave the cart and take her out and take back after she come down (this is a tuff one). Comforting is useless.

Old 03-15-2007, 11:55 AM   #5
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Re: best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

One of the best ways I've found to handle my 23-month-old DD's tantrums is to try to recognize why she's throwing it and try to avoid it if possible. If I know it's coming up on lunchtime or naptime, she throws more tantrums when she's tired or hungry, so I look for the warning signs that she's ready a little early. Those are relatively easy to avoid. If she starts to throw a tantrum, I first try to divert her attention to keep it at bay. I'll try humor or enticing her with something else. If she's mad because I told her she can't have something or do something, I'll give her a minute to work it out on her own. I tell her it's okay to feel angry or upset when she doesn't get what she wants (sometimes my talking to her frustrates her more). Then I'll try humor or try to entice her to play something else with me. If she's throwing things or hitting people, those behaviors are unacceptable every time, so I put her in time out. I sit her in a chair and rest my hand on her chest (I don't push her or hold her, it's only there to let her know it's not time to get up yet) until she's calmed down a bit. When I first started the time outs, she'd resist and I'd hold her there (not hurting her), but after the first couple times I've done this now she'll sit there without a fight. I hold my hand there, tell her "no hit" or "no throwing toys" and then look away for about a minute and igore her (she hates it when I ignore her, so it's effective). When I turn back around, I give her a hug and tell her I love her but that we don't hit people or throw toys. Most of the time she's over it by then and onto something else. If not, she'll throw another tantrum and we'll repeat the process. Sometimes they like to be hugged and held through it, but my DD will hit me if I try to intervene with a hug. To her, that's patronizing...LOL!

One time, DD was mad at me because I was on the phone really quick with DH and not giving her my undivided attention. She came over, hit me and then put herself in time out (I have only put her there on a handful of occasions and usually try to let her work it out on her own within reason most of the time, unless she starts hitting or throwing things). I was stunned and had to do everything to keep from laughing! Don't laugh at their tantrums, at first it frustrates them and makes them madder (you aren't validating their feelings) and will eventually encourage them more because you're giving them some form of attention.

Old 04-10-2007, 11:03 AM   #6
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Re: best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

Well, my three year old throws them. I am a nanny, and when he starts, I give him two choices. First choice is to stay with me and have fun with what we are doing or whatever it is we have been doing. second choice is to go inside, or to a different room and cry and be alone until he is done. Your sounds a bit young to do this with, but it works everytime! No joke, not once has he chosen to go be in his room alone, or to not have fun with the other kids! Good luck!!!!

Old 04-10-2007, 01:36 PM   #7
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Re: best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

i didnt have too many tantrums when my son was that age, but when he did, he would lol nicley lie himself down on the floor and cry and carry on.. I would just leave him there and every few mins walk past him and say, "you going to get up now?" eventually he'd just get up and come play hehe.. i think i was quite lucky.. there are some great suggestions in this thread and i agree that so long as you are not giving in or hurting the child in any way, then anything else is fine, i beleive consistacny is the key, good luck! they can be trying sometimes!

Old 04-11-2007, 08:21 AM   #8
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Re: best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

My son went into a few that resulted in him working himself up into such a state he would throw up. That was a chore.. Ignoring wasn't always the answer for him.. he was determined to get our attention one way or another.

In my sons case, I try not to spank it is a last resort. He was always intelligent and aware of what he was doing even at 18 months, you could see he understood. And he would push and test each limit. I would have to get down on eye level and get him to recognize that I was there and not going to tolerate it anymore. Also that his act would cost him after the fact loss of toys and play time. Occasionally an open handed swat on the behind was enough to startle him back to the present and allow me to talk him down. His big thing now at four years of age is getting frustrated and angry and storming off to his room to sulk. I am finding it a welcome change to the tantrum days. Sulking off by himself never lasts long.

One of my friends father's used to toss cold water on my friend when he did it as a child... the thing that stopped him was a full picture of ice water in Denny's. Then a spanking in the parking lott to boot. My parents would have spanked the tar out of me if I looked at them cross eyed much less through a TEMPER TANTRUM.. ugh.. I remember those days, and do not resent them.

I am thinking of employing a little cold water spritzer, if I have a second child during the temper tantrum phase. I think it might be a good way to startle them out of a fit so you can reason with them quicker. A whole jug of water may be a bit of an over kill.

Each child is different, but you must be clear that that behavior is unacceptable and not going to get them what they want. Never give in.. once you do you are lost.

If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.

Last edited by mkgbrook; 04-11-2007 at 08:33 AM.

Old 04-11-2007, 08:51 AM   #9
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Re: best way to deal with toddler tantrums?

mgkbrook's post made me laugh! I was just talking about the SAME thing the other day with a gf. She had said how her father dumped water on her when she started her fits. She didn't have to many after that! I had never thought of it and thought it was funny. My kids so far have never had a tantrum. I don't know how we have gotten through 3 years without one, so I know I am due soon!!! Good luck and let us know how it goes!!!

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