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Thread: Tantrums!

  1. #1

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    Default Tantrums!

    I thought I would start a topic on tantrums - something we all have to deal with at some stage or the other - oh and I mean our children's, not ours

    Pinky McKay has a great article on BellyBelly here which is great.

    So how do you deal with tantrums? What situations have you been in where your child has had a tantrum and what happened as a result?

    Probably the best thing I have learnt from Marisa is that when she is hungry she starts to play up, particularly at night. So I have started moving dinner forwards so we eat no later than 5pm when possible.

    I think having a nightly routine is so important, it makes such a difference when we do it and not. For example what I have found to work so well is to start cooking at 4-4.30pm ish in order to have tea ready at 5pm. We all eat together at 5pm and John's dinner is in the oven as he works late anyway. After dinner, I let their food settle so they can play, then straight to a bath, teeth then pj's. Sometimes I read them a book in the lounge depending on what they are doing but getting them ready and sleepy early is a godsend as I tend to avoid lots of that witching hour. When I don't do this routine and leave dinner too late, I get completely stressed, the kids are harder to wind down and it's really noticable. Marisa will put herself to bed anyway, she'll tell me she's tired and these days wont stay up later than 8.30pm if things are behind schedule - it's wonderful her asking to go to bed! But it's been a long way getting here!!!



    What are your tips, suggestions or ideas that help you avoid tantrums or potential troublespots?
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  2. #2

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    It depends on the stage where the tantrums occur. Tantrums I think, can be as a result of different stages, mostly emotional or how they are feeling physically too. For example I am pretty shocking at tantrums myself LOL, when you think about it I think PMT can pretty much be described as an ongoing tantrum LOL! And its caused by something, I think the same goes for kids. With Paris I've always made sure to not let any type of tantrum like behaviour bother me as I really do believe they sense that. She had her first Tantrum post 12 mths and that was one of about 5 or 10 I can count on my hands, I've been lucky, but I think I can also tell the difference between types of tantrums and how to deal with them. The first tantrum Paris ever had my gf suggested to me to do a whole heap of things, I was talking online to her at the time (it was like getting 000 advice LOL). Her suggestions were - Talk calmly to your child in a reassuring voice so that they know everything is ok. Give them a cuddle and talk to them while you are doing everything. I continually said "I know you are upset sweet and when you have calmed down you can do ****" I gave her a cuddle and then let her sit on the floor, I let her follow me everywhere, and I would continually tell her that I knew she was upset, and it wa ok etc etc It worked! She calmed down, we had a big cuddle and she chose to do something else iykwim (I think it was over being asked not to do something). Well I knew that was her adjusting to her emotions (as we all do I think) and thats how I dealt with her in the future. If we were out or at someone elses place and this type of behaviour occured I would do the same, but I'd remove her from the view of others. I was the type of mother that even if I was at an important event or out shopping I would remove myself and her from the situation to calm her down. People had to learn to understand that this was something she was dealing with and I had to help her. As a result we never had many tantrums as they weren't something stressful for either of us, and I really do believe this is why we didn't have so many. I think if the parent stresses out it can stress the child out just as much. And if it is a "tired tantrum" we do the same thing. I could go on all day and give lots of examples but I'll leave it for now

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  3. #3
    belmarks Guest

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    you know what, my little man (5 months) is already throwing tanties. He has such a strong personality and is very inquisitive, that I think he is going to be a handful soon enough. I guess, as long as I can keep his active mind active and not bored and help him deal with his strong personality and teach him to use it in the right way, we'll be right.......fingers crossed.

  4. #4
    Melinda Guest

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    Jacob certainly knows how to throw a tanty LOL. Rarely a day will pass where we don't have them!

    I've found that like Marisa, Jacob will start throwing tanties if he's tired or hungry, so the end of the day can be quite stressful at times. For this reason, I try to prep dinner well in advance (during the course of the day if it's something a bit more complex) or at least start getting everything ready by 4.30 so that it's ready by 5.30 pm which is time for dinner. After dinner, we have a quiet play in the lounge room with toys or books, and then at 6.30, it's bathtime and teeth, into jarmies, bottle in his room and then straight to bed. He usually falls asleep during his bottle or is very close to it!

    But I have certainly picked up hunger and tiredness as being big reasons for his tanties, as well as frustration or anger. If he doesn't understand why we are doing something e.g. removing him from walking in front of the swings at the park whilst kids are on them, he will spit it! He'll stamp his feet, go red in the face, screech/scream and hit himself in the head! I try to use your method Jillian, by getting down to his level, and I try to make eye contact with him and tell him calmly but firmly why we are doing X or Y and then I try to distract him with another activity. Distraction seems to work reasonably well, but not always! Sometimes I just have to let it go until he's ready to start playing again. However, if the reason behind the tanty is tiredness or hunger, the crying will continue until that need is satisfied IYKWIM?

    He does seem to require quite a bit of stimulation and is always trying to learn and do new things so I'm trying to keep up with that too!

  5. #5

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    Its really hard isn't it? Matilda gets destructive if she gets bored at home, and she gobbles stimulation LOL... so on the mornings at home we try to do different things like go to the park, swimming, or something physically stimulating for her & in the arvo's we either go to the shops, butchers etc, I try to space out trips to the shops so we can get out of the house for her sake more than mine LOL!

  6. #6
    Melinda Guest

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    When you say she gets destructive, does she throw things, stuff like that?

    It's something that I've noticed with Jacob, that he will throw his toys about.......

    But I definitely hear you on the physical stimulation. Jacob definitely needs that too. There's nothing like a good run around at the park or basically a trip anywhere that he can run around and explore and stimulate the senses. We try to get outside either in our backyard for a good play or to the park (we literally live only around the corner from one!) every day, depending on the weather.

    And there's nothing like a couped-up toddler to create a tanty! Jacob hates it if he's stuck in his pram for too long as he wants to get out and explore things. So we always try to limit any trips to shops etc where he needs to be strapped in to the trolley or his pram for this reason.

    So I guess you could say we do what we can to avoid situations that may result in a tanty (e.g. avoiding being couped up inside, strapped into the carseat or pram for too long, providing regular meal times and plenty of snacks to keep hunger at bay, being at home for nap time, providing physical activities and stimulation etc etc).

  7. #7

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    Yes Mel, she empties out the bookcase and toy shelves of everything & throws them everywhere...its really annoying. I try to get to her beforehand, and most times I do, but if I have things I need to do & she gets bored I have a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards LOL.

  8. #8

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    I'm having a problem with Mason ATM where he doesn't want to leave.
    If I take them to the park it's a major tanty when it's time to go home or if we go visiting, which is 10x more embarrasing.

    I've tried leaving giving him plenty of warning eg 10 mins till we have to go. Then again at 5 mins.
    What other tactics can I try as I've also tried saying goodbye and leaving him but he doesn't care and will run back to the park.

  9. #9

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    We've had a few over here.

    If for instance, Lily is playing with something she is not meant to, i'll either say 'no' quite a few times or take it off her if she were in danger and she'll start screaming and flapping her arms up and down and she gets really angry and if i try to pick her up she just keeps flapping her arms about and hits us(not intentionaly) I seriously did not think we'd be getting this until another year, but there you go!

  10. #10
    froofy Guest

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    When our daughter was tantrum age, I too would try to avoid triggers for tanties. Also, I tried to help her describe her feelings when she wasn't tantruming, eg 'you're angry' or 'you're frustrated'.

    If she threw a tanty at home, I would say to her, 'I'm not going to listen until you stop screaming and say it nicely'. Then I would walk away. She very quickly learnt that as soon as she talked in a normal voice, that I had plenty of time and attention for her. Also, if I'd said no to something before the tantrum, I held my ground and never changed it to a yes.

    When she would stop tantruming, and behaving in a nicer fashion, I would praise her for being nice and say, 'now we can talk and hear each other'. In the shops, I would say to her, 'right, you're not getting (insert a well liked activity here) when we get home'. I would pick her up and walk out of the shop.

    One time, when she was older, she was having a day where she was saying no to everything I said. So, I told her, 'each time you say no to me, I'll say no to you'. So, next time she asked me to turn on the tv, I said 'no'. Can she play play dough? No. She very quickly figured out, it's no fun having someone say no at you all day long! I didn't do this for long periods, just long enough for her to see where I was coming from.

    I also am very anti smacking, and have never used it on her, nor will I ever.

  11. #11
    Sweetie Guest

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    Hi Girls

    After 3 kids I'm an expert in this subject and it won't take me long to say my tip on stopping tantrums!

    My girls a 7, 5 and my youngest is nearly 2

    IGNORE Tantrums. Ignore Ignore Ignore!

    By all means make sure they can't hurt themselves and walk away. leave them to it. Don't say a word or argue or try and sort them out or comfort them or smack them. DO NOTHING. Just IGNORE it. They'll stop and then you can get on doing other things.

    My little one hardly has any Tantrums and when she does you can count to ten and it's all over, she doesn't even get worked up.

    Try Ignoring them it DOES work.

    Sweetie

  12. #12

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    Ignoring them might work for some, but I find dealing with tantrums a great way to teach your children how to deal with their frustrations and rationalise how they feel. I see many kids become even more frustrated and upset when their tantrums have been ignored, not to mention parents!

    Also, I don't want my kids to grow up feeling that if they have a problem, they are going to be ignored and frustration is unacceptable - tantrums aren't a child's way of ****ing you off, but a way of them trying to communicate their frustration, boredom, tiredness, hunger or thirst.

    Marisa will almost always tantrum and exert more trying behaviour when she's way past hungry, but most of the time she wont tell me she's feeling hungry. So, when she's having a tantrum, I will say, 'Marisa, you seem rather frustrated / upset / angry. Are you feeling hungry?' Then she'll say yes. So I will say, 'Okay then we can get you something to eat. How about next time you feel hungry, you tell mum and I can help you. But when you are upset / angry, I don't know what you need to help you feel better.'

    So rather than go through the processes of ignoring a tantrum and waiting for it to sink in that tantrums aren't going to work - because they will keep trying as it's very normal toddler behaviour as their brains are not developed enough to understand - I figure I can nip it in the bud, help her with communication skills and minimise tantrums. I hardly have any at all from my kids but when I do, I know that Marisa is REALLY hungry and usually tired at the same time, as it's a rareity.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  13. #13
    Debbie Lee Guest

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    Also, I don't want my kids to grow up feeling that if they have a problem, they are going to be ignored and frustration is unacceptable - tantrums aren't a child's way of ****ing you off, but a way of them trying to communicate their frustration, boredom, tiredness, hunger or thirst.
    I am SO with you there, Kelly.
    I can only speak from experience as a teacher (haven't been through it as a Mum yet). At school last year, we started a program called "Seeing Red" and it was all about helping children to deal with emotions in a constuctive and positive manner. We discussed with the children how emotions like anger and frustration are normal - it's what you do with those emotions that count. In particular, it really helped one of my little boys that was prone to exploding if he felt he wasn't being listened to. And it certainly helped me to approach things a little differently if and when he exploded.

    There's a real difference between catering to a tantrum and finding out what the underlying problem is. If you are firm from the beginning (no means no), then tantrums "just to get what they want" would be few and far between. I know that when my Mum said "No", she meant it so there was no point in fighting her.

    Gabby has started chucking tantrums too. At the ripe old age of 7 months, she would absolutely crack it if I took something off her (like a piece of paper) that I didn't want her to have. So far, all I have to do is get her attention with something else. If that doesn't work, I know she is tired so it's off to bed! Sometimes I find it hard not to laugh tho. She will throw her head back and howl and, if she's in the high-chair, she'll hit her head on the back of the chair which makes her cry more.... then she's throw her head back again!! LOL Silly billy! If that happens, I just have to scoop her up and cuddle her - what else can you do?? Oh she's a dag!

  14. #14

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    Kelly...couldnt have said it better myself. Its always felt more natural to me..and in a way..i dont mean to offend anyone here..its felt that leaving a baby to cry (cc) is like ignoring a toddlers tantrum. Its a babys way of communication.I believe we have to respect our little ones limited ways of communicating with us.

    Jo

  15. #15
    froofy Guest

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    I don't feel that ignoring a tantrum is showing a child disrespect at all. I believe in teaching a child to be respectful, and for me it works. I agree it is a way for children to communicate. But, they also need to learn it is not a socially acceptable behaviour, and we gave our daughter plenty of time to work this out. I find ignoring the behaviour gives to the child some time to see for themselves that tantrums don't help them.

    As soon as the tantrum has stopped, that's the time for us (or I should say when she was younger) to show her yes we do love you, we do respect you. We do want to help you, but we can't understand what you are saying if you are screaming.

  16. #16
    froofy Guest

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    Also, I'd like to add that I disagree that by ignoring a child is to say it's not ok to be frustrated. In our case, this is not true. We have always said to our daughter, even as a baby, 'you're frustrated, we understand, but we will help you'. Even now, as a five year old, she can come to us anytime (and does) and will say 'I'm frustrated, because.....' and we work it out. She has learnt how to deal with frustration in more constructive ways, that it is a challenge to solve a problem and she gets great satisfaction out of this.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by froofy
    We have always said to our daughter, even as a baby, 'you're frustrated, we understand, but we will help you'.
    Well that's not ignoring her then, is it?

    As I said, tantrums are not always frustration - it could be tiredness, hunger, thirst - and I would rather deal with the issue straight away, and help them learn to deal with it straight away than put us through more stress than we need be. Especially is it's through hunger or whatever, I would rather not make her wait. I would also say that ignoring a child is not gentle parenting, but that's just me.
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
    Forever grateful to my incredible Mod Team and many wonderful members who have been so supportive since 2003.

  18. #18
    froofy Guest

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    Children can get frustrated without throwing a tantrum, that's when we would have talked to her. I respect that others do things different ways to the way I do, but that doesn't seem to go both ways around here. I do consider myself a very gentle parent, even if it doesn't come under your definition. Since my opinion isn't respected and my parenting style is being judged, I won't be coming back here as I simply do not feel welcome

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