I love the photos above. They show Jamisen in his developmental stages each month. Jamisen sure looks like a little bruiser in that last photo doesn’t he? Those adorable chubby thighs are so ready to walk! He is walking assisted by us (oh, the aching back!) and took his first four (unassisted!) steps this week for us. Chris and I were delighted that we were both present for his maiden walking voyage. I could use some advice though. Jamisen is absolutely the happiest child in the whole wide world … until he’s not. He gets cranky and vocal about it when he doesn’t want to be changed, when he wants to grab something that we don’t want him to, when he wants something that we don’t want to give him … you know. Typical toddler stuff. We’ve been trying diversion (Oh look! A bird!), singing, and silly noises to avoid the small temper tantrums. Besides turning into a one-woman entertainment act, do you have any great advice or feedback for this developmental stage? I’d love to get your advice (and if it’s “Let the kid have a fit and leave him alone!”, that’s okay too!). Happy Weekend everyone!
I’m younger and with a 2.5 year old, who went through the “hate getting my diaper changed like it’s the worse thing in the world” stage around a year old. It lasts a couple months or so and pretty much had to fight him with it. It was awful and we did the distracting with cars and books as much as we could. He was such a strong one year old that when I was by myself there were times I had to *gently* hold his arms with my legs as I changed him and I felt so bad but I really had no other choice. And then they came up with the pull-ups for smaller children *sigh* right after he came out of that. And he was good until about 4 months ago and the terrible two’s started to set in and this is where he throws himself on the ground and screams and hits the floor. And for me, I walk away and leave him there. It’s the only way not to give in. I only walk into the next room, but I get to breathe and calm down and then he comes and finds me when he’s calmer. If its a continuous thing it’s usually because he’s tired or having a bad day and he goes to his crib/bedroom to calm down, usually leading to a nap. I do have to say that I sometimes laugh at his tantrums because he literally….flings himself at the floor….and I feel awful saying that too, but it helps me to also not get mad and yell. I was lucky too that he was not a very “grabby” child and will hand me anything that is not “his” to touch. But he usually listens to a firm no and the eye contact “I mean business” look. I’ve been very blessed with such an amazing son and I’m going to take what you did and do it for my next child. I have pictures from every month but none in the same chair to see exactly how he’s changed.
Elizabeth Pantley has a wonderful book(s) called kid cooperation and is amazing you should check it out.
I have her other book and really like it! =)
Sara Jane Tinker says
Sounds like you have a “spirited” and “willful” child. Pick your battles. Distractions. Transitions are always challenging so I allowed extra time, planned ahead, and developed patience. It’s a developmental phase. His behavior helps him psychologically become a separate person from mom and begin his journey of loosening from the symbiotic orbit. He also gets to begin his lessons in frustration tolerance and delayed gratification……while having no impulse control. Exhausting for both child and parent! Be empathetic but set necessary limits and boundaries. Mirror back what he feels but do what you need to do. For Jamisen reaching for something he can’t have or resisting diaper changes is his way to say I’m becoming more independent; I’m separate from you; and it feels good. When you interfere with that he gets mad,frustrated, and pushes harder to exert his new abilities of independence. Then he pushes harder to show himself he is a separate and independent person. Find other ways to help him feel separate while he is being close. This stage gets replayed later when he is 16 and stays out past his limit with the car. (Exerting another new independence toward young adulthood. When he throws a fit just let him. He is learning limits but that also lets him experience you can tolerate his tantrum without leaving him, and that it doesn’t destroy you or him. And, of course, when any of us are tired we don’t cope as well or handle frustration well. Make it fun. Make it a game. As he gets older, when you can…..give him choices where either choice is a “winner”. It reduces the number of times you have to say “no”. And, a willful child likes to be independent and in charge. Good Luck!! And remember as soon as you figure this out he’ll be on to a new developmental stage with something new for the two of you. LOL!!
I love your suggestions – I’m super spirited and willful so I’m not surprised that he is as well! =)
You have such a thoughtful comment above; I appreciate that you took the time to write it all down.
I can’t wait to start giving him choices! He’s still a ways off from that but it will be nice.
Aww! So cute. I have some of these pictures of my baby girl…she’s 11 years old now. *Sigh* What I wouldn’t give to have another round of baby tantrums instead of pre-teen sensation hormonal outbursts.
I haven’t really read anyone else’s reply…I’m on a tight schedule. But I am sure that people have said, firmly say no, don’t give in, let him cry…they’re all right. It’s a normal stage…a cross between testing boundaries and it sounds like he is getting tired too. When Jamisen is little the best tactic is “No” firmly and a little scary (he may cry) but immediately distract him with something else in a living manner – like you’re doing.
Also, since I have an ultra-sensitive child, I found sticking to a very regular and somewhat strict schedule helped to keep her less cranky. For example, in our house nap time was always the same time and always at home. It’s a pain and will cramp your style, but it may help with tantrums. We tried to keep over-stimulation to a minimum. Try to avoid changing him and stuff when you know he’s getting cranky. Like you wouldn’t ask your husband to do the dishes when he’s watching a ball game. You’ll need to pay attention to his mood swings and times of day and then you can be one step ahead and avoid the confrontation and outbursts.
They will still happen, but you can lessen the severity and frequency. Good luck, Mommy.
Thanks for the feedback! I agree with you on the schedule for sure. Jamisen is on a pretty strict schedule and we try really hard to keep him on that. He has an extremely predictable life (mostly because his parents’ lives are predictable/boring!) and I agree that helps.
I’m also just getting okay with the fact that Jamisen will cry, he will whine and he cannot regulate his emotions like I can. If he whines and cries, the pang in my heart isn’t quite as intense as it was before. This helps the desire to immediately fix everything! =)
oh and not specifically about this but an amazing book (for all the ages and stages) on parenting and the relationship we have with our childen is by gordon neufeld called ‘hold on to your kids’. wish i had read it before my first was born, not my second 🙂 it would have helped us in these situations for sure.
Thanks for the suggestion. I am buying it right now =)
diversion is the best hope we have at this stage and worked with my kids well, until it didn’t. its just who they are at this point, he doesn’t even understand why and it will pass.
best couple things i have to offer would be to take best care of mommy so you don’t end up joining him in his temper tantrum (although the giggles sounds like that isn’t a problem) and trying to prevent it by studying what happens before hand. often things like hunger, tired, over stimulated (guests, tv, too many toys, too much noise, strangers) or lack of mommy time on a busy day make these things brew until he wants to run with scissors and its all over, although having nothing to do with the scissors.
one thing that was big with my eldest at that age was transitions. from place to place, from activity to activity, from dinner to bath. sounds strange but i started giving her the heads up when a change was on its way (5 min, 2 min, 1 min) and even at 1 years old, it was crazy how it worked.
but truly once they start speaking more it gets better (and worse in different ways, says my 5 year old who i am ‘not the boss of so don’t even try it mommy’ 🙂
Sounds like some very good advice everyone has given!
I have visions of my niece who was 3 when she decided to throw a tantrum in the middle of the pharmacy in our small town, local store. I sat down and read a mag ignoring her while others stepped over ~ and ignored her. After a few minutes she came up took my hand and said “go now”.
Shes dating now and half the town still remembers her little tantrum! 😉
Hilarious – the bonuses and the negatives of living in a small town! Love the experience sharing and think there’s a power in sharing experience to illustrate a point (leave the tantrum king and queen alone).
My daughter is almost 4, so I remember that stage. She was cranky when her blood sugar was low or she was tired, so I kept meals and snacks, and naps, as regular as I could.
I also remember reading somewhere to say “yes” as often as possible. I still do it.
Oh, and I would definitely second teaching him sign language. We used the Signing Time series, and loved it! It really reduced her frustration, and allowed her to use full sentences like “eat more apple” and “bath all done” by the time she was about 14 months old.
Anne Marie, your little guy is just adorable! All the advise above is terrific. I thought you might want to try sign language with him. It is a way to allow baby to express himself before his mouth and tongue are physically able. “Baby Signs” is a great book that can get you started. It’s amazing how finding a way to communicate can alleviate some of the friction and acting out in little ones.
Jean from SoapArt says
These are great pictures of Jamisen! How cool that you and your husband were both there for Jamisen’s first independent steps.
I don’t have any wisdom to add what’s been said already, but I do agree that boundaries are necessary and that consistency and follow through are important.
Reading all the advice to ignoring the tantrums reminds me of a funny video where the little one is having a tantrum. When Mom leaves the room, he stops. He then proceeds to go to where Mom is, and start the tantrum up again. This is repeated several times. That one always makes me smile.
You are blessed with a healthy, fun loving, (mostly) happy boy who is surrounded by love 🙂
My guy is not much older than Jamisen and I agree with what others have already said.
1. Pick your battles, but once you say no, stick to it.
2. Ignore the screaming, it will stop, but don’t give him attention for doing it. Hayden even started banging his head on things, the doc said he would quit when it hurt and he did!
3. Don’t make empty threats. If you set a consequence, stick to it. Even if that means you have to leave the grocery store in the middle of shopping. I’ve even had Hayden put the toy back on the shelf before we left.
Good luck! And remember, ignore the dirty looks you get because you have a screaming child when you are out. That doesn’t mean you can’t control your child, it means he can’t control you!
At 12 months old a baby starts having tantrums and wants everything since they always did before. They can’t express themselves with words yet so they are frustrated. This period is for the baby to see where your and his limits are and you have to set them very early.
I have a 2.5 year old and let me tell you that the tantrums get worse!
The advice given above are right: keep up with your opinion, both parents have to stick by it and ignore the child when he has a tantrum. You can already start a time out when the tantrum is too bad. Unfortunately it never worked for us but all the other parents that I know give time out to their kids and it works.
Some of my daughter’s friends think that a one year old or even a 2 year old can’t understand but they do understand NO very well and limits. Time outs, saying no and not giving up is important to show who sets the rules. You are the parents and get to decide what is good for your child.
Good luck Anne-Marie!
Lisa McShane says
Lots of great advice! I agree that never counting to 3 or giving a warning is best. Ignore him when there’s a tantrum at home.
The challenge is when the tantrum happens in public. Our general rule with kids was to teach them to be kind and considerate of others (golden rule.) So when the misbehavior happened in restaurants, their dad would rush them outside. They would sit or stand outside the restaurant until they were ready to behave so that others could enjoy their meal. We weren’t concerned with interrupting our meals – more concerned that others not be disturbed (and I think that’s a good way to explain why they can’t be loud inside.)
I only remember one incident in a grocery store. I scooped him up and we went outside and waited while he tossed himself about on the sidewalk in front of Fred Meyer’s. I stood next to him not looking at him, various parents walked by smiling in sympathy.
I NEVER gave in once I said no. That’s just a recipe for constant testing and battles. But I was also very engaged with my toddler while grocery shopping. I remember my son in the little grocery cart seat where his face was right by my face and I’d chat constantly about what we saw and asking what he thought of apples or whatever. “Oh look! Canned tomatoes are on sale! What do you think, should we get 2 or 4?” I think that level of fun, positive engagement meant that there was never an opportunity to feel a need to get attention in a different way. And since I NEVER gave in there wasn’t a reason to beg. He still likes going to the grocery store with me. 😉
I honestly hugged my kids or held them while they had their tantrum, all the while saying they couldn’t have it and why. I never underestimated my children, so I told them the reason for not getting something or doing something, then said, “You can be upset, that’s ok, but you still won’t get it.” I would snuggle and just quiet them down. A lot of people go for the “let him/her be,” but that isn’t my personal thing. My oldest, who is almost 5, is quiet reasonable and rarely throws any kind of fit. Here’s a typical exchange.
Child: Mommy! I really, really want this toy!
Mom: I just bought you one two days ago. I’m not going to buy you another one.
Child: But I really want it! Please? (Cute begging face)
Mom: Honey, I can’t buy you toys all the time. Toys cost money, and I need money to pay for bills, our house, and food.
Child: And toys get expensive? That’s why? We won’t buy food?
Mom: Yes, that’s right. Toys are sometimes; food is always. (End exchange, no toy, no tantrum.)
He has his meltdown moments when he really wants something and gets fixated, but it is 1/10 rather than a norm. Every child is different and must be dealt with accordingly. As an educator, it is important to know how your child deals with things before you decide how to proceed. You can’t apply the same methods to all children, because they are all different. Watch Jamison when you apply a method of dealing with his tantrum. Have you caused more distress by ignoring him? Has he tuned you out while you tell him your reasoning? Is he clamouring to be held? Crying won’t hurt him, but lack of contact might if that is what he needs. Trial and error is what parenting is about; the crime comes when you do the same thing over and over again and it was the wrong way to deal with him.
Huge fan, btw. I hope this was helpful.
Trial and error. That is EXTREMELY helpful. I haven’t been trying new things. I’ve just been doing distraction (and trying really hard not to laugh!) and haven’t tried to just hug him, or tried to explain to him much longer than a couple words on what’s going on. Trial and error is coming right up!
How has navigating toddler-land been? Have you figured out a way to handle him? Just checking in.
All good advice so far. My boys are 30 and almost 27 now and, looking back, I would add the most important thing is to be consistent and don’t give in. He is learning that he is a separate person and is gaining independence. In testing his boundaries, he needs to know that your word is rock solid and you will keep him safe. I think I read James Dobson’s ‘The Strong Willed Child’ at least once a year while the boys were growing up.
The other thing I thought of when I read this – my youngest son, at 8 months, starting having these crazy throw-yourself-on-the-floor-and-bang-your-head tantrums. We later found out he had terrible ears. He rarely ran a fever with them but they would sometimes burst. I figured out later they were probably the cause of the tantrums. Poor baby.
You seem to be doing a great job and he is such a cutie. Don’t know how you do all that you do. Keep juggling.
Oh dear! Thank you for that shared experience with the ears. I’m betting those were culprit behind those tantrums. Poor baby boy. =( So far, we haven’t had any of the heading-banging tantrums like that but if we do, you can bet the first thing I’ll check is ears.
Thanks for the book recommendation – I’ll check it out.
Oh I love these progressive photos. YOu can see the changes from month to month from the expressions to the body changes. He is adorable truly.
Great advice above. Consistency. And remember children learn so much more than we can imagine thru observation.
Once while driving many miles my two children probably 5 and 6 at the time were fussing in the back seat. After a few requests and admonishments I pulled the car over and turned off the engine. We sat for 15 minutes in relative silence so MOM could get her nerves back together and drive on! Well then it only took a reflection back to that incident to restore the calm on future trips! They knew about consistency.
There will be a point in time when counting telephone poles while on a long ride will come in handy too!
My parents had this great game – it was trying to make the alphabet with signs, license plates etc… on long drives. That was super fun and I remember have a great time with it as a kid.
Consistency. Got it. I feel like I should make a sign that says that word on my mirror so I see it in the morning. Ha ha!=)
Mary Humphrey says
A bruiser in the last photo? I don’t know, Anne-Marie, it looks like a determined young man to me. Cute as a button!
I have no advice for how to handle his temper tantrums, but, ignoring them makes sense to me. Whatever a child wants to get out of a tantrum wouldn’t be no reaction at all. Jamisen knows that you are right there interacting with him, at all times, and it will make sense to him that you are not going to partake in a tantrum.
Best of luck in this new phase!
He’s definitely a determined young man. I meant ‘bruiser’ in size – he’s so big now. His teeth are all coming in and he’s just a little man now. Sigh. It really does go quickly!
Donna Maria Coles Johnson says
Just try to laugh through it! That’s my “sage” advice. I remember when we tried the diversion thing. It worked for like, 3 times, and then, we started getting these faces like, “You idiot, yeah, right. What do you think I am, a baby? Not falling for it. And now, I’m more angry because I know what you were doing before.” It let us know just how head strong and determined our kids are — which is a good thing when they are naturally that way. We just have to smooth the edges off of it before they fly the coop. He’ll get it soon. Love the thighs …
That’s funny because I’ve been having a really tough time NOT bursting out laughing when Jamisen makes his little scrunchy, red ‘I AM ANGRY!’ faces and starts crying. Laughing at him when he’s going through a tough moment seems just … wrong! So I’ve been struggling NOT to do that. Glad to hear that it’s not the worst thing in the world to do. That makes me feel better =)
Christine M. says
He is a beautiful child, and what grat pictures!
I survived the “terrible twos (and threes) with my four kids. I tried to limit frustration by giving them choices when I could: between two weather/situation appropriate outfits, two healthy snacks, etc. You do the pre-selection, then whichever he chooses will be fine with you, but he feels like he decided on his own.
When he does throw a fit, ignore it. Make sure he is in a safe area, and turn your back and if possible, walk just out of sight, so you can peep at him around the corner, but he can’t see you. Tantrums only serve a purpose if someone is watching.
This is only a stage, just when you think you REALLY can’t take it any more, he’ll be on to something else!
My Dad (who is basically the smartest man in the world) said the same thing – two choices, both of which you’re happy with, to cut down on potential control issues with the baby and parent.
Honestly, I’m just glad to be out of the 4 months of colic phase. This is definitely an easier stage than that one!
Stacey Hoffstot says
Hang in there, Mom! The tantrums are perfectly normal at this stage. Just as fast as he’s changing physically, his brain is going through some pretty phenomenal changes as well. Emotional regulation is a learning process, and just think – he’s suddenly capable of exhibiting more than the few emotional responses to stimuli/environment you were used to seeing before. Think of it like this, while he may not be able to control it just yet, he’s showing discomfort, irritation, tiredness, or any other number of things he couldn’t really express before.
Beyond that, continue doing what you’re doing – ignoring the behavior and/or redirection are great tools to start with, as the other moms pointed out before me mentioned- and you’ll be fine. The fact that you reached out to us at all means you’re on the right path! 🙂
Since laughing and crying are so close, lately, I’ve been trying to (cliche alert!) turn that frown upside down and get him to laugh. He loves little mini fart sounds lately (what is it about boys?!) so if I make little mini fart sounds for him and sing, that will often break the tantrum and get him back to equilibrium. Those little tantrums are like fast summer storms – raining for a minute, sunny the next! =)
Those pictured of him are too adorable! I wish I would have thought of something like that with my girls. I have two girls, one is 3 months today, and my oldest is 2 1/2 and will be 3 in August. My husband and I just finished what your going though about a year ago with our daughter, Madilynn. He’s now at an age where he is comprehending and understanding more but really has no way to express himself quite yet because he can’t really talk yet. So when there is something he wants to tell you or express to you but can’t put the words together he gets angry and frustrated and that’s where the tantrums come in. With Madi my husband and I created a type of sign language making it easier to for her to communicate with us. We made up different hand gestures for specific things and would respond to her with those gestures while talking to her at the same time. After a few months of diligently doing this she was able to communicate with us better. Telling us when she was sleepy, sad, hungry, mad, and so on. There is tons of information on the Internet about it and teaching your child sign language. It helped A LOT. You also still get the occasional tantrums because they do get mad when u tell them no about something but you just have to be firm. Never bargain or bribe for good behavior. I’ve only seen that ever end badly and when he’s throwing a tantrum just ignore him and pretend your not listening and he’ll give up. Even now my daughter will throw a tantrum from time to time and I just tell her to go to her room cause no one wants to here her yell because she can’t have what she wants it I pretend like I’m not listening so since she’s not getting a rise out of me she’ll stop. Once she stops and starts behaving appropriately I give her lots of positive attention which shows her if you act up badly you get no attention but if you behave good then you get lots of positive attention. And that all she wants is the attention. So she knows as long as she behaves she gets all the attention she wants.
Don’t worry Anne-Marie. Being a parent is always a little frustrating the first time around when you don’t know what to do but you’ll find your groove and get and figure out what works for you guys. Trust me. It took my husband and I a while to figure out what worked with us with our daughter. You’ll do wonderfully and I’m sure you already have been.
We’ve been trying the sign language thing and so far, Jamisen mostly just laughs and giggles at us. I swore, the other day, he did the ‘all done!’ sign for us and I was really excited. But, I haven’t seen it again so that could have been me trying to believe he was signing! =)
I do notice that as Jamisen is getting older, he very much is showing more of a propensity to get frustrated when we don’t get him what he wants/take him where we want him to go etc… so sign language will be a great way to help relieve that pressure eventually!
I believe that every child is different and a jewel in their own special way.
And for me, I must admit, am a worn out parent. Daughter: 15 and son 11. They are misbehaving more now than at three! They fight with each other, with us and all the manners I so thought I taught them, vanishes in this family. I have a special needs child and it has been a ride that is hard to explain. Patience is a virtue.
Been there with that one, it’s been about 17 yrs but somethings you don’t forget. 🙂 At one point I was out of my bag of tricks, so when he started his little fit I just joined in. You should have seen the look on his face when I started in just like him. It was priceless and he stopped. Granted you can’t do it every time but it’s a change of pace. If they are safe, for the most part just do give them any attention, as long as they are safe, feed and rested. We can’t please them all the time.
Good luck and he’s a lucky little man to have you both as parents.
Aw thanks Mildred! =) I appreciate the shared experience too – you never know, I may need that in my bag of tricks in the future too!
Don’t give in. Just gently but firmly tell him he cannot have the item; don’t encourage any bad behavior, and make sure you reward good behavior. They’re smarter than you think. If he has a tantrum–let him. Just stick to your initial decision, even if you give him a cuddle in between to calm him down. By the time they’re 3, their little characters are developed, and if you’ve allowed him to have his way too much, you will have a difficult road ahead of you. It is for his benefit that he learns that when you make a decision, that you mean it.
That may sound harsh, but I’ve raised 4 boys…and had many compliments (especially with all 4 of them in a restaurant)on how well they behaved. Now, not so much…but they’re all in their 20’s now (22-29) 🙂 You’ll have a happier child when he knows there are boundaries in place. Those boundaries are there because you love him, and he will realize that some day. Good luck and keep your cool! It’ll only be for a little while if you follow through!
That’s great advice. I tend towards the stricter, rule-oriented parenting style anyway so of course I naturally love your feedback.
And if you have four boys who got lots of compliments growing up, that’s definitely something.
Jamisen is on a fairly strict schedule – food, naps, bedtime, morning activities – even on the weekend (within reason) and I think that’s part of the boundary setting.
The number one thing I can add to the advice above, is once something has been told to him, don’t change your mind. I see too many parents state consequences for bad behavior, etc, they resort to bribery or give another option. This just teaches your child they can hold out for a better offer, and they will.
I’m more expanding, I guess, but that’s really the best I can contribute, as my other methods were already suggested either by you or Janet, lol.
Best of luck to you though! Enjoy the small years, they go by fast! (Mine’s 13, so yeah, it goes by so quickly!)
I agree – don’t change your mind is definitely something we try to work on. As a parent, you have to be vigilant all the time (!) to not slip on your values, your rules and of course, the boundaries. It’s a work in progress! =) Plus, me and my sweet husband need to always be on the same page with boundaries.
Jamisen is a real cutie! Glad you’re having fun with him!
For advice on tantrums or cranky and vocal spells, I can only tell you what worked for me with my three, and they’re all grown now! But…
I paid a lot of attention to my kids. UNLESS they were misbehaving. It’s easy to inadvertently reward poor behavior, with ANY kind of attention. And remember, even negative attention is better than NO attention. So, I corrected them if necessary, made sure they were safe, and basically pretended to ignore them. Naturally I didn’t completely ignore them…but they could not get my attention from their perspective unless they were behaving respectfully.
Sometimes this meant saying, “You scream if you want to, but I’m going to be in the other room having fun!” Sometimes it meant carrying a kicking, screaming child out of a public place and going home immediately. Even in the middle of a meal – we could get the food wrapped to go, (VERY quiet rides home usually)
My kids seriously only had a few fits each – because it got them nowhere. By the way, I also promised myself to never gave ‘warnings’, because if they knew they’d get a warning prior to leaving or not getting my attention, why NOT try a fit or misbehavior? They KNEW right from wrong, and what would get our attention, and learned it very quickly. But they always, always test the boundaries…and I was happy to show them where those were.
Hope something about this helps. Have fun with it!
Love what you say about warnings – one of my best friends, who I very much respect, says the same thing. And when you think about it, it makes total sense!
My folks ALSO took us out of public spaces if we were acting up and thus far, I haven’t had to with Jamisen but I know my time is coming (like all parents). =)
Janet B says
I’ve gone through this with two children, and helped many parents deal with the same thing. Even though some of the parenting methods differ, the main things to remember are a)stick to your guns (so to speak), and b)choose your battles. If you like the more laid back parenting style, that’s cool. I learned with my two children that it was better to let them throw a fit, but mom still got her way. It’s important on things like changing diapers and other “have to do this” sort of things. Some other stuff you can let slide. If he gets to where he’d rather have a red shirt on instead of the green, is it that big a deal? Probably not.
That said, children do have to learn that they aren’t the bosses of their world. Giving them everything their hearts desire (even though as parents, we may want to) isn’t always the best thing for them. We all have to have struggles to grow, even babies do too.
If you’re in the situation of temper tantruming, and you’re in a position where you can do this, I’d suggest leaving the room. Children will grab for many kinds of attention, even the negative kind. If you pay attention to the tantrum, that also gives them leverage. If you walk away, they don’t get any gratification. It’s hard to do sometimes, but it’s worth it later to have them realize that throwing fits don’t mean they get their way.
Lately, I’ve been bursting into giggles when he throws a temper tantrum. It’s a definite no-no but often, the situation is so hilarious and his face is SO scrunchy adorable that I can’t help myself. That’s my definite challenge right now – to not laugh when he’s obviously going through a difficult and frustrating time.
I love your philosophy that throwing fits doesn’t mean he gets his own way. I agree!
I completely agree with you, Janet. I couldn’t have said it better myself!
And Anne-Marie: It feels much worse when it tears your heart apart. Enjoy this time. Everyone always said it to me when I was a young mother, and tired and cranky, and sometimes, very bored. And feeling unappreciated. A lot.
It appears to me that you are a truly competent mother and your hubby, a great Dad.
So, don’t worry too much but definitely keep Janet’s words close to your heart!
<3 – Joanna