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Temper, temper

  1. #1
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Temper, temper

    I have a 14 month old who can pitch a royal fit!! If she wants something, she wants something NOW and will cry and scream and throw herself down. If she's given what she wants, she'll stop instantly. Some times it's no big deal to give her what she wants, but other times she needs to learn "no" (eg, standing up in the high chair). I find "discipline" is difficult as I'm not sure exactly how much she understands. I try not to give in to her every demand as I don't want to create a cycle of she demands, I say no, she pitches a fit and then I give in to her - but boy she is so stubborn!! My helper does give in to her and will do whatever it takes to stop her crying - but I do the majority of the child care. My husband gets really fed up with my daughter's "tantrums" and we've been trying to talk about how to deal with them.

    This is my 2nd child so you would think that I wouldn't be so clueless, but my first daughter was a) much easier to calm WITHOUT giving in to her demands, and b) MUCH MUCH more communicative. My older daughter at the same age was probably already saying around 20+ words, my younger daughter is saying none. Actually, my younger daughter may possibly have some hearing loss and we're waiting on getting that assessed (I'm not 100% sure if she does or not - but she's definitely a far slower talker).

    My current approach is, if she wants something and she starts to cry about it before I realise what it is she wants, I try to find out and give it to her. But if she's screaming about wanting something that she cannot have, I say no and distract her with something else (the problem is, she's onto me and usually rejects whatever I try to distract her with!!). I want her to learn that screaming isn't going to get her what she wants all the time...

    I do think that the communication aspect is a big part of it - as she is unable to express what she wants as much as she'd like to. Since I know that hearing loss isn't completely unlikely, I've been trying to work on signing with her (although I'm not as consistent with that as I should be) - but to complicate things further, her fine motor skills are quite poor and many of the signs are physically impossible for her.

    Are there any other tips? Anyone can relate?

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    erina320's Avatar
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    I think the real issue here is consistency. She is smarter than you're giving her credit for and has learned that if she's persistent you or your helper will give in. I suspect you feel a little sorry for her due to her limitations and you have given in to her rather than be as strict with her as you were with your first. The solution of course is to talk to your helper (and husband) and yourself of course and realize that in the beginning she's going to through some major fits, because it has always worked in the past, but that under no circumstances are you to give in to her after you've said no. She has to learn that when she's told no it is final and no amount of crying/screaming will work. Keep in mind if she throws a fit for an hour and you eventually give in to her all that you have taught her is that that is how long it takes to get what she wants.

    That being said it is unfair not to give her a means to communicate so I strongly urge the use of sign language with her on a regular basis. Make up your own signs that she can do with her limited motor skills, or to speed things up you could make a chart or flash cards with basic images of things she wants regularly then all she'd have to do is point at the picture. She needs a way to talk to you and you'll need to find it for her.

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    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    my daughter was in a similar situation - what i found out helped was the use of sign language - my own ones....so that she would have no reason to be frustrated because without the ability to communicate alot of the tempers was a result (I believe) of her inability to let me know how she felt inside.

    also, taught her single words that could be used "everywhere" like - give, please, thank you, more, no etc. these words can be used in many instances. like you mention, the need for consistency is also important so that she will know you really mean it - whatever it is. my helper has a tendency to give in to my daughters demands - however she has learnt that by not giving in, the tantrums will actually get better over time....you just have to be patient. it will probably take a week to unlearn the fact that crying will get her what she wants - bear with it for the week and once she realizes she won't get what she wants by crying, this behavior will eventually stop. what i do with my daughter when she throws a tantrum is tell her:
    1) stop crying
    2) tell me what you want
    3) she normally points and says ...give me....
    4) i tell her to take a deep breathe (demonstrating how to do it) then
    5) teach her what to say (even if it doesn't sound perfect - i let it go)
    * i always teach her the same phrase to say (perhaps substituting with different items she wants)

    this works pretty well for me...hope this helps a bit! hang in there!

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    Erina - I have to respectfully disagree that consistency is the main issue. I am very consistent with her - if I say "no" then I don't ever give in. My helper, on the other hand, just doesn't say "no" in the first place ;) ;) The one thing that I am unsure about is, if she starts yelling about something, is it better to just say "no" in the principle of teaching her that she doesn't scream to get what she wants? Or if she wants something that she can have and is just asking for it in an inappropriate way, should I give it to her? (eg, sometimes she wants something that is her toy but it is out of her reach...) That isn't a consistency issue though, I don't think.

    I DO agree that a big part of the issue is communication, and I am trying to find a way to "give her words"... does anyone know whether simple communication devices such as http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-fi...462678851?mt=8 can work with children as young as 14 months? She does use some signs, such as "yes" and "no", "bye bye", she blows ****es inconsistently... she also inconsistently says "more"... I've been trying to teach her a couple at a time - eat, drink, please are the ones I've been working on - but is it better to expose her to more or wait until she knows those ones??

    I also need to really push to have her hearing assessed ASAP. She's been waiting for it to be assessed through QMH for months now - I've chased them up, but apparently their machine is broken!! I think I will look into alternative places...

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    jvn
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    Is it possible to tell her to 'ask nicely' e.g. point at what she wants and sign please. I think The Boy was a little older but I do remember distinguishing between things he could have/do if he asked nicely and things that just will not happen. I was very clear as soon as he asked as to which it was and it was his choice how to react.

    He did learn that when I say no, it just won't happen but some children are very, very stubborn and will keep trying, one of his cousins is like this and has had episodes of breath holding and passing out when she didn't get what she wanted, she was a similar age to yours when she started this, perhaps a little younger... and she still didn't get what she wanted as parents certainly didn't want to teach her that holding her breath worked!

    I suspect you're right in that communication is a big issue here, I think this is why boys can sometimes have a worse 'terrible twos' than girls if they start to communicate later. I think the only think to do is acknowledge her feelings, label her emotions so that she knows that you know and she knows she is communicating on some level. Something on the lines of "I understand you want that sharp knife, and you're frustrated because I won't give it to you but I will never let you play with a knife." It won't work like magic but it might help?

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    aussie mum is offline Registered User
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    I do the 'ask nicely' thing with sam as he has quite a temper too and starts whinging and crying and carrying on when he wants something. We've been doing it for a month or two and It has really helped. I very calmly say "calm down, that's not how we behave, ask nicely."
    Now he stops crying and says 'weeese' or some similar attempt at please.
    Now I find it difficult when it's something he isn't allowed to have and he's looking at me with his big brown eyes saying 'weeeese'. That's where distraction comes in if I can get away with it!

  7. #7
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by erina320 View Post
    I think the real issue here is consistency. She is smarter than you're giving her credit for and has learned that if she's persistent you or your helper will give in. I suspect you feel a little sorry for her due to her limitations and you have given in to her rather than be as strict with her as you were with your first. The solution of course is to talk to your helper (and husband) and yourself of course and realize that in the beginning she's going to through some major fits, because it has always worked in the past, but that under no circumstances are you to give in to her after you've said no. She has to learn that when she's told no it is final and no amount of crying/screaming will work. Keep in mind if she throws a fit for an hour and you eventually give in to her all that you have taught her is that that is how long it takes to get what she wants.

    That being said it is unfair not to give her a means to communicate so I strongly urge the use of sign language with her on a regular basis. Make up your own signs that she can do with her limited motor skills, or to speed things up you could make a chart or flash cards with basic images of things she wants regularly then all she'd have to do is point at the picture. She needs a way to talk to you and you'll need to find it for her.
    Excellent advice. Actually the use of flashcards is really a very common alternative communication method that is effective and fun, I think.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Yep, gotta be consistent--and consistent means always, always, always sticking to what you say--no matter how bad the fit gets. Also, distraction kind of wears out when they're toddlers so it's better to just be direct. In some ways, I think distraction can sort of be a dishonest way of communicating because it's not really acknowledging what the child is saying but instead trying to avoid the request or ignore it. This can be frustrating because what if every time we asked for an object someone gave us the opposite of what we asked for--we would feel like, "They just don't get it." It's fine when they're little and you need to occupy them for a moment or when they get older and you can speak more with them as in, "Yeah, it really stinks that you have to go to sleep now but remember, tomorrow you get to go play with your friend. Isn't that exciting?" It's sort of like distraction at that point but it's more like teaching one's child to focus on the cause and effect of things and the positive side of a situation.

    But, yes, identifying whether or not she has hearing loss must be done post haste because that will direct the methods you can feasibly use to develop communication with her. But hearing loss is never an excuse for tantrum throwing. Just have to provide her with a method to communicate and then expect her to use it--if that's flashcards or sign is pretty much up to you.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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