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9 mth old and throwing tantrum?!

  1. #1
    JoyousBaby is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Tung Chung

    9 mth old and throwing tantrum?!

    Throwing tantrum at such young age? Someone told me this was a "learned behavior" and I argued that point because my 9 month old hasn't been around many kids and surely not ones throwing tantrum! She kicks, throws her head back, straightens her body, and clenches her fists! She will scream till her face turn tomato red. I have decided that as long as she is ok and not hurt I will "ignore" this behavior because any reaction to it is reinforcing them to continue doing it especially if you pick them up! I have noticed that once I started doing that she now stops crying sooner and looks at me and then next thing you know she's playing again
    I try to distract her too. It happens few times a day and I just hope this will go away soon and not develop into habit. Won't be her personality? Cross my fingers..

  2. #2
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    My baby girl started doing this early - 5 months or so. If she wanted something, she would not be distracted if you took it away and tried to give her something else. She arches back and yells. We were surprised because her older brother at 22 months is much more pliant. I think it is less learned and more personality (at least as I see it between my two children - my daughter is definitely more feisty and assertive) but I think sooner or later all kids go through this stage where they express their frustration loudly and won't be distracted easily.

    We generally stick with distracting her, not because we're trying to teach her something at this stage but because mostly when we take something away, it's harmful for her. Generally she grudgingly calms down after a bit. Her rages are fleeting.

  3. #3
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Hmmm. So, basically, you're asking if tantrum-throwing is a "learned behavior." Yes and no. Most babies and children will experiment with throwing tantrums at some point. It becomes a "learned behavior" when it is 1) habitual (happens all the time) 2) is reinforced by the parenting. It is affected by personality. My little girl has a much more forceful personality than her older brother so she's more prone to louder, more forceful behavior and even throwing a tantrum. 9 months this is the time to step in and teach your daughter more effective and better communication skills. How you do this will depend on 1) what type of parent you are 2) what type of child you have. For my daughter, she tends to shout and grab for things she wants. Instead of rewarding her with what she wants, I model for her how she should ask for the things she wants. For example, if she wants to breastfeed she used to hit my chest and yell "Milk!" I would say, "No. Gentle." And take her hand and show her how to gently tap my shoulder. She has to say, "Milk, please." When she wants to be picked up she used to do that screaming, back arching thing but that doesn't get her what she wants. I will stand there calmly and insist she says, "Up, please" in a gentle tone and then she'll get what she wants.

    No child is always going to be compliant, calm, gentle and kind. But, definitely don't accept behavior such as stiffening, arching of back and other clearly defiant behavior as "normal" and "this is just the way it is." There is a limit to what we can do as parents to encourage our children to communicate appropriately. Many times with young babies or toddlers or even preschoolers tantrum throwing is a side-effect of an inability to communicate properly. We can give our children the tools to communicate and reinforce correct communication (of course, that is age appropriate--pointing to an item, for example could be considered proper communication for a 9-month-old who doesn't speak well while screaming and rolling around on the floor would not be appropriate) by rewarding them with the desired result and praise when they use the right type of communication.

    I really recommend, "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer" which goes into detail about the need to First) Observe your child (what do they do, does it have any relationship to other factors such as environmental factors) Second) Make a plan (if your child is throwing a tantrum because of being over-stimulated, arrange his or her schedule so they're not etc.) Third) Be consistent (react calmly and firmly every time--children learn through routine but parents have to be in control).

    “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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