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Temper Tantrums

  1. #9
    MilkMonster is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Hi moms, I have a 21mth old son who also has tantrums - sometimes what seems like nothing to me, for example, I can move a book/toy from the sofa, to the table not realizing that he had his eye on it and he will flip out. I find there are good days and bad days but what has really worked for me is Time Out.

    We have a time out chair and when he starts to flip out, i tell him calmly but firmly to "go to time out to calm down". (now he knows and will walk there on his own) but before i used to take his hand and walk him there - even if he was crying and collapsing to the floor, i would just keep bringing him to his feet and guide him to time out. I would then tell him to sit down and I would sit in front of him and say something like "you are in time out because (the offense he made like throwing the toy or whatever), you must not (the offense), do you understand? - since he is still young, I give him the words i.e. say 'ok' or say 'sorry'. even if he can't say the word exactly, as long as it sounds like he is saying 'ok' or 'sorry' then i will say "good, lets hug and go back to what we were doing".

    In the case where he has not done something wrong but is just freaking out, i will tell him to "go to time out to calm down" and when we get there, i will say "you are in time out because you need to calm down. when you show me how you can be calm, we can go back" and we sit until he stops crying. I tried the unaccompanied time out but it really didn't work for us since he is still so young and we got caught in the whole taking him back over and over again and missing the whole point of time out being a break from the situation for him.

    This has really made a huge difference in our son's behaviour. Now when he is feeling frustrated about something, he often will say 'mine out' (time out) on his own and walk to the little chair and sit down and wait for me to come over to help him work through his frustration. We never use the chair in a negative way or in anger, just in a stern voice so he knows we are upset about something and if he has gone there on his own, i will just voice what I think he is frustrated about - "you are in time out because you are frustrated with the toy or need a break from...or because you are tired...hungry...etc." Now that he is talking a little more these days, i have also started to get him to repeat after me "we don't hit".

    I think at this age, the tantrums are really normal. As far as I understand, kids will have them until they are teenagers...?? Something called run away emotions or something like that where once they are upset about something, they find it very difficult to calm down so removing them from the situation helps.

  2. #10
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    I think that as children learn to talk and verbalise their feelings, desires etc the tantrums become less and less. It's certainly been that way for our son.

    I do also think however there is an element of 'personality' involved. Some kids are just 'testier' than others. My second son is much more relaxed than his older brother was at the same age. They are like chalk and cheese. I'm hoping the laid back attitude of the second will rub off on the first and not the other way around!

  3. #11
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong

    Our son also is at the same stage. What works for us either we have the thing taken away from him or we just ignore him as he always does something and expects us to run after him or scold him, but once we stopped doing that the thrill of throwing something went away

    Best of luck

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