Friday, November 6, 2009

From Thanksgiving to Tantrums...

Calling all moms with kids old enough to have thrown tantrums! I need your help!

The boys are getting to be possessive, opinionated, emotional kids. If one takes a toy or book from the other or starts standing too close, if they can't get a puzzle piece to fit in the correct spot, or if I take something (like the phone) off of them, a full out screeching tantrum usually begins. Eli is especially bad, throwing himself into a back bend and practically hitting his head off the floor or wall. They are the happiest kids if you let them do what they want, but when that includes trying to open the cabinets under the sink or playing in the toilet, obviously they have to be stopped.

So what do you do?! I have been laying Eli down on the floor (so he doesn't hurt himself) and just walking away. The crying doesn't last long, but their reaction when things don't go their way is so over the top that it drives me nuts!

I have a feeling that this is just a fact of life, but does anyone have any tips that have worked to ease the pain of tantrums? Even things that have worked in specific circumstances (like when a puzzle piece won't fit) would be helpful!


mandy said...

I have a thought for you, but will email you with it since it's a lengthy thought and I need to write it without writing a book in the comments!

Kelly said...

Hi Bethers :) I am by no means a pro at diffusing tantrums, but it is a frequent occurrence with a little boy I know who lives with me. ;) I'll email you one on that too :)

Unknown said...

My girls are starting too! I'm shocked because like your boys, the girls are just sooo happy and typically laid back.

My sister's advise has been what she does/did with my nephew (he started throwing fits around one- now he's 23 months). She'd sit him in a certain spot (in the hall, by the couch or something) and set the timer (kitchen 'egg timer') for 1 minute (based on his age) right next to him and tell him when it goes off, he'll be all done and read to be sweet. She'd walk away, but not out of his sight. Once it would ding, she'd go back and ask him if he's ready to be sweet and play and he (almost immediately every time) would stop the drama say yes and go play. :)

It will soon be put into practice with my Reese. :) Good luck! :)

Kathie said...

Hey Beth,

With my twins, I have found that it is helpful that they have a few things that are theirs that they don't have to share with their brother.

When Max and Dex turned 2 and a half the "copy-cat crime," became a big issue (along with the copy cat tantrum). We now have a saying in our house (and the idea has worked well), "copy cat crimes do double the time."

Patti W. told me to tell them to go to their room and come back when they were done crying, and it has worked. We walk (or carry)them up there and they come out when they have calmed down (or fall asleep). No matter what, don't give in!

Hang in there. They will outgrow it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Beth. I dont' have a child old enough to do this yet (he's 18 months) but I read a life-changing book on child-rearing called "Raising Godly Tomatoes". She uses Scripture to share how we ought to train our kiddos. Tantrums are flat-out not acceptable. (Do I get to kick and scream when someone cuts in line or takes my parking spot?) I've actually used her method so far (even though he's not in the 2's and 3's yet) and when I say "stop it" very sternly, he'll quit his screaming. It's not about the tantrum. It's not about "sharing toys" or putting a time limit on them. It's about putting others first, like Jesus would. It's about learning sacrifice and generosity and contentment. It doesn't matter who had what toy first, or how much they like it or if you have one or two of them - or timing them as they play with it in equal amounts. She says that's silly! It's about their heart and attitude. That's what this book is all about and it's very practical and applicable and so far - it works. My son loves his blocks, but when his buddy comes over to play with them and takes them right out of his hands, I don't want my son to say "no" or grab back. I want him to turn thee other cheek and give him his whole bucket. He will do that now. In fact, he goes and grabs his other bag from the room and dumps them in front of his friend. Sometimes there is a little bit of a huff and attitude...but the lady had 10 kids and she knows what she's talking about. I am so grateful someone passed this book to me and wrote me a note like I'm writing toyou! It's not like all those other self-help parenting books written by a male psychiatrist. ;)