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What do you handle toddler tantrums? Not public ones but at home.

My 18 month olds have taken to temper tantrums in response to most everything. Some of it is copycat behavior when one is having a tantrum the other throws himself down on the ground and pretend cries. I won't lie...the sheer volume of the noise drives me crazy.

Do you just ignore it completely?

Try to change the subject?

Offer something different to do? Put them in time out?

Please help! I want to know what WORKS for you. (gets them quiet and lessens the frequency of these outbursts)

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Asked by gummylump at 10:14 AM on Mar. 18, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (8)
  • I dont pay any attention to mine..She use to try throwing tantrums all the time..i tried time out for her and it made the screaming i told her through the screaming lol that she can lay there and cry and scream and kick for as long as she wanted and when she decided to not be so loud then she can come and sit down and play or watch tv with mommy..totally ignoring it for me is what made her stop doing got nerve racking after a while...there were times where i just had to get away from her because i felt like i was going to scream..if you have to let her or him lay in the floor and cry untill they decide to stop the more attention u give to them throwing a tantrum the more they will do it

    Answer by BBKMommy at 10:21 AM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I just walked away. I removed the attention that they were aiming for. Then when they settled down, I gave them good attention. This way they learned that tantrums did not get what they wanted.

    Answer by Bmat at 10:22 AM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I walk away. Usually a temper tantrum for my LO is a way to get out her frustration. I would not put her in time out for releasing her emotions. She cannot hit, bite, kick or anything that will hurt someone, but if she wants to bang her head on the floor and kick the floor and scream, she is more than welcome to. But I'm not going to stick around for it lol I always tell her, "Come talk to mommy when you're done crying," and then I walk away.

    Usually the tantrums end within a few minutes.

    Answer by epoh at 10:33 AM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • We have recently started using Love & Logic. It goes like this: We say "Uh Oh, looks like you need a little crib time (or a little alone time, or something like that)," and we carry them to the crib. When we put them in the crib we say,"I'll be be back when you're ready to be sweet." Then we walk away and shut the door. We leave them there until they stop crying/screaming/etc. for at least one full minute, and then we go in pick them up , give them a hug, and say something like, "Oh, I missed my sweet girl/boy." The first few times they kept it up for what seemed like forever, but now it's usually only a few minutes. We use this same technique for pretty much all misbehaviors including tantrums, throwing food, hitting each other, and climbing; it has been working really well for us. You can fine Love & Logic books, cds, and dvds at You might also find a free L&L class at a local school or church.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:59 AM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I wanted to add that I am also dealing with 18 month old boy/girl twins, so I understand about the volume and the copycat behavior. Mine share a room, and I do put them both in their cribs at the same time if they are both needing it. Sometimes being together feeds it longer, but sometimes they calm down quicker and start "talking" to one another.

    Also, because I was worried that using their cribs might affect their sleeping if they associated the crib with being in trouble, I always put them in the others crtib for timeouts. We haven't had any sleep issues since we started it.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 11:07 AM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I do the same thing for both. Calm down time. This is like Time out and happens in the same place but doesn't have the added time at the end once she's calm.

    Pick a time out spot. Some place with no toys (an empty playpen is fine) and no TV. Some place where you can sit nearby and pretend to do something. A bottom step, the middle of the floor, a corner all work fine. Do not use his crib or room.

    Plop him there and leave him. Ignore him except to take him back. Stay in his sight though. He is being bombarded by strong emotions and being able to see you will help him deal with them. If you aren't comfortable ignoring him, sing softly. But do not try to talk him out of it. That only rewards him with direct attention and he most likely can't hear you over his noise anyway.

    Once calm, pick him up, thank him for calming down, and spend a few mintues playing with him.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:07 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • I usually just ignore my DD when she throws a tantrum (only one of my 18 month old twin girls throws them). One time she started thrashing around and hurting herself so I put her in a playpen and let her calm down. Whenever she stops I always say "Oh hi, you're back, I love you...", etc... and give her some hugs, kisses, and attention. She had stopped throwing them, and now she's kind of started up again, but they're much shorter and less intense now, and she never hurts herself anymore. :)

    Answer by Ellena at 1:06 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

  • walk away and ignore.

    Answer by jbirchard at 1:38 PM on Mar. 18, 2009

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