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How do you handle tantrums? They are constant and I'm going crazy!!!

My son is 19 months old and is constantly throwing tantrums; he flings himself on the floor and screams. He is inconsolable. I've tried holding him; he resists and flings himself on the floor. I've tried ignoring him; he just gets louder and closer. I've tried explaining that we do not behave this way; he doesn;t seem to get it. It occurred to me that he might be in pain (teeth?), but he has no tears and will not let me give him tylonel (he usually opens right up for tylonel if he's in pain). I am losing my mind. He ends up spending most of the day in his room, because he's throwing a fit (they last hours at times). I am at my wit's end. I miss my sweet little boy. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Asked by stellarperi at 11:04 AM on Apr. 10, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • my son was about 18 months when he was doing this right away I would try to pick him up and make him feel better. It finally got to the point when i would ignore him for 5-10 mins and then try again and he usually calmed down. Now if he acts up he knows he has to go lay down on his bed in the room and if he gets up in a better attitude great if not right back to the bed. I don't really know if its for hours at a time. Maybe he needs a comfort item, something that will make him feel better, my son carries his bear when he's upset. I wish i could help more but this is what worked for us.

    Answer by Rebeccaroe at 11:16 AM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • Have you consulted his pedi about it? It is likely behavioral, but I'd have him checked to make sure he's not in physical pain with something other than his teeth..

    Also, have you tried distractions? Offer him something that he'll want, besides what he's throwing a tantrum over, such as another toy, or different activity, maybe a trip to the park, or fingerpaints? Goodluck!

    Answer by BisketLiss at 11:07 AM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • If he is throwing them for hours at a time, get his hearing checked and have him evaluated for sensory disorders. That is extreme even in a child this age.

    You can also try this, when he gets to the point where you can tell he can no longer control it at all, and his crying starts to sound rythmic, throw a glass of ice cold water in his face. It completely interrupts the cycle. It sounds cruel, but it work and is nicer IMO, then letting him scream until he pukes. It ONLY works however, if he is at the point where he has no control and the crying is controlling him.

    Answer by kemclaughlin at 11:09 AM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • Also, a big took me a long time to learn with my son who used to throw tantrums all the time too, but now only does it occasionally, is that YOU have to remain calm. Talk to him in a soothing or normal voice. Ask him to convey directly what he wants, if he's able. Communicating with him is important. Make him feel that he's important and involved in solving the problem.

    Try not to let on how much it's bugging you. But, if you're totally bugged, perhaps it would be a good idea to hire a sitter and escape for a day, just to give yourself some mental health time. Go to the store, and spend a little on YOU, or the spa or something...even walmart...go get a haircut or something. GL

    Answer by BisketLiss at 11:09 AM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • The screaming doesn't actually last just feels like it.

    Answer by stellarperi at 11:23 AM on Apr. 10, 2009

  • Sounds like my boys when they were 18-24months. They both have mild, high functioning, autism. Tantrums like you describe are one of the signs of autism, and is a particular trait in those with Asperger's Syndrome.

    The good thing is that with Early Intervention, speech therapy, specialized education, they can grow and develop within "normal/typical" ranges/expectations--at least in the milder cases. Is your son talking age appropriately? Does he have any unusual "quirks/idiosyncrasies?" Here are the key signs

    I would also have his eyesight and hearing evaluated.

    My 7 year old is finishing 1st grade and spends 70% of his school day in a regular education classroom...expected to be 80% - 100% next year! ;o)


    Answer by LoriKeet at 11:25 AM on Apr. 10, 2009