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Terrible Tantrums! OH MY! Please HELP!

My 18 month old daughter has been throwing huge tantrums CONSTANTLY, all day long. She is constantly touching things, and doing things she knows she is not supposed to. When we tell her NO, she screams, cries, thrashes around, bangs her head on the floor, runs away, and throws things. She has been a perfectly sweet little angel since the day she was born, untill about a week ago. We have tried time out, taking things that she throws away from her,everything aside from reasoning w/ her, because obviously she is too young for that . We just moved into a new house that is much bigger than our old one, and now have to block certain rooms off with gates. We never had to do that before, so we thought maybe she was just having a hard time adjusting . But she was great for the first few days of being here. We also thought maybe it was growing pains, but the tantrums are just getting worse, and more frequent. What should we do? HELP!

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Asked by Erika461 at 2:49 AM on Dec. 12, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • we lived in an apartment for 2 years and we had to move cuz our rent was getting raised well we moved into a new aoartment and my son was the same way we lived there for 4 mts and moved cuz we found a house but since we have been here things have been fine it could just be adjusting to a new environment

    Answer by monroemommyof2 at 3:05 AM on Dec. 12, 2009

  • I say she's still adjusting to the new home and learning what her boundries are. I would redirect her when she is somewhere you don't want her to be and try not to say NO unless she is in danger. Say things like..."That's not okay to climb on this" pick her up and move her to where it IS okay. Just keep doing that and she'll get the point. Ignore the tantrums....negative attention is STILL attention. Tell her...."When you're ready to stop crying then I will play with you" Even though she's young, I'd still talk it out. They understand a lot more then we think. Good Luck!

    Answer by KaceesMom at 3:14 AM on Dec. 12, 2009

  • She is also too young for "NO!"

    It is easy to overlook the real nature of a young child. She has a gigantic Will. She needs it for the monumental challenges she handles every day. Without full-on Willpower, she couldn't accomplish both the exponential physical growth and the astonishing mental growth. The Will is IN the body. She has no control over it. (cont'd in another answer)

    Giving her time-outs is the same thing as reasoning with her. You assume that she will connect being banished to the "dog house" to something she did a couple of minutes ago. ... not possible for her yet.

    Taking things away does nothing except teach her, by example, that taking things away - perhaps with anger or with rejecting disapproval - is a thing which people do to each other. Unpredictably. Without any forewarning the people whom she loves with utter, consuming love; the people she is modeling all her behavior after just take things away.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 3:22 AM on Dec. 12, 2009

  • The Will in her actions is like a mind result of all this growth. You know how an adult who has to exert a great deal of will-force during his work-day can come home and have a hard time turning it off, so that he is overbearing and rude?

    Well, she is in the same boat, but hasn't the maturity of an older person.

    She has no control over her will or ITS tantrums. Once something has caught its attention, it NEEDS to fulfill the impulse to touch, hold, encounter it fully. She CANNOT resist. It is organic. To blame her, or expect her not to do something is the same as blaming her for a rash or expecting her not to have it because she isn't "supposed to".

    She WANTS to please you - more than anything in the world - but it's out of her control. And when you block that Will as it reaches out into the surroundings, it is forced back on itself and creates a physical storm.

    Try to imagine the release of emotion chemicals. You (cont'd

    Answer by waldorfmom at 3:34 AM on Dec. 12, 2009

  • (cont'd) You just ride it out. Like when you have a rush of adrenaline, you must give the "chemical" a few minutes to dissipate. If she's in a tantrum, do not further pressure her will with demands for behavior, or answering to you. Leave her be and "go about your business" nearby. If it isn't safe to do that, then just calmly hold her in your arms - firmly so she doesn't fall or hurt you, but also lovingly, as someone who is helping her through a bad experience.

    To avoid tantrums in the first place, get very light on your feet about deflecting that little will away from things it cannot touch or do. (First of all, reduce the number of these things IN her surroundings ! There is truly NO POINT in training a child to properly respect fragile items, for instance)

    If its attention has already been caught, we can often help the child fulfill the encounter by holding the item WITH her for a bit, then introducing a distraction.

    Answer by waldorfmom at 3:45 AM on Dec. 12, 2009

  • Her will is valuable, both now and throughout her future life, so learning to handle it deftly is worth the trouble !

    Best of luck to you !!

    Answer by waldorfmom at 3:45 AM on Dec. 12, 2009

  • She is being a normal typical toddler. I have noticed puttin them in time out helps. If they get of simply pick her up and put her back in time out and repeat it til she gets the point aqnd stays .. she WILL eventually catch on to what you want and after that it will get a little easier. They will still be curious only because exploring is how they learn but if it is a major no no like plug outlets then i'd try the time out. GL

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:40 AM on Dec. 12, 2009

  • This is normal. My son is the same age, and we are currently going through the same thing. Try to block off as many things as you can. If you are saying "no" all day, it will lose it's meaning. We try to vary the words we use. "Tristan, please don't touch that, it's hot! Tristan, stop, if that falls on you, you'll get hurt!" I try to explain things to him as simply as I can, and then redirect him to something else. If all else fails, he goes into his crib for a minute. As far as the tantrums go... ignore them. Step over her and go about your business. Move her to a safe spot, where she cannot harm herself, and let her scream and thrash about. Once she realizes this won't faze you, she'll get bored with it. This isn't going to go away overnight, I find we have good days, bad days, and very, very bad days!

    Answer by ShadesofGrey at 1:15 PM on Dec. 12, 2009

  • I agree with the pp who talk about redirecting her...and not saying "no" all the time. If she isn't allowed in a cupboard then tell her which one she CAN play in and so forth. This helps enormously with my daughter. and explain things to her..she will only understand cause and effect if you explain why she can't play with something that might hurt her or that she isn't allowed to do. And I imagine she is STILL adjusting to her environment...even though this started 4 days after moving in...maybe she just thought she was on little adventure and was ready to go back "home" it will pass don't worry!

    Answer by mammacita9 at 2:19 AM on Dec. 13, 2009

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