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How can I get my 20 month old to stop throwing fits when he doesn't get his way?

My son is incredibly well behaved, but just recently, he's turned into this bi-polar terror. One second, sweet as pie, but as soon as he is told something he doesn't like or gets something taken away - he pitches a fit. HELP!

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maris6679

Asked by maris6679 at 9:22 AM on Jun. 26, 2008 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • My 17 month old is throwing tantrums already too! I have the play pen set up in the living room and I've been using that as a time-out. When she acts up and distractions don't work, then I tell her "ok then you are going in time-out." I time it for about 4 minutes. At first, she used to scream her head off, but now I think she understands because when I put her in there she calms down after a couple minutes and waits for me to take her out. Good luck! and wish me luck too!
    msp12r

    Answer by msp12r at 9:40 AM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • my lil girl 10mo and we going thow it i used to not now y but she be tired or get mad im on the phone it dont really bother me if i know she safe clen full then im not really worried she just up set so i just hold her and let her calm down
    navybabydec8

    Answer by navybabydec8 at 9:56 AM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • Duck!
    evy500

    Answer by evy500 at 10:26 AM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • Ignore the fit. Don't try to talk to him at that time - he truely can't hear you, he is too overwhelmed with an emotional storm. He also can't calm down until he sees the storm through. That is a skill he will learn with time.

    Once he calms down - COMPLETELY - sit him on your lap and say something like "I know it can be hard when you are disappointed or angry. I'm so glad you calmed down." Give him a hug and turn him loose. This lets him know that YOU know he was upset, helps him label those feelings, and praises him for calming down.

    Unless it's a large danger issue, don't try to explain why he couldn't have the cookie. Mentioning whatever caused the fit may start a new fit. He also won't understand your explanation.

    Over time, he will learn to label his feelings and to express is anger in different ways.

    Is there a way to stop them completely? No. They go underground for years and then resurface when the child is a
    kaycee14

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:03 PM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • Be firm he is testing new grounds. If he throws a fit in the store just pick him up and leave it will show him the you are not going to give in. If he starts to throw one at home put him somewhere to calm down and let him know that when he is done he can come out. Just don't give in or it will get worse, it is normal for a child to experiment and test you. :o)
    nikkeed

    Answer by nikkeed at 12:32 PM on Jun. 26, 2008

  • My son is about the same age and does that too! It's their way of testing you and the limits..ignoring helps but sometimes they'll continue wether you care or not I put my son in time out I say "You are throwing a really bad tantrum, let's go to time out so you can calm down" sometimes that's all he needs to feel a little more calm and relaxed.
    Tayleina

    Answer by Tayleina at 4:57 PM on Jun. 26, 2008

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