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what to do about toddler melt downs?

Lately my toddler (18 months) has been having these huge melt downs where she is just unreasonable. She is crying so much she can't be settled down. I've tried talking to her, scolding her, time-outs, even spanking (controlled-temper-spanking with an explanation of why she's getting it) and nothing works.

Do I just ignore her? I'm not going to give in and give her whatever she wants that she's melting down about, but she also won't listen to me when I try to tell her that she can't have that now, or she needs to ask nicely when she wants something.

What do I do??

Answer Question
 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:09 PM on Apr. 17, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (13)
  • Is she having them at particular times of the day? Like right after a meal? Is she over tired? Does she eat a lot of processed foods? Dairy? Artificial colors & flavors? Sugars (including fruit juice)?
    motherofhope98

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 12:17 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • This is the typical age when children decide to exert their power. She believes that if she screams long enough you will give her what she wants. Are you spanking her on bare skin or through her diaper? An effective spanking has to sting enough to get the child's attention. If used consistently, that should eventually establish your authority and her respect of that authority. Just remember it is discipline or training and not punishment. What you want to teach her is that she is to respect and obey your authority. Later on, you will need to transfer that to teachers, coaches, and others under whose authority she will find herself.
    NannyB.

    Answer by NannyB. at 12:22 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • Tell her she is not going to get what she wants. then leave her alone. She will figure out eventually the fits are not working.
    louise2

    Answer by louise2 at 1:00 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • There's no such thing as a controlled anger spanking. You are the adult and your showing her that it's ok to hit a child. My son does these too. When he does I tell him to sit down and let him work it out. I don't ignore the situation but he's left to let his feelings out. After he calms down I redirect him to something positive.
    SaraP1989

    Answer by SaraP1989 at 1:04 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • Sara, you might not be able to spank with control, but I can. Don't tell me there's "no such thing" when there is. You aren't in my house, in my head, knowing what I'm thinking when I spank my child, so don't assume that you know.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:17 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • That almost makes it worse than spanking out of anger. You know what your doing is wrong and do it anyway. Wow. Bad parenting. I'd act out too if my mom spanked me and didn't care. Oh and an 18 can't fully comprehend why she's being spanked.
    SaraP1989

    Answer by SaraP1989 at 1:26 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • What makes it worse? I don't understand what you're saying? I never said I didn't care.

    And how do you know that an 18 mo can't comprehend spanking if you haven't tried it??
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:43 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • I walk away and do housework when my son throws a fit. He can get his frustration out and I can get some work done. I just make sure he is in the middle of the room so he doesn't hit his head on anything. He has a bad habit of throwing himself back when he gets mad.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:06 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • I would try to calm her at first, but I do know how toddlers can be. The best thing for a full-on tantrum is to acknowledge that you know she is upset, and then leave her to it. Just walk away (not too far, of course), and let her have her fit. When she is done, then you wipe her tears and cuddle her and tell her you love her. Then you start from where you were when the tantrum started. If she wanted something she can't have yet, go on to something else, like a book, or a toy. If she just needed to ask nicely, guide her in how to ask for it. If you need to leave someplace, then when the tantrum starts, just put her in the carseat and leave. Good luck!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:40 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • time outs kill my son..he would rather be spanked, so that's what I do, I put him on a step and keep him there for 2 minutes. If he keeps repeating the behavior I do it again and again and again and he finally gets the message. I make sure he apologizes or, before he could really talk, I made him give me a hug and a kiss before he gets up.
    rockmom346

    Answer by rockmom346 at 2:50 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

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