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How do you react to toddler tantrums?

My 16 month has gotten into taking tantrums out of nowhere. He will want something he knows he isn't supposed to have and he will point to it and when told no he will start screaming,crying,kicking etc. Sometimes I try to talk to him and tell him why he can't have it etc. But SO seems to think ignoring the tantrum is a better way to go about it. I really don't know what to do. I usually just try to wait it out. Should I try to make him stop, try to talk him out of it, or just let him get over it on his own? What do you do?

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Asked by BlainesMommy09 at 3:56 PM on Jul. 22, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 20 (9,173 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • well 16 months old is so little,... small short sentances of explanations but then yes, ignoring is best.

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 3:58 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Ignore, ignore, ignore. Tell him I will not talk to you when you are acting like this and walk out of the room. That is the only thing you say to them. They learn pretty fast if you do it every, single time without fail.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 3:59 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • just ignoring it is best! i know its hard but its for the best!

    Answer by Caroline2010 at 3:59 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • I used to take her into her bedroom and let her throw all the fit she wants. Just because she is mad that she cannot do or have something does not mean that I have to listen to the fit.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 4:00 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • BTW..this system works pretty nicely with irrational teenagers too. :)

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 4:00 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • My son's tantrums have decreased, but he's still learning that I will not give in and he has a choice, behave or ???. Phew!

    Answer by Honestbest at 4:00 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • agree with pp's. The less you react to tantrums, the smaller the problem will be.

    Answer by rhianna1708 at 4:02 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Our son stopped once I started ignoring them. It was rough for the first couple but then he knew he couldn't control the situation by having one. I calmly explained why he could not have what he was asking for. Try to distract him by sustituting something else if you can. Have an agreed upon approach with your DH so your DS knows he can't play one of you against the other either. Good luck!

    Answer by elizabr at 4:03 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • I would explain why he can't have it then let him CIO for about 1 min. Then i would say (with a sad face) "You're mad becasue you can't have the *dangerous object* I am sorry you feel so angry. Then offer a hug or to sit down and read a story. If he doesn't want to he doesn't want to, but he'll know your available if he needs you.

    I don't think it's fair to completely ignore him, He's just a little guy and he needs help controling his emotions.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 4:04 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • Anticipate, avoid, don't use the word no, distract, substitute. Mini-lectures don't work with 16 mo. If a child is having regular tantrums ignoring isn't the answer. How ignoring work is the first couple of tantrums you ignore and the child stops. If the child is having regular tantrums it is a parenting issue and the parent needs to learn some new skills for their parenting reportoire. A good book is Love & Limits by Elizabeth Crary.

    Here is a famous article about why saying no to toddlers doesn't work


    Answer by Gailll at 4:04 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

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