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Does (Did) your child have more spillover tantrums or manipulative tantrums?

So far, my son only has the manipulative type of tantrums occasionally, and the traditional advice of ignoring those and not giving in usually work well for that type of tantrum. He's about 2 1/2 years old. He usually does well with time outs or distraction if he misbehaves (as long as he's not already emotionally flooded), and he's usually well mannered--good about saying please, thank you, you're welcome, etc.

More often he has spillover tantrums--he justs gets emotionally flooded and has trouble calming himself down. We've been practicing some calming and relaxation techniques and that has helped some, but he still has them and you never know what's going to set it off or how long it's going to last. He may just be upset that his food wasn't cut the right way or he was given a different cup than expected--just little stuff like that can set him crying for 30-45 minutes or more and no amount of comforting seems to help sometimes. He's a very intense, sensitive, 'spirited' child (I have the Raising Your Spirited Child book and that has been very helpful). Prevention--making sure he's not too tired or hungry, sticking to a routine as much as possible, and advance warning before transitions or doing out of the ordinary stuff all help some.

Just wondering if anyone else has really intense kids who have these kind tantrums more often than manipulative ones, and if you have any coping techniques to help them get past it. And what age did it start to get better or are they still just as intense as older kids?

 
pam19

Asked by pam19 at 10:36 AM on Jan. 24, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 30 (42,186 Credits)
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Answers (4)
  • Totally manipulative. She is smart & sometimes gets her way before i even realized the brat just totally manipulated me. It's never stopped though, she is 9 & is only getting better at manipulating. She is super smart & has a way with words that will make even the brightest of adults think really hard. She has never really had many "spillover" tantrums. I think she has learned that she is good with words & that she is more likely to get what she wants if she uses them strategically. I have to stay one step ahead of her, which can be very hard....
    samurai_chica

    Answer by samurai_chica at 10:52 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • We did have a problem with this.  Before my son could put his feelings into words, he got very frustrated.  He'd try to say something, couldn't find the words, he'd break down.  I bought books and started showing him videos of feelings and explaining them.  Instead of punishing I would sit him down, wait until he relaxed, and try to find out what was making him upset.  At one point before then he even would bang his head against the wall, stutter, and not make any sense.  The books, videos, and talking seriously helped.  Within a month of this starting, it ended.  Good luck mama! 

    MrsHouston47302

    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 10:40 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • I bought books and started showing him videos of feelings and explaining them. Instead of punishing I would sit him down, wait until he relaxed, and try to find out what was making him upset.

    ------

    Any particular books or videos that you recommend? I have one called Moody Cow Meditates, and we've read it a few times, but I think it will be better and make more sense to him when he gets older.

    Definitely comforting (or at least staying close by if he doesn't want to be held at the time) is better for dealing with these types of tantrums. At first people told me to just ignore all tantrums, and then later I read that different types should be handled differently. It's been much better since then. He doesn't have them as often now that he's talking a lot more, but I guess he still has trouble verbalizing what's wrong when he's feeling overwhelmed by his emotions. :-(
    pam19

    Comment by pam19 (original poster) at 10:58 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

  • She is smart & sometimes gets her way before i even realized the brat just totally manipulated me. It's never stopped though, she is 9 & is only getting better at manipulating. She is super smart & has a way with words that will make even the brightest of adults think really hard.

    ----

    LOL...yeah, I'm wondering if I'm just going to be in for more manipulative tantrums when he's older.
    pam19

    Comment by pam19 (original poster) at 11:00 AM on Jan. 24, 2011

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