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Tantrums Everywhere!

Posted by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM
  • 3 Replies

Hello, I'm the mother of a 15 month old toddler. Looking for advice on how you handle full blown tantrums this young.

He starts out by waking up screaming. I noticed that he is actually sleeping when he does this and if I get him up it gets worse so I leave him to cry until he is either awake or falls back asleep. Eventually he'll scream himself awake and I will go get him to comfort him. Nothing makes him happy =[

Then it doesn't matter what happens, he can't eat my breakfast, he gets told to stop hitting in the face, things I don't even know what happens, he will scream and cry and he looks so stressed out. When it happens over being in trouble, I get his attention and tell him to stop then procede to ignore him until he calms down. When it happens over being frustrated, i guess because I have no clue, I try to get his full attention and talk to him and ask him why he is upset and if he needs my help.

A couple of months ago, before this started, he was so happy, loved everything, never got frustrated, loved when it was bed time, he didn't even mind when he got told to stop. He hasn't reached any new milestones either, which is not a bad thing because he started walking and climbing, eating with a spoon and fork early. 

It just seems to be getting worse. Any advice??

by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:41 PM
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by Bronze Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:54 PM

The screaming while still asleep sounds like night terrors.  They are very common for kids this age and there really isn't much you can do about them.

The rest of it is pretty normal developmentally.  No one likes to be told no.  Anger, frustration, disappointment are all overwhelming emotions that can be scary and difficult for a child to understand-let alone control.  I found that with one of my kids, it wasn't in his best interests to ignore the tantrum.  He needed guidance to calm himself down. He needed gentle touches and whispers.  It didn't change the discipline and I never gave in about whatever triggered the tantrum, but it helped him to find the tools to learn better responses to his own emotions.  It also helped him to learn that I was "on his side" and that we weren't in an adversarial relationship just because I was standing between him and something he wanted.

by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:55 PM

Night terrors are not tantrums, they are a phase  a lot of toddlers go through.  They do not wake up, they just scream, thrash, some even get out of bed.  All you can do is make sure they are safe and aren't actually hurt, do not try to wake them and don't expect them to know about it the next day because they will have no clue.  If he does wake up leave him be, he will settle back down on his own.  (Mine used to call "Hang on mommy") and I had no clue what I was supposed to e hanging onto LOL. ) as far as the daily meltdowns, I had a child gate that I put in her bedroom doorway and when she would start in I'd place her in her room behind the gate and I would go about whatever it was I was doing before the meltdown. 

by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM

I do not believe it is night terrors that wake him up. Research said that it can begin as early as 18 months, my son will actually be 15 months on Christmas. It said that they usually happen in the beginning of the sleep before or after REM, he does this an hour or two before what was his normal wake up time. Also, things that could cause it are stress, over tiredness, medicine that affects mentally. He shouldn't have any of those things. I think it is more teething related. 

I will try soothing him more and see how that works. I'm just worried because he gets so stressed out. I've been around toddlers my whole life and have never seen one be so physically upset about everything that happens. 

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