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Advice Needed: When my toddler has a tantrum I do just walk...

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 4:46 PM
  • 11 Replies

When my toddler has a tantrum I do just walk away and calm down or put her in time out in her room and let her have her fit until she calms down. The trouble I have is controlling it outside the house. Especially when I have to get somewhere on a deadline, like to her Doctors appointment. She had a fit at the grocery store, for example, and I have left the store with her and went to the car. When we get to the car though she does not let me get her into the car. She makes it so I can't put her in the carseat by straightening herself out like a board. It is impossible to get the control back from her. I need suggestions. I can't always just walk away when we are out of the house or on our way somewhere that I have a time constraint.

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 4:46 PM
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by Platinum Member on Feb. 12, 2013 at 5:29 PM

If she straightens herself, you lean into her waist with your forearm and force her to bend.  You are stronger than she is so you shouldn't get even close to hurting her by doing this.  I've had to do this with my son before when he was about 18 months old and it didn't take much to get him in position.  All you need is that first strap between the legs and then she's stuck.

You can't ever have something that you can't miss.  She has to know that her world will shut down due to her behavior.  And the only important thing in that moment is her taking responsibility for her behavior.  If you have to miss something or be late than that's what has to happen. 

My kids aren't big tantrum throwers.  They definitely get frustrated and voice that loudly but generally they are not out of control.  However, when they do get to that point at home I walk away from a tantrum unless they get to the point where they've thrown something.  Then they go to their room and can destroy their own stuff.  When they calm down we discuss it and then they have to pick up and put back whatever they threw or knocked over.

What we work on is validating their feelings:  their frustration is valid and I will let them know that I understand why they were so mad BUT their methods are unacceptable.  My son (6) is old enough to now discuss "what do we need to do differently next time?"   My DD (3 1/2) isn't yet but we still work toward that goal.

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 5:36 PM
My dd doesn't really throw tantrums when we're out unless she's hungry or needs something. I take care of that need and she's done. Idk how old your dd is, so it's hard to give advice (I have 4 younger sobs and have seen different methods). Any attention you give her in this instance is still attention, negative or otherwise. I would say calmly advise her that is not acceptable behavior and that you will not tolerate it and not talk to or pay attention to her (visual conact verbal) until she calms down.
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by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 6:48 PM

What causes the tantrums? Like KawaiiLila said, my son will usually only throw bad ones if he's hungry or overtired. If he throws a tantrum when we are out and those two things aren't the cause, I ignore him but don't walk away. I'll check my phone or look at something on the shelf. If we need to be somewhere, I pick him up and let him scream as we walk. It will probably take awhile, but if you are firm enough and don't let the tantrum affect your composure or what needs to happen, she'll figure it out I think.

At home, I send him to the room for a time out. He doesn't calm down on his own so after a minute or two, I will go in and snuggle him to help him calm down.

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 6:49 PM

How old is she?

by Silver Member on Feb. 12, 2013 at 8:05 PM
I wouldn't ignore them, that doesn't help solve them. I agree - find what triggers them & reduce those aspects.

If she's old enough you could do a reward system - if she doesn't tantrum at the store, she gets a sticker, 5 stickers = picking out a treat or something.

At home you can read books about staying calm or where the character has a tantrum then talk about what the character could do differently or how it's not okay to tantrum in the store. Llama llama mad at mama is one where the character throws a tantrum in a store.
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by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 8:13 PM

we send her to her room to calm down

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 8:24 PM
Sometimes I hae to hold mine down until she calms down.
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by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 9:10 PM

I do tend to walk away from them when we are at home.  But only after I calmly say that I will talk to them when they are done this behaviour.

When out of the house, I remove from the situation immediately.  That doesn't necessarily mean leaving all together---just getting out of the immediate situation.  In the case where your daughter won't get into her seat, I would just put her in the back of the car, get in the front and turn on the radio or start fiddling on my phone---anything to show her that she isn't in control.  When she calms down, I would ask if she is ready to try XXXX again.

I have had cases where I brought one of my boys out of store kicking and screaming.  Rather than get the crap kicked out of me trying to get them into their seat, I would open the door and just put them onto the floor.  Then go about what I mentioned above...ignoring.  Typically they would calm down after a few minutes than want to resume whatever we were doing.


by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 10:09 PM
I've been watching nanny 911 lately... Lol so I have been telling them "this tantrum is not ok." One of the nannys has explained that telling them what's going on helps tame their tantrums. For example: we are at the store, mommy will get what she needs in our basket, wait in line then we can go. It will be fast.
Also they say to give them the words to their feelings, and be understanding.
Example: I know you are tired. Or I know you must be frustrated.
Last they say its ok to tell them YOUR feelings, like mommy is frustrated. Or you are making mommy angry/upset.
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by on Feb. 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM
She is 2 1/2
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