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  5. Help! My 13mth old is throwing tantrums (like I used to)!

Help! My 13mth old is throwing tantrums (like I used to)! Lock Rss

Well, it's beautiful little angel is turning into a tantum thrower, just like I was. My little darling is 13 months old and I'm weaning him from 4 breast feeds a day to 2 and hopefully 0 soon enough. I never imagined the tantrums would come now, I always figured that it would start at 2yrs+. He throws tantrums when he wants a feed, or wants to be picked up and although he is yet to do the tantrum in public thing I know it is inevitable. Problem being I don't know what to do when these tantrums arise. I don't want to and won't give in to what he's throwing the tantrum about, but I don't know how to teach him this is not friendly behaviour. I don't want to smack him (after all he's not hurting anyone or himself), walking away to another room increases the intensity of the tantrum, and telling him no doesn't work either. My genius MIL tried screaming back at him - which I totally disagree with - and not to my surprise it didn't work. Here's the catch 22 : I don't want to put him in his cot & associate his bed, the place he has to go every night, with punishment. I think he's too young to put in his room & leave him alone for a few minutes. The bathroom is his favourite room and far too dangerous. What can I do that won't compromise any of the things we've set up? Can anyone help me?

CJ, SJ 3/03, AJ 11/05, PJ 4/08

My boy has 'Sleeping Tantrums'.
He lies on the floor and pretends to be asleep. Sometimes I even get a snore as an added bonus. It is so funny. When we are around other mothers they say to me he must be tired. I can't convince them otherwise until he gets up and walks away. LOL
He learnt this behaviour because when he did the normal tantrum of kicking and screaming I would pick him up and put him in his room. He was not allowed out until he was quiet. Now he can have a tantrum and stay with me.

mum of 3

Hi CJ,

I have a 15 month old who in the last month or so has started throwing terrific tantrums. I have even suffered the public trantrum in our local baby supply store. I tried a smack on the hand and she just completely ignored that - so I don't recommend it. I have tried ignoring the behaviour and that has worked sometimes. When I mean ignoring I mean moving away and doing something else - not just looking the other way. I have had the greatest success by taking her into her room and sitting on the floor and looking her in the eye and calmly but firmly saying enough. Surprisingly, it seems to work most of the time. If she doesn't calm down I tell her I am leaving her in her room to calm down and leave shutting the door. When she was younger I only left her for maybe 10-15 secs, during that time she would scream louder but as soon as I opened the door she would calm down and my little angel would return. I think she has wised up so today when I left her I told I wouldn't open the door until she was calm. I didn't think it would work but I thought it might be worth a try and to my absolute surprise she calmed down after about 2 minutes. Slowly she seems to be getting the point and I can head some tantrums off by telling her if she continues to be naughty she will have some quiet time.

I hope this might be some help. It doesn't work all the time but it beats the hell out of smacking and screaming. I am hoping that as she gets older it will work more often. Good Luck

Christina, Vic 15mth old girl

Hi Christina! Thanks for your reply. It funny though because we had another episode yesterday in his bedroom. He was dog tired and so I put him down for a sleep and he went nuts! So I left the room not wanting to give in to his "I don't want to lay in here, I want to be cuddled!" tantrum I told him to go to sleep and left him. I waited for the controlled crying peak but after 10 mins of winding him self right up to a mess I went in and tried to pick him up and he was kicking and hitting me so I sat in his room next to his cot saying "Sshh" and whenever he calmed down I went to pick him up again but he continued to do the kicking and hitting. I think he just wanted to get his point across that he wants what he wants when he wants it. But I wanted him to learn that I won't pick him up and cuddle him when he's kicking, hitting, or throwing a tantrum. After 1 hour and 20 mins of this he finally stopped and got the picture and my little angel came back as soon as he reached my arms. This is such a difficult age. He knows what he wants now but he just can't communicate it well and I get frustrated when I don't know what to do. I feel much less capable now than when he was tiny newborn and I really didn't know anything and we learnt together, now I know what to do most of the time and I feel like I should know all of the time. Whe you have a newborn you get all the help and advice (even if you don't neccessarily want it) but once they're 1 you're meant to be an expert. Do you feel like this too?

CJ, SJ 3/03, AJ 11/05, PJ 4/08

Hi CJ,

I know exactly how you feel. I actually had this discussion with my husband. When you get a new job you get taught how to do it but for some reason when you are a parent you should just know. I think the reason for this is that as a general rule everybody is in the dark.

I think all you can do is try to gather as much info as you can about what is considered "normal" and what may be something to worry about. Most importantly trust your own judgement.

Christina and Kasey

Christina, Vic 15mth old girl

Hi CJ I couldn't help but to respond as you sounded just like me speaking! I am forever saying that I had next to no trouble with the newborn baby bit but as soon as we hit toddler stage I was completely at a loss. Constantly worrying about if I am doing the right things with him and teaching him the right way or if I am in the middle of creating a monster, LOL!! and I also think that people expect that by the time they are this age you should know. Very frustrating but also fun and I just hope that I am not damaging my son for life!!

Kelly,QLD, boy 23.01.03 and girl 08.04.05

when my son throws a tantrum because he can't have or do what he wants, I just walk away saying "I don't like what you are doing so I am going to go away and play with your block/cars/books, and when you are ready you can come and play with me". This usually works for him because I have distracted him and I have made it sound interesting, if this doen't work I tell him that is behaviour is rude and that I will listen when he has calmed down. I haven't had to use time out. When he is calm I give him a big hug and kiss and tell him I love him.

qld,3yr old boy

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