Very Timely

This morning in my e-mail, I received my weekly My Toddler This Week update from BabyCenter and one of the topics covered was how to handle Temper Tantrums.  This was perfect since last night we had a real doozy (Karen – I’m sure you are laughing at me right now!) 
I was trying to catch Alex to put his diaper on after bath time and he freaked out when I laid him on the ground to get the job done.  It probably lasted 5 minutes.  He threw his sweaters around,  (I did get it on him before the screaming began thank goodness) and stomped around crying and screaming.  I picked him up to hold him – but that didn’t help – then he wouldn’t let me put him on the ground.  A new picture book finally distracted him enough to calm him down. 

Here’s the link to the babycenter article, but if anyone has tried and true tips for dealing with a tantrum please pass them on!  I hear tantrums go on for few years.  The article does mention getting enough good food (done) and enough rest (not so good – Alex won’t sleep much at the sitters) can work wonders.

11 responses

  1. For a while X would cry and kick when I would change/put on his diaper. I realized that he did not like being taken away from what he was doing, which was playing or bath time. So now I always try to find something new and interesting for him to hold during the changing. It may be a toy or some random object in the house. This has worked great as a distraction and he no longer tantrums.

    • We do that too – Alex has never enjoyed change time – this was totally different though – it was as if he was a different child!

  2. Is he close to two years old yet?? My kids went bonkers not long after their second birthday, the terrible twos! It was like a switch went off and they said, “okay mommy…game on!” Just be patient, even though it is hard. Most times I let them cry it out for a few minutes, then go in with a new approach. I also use bribery sometimes, “if you lay down for me I will let you watch a few extra tv minutes or read a fav story” bad but it works to at least calm the moment and be able to regain some control. I have also used the old time out route, which works great for Ila and Nolan. Just the threat of time out will most times cool their jets! It is hard but the more upset I get the more they do. Sometimes I will just break out laughing because they are being SO silly and that breaks the tension too.

  3. Oh man, we have temper tantrums here as well. (And it’s escalated in the past two weeks… isn’t it too early for this?!) Mostly I ignore him (when it’s safe) and that seems to work. Tantrums go from 5-10 minutes in length to under 4 with that. He’s even been known to stop and see if anyone is looking … drama queen! As for the nighttime diapers… have you tried not letting him out of the bathroom until he’s dressed? I did that last night and we had no struggles (the bathroom is teeny so that may have helped)

    • Good idea Christine – I normally change him in his bedroom on the floor so it is softer – but tonight I might try the bathroom… I thought the tantrums didn’t start until 2 years of age – he isn’t even 18 months yet – it is way too early.

  4. I’m all about ignoring the crappy behavior. If Olive is doing something like throwing a fit or hitting something, she’s usually doing it for attention. We’ll tell her ONCE that we don’t like what she’s doing and then we either ignore her or we remove the object from her, or remove her from the situation. Arguing or reasoning with a child at this age is just ridiculous, though don’t think we didn’t try it!
    We’ve also held her to calm her down. I’ve been told that it’s not always the best thing to do, but we’ve done it a couple times just to remind her who’s in charge.
    The other thing we’ve done that REALLY helps with transitions is to give her a five min., then a two min. warning. We know she has no actual concept of time at this age, but if we warn her bedtime (or leaving a friend’s house, or whatever) is on the horizon, she knows what to expect and we just cut off the possibility of a freakout. Works so far…
    good luck!
    Oh, and I hate to say it, but lots of sleep helps a WHOLE bunch.

  5. I so get this.

    Hmmm what we do: Basically drop our voices down to as calm and chill as possible; give the ‘options’ (usually limited to 2)
    If it keeps up we ignore it. This has been working like a charm- Minh usually gives up and resets himself within 5 minutes when he realizes we aren’t budging.
    We don’t do time outs- he’s too young and really, who is it actually for? (My humble opinion)
    Stay as firm and consistent as possible.
    There have been a few times where he did the whole freaking out while trying to put a diaper on and I just stopped and stepped away (still in the same room of course!) and waited for him to ‘be done’ haha. Once the attention stops, he realizes it’s not so much fun!

  6. Don’t you just love the BabyCenter updates? They have been so helpful (and timely) for me.

    I actually had to do a search on tantrums a couple days ago, and I found some info that has helped. We basically remove ourselves from the current situation and go to another room (with D) for a change of scenery. After he’s calmed down, we return to whatever it was that we were doing, and it is working so far.

    Of course, D is only 10 months old. I can only imagine how much harder it must be with a toddler that can walk…

  7. Ok, ok, I totally admit I did laugh when I read your entry! 🙂 Welcome to the club! (Finally LOL!)

    You have gotten a lot of great advice. Being calm is especially important. Ignoring, distraction, change of scenery are all things that have been successful for us depending upon the situation. You will figure out what works best for Alex. Good luck!

  8. Hi Krista & Matt,
    Matt did this to me once-BAD. I’d never seen it before & was so shocked I just stood there, not knowing what to do, til it was over, then picked him up & carried on with what we were doing. We were at home in a safe spot & not out at the mall or anything so that part was good. Don’t remember that he did anything that dramatic again. He’s turned out pretty good I think (haha) so it does work it self out.

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