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I have a question about dealing with tantrums and I need advice! Can you guys help? Seriously! I just weathered another one and my head is spinning!

What's the best way of dealing with them??? I want to be gentle and supportive, but not feed bad habits. I'm so confused....

http://thisisworthwhile.blogspot.com

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When I my kids tantrum I ignore it. For my kids that usually helps, especially when they were a little younger. Now that they are little bit older (they are almost 3 and 5) when they start to get upset I tell them they can go to the blue chair and do what they like -- and then I ignore them. The blue chair is in a corner of our kitchen. We don't call it a naughty chair or anything but when they need to let it out -- yell, scream, shout, stomp their feet up and down they are free to do it there. It has been very helpful because they sometimes get sooo worked up they cant stop themselves. Sometimes now they just walk themselves to the chair and do it!! Once they "expressive" themselves they usually calm down and we can talk about the situation. I hope this help and makes some sense. Hang in there!
The very first time my daughter threw a full-out tantrum [about age 2], I started screaming and stomping right along with her. It shocked her so badly she stopped. Then I stopped. I seriously don't think she moved for a good 5 minutes afterward. The next time it happened, I turned around and ignored her. She was so concerned that I didn't throw a fit along with her, she stopped and came up to me, looking very worried. I simply smiled and went about my business. The third and last time she threw one, I ignored her for the first minute, then started my own fit. She was so thrown off, not knowing what the heck Mommy was doing, she just froze. My brother likes to joke that she figured out I was a crazy woman. :) I think ignoring them is a good option if you can, or having a specific place [preferably out of of the way] where they can get that out of their system. Or you could act like a crazy woman. Ha! :)
Great ideas!

DeDe, you must have looked possessed!!

RP Mom, I like that it's "the blue chair," and not a "naughty" chair.
I had a therapist tell me to tell my sons: It's okay to be angry but it's not okay to hurt or be mean to yourself, others or things. Getting loud is being mean and when you are mean you have to go to the time out chair.

3 minutes in the chair with 5 seconds of true silence and the time out is over if they are ready to be nice. If they get up before time is up or they are ready to be nice, you offer them a chance to get back in the chair or go to the time out room, a space at least 4'x4' with a door, a light and nothing in it that can get the child hurt. they stay in there for a minute until they are ready to go back to the chair.

this takes a long time but....it is effective.
Greetings!

When my daughter hit the 'terrible twos' followed by the even more 'TERRIBLE threes' she had a fit or two (HA!) I found the best method was if she was in a safe environment, i.e. her bedroom, I'd simply walk away and let her do her thing. Tantrums are literally screaming for attention and once they realize they will not get the attention (or the item they want) the kidlet will give up realizing it's pointless.

The one time she threw a major hissy fit, in a store (Michael's Craft store) I simply picked her up out of the cart without saying a word, walked to the car, put her in her car seat, got in the front seat and sat til she was done. I asked 'are you done now?' Then we went back in!

The biggest 'fear' of us mommys is what others are thinking when kidlet has a tantrum, the key is to remember that A) kiddo will feed from our stress and B) it's no one else's darn business!

Best wishes!

Alethea Anderson
WAHM Blogger
You guys are giving terrific advice. Thanks so much!
I used to do Play Therapy for a living. Here's what I taught parents, and then what I did when I had my own kids. Remember this acronym: ACT

A=Acknowledge the need your child has: "I know you want to scream in here right now" or "I know you want to hit your brother" or "I know you want to pull the dog's tail."
C=Communicate the limit: Say....BUT...."This room is not for screaming", or "Your brother is not for hitting" or "The dog's tail is not for pulling". Yes, it sounds ridiculous, but you say it like that.
T=Target a new choice: "You can go in your room and scream", or "You can hit these pillows", or "You can pull on this towel, and Mommy will hold the other end"

It works. Every time. Oh, and point to the new choice when you get to the T step.

Good luck!
I have a 2 year old who LOVES to through tantrums and fits when he doesnt get his way. I've found that walking away or simply not paying attention to him while he screams and kicks is the best way to deal with it. He finally gets tired and stops. When he's done I tell him that it wasnt nice and then he has to say he's sorry to me or his brother (depending on why he's throwing the fit).
Tantrums are tough, and being a Mom that weathered a TON of them, I think it's important to note that all kids are different and tantrum for different reasons. I don't believe there is a one size fits all solution, and it's best to figure out what works for you and your child, and go with that.

-try to figure out what the triggers are. Sometimes it's difficulty with transitions, over stimulation, your child may be hungry, tired, frustrated, etc. Once you know the triggers it's easier to prevent them and head that tantrum off at the pass. Distract and re-direct the child.

-when the tantrum is full blown, there is no reasoning with the child. Put them in a safe, quiet place until the storm passes and let them tantrum. We had a room that only had a bed and a few books in it, and our son went there. Sometimes he'd tantrum until he fell asleep.

-the 1 minute for every year of age works for some, but for mine? He could go for 2 hrs straight. I know he's a more extreme case, but with some kids the "general rule" just doesn't work.

-stay in control. Don't yell and get angry yourself, because it will only fuel the tantrum. Take a time out yourself if you need to. Just be very matter of fact and non-emotional about it, but stick to your guns.

And don't think that everyone in public is judging your ability to mother if your child is freaking out in the grocery store. Most of us are just thrilled it isn't OUR kid doing it. :)
Two of my 3 kids had major tanturms..the worst being my 2 year old now.
He slams his head on the floor HARD! and screams like he's being murdered. I take 2 approaches depending on my mood and everything else that may be going on.Sometimes I just pick him up and hug him tight..he'll struggle but eventually settle down as I whipser in his ear " It;s ok..Mommy loves you". The other is to ignore it and he often stops(depends on how tired he is..lol)
HE also gets time -outs in the corner when he does his "bad"stuff , like throwing plates and forks....watch out!
lol
My best advice is to remember
" THIS TOO SHALL PASS".

A year from now you'll forget about the tantrums as a whole new "problem" is happening. And so it goes each year......
just smile, remember that they are trying out their independence and learning what they can and cannot do, love them and try not to let yoruself get too nuts over it.
I also say go with your gut feeling on how to handle your child. I dont listen to the "experts' EVER! I do my own thing and all is good! You know best.
How old is your child? I know when my daughter was younger I would let her cry it out. After awhile, she knew that I was not going to feed into her tantrums, and it gradually faded away. Now, she is 3, and when she gets upset or wants something she shouldn't have, I just ask her nicely, if she would rather sit out in time out until she is ready to be nice. Everyone is different and every child is different, also every situation is different, just stick with your own plan.
He JUST turned 18 months. You know the story: one day everything was hunky-dory, the next, not so much! haha

Mommas in the House said:
How old is your child? I know when my daughter was younger I would let her cry it out. After awhile, she knew that I was not going to feed into her tantrums, and it gradually faded away. Now, she is 3, and when she gets upset or wants something she shouldn't have, I just ask her nicely, if she would rather sit out in time out until she is ready to be nice. Everyone is different and every child is different, also every situation is different, just stick with your own plan.

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