my Daughter just turned 11 months old. she throws temper tantrums about everything. sometimes she even stands up just to throw herself back on the ground. is she too young to be throwing these tantrums? and how do i teach her not to do it?
I have 18 month twin girls and they started the tantrums about 3 months ago. My husband gets very upset when they do it but I have found that if they start throwing a tantrum that ignoring them has worked the best for me. Once they realize that they are not getting any attention and they are not getting what they want, they stop much faster and the tantrums have gotten much better. This works great at home but is very hard to ignore them during a tantrum while out in public.
My best friend's two oldest girls both started before one. She used to step over them and walk out of the room. Her second started about 14 months, but destroyed her room, so she had to be placed in a bathroom or laundry room during tantrums.
My oldest NEVER had a tantrum, so I used to think that other people just had bad kids and bad parenting (haha, not really, I only MILDLY judged)...so then my second really made up for it with hers. I think they started right around 12 months. I used the pack and play with her - scooped her up, plopped her in, came back when she was quiet. I only had to deal with a public tantrum once, and I picked her up, grabbed the other kids by the hands, and left the building. We sat in the car until she was done, then went back about our business. In my opinion, it's my responsibility NOT to subject other people to my child's tantrum. It also takes away the audience, which often stops the tantrum.
At home, I'd just NOT react. If you think she'll get it, tell her that she can scream or she can play, but not both. If she continues, I'd just walk away. If she follows you, you can go into a room and close the door - but be able to hear her and spy to make sure she's ok. If she senses you are getting upset, she'll know it's working, so try not to give her any indication that it is!
If she is your first, I can offer this: it gets easier to hear kids cry the more you have. It doesn't even faze me now to hear anyone crying. With my oldest, it broke my heart.
Once a tantrum starts it is possible for the child to lose control of themselves, so that they are unable to stop of their own volition, regardless of what you may say or do. A friend of mine found a solution to the problem that may seem a bit odd, but effective. She threw a cup of cold water in her child's face when the tantrum started. The shock of the water caused the child to stop the tantrum immediately, and it was never repeated. If you try this technique I would suggest not apologizing for it, but do reassure your child, as they are likely to have a look on their face like "what just happened?".
She's learning how to communicate, and at 11 months old the only way she can communicate is with crying and throwing tantrums. She's also learning how that communication gets her, or doesn't get her, what she wants.
My 17 month old started right around 12 months, and I've addressed it by ignoring it whenever we can. If we are in public, we leave. Luckily that has only happened once, and removing us from the store was very effective. She quickly quieted down once we were settled in the truck waiting for Daddy to finish our shopping. At home, it is a bit more difficult, but we usually manage to leave the room while she's screaming or just ignore her. I do try to give voice to what she wants (if I know) and tell her why she cannot have this or that. I do NOT keep telling her, I move right into ignoring her. The only time this doesn't work is right before dinner every single night. She sees me cooking in the kitchen and heads straight into meltdown.
As for throwing cold water into a toddlers face to 'shock' them out of their tantrum - that is horrible. I could never do that to my daughter! And if anyone else ever did that to her, I would be throwing something in their face in return, and it wouldn't be water! Seriously - they are young babies and they are learning cause and effect, and they are learning how to communicate effectively - getting that the reaction of water in their face is awful! And I don't want to stop my daughter from ever speaking up again either!! The only way she can really speak up right now is with whining and screaming - she can't talk or nicely tell me what she desires, although usually when I go down to her level I can get her to use her sign language once she knows I am listening. I would never want to shut her up completely!! That's not a good lesson for any child to learn. I'm helping to shape her into a child that will respectfully ask for what she wants, and learn to deal with me saying no over time, and with all this a healthy self esteem to boot!! Teaching her by throwing cold water in her face is teaching her to shut up, not something I would EVER want my daughter to be taught.
thank you all so much. i have tried ignoring and she goes right back to doing what she was doing when she started within minutes. i appreciate all of your advice!
I agree with ra11en - that cold water thing sounds abusive to me! I would never advocate handling a tantrum that way. This is the only way she knows to communicate right now, so she needs to be given the tools to deal with her frustrations appropriately.
One thing I forgot to add earlier is to teach the right words for the right emotions. I think we often underestimate our children's ability to understand things. When my oldest was about 15 months, I taught her to say, "I'm so frustrated!" when she got upset and frustrated. She LOVED that word! It came out as "I so fer-us-ter-ated" but it was effective. She'd say it and stamp her little foot, but no tantrums. As much as I cringe when I hear, "Use your words!" it is effective. If they can identify their emotions, they feel more powerful.
I also use the phrase "inappropriate response" with my kids. If they are getting overly upset about something, I say, "You are having an inappropriate response to this situation. Try again." and then help them think of a way to respond more suitably. For example, my younger daughter was mad because (oh the horror) her sister touched her doll. She screamed, a piercing blood curdling scream that would wake the dead. So I gave her the line and asked her what else she could do. She immediately calmed down and said, "Don't touch my baby with your tooties!" I think she meant cooties, but maybe her sister had gas. Who knows.
Like KelEMcE said, it is amazing how much our little ones understand before we realize they understand. We decided to teach our daughter sign language at 6 months and it is a HUGE help now that she learned tantrums. Giving her a way to communicate with us and not giving in to tantrums seems to finally be paying off. The past 2 weeks or so, tantrums have been few and far between. When they do start, I can say "Look at Mommy", then when she stops and looks at me I'll tell her "Show me or sign to me what you want". Even when she can't have what she wants, she will usually go about her business once she's been heard. I have even been getting her to help me pick up toys, put dishes away (she just hands me a dish one at a time, so cute) or even help me put away clothes (she can hold a rag for me and then go run for another one when I put it away). It is unbelievable how much more they understand than what we give them credit for. So glad to say tantrums are starting to cool off. Yay!
My daughter did the same thing. She is 18 months old now. I was definately shocked that they start so early. It really is just their way of expressing their frustrations. I, for the most part, allow her to do so. I let her lay on the floor & cry for awhile. I stay nearby and she lets me know when she wants comforted. Unless she throws something or attempts to hit, that is a different story. She is told "No" in a very firm voice. Which usually upsets her more, but it does teach her what is acceptable behavior. I think it important to let children express their feeling, but I also think there needs to be guidance as how to do so.
Ignoring the tantrum is the best method in my eyes or a distraction.