Temper tantrum advice?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Temper tantrum advice?
7
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 2:53pm

Tim is in the throes of "The Terrible Twos" that every parent hears about, and I'm just wondering if there are some sanity-saving tips for getting through the fits he throws. He hates to come home from any outing, but today something set him off before we left and I had no options for letting him cool off on his own - he had to come with me into the store and that just prolonged the tantrum. *Sigh*

I think I have to get him to learn the difference between "good boy" and "bad boy" so that he can choose to be cooperative. I'm not opposed to a reward for that, but I hate when it becomes a bribe in the middle of a tantrum - like "If you just stop, you'll get a treat." I might not have a choice at this point 'cause distraction still works the best for calming him down.

Thanks for letting me vent a little!




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Community Leader
Registered: 05-11-1999
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 4:42pm

My two were like that, they never wanted to leave when they were doing something they liked. I found that giving them time warnings (even when they were too young to understand) starting at about 15 minutes before we left, it helped. It also helped to let them know what we would be doing next. Hugs! Tantrums are no fun!!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 6:02pm

Thanks, Angie. :)

I had to disappoint Tim again, when we all went outside after lunch. I thought Ben was whining because he was cold, so I got us back inside. (Now I think he was just saying he wanted me to walk around for better motion - I had him in the Baby Bjorn and once we were marching back to the door, he was quiet.)

Of course that triggered a protest from Tim, but I seemed to get through to him by not letting him "talk back" after a couple of minutes - it's not like his message isn't getting through, so why let him continue? - and telling him that good boys play and have fun. He knows that having a fit isn't fun, so he did calm down. Maybe he does understand a little.

After that, a movie seemed like a good reward for us - not mentioned while he was upset, so it doesn't fall under the dreaded bribe category - and I tried to make the time fun with play as well. (Ben stayed alert as long as he could and then got himself to sleep, so hopefully that will contribute to a good night's sleep, my other big mission these days. LOL)




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Community Leader
Registered: 05-11-1999
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 6:18pm

Sounds like Tim is understanding a lot! A movie is fun and even better when it is a reward! :)
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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2004
Wed, 02-10-2010 - 3:42pm

I really don't have any advice Becca, but I will be praying that Tim get's over this phase quickly. And for patience for you.

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Avatar for cl_zions_daughter
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 1:01am

Thanks, Jen. :)

No tantrums today! Maybe I hit on something useful with the "good boy" talk. When he whined I reminded him to be a good boy or that good boys play and have fun. I also tried very hard to make the transitions easy from one activity/errand to the next, and when it was time to drive back into our neighbourhood, I talked about good boys getting to watch TV and further defined that as no crying or screaming. It worked!

(I need to let go of the worry/guilt of bribing him and instead just think in terms of rewards for good behaviour, so if he knows the reward that's coming, he can choose it. I'm also not going to be pumping him full of junk food or letting him watch an entire day of TV; the TV reward today was 15 mins long, the shortest setting for the TV's sleep timer...)

I also managed to include Tim in some chores - I handed him the clothes from the washer and let him put all of them in the dryer himself, and if I had a stool the right height, he could help (or play) with the dishes - right now, he's on the stool beside me so he can see. So he's probably feeling good 'cause he's included in my activities along with the effort to have downtime, for him to bring me books to read or initiate silly games.

Guess it's all a learning process and we've taken a step or two forward!




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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2002
Sat, 02-13-2010 - 1:08am

I agree with Angie, always warn them like 15 minutes ahead, then 5, etc. It helps a bit getting them ready to leave.


Also, I strongly suggest getting Love and Logic, I wish I would have had it when

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 02-13-2010 - 10:57am
Thanks, Brenda! :)




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