oh holy temper tantrum!

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waitingimpatiently614's picture
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oh holy temper tantrum!

please help me, mommas! my lil guy's mellow, sweet personality has all but disappeared. here's an example of a typical morning for us: he wakes up screaming, i go to get him out of his crib, but when i pick him up, he screams and acts angry that i took him out of his crib, screams because he does not want his diaper changed, screams and signs "eat" so we immediately go to the kitchen to get breakfast, but he screams because he does not want to be strapped into his high chair, he eats a few bites of breakfast and throws the rest on the floor, signs and says "all done," so i take his high chair tray off and then he screams because he doesn't want to be all done after all, i offer him more food, and he slaps it out of my hand and screams, i give up and take him out of the high chair and he screams, and on and on the day continues in this manner! every single little transition is suddenly a screamfest! i am completely at a loss. i feel like his communication skills are appropriate for his age (he has about 10 signs and 20-30 words), and i would have thought that would decrease this kind of frustration? i haven't been reacting to his screaming, hoping that "ignoring" would get rid of the behavior, but he's truly upset the majority of the day (red face, tears streaming down, not just "yelling"). i just want my happy guy back!!!

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Have you had his ears checked? Is he getting any teeth? I think these are good things to look into first. Sarafina's signs for an ear infection are inconsolable crying and pulling her hair. She never pulls her ears and never points or tugs on anything to let me know she hurts. She is a very sensitive child and she cries over little things sometimes, so her crying never totally alerts me to it unless I see her pulling her hair.

If it is not any of these things, it might be time to start offering some choices. Do you want milk or juice with your breakfast? Do you want pancakes or cheerios? Do you want to play with your doggy or read a book? Sometimes, he is just going to have to realize that things have to be done, like changing his diaper, and getting out of his crib. Babies between this age to around age 4 (and beyond, but it isn't as obvious until the teen years) really start asserting more independence. You may just have an early bloomer. He may be wanting to do some things himself as well. Start thinking about things you think he can do or "help" with where he can feel some independence. That might help also.

I think it is good you are ignoring his behavior. Sometimes, Keira screams at the table during breakfast because she is so hungry. We make her sign "please" or "more" to get food. I feel bad doing it, but she needs to learn that screaming will not get her what she wants. Sometimes, she gets it and calms down. At other times, she just keeps screaming and I have to wait until she takes a break to shove the spoon in her mouth or throw food on the table to reinforce her for not screaming. Lol

waitingimpatiently614's picture
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thanks for the ideas, melanie! i haven't had his ears checked...hmm. he is getting his canines right now, but i keep him regularly dosed on baby motrin to try to help with that. i think you're right about the wanting to assert independence thing. DH observed his tantrum behavior last night and said "it's like he wants to control his world, but can't get the results he wants." i need to be more diligent about not reinforcing the screaming, too....like waiting for him to calm down for a moment before giving food, etc. and i used your idea about giving him tasks to help get us out the door this morning! Smile i told him it was time to go get in the car, and he immediately started screaming. instead of just scooping him up and wrestling him into the car, i said (as cheerily as i could) "can you help me put the doggy in his crate?" and he suddenly stopped crying, said "yes!" and started walking toward the back door! it was amazing! he closed the door of the crate after the dog went in, gave the dog a treat, and then let me carry him to the car and strap him in his carseat with no protest! yay!!!

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Yay! Yes, toddlers really struggle with wanting to be grown up, but not having the skills or the control to do things. Think of all of the things we control in their world. Granted, most of it is for their safety, but sometimes they need some say in what they are doing to help them feel like they have more control. My girls have not hit this stage yet, but it is coming. I assume once they really start walking, we will have some of these challenges.

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oh boy Shane has tantrums when he does not get his way or sometimes when does not get things fast enough. He throws himself on the floor and will roll around cry throw things for like 45 mins lol he is a terror sometimes

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So I read this last week and was thankful that Jack doesn't do that...but NOW, it started this weekend, so I can sympathize. He is cutting four molars, so I am cutting him some slack. But OMG--the screaming is ANNOYING. He will scream about anything he doesn't like. Mom has to leave the room to pee? SCREAM! Don't want to drink out of the sippy? SCREAM. Someone looks at you funny? SCRAM! Ugh. Saturday it was so bad, I seriously considered putting him to be at 5:30 p.m.
I hope that this stage passes quickly. I may just buy some industrial strength earplugs.

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I hope that it really is a stage for you. Keira has always been very, very vocal about everything. So, we are used to her screams. They have toned down some now that she knows we ignore them unless she is hurt or it is an emergency. Being a twin does not help her. She wants what she wants and she wants it NOW! ROFL Guess what, when you have a sibling the same age as you, you have to wait sometimes. You have to wait to get out of the crib because it is your sister's turn to go first, you have to wait to get some food, you have wait all the time. This will forever be her test. Can she learn patience? We shall see!

Four molars at once huh? Yep, that sucks for all of you. Poor little guy. My hope is that as he starts feeling better, it will get better. Just remember there are always stages in parenting. All kids go through screaming stages and most will go through it several times before hitting age 5. There is always something they are trying to learn or achieve. The issue with this age is wanting to be a big kid, but not having the skills to do it yet.

Oh, and I made Sarafina sob last night. I felt so bad. She grabbed a fork and was trying to feed herself. NO, not the metal fork!!!!! So, I tried to trade, but she didn't want the plastic fork. I had to force her to give me the metal fork and I left the plastic fork for her. She ended up taking it, but you would think that I took away the best prize ever. Poor baby. Not old enough for the metal fork, so mommy takes it away. Sad

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"melnzai" wrote:

She wants what she wants and she wants it NOW! ROFL

This is Jack!!! He has always been that way about food-ever since he was teeny. Now its just everything.

"melnzai" wrote:

Four molars at once huh? Yep, that sucks for all of you. Poor little guy.

Sure does. I am sure it hurts him badly as well. I ordered him an amber teething necklace out of desparation, I hope it comes soon.

"melnzai" wrote:

Oh, and I made Sarafina sob last night. I felt so bad. She grabbed a fork and was trying to feed herself. NO, not the metal fork!!!!! So, I tried to trade, but she didn't want the plastic fork. I had to force her to give me the metal fork and I left the plastic fork for her. She ended up taking it, but you would think that I took away the best prize ever. Poor baby. Not old enough for the metal fork, so mommy takes it away. Sad

Jack's actually gotten quite good with the baby forks. Last night he was trying to eat spaghetti with it, and it was really comical. But it stinks when you make them cry. I feel that everything I do to keep him safe is met with screams or cries.

waitingimpatiently614's picture
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the all-day screaming has gotten a lot better here now that Asher's canines are in, so i hope getting those molars in helps Jack be happier again, too! but Asher still throws tantrums sometimes when he doesn't get to control transitions (leaving the house, coming inside from the yard, getting out of the tub, etc.). and, of course, it's WAY worse when he's tired. this weekend, he started throwing a tantrum when DH tried to put him in his highchair for lunch. he was throwing food and screaming for several minutes, and DH wasn't responding (because I was there encouraging him to ignore it!) but he finally couldn't take it anymore and calmly took Asher out of the highchair, carried him to his room, and put him in his crib, to give all of us a "time out." within 1 minute, he was quiet, and within 2 minutes he was asleep! poor guy was just exhausted.

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The thing that I hate about this age is that there is no way to reason with them. Like this morning, we had to take away Keira's toothbrush so that we could leave the house. You would think we took away her favorite toy of all time. She cried and cried. Thankfully, she decided the toy phone I held out to her was better than the toothbrush. However, some days she rejects any replacement item that I try to give her. Sarafina, on the other hand, just won't let go. That girl has a grip and if she wants it, she is not about to relinquish it to you. Hence our fork incident the other night. Oh, and that was not a baby fork. That was the problem. It was a dessert fork that I use to dish out their food. It was definitely off limits.

This is one of the reasons I am counting down to rational thought. ROFL I love this age and I try to relish all stages of development. However, life with my DS is pretty easy. Sure, we have talking back, and he asks questions that I don't know how to answer sometimes. I will deal with that over the tantrums any day! I am just imagining what my life will be like once both girls are walking. Our life at the pool is going to be interesting this summer. Keira will go one way, Sarafina will go the other, and they will both fight me about it. The problem will be when one is happily walking with me holding my hand and the other decides to throw themselves to the ground. If I survive toddlerhood with my sanity intact, it will be a miracle. Lol

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I definitely don't enjoy the tantrums and we do a lot of what's been said. Some redirecting, some ignoring, offering options etc. Some days are easy some of hard and I think teeth and ears (battling double ear infection uugghh) and how tired he is has a lot to do with our day. A good nap can make a day awesome. An early morning and a bad nap ugh brace yourself!