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Old 04-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
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Dealing with tantrums and rage at 2 years...

DS often gets very angry with his toys. They don't do what he wants them to and he loses it. He'll scream and tantrum. Often, he throws the toy or does other violent things to it. I hadn't been acknowledging this behavior because it wasn't really hurting anyone. DH disagreed with ignoring it and thought an intervention was necessary. It's highly undesirable behavior and eventually he's going to hurt himself or break property.

I decided that this would best be dealt with by putting the toy that is at the center of his frustration in timeout. I tell him that the toy is naughty and put it up some place high (where he can see it) and tell him it's in timeout. After 5 minutes or so, I give it back. He usually spends about half of the toy's timeout tantruming over wanting the toy back. If he continues to be angry and violent with the toy after the timeout, I take it away and out of sight for the rest of the day.

This has been effective. I'm conflicted about it though, because he's not really being held directly accountable for his actions. Now, when he has a timeout, he blames everything under the sun for it but himself. For example, he commonly gets timeouts for purposely knocking the lamps off of the end-tables. (He does it daily. He thinks it funny. The bulbs are forever burnt out because of this. It drives me crazy!) Now when he gets a timeout for this he tells me that the lamps were naughty. I correct him and tell him that the lamps weren't naughty, that HE was naughty. He still insists that the lamps are naughty.

What would you do differently? I'm wearing my thickest skin tonight; be brutally honest!

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Old 04-10-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: Dealing with tantrums and rage at 2 years...

DFS is in therapy, so take this as you will. He turned 3 this week. He's been in therapy for about 4 months.

He throws things, and hits people.

If the DFS is tantruming, he goes in time out. He gets one chance to sit in time out nicely. If he doesn't stay in the time out chair, we have a full size travel system stroller set up in our front entry way. He gets strapped in the stroller. He is safe. He can't hurt himself. We all leave, so there is no stimulation to continue the tantrum. Generally within a couple minutes, he calms down.

It has been very effective for him. He is throwing less, and better being able to calm himself down. He still takes his shoes off and throws them at us if we forget to take them off first.

We used to use the pack and play, but he threw everything in it, and was in danger of tipping it over.

The biggest thing the therapist has taught us is that we don't say a word to him while we are disciplining him. He knows what he did was wrong. We just say, "Go to time out." If he doesn't go after we count to 3, we silently pick him up and put him in the stroller. He is generally kicking and screaming, and the more you talk, the more it escalates the situation. The less we say, the better. But, we make a huge deal out of his successes, and praise him for good things, too.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:04 PM   #3
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Re: Dealing with tantrums and rage at 2 years...

I personally love the book 1-2-3 Magic. It is simple, and it works.
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Old 04-10-2012, 07:10 PM   #4
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I didn't take toys away like that on a regular basis. Sounds like the problem is frustration. I handled that by calmly going over to my DD and saying 'Calm down, please. Do you need help?' I would then have her repeat a polite request for help, and say 'If you need help, just ask mommy nicely.' I would then provide assistance. If she continued to get violent with the toy, I would take it and say 'we play with our toys gently. If you are rough with the toy, you can't play with it', then put it away for awhile. After a week or two of this my DD started coming and asking for help most of the time. He's 2, so nothing will eliminate all tantrums, but I found at that age what my DD needed was models of appropriate coping behavior before we went to punishment
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: Dealing with tantrums and rage at 2 years...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
I didn't take toys away like that on a regular basis. Sounds like the problem is frustration. I handled that by calmly going over to my DD and saying 'Calm down, please. Do you need help?' I would then have her repeat a polite request for help, and say 'If you need help, just ask mommy nicely.' I would then provide assistance. If she continued to get violent with the toy, I would take it and say 'we play with our toys gently. If you are rough with the toy, you can't play with it', then put it away for awhile. After a week or two of this my DD started coming and asking for help most of the time. He's 2, so nothing will eliminate all tantrums, but I found at that age what my DD needed was models of appropriate coping behavior before we went to punishment
this is basically what i do. i feel like ds just gets frustrated and needs to be shown that that isn't how he deals with his frustration. many of his mannerisms and behaviors echo dh as a kid (so we hear) but this particular one reminds me of myself. my mom concurs so first off, i kind of blame myself for probably modeling the behavior to him, since i can still be like that, just i hide it better now and don't throw things. too much but i remember feeling soooo frustrated with things as a kid, stupid things, but they weren't to me at the time, and just NOT knowing how to deal with it so we usually go talk to him and explain that he needs to calm down, and tell us what the trouble is, then i show him how to do whatever it was he was trying to do and tell him "ok, see? no need to get upset over it. you just need to calm down and think it through. and if you can't figure it out, ask mommy or daddy for help". we get a lot of "mooooommmmmyyyyy!!!! i need heeeelp!" shouted from across the house now. but he's generally calm (although i can tell he's just barely controlling it sometimes, which means good! he's learning!) when we get there and thanks us politely once he's been helped.

that said, he IS only 2. he often still just throws the tantrum. and sometimes talking him down doesn't help and he continues to throw the tantrum, or escalates. then he gets a timeout. if he won't stay in timeout, i actually will go stand and block him into the corner until i think he's done. he doesn't like that, but he gets the point. then he gets the above speech and gets warned that the toy will be taken away for awhile if he does it again. sometimes all is well, but again, he's 2, sometimes the toy gets taken away for the day. i think the behavior definitely needs to be addressed, but i think modeling and talking about how to appropriately deal with his frustrations is very important in trying to curb the behavior to begin with.

Last edited by Liadan23; 04-11-2012 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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I first ask my dd3 if she needs help if she.continues to throw a tantrum she is put in timeout to calm down for 2 minutes if she continues to throw a temper tantrum she is put to bed for 10 minutes.

We have lots of discussion also but she is 2 and doesnt always understand why she ia so upset that doesn't mean the behavior should be allowed to continue.

We do not count in our house because i feel it allows them to continue the behavior. I do tell them "if you throw that toy again it is going away".
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: Dealing with tantrums and rage at 2 years...

DS gets frustrated with his toys, as well. I understand because if I don't master something immediately, I get mad and don't want anything to do with it! So, I deal with it by reminding him that he can ask for help, and if he is still getting upset with the toy/mistreating it, then I do 1-2-3 and take the toy away.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:28 AM   #8
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