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Old 10-08-2009, 04:02 PM   #1
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tantrums at 1?

what is the best way to deal with tantrums at 1? I understand that most of it is frustration at not being able to communicate his wants etc, but some of it is just plain old hissy fits. Like I was nursing him and he fell asleep so i unlatched him, and he did the most blood curdling ticked off scream at me. or when he wanted to push the laundry basket around the house this morning but I was using it to put clothes it, he screamed, bit it (he also bites me when he's mad...) and started crying.

ignoring it does nothing, he just keeps going. telling him shhh usually stops the screaming and crying or at least keeps it to a level 2 instead of a full level 10 meltdown. the kicking biting foot stomping episodes i hold him still and look at him on face level and tell him no which snaps him out of it. i hope i'm doing the right thing... does this usually start this early?

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Old 10-08-2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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Re: tantrums at 1?

you too???! lol. I have the same issues w my DS (13mo). I've been teaching him signing and he seems to be doing better because we can communicate the important things like eating, drinking, diapers, help, etc.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:15 PM   #3
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Re: tantrums at 1?

he knows some signs but doesn't really use them much, he points and if you guess wrong he yells.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: tantrums at 1?

A lot of kids start some form of tantrums before one so it is totally normal. I would research discipline methods to find what you are most comfortable with and stay consistent with that method. I do agree with you that screaming fits and especially the biting is unacceptable and the sooner you help him overcome this, the better it will be for both of you.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:49 PM   #5
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Re: tantrums at 1?

My daughter started tantrums before she turned one and she was verbal at a very early age and she knew signs too.

Some of it's just normal frustration about their powerlessness.

She is a ton better now (26.5 months), but we still have issues occasionally.

You need to help him understand that biting and the tantrums are absolutely not OK.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:59 PM   #6
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Re: tantrums at 1?

We just went through an awful 2 months of tantrums with DS from 12-14 months. It was the worst at dinner time. He would scream bloody murder if I didn't guess right on what he wanted. I spent a lot of time saying, "Ask nicely." Seriously, as soon as I figured out what he wanted, I would tell him to ask nicely. Many times he would make a softer, less demanding sound and I would praise him and immediately give him what he was after.
It has gotten MUCH better over the past 2 months. He still has fits but not nearly as many or as intense unless I am totally not getting it. He has learned to point and say "no" when he doesn't want something. He even says "tat doo" (thank you) ! We have come light years and his attitude has greatly improved.
And I agree on the biting thing. DS can bite anything but not anyONE. A few weeks ago something made him so mad he ran in and bit the bed. Then he got over himself. We found that tapping his cheek (not hitting, just a tap) got the message that biting was not appropriate across to him.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:03 PM   #7
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Re: tantrums at 1?

I ignore it, he can tantrum to his hearts desire but I won't acknowledge it. My toddler now is my first kid to have temper tantrums (he's my 3rd baby).

I do know that 9/10 times it is b/c he is hungry or tired or both, and of course I will address those needs. But sometimes he pretty much does it for no reason like he wants a toy that his brother is already playing with or something and is trying to snatch it, etc.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:46 PM   #8
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Re: tantrums at 1?

I always explain to DD why she cant have/do whatever she wants and acknowledge her feelings, then I redirect her. I know she doesn't completely understand what I am saying right now but eventually she will and I want her to know that I care about what she wants to do but that she still can't do it
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:41 PM   #9
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Re: tantrums at 1?

Micah started throwing tantrums around 12 months, as well. I remember being surprised it started so early (as 2 is generally touted as the temper tantrum "age"). I found that tantrums were usually tied either to needs or wants that he was having a problem with communicating about, or a feeling that he was having a problem expressing.

If the tantrum is resulting from a communication problem, I try to supply the words and/or signs needed for him to communicate what he wanted in the first place. I remember a lot of times saying, "Oh, you want an apple? Can you say/sign apple? If Mommy had known you wanted an apple, I would have happily given you an apple. Would you like an apple now?" Usually the dialogue would help draw him out of the tantrum and provide him with the words/signs to communicate his need/want next time.

If the tantrum is resulting from feelings that he needs to express, I try to help name the feeling ("Oh, I see you are feeling mad that I need the laundry basket right now."), give validation that his feelings are understandable, warranted, etc. ("I understand you are feeling mad,..."), let him know why it is necessary, ("...but Mommy needs the basket right now to carry the folded laundry."), and offer solutions ("Would you like to push your truck instead?" and point out some cool aspect of playing with something different that the laundry basket can't do....or "Would you like to help Mommy with the laundry? Here, you can fold this towel, while Mommy folds this one"...or "Do you want to carry this shirt? We can go hang it in the closet"...).

I did/do pick my battles though...sometimes having the peace and quiet while folding the laundry is more important than having a basket to carry it in. A lot of times if he thinks he is "helping" even if it is making one aspect worse -- like letting him "sweep" with me. He tries to take the broom and dustpan from me, so I have him get his broom. He "sweeps" his section of the floor while I do the rest, then we switch.

With the biting, I would redirect the biting/hitting to inanimate objects. Micah never did either of these things, but I have heard that if the aggression is resulting from his feelings that letting him vent in a safe way is helpful (the laundry basket, couch cushions, pillows, etc.). Micah and I will have a yelling contest sometimes just to get that extra "energy" out. If I have a headache, I will encourage "pillow screaming"

ETA: And, if all else fails, I "ignore" it. Periodically, I will reacknowledge his feelings, ask if he would like a hug, etc., but sometimes you just need a good cry, you know?
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:43 PM   #10
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Re: tantrums at 1?

that's what he was like yesterday! he didn't want to be held, fed, changed, played with... he would just push me away and yell at me. so i left him in his room yelling until he came out a few minutes looking for me. i didn't know what else to do !
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