Jump to content
7 replies to this topic
Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:11 PM
Just hoping I could could get some advice/ideas/new perspectives on how to manage terrible tantrums. DS is nearly 2.5 years. Since he was 15 months he has been throwing regular tantrums. We use timeout which had some early success but he can be placed in timeout ten or more times in a day, often for the same things: hitting, biting, throwing screaming fits when he doesn't get his own way, refusing food etc.
I am due to have DS2 in about four weeks. I am also struggling with severe antenatal depression, on top of a severe cervical prolapse, which is unfortunately limiting my ability to get out and about. I am also finding the oppressive Perth heat difficult. My concern is how I am going to manage his tantrums once I am busy feeding etc a newborn.
Hopefully someone can offer advice.....
Thanks in anticipation.
Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:18 PM
I understand the behaviour is extremely frustrating..2 year olds can be such hard work!! Especially when pregnant and dealing with depression and health issues. However, I do think using time out ten or more times a day is going to lose its effectiveness. My first suggestion would be to pick your battles. Try to focus on one particular behavioral action that is the most frequent/worst and work on that. Try to let the smaller things slide. For example you could do time out for hitting/biting , but just be relaxed about meals. Offer it, tell him its there but not staying there all night, if he is hungry he will eat it eventually, if not, he wont. Tell him there is nothing else to eat but dinner, if he gets hungry later you could re offer it.
Around that age, when meal times became hard along with all the other 2 year old dramas, i didnt want to fight at meal times too. For a while all I offered/cooked were things I knew she liked and wouldnt fuss about . A rotation of pumpkin soup, noodles with grated vege and egg/ soft boiled egg with toast/broccoli. Once a week I would offer something new. She eventually grew out of it and now at 4, eats most meals that I cook.
With all the stress your under, dont fight every battle. Time outs all day long will make for a very stressful environment which will exacerbate the tantrums. Give him lots of affection and reassurance that everything is ok.
I hope things work out for you OP, good luck with the new bub, I hope you have a supportive partner/family around you
Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:23 PM
At that age I just ignored tantrums. Refusing food gets ignored too. Hitting and biting I would try timeout but my kids would rarely sit in timeout until they were 3.
Could some special toys that only come out at feeding time help once the newborn is here?
Good luck, the heat must be unbearable in late pregnancy.
Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:36 PM
Tantrums are normal in this age group- it's not a sign that anything is wrong with your DS or with you, it just means that he's a little person who hasn't worked out how to deal with his frustration yet- and there are a lot of things that 2.5 year olds find frustrating. It's an age where they want to have autonomy (make their own decisions, be the boss, do it themselves) but they don't really have the skills yet.
I wouldn't worry about "treating" the tantrums, but don't feel like you need to "give in" either. You're allowed to make decisions that need to be made as a parent (no chocolate for breakfast etc) but he's allowed to be unhappy about it! You could try channeling his tantrums into expressing his feelings in a way that's safe- for example, suggesting he go to his room and punch a pillow, talk to him about letting the feelings out. Some kids don't like to be talked to when having a tantrum so as long as he is safe, I would let him go for it, but don't "buy into it" too much, IYKWIM- maybe saying a few things like "I can see you're really upset about that, you wanted to xyz" but not arguing with him or getting massively upset or trying to bargain with him.
In public spaces sometimes it's easier if you can remove him to a place that's a bit less public - a quieter spot of the park etc- but when you're heavily pregnant that's difficult! Sometimes you just need to wait it out, but waiting it out and waiting for them to calm down (without changing your mind) ends up resolving the situation faster than punishing them for tantruming or arguing with them.
Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:51 PM
That sounds really stressful! ....Have been through a bit of that. I think 2.5 was the hardest age at our place but it doesn't happen so much any more, thankfully (now it's Freya's turn!)
If you are getting really frustrated, you could try looking into this book I read recently called Parent Effectiveness Training (PET) which talks about 'active listening'. I found this worked really well on our son, especially when he throws a tantrum over something in particular - like something he wants, or somebody leaving. It's basically extreme empathy! But it's funny to watch when it works.... it kind of stops them dead in their tracks.
Anyway, it's another thing to have up your sleeve that might at least work sometimes - and the book is really, REALLY interesting if you can get past some slightly daggy examples of dialogue.
Best of luck with it all.
Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:47 PM
I have the same age gap, and I found that wearing the baby in a sling helped with the adjustment, since we could still read a book/go to the park, while I was feeding/baby slept
Im also big on ignoring the bad behaviour and trying to praise all good behaviour.
Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:43 AM
MelbChick - Parent Effectiveness Training sounds really interesting and like an extension of what I am doing. - I'd like to learn more!
DS is 22mo, so a bit younger, but of course he does throw tantrums when he doesn't get his own way. Generally I listen to him and if it really doesn't matter whether or not he gets what he wants (i.e. not dangerous, not inconvenient etc.), then I'll let him do it. Of course this heads off any tantrums that were about to start. If he really can't get his own way, I'll get down to his level and explain to him why I said no. Most of the time this will stop his crying from progressing to a proper tantrum. I'm not sure that he understands everything I say in my explanation, but I think that it's like he understands that I have a good reason for saying no and I want to share that reason with him, even if he doesn't quite understand. I will also try to put his feelings into words. eg. You're angry because Mummy said you couldn't have xyz. If he happens to have a really big tantrum, I will still do the explaining and voicing his feelings thing, but will give him a cuddle if he is standing close to me and is receptive, otherwise I let him have some space and then he comes back to me when he's ready and we have a cuddle. If all else fails, because he's too upset, I breastfeed him, but generally the other techniques work.
I'm not sure how this will go as he gets older, so I'll definitely look into the Parent Effectiveness Training thing.
Posted 22 February 2013 - 10:51 AM
Thanks very much for the kind words and suggestions. You have all given me something to think about. I have also thought that a lot of it may be related to him sensing that mentally/emotionally, things are not right with me. Unfortunately this episode of depression has been particularly bad. I am unable to communicate much with anybody, and am finding the most basic, simple daily tasks almost insurmountable. Then the overwhelming guilt I feel when I can recognize how my illness impacts my loved ones...it's just a shi**y, nasty vicious circle.
anyway, am going to try out a few of your suggestions over the next weeks. Hopefully, I'll note an improvement...
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
Monika Tano will never forget the birthdays of either Prince George or the yet to be named new princess.
The federal government has ignored a recommendation by the Productivity Commission to slash childcare support for wealthier families.
My standards at home were never that high but having a two-year-old has taught me to be cool with chaos.
The numbers have been crunched and it's official: Australian parents are having a bit of an 'O' moment.
You'll soon be meeting your baby, but you've got one big task to get done first: setting up a comfy, calming nursery you'll both be able to enjoy.
A new mum's first night out after having a baby is always a noteworthy event, but Carrie Bickmore's evening away from her newborn was more eventful than most.
A new form of activity testing will be introduced to ensure the highest subsidies go to parents who contribute the most to the workforce.
After a three hour labour and a day stay in hospital,the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge left for Kensington Palace this evening with their new baby daughter.
For women suffering from chronic morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum, pregnancy can be the roller coaster from hell.
The death of Sophie Smith's triplet baby boys has motivated the half-marathon mother and her team to raise $1.25 million for charity.
I never actually went into labour - so by 42 weeks I was booked in for induction.
Just like a horror movie ... THEY'RE BAAAAAACK. So what works in treating and avoiding head lice and nits?
It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.
The Duchess of Cambridge is in the early stages of labor at St Mary's Hospital.
My baby wasn't interested in food - until we tried something new. Now she's eating it all, and it often comes from my plate.
Watching your child take their first wobbly steps is one of the best parenting highs you'll ever experience. But with that high comes a new reality.
If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.
Top 5 Articles
A new area on our site for all your playtime and learning fun with baby - specially brought to you by Fisher-Price Play IQ?. PLUS your chance to win a year's supply of toys.
This Mother's Day, treat yourself to possibly winning an ultimate Mother's Day gift pack valued at $250 including the Offspring Box Set. Enter now!
A watched womb never labours ... or at least mine didn't.
Rachelle Friedman Chapman was preparing to marry the man of her dreams when tragedy struck four years ago.
Discovering your wife has just given birth on the toilet would be a surprise for anyone. But the shock would be even greater if neither you or your partner knew you were expecting a baby.
These five photos show some ghostly images - but are they real? Do you believe in the spirit world?
Does spending more time with your kids help their development? This is a more complex topic than it may seem.
A mother who opted for a 4D scan late in pregnancy discovered her unborn baby had a rare brain disorder.
What makes some names have comebacks while others silently fade into oblivion? A few factors come into play.
They say laughter is the best medicine. If that's true Tom Fletcher and his son should live long, healthy lives.
"I think we were just tired of people talking, trying to tell our stories, and they had no idea, no clue, what we went through."
Even though they're immobile and can't speak, there are plenty of ways you can engage and communicate with your newborn to stimulate their physical, cognitive and emotional development.
There is so much pressure about having a baby who sleeps 'all night' , it's no wonder you worry about your baby if she wakes in the night.
The workplace isn't always a friendly place for pregnant women. Yet working women inclined to conceal a pregnancy from prying coworkers may be better off opening up and carrying on, according to a new study.
The popular TV host has no plans for a sibling for her new daughter Maggie.
Do I feel 'smug'? No. Nor do I feel remotely superior. Each birth was valid and valuable in its own right, producing, as it did, a healthy baby.
Elizabeth Edmonds' husband posted some devastating news on Facebook last year.
If you're a new mum and feeling ignored by the older mum/the old hand/the has-been, please know, it's not you, it's me. Blame the last child parenting fatigue.
The 'How I Met Your Mother' star has revealed that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 25 - and was told she'd never conceive naturally.
Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.
Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.
Top baby names
The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.