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
To celebrate the launch of EB member and contributor Julia's Watson's first book, we have five copies of Breakfast, School Run, Chemo give away.
The possibility of using electronic bracelets for mothers and their newborn babies is being investigated by Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital.
As a parent there are so many milestones to look forward to. That first smile, first word - and, of course, that first step.
Tomorrow my friend Julia launches her first book. And while we're all overjoyed, the success is tinged with sadness. You see, Julia has stage 4 bowel cancer.
Call me boring, but I don't think that when it comes to choosing my twins' names is the right time to use a good pun.
The babies of 2015 will thus be thrilled to paddle their happy baby legs in these brand new flamingo and swan baby inflatables.
Here are 10 tips to help make breastfeeding successful and stress free for both you and your baby as quickly as possible.
This mum had a big clean up job on her hands.
Pandas are the only ones who benefit from under-eye shadows. If you're not fluffy and cute, you'll just look tired.
A mother has died after she was denied a pap smear because she was deemed "too young" to need it.
A childcare centre in Sydney has banned birthday cakes after parent complaints about excessive sugar and children with allergies being left out.
As the radiographer moved the wand over her abdomen, Shelley King got the surprise of her life.
Louise Fulton Keats shares her recipes for babies and toddlers, including corn and sweet pikelets, pumpkin and pea risotto, and cheesy bunny biscuits.
A 31-year-old man has been arrested over the death of two-year-old Nikki Francis-Coslovich in Mildura.
Pregnant women will no longer be barred from adoption waiting lists in NSW, after the Baird Government decided the practice was discriminatory.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, but we don't talk enough about it and the vital role it plays in great health and energy, as well as disease prevention.
Take heart in these principles that will transfer seamlessly from the workplace into your new life as a parent.
A creative outlet for many, there are some savvy women complementing their blogs and businesses with riveting Instagrams feeds. We've chosen a few which have bucketloads of appeal; there are some big time players and some smaller local ones, and they each bring their special brand of magic to the Instagram experience.
The new Volvo XC90 SUV's focus on keeping you safe does not come at the expense of comfort in the XC90.
Kim Kardashian has revealed complications during pregnancy means she might have to have a hysterectomy after the birth of her second child.
Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring food.
They say twins have a unique connection. If this cute clip is anything to go by, these toddler sisters like to use their special bond to try to fool their mother.
Getting out of the house is a big priority in the early years of parenthood and you need to take a well-stocked kit with you. We've chosen 10 of the best nappy bags sure to appeal to dads in style and function.
To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.
Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.
Top 5 Articles
For women trying to encourage their partners to take more interest in fatherhood, it could be the ultimate incentive.
Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract are common in modern humans, and many are on the rise - including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and coeliac disease.
Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer.
I bet your to-do list today is long. But somewhere on that massive list, are you making time for your pelvic floor?
Some babies get excited when mum or dad come to get them from their cot after a nap.
Even if you aren't heading to the Northern hemisphere in the next six months, you can't help but love the amazing food-themed knits for babies and kids by cult kids brand Oeuf.
A paediatricians' group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn one.
Supermarket home brand foods, long derided as cheap and inferior, contain far lower levels of salt than pricier, branded rivals, new research shows.
Ever dreaded the prospect of a long flight, dreaming about how wonderful it would be for a nanny to entertain the kids?
Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer: with an unusual photo shoot with their 'baby', a groodle (poodle/golden retriever cross) named Humphrey. The talented Elisha from Elisha Minnette Photography caught all the precious shots.
My husband was sure that Danger was a good option for a boy. And as the pregnancy progressed, it actually started to sound really good.
In a world first, a healthy baby has been born from the same womb that nurtured his own mother.
It's one way to make your baby stand out from the pack – giving them not one, but two first names.
When I fell pregnant with my second child I was, naturally, very excited. Then it all started to come back to me - and I freaked.
You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.
Three months ago, my wife, Chrysta, and I were driving along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles when she let out a harrowing cry.
There comes a time when your child starts having different views to you. I didn't realise that time would come so soon.
To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW
Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!