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
While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.
After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.
A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.
She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.
Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.
The logic was that children who don’t have the language to fully express themselves will lash out when they’re misunderstood. Not anymore.
Everyone in foster care (and really in life) has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.
Object of desire
Scientists appear to have discovered why women have evolved to have more curves than men – shapely thighs and bottoms lead to healthier babies.
A first-time mum will never get to hold her four newborns, dying shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets.
A New Zealander has tried to name their baby Senior Constable but didn't get away with it - and numbering children is also a no-no.
For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.
Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?
Meghan Trainor's song 'Lips Are Moving' was already a hit, but now it's been turned into a hilarious parody that is set to be very popular with frustrated mums everywhere.
Out with the clutter
Forget the 5:2 diet - Twitter's 30-day declutter challenge will have your house back in shape in no time (well, a month).
We need to stop damning parents of today, and embrace their appetite for knowledge instead.
There are chubby Buddha babies and there are thin, smaller babies. Neither are right or wrong, they are all 'normal'.
When one child goes to ‘big school’ and leaves the other behind, it can cause deep upset. Here's how to make the transition easier.
They say dogs are man's best friend, but one cat has proven felines can be just as devoted to their human companions.
A mum of five, Liz Marquez wanted to breastfeed her premmie son for a year. So when she passed away suddenly, her friends - and strangers - stepped in to help.
Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.
Top 5 Articles
It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.
Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.
Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.
Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.
Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.
Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.
On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?
Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.
A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.
A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.
Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.
Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.
"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."
Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.
Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.
Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.
Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.
To celebrate the release of The Boxtrolls on 3D Blu-ray, DVD & Digital with UltraViolet, we're giving you the chance to win a Boxtroll stationary package and DVD.
School Term 1
Wait lists too long at OSHC? Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.