Saturday, November 3, 2007

Temper Temper Here I Come

I have mentioned, many many times in the past about how different each child is. They may have similarities but they ARE different. As my kids are. And that's precisely what makes them so special. Which brings me to this question: What do I do when my 17 month old throws a tantrum?

My 5 year old threw a tantrum when he was 2 years old. We were in the mall and he did not want to stop riding on those kiddie rides they have in the mall where you out in a coin and it starts to move. We were there since forever so it was really time to go. He decided to lie on the floor, scream and cry. I stepped back, moved to the side and just let him. After a few minutes, he stood up, ran to me and asked to be carried.
Tantrums were never heard of since that day.

Well, technically until recently when my 17 month old decided it was time to start trying temper tantrums on me. He will do it anywhere. At home, in the car, in church, in the mall and even in the restaurant. And I do not know how to handle it. But I try to. I try to gently talk him out of it (goodluck to me that never works) and I try to pick him up and then he thinks I will give in to what he wants, but still I don't - which upsets him all the more and then he throws his head back and squirms and demands to be put down. I put him down and he keeps crying on the floor. I tried simply ignoring him - he can cry until forever. Well the longest he did was for almost 1 1/2 hours. On the floor. Kicking. Whimpering. Crying.

The thing with me is, I can take it not to give in to what he wants especially if it is NOT supposed to be (like playing with scissors, or playing outside IN THE RAIN or banging his fat hands on the keyboard of the laptop- no siree, na-uh). But in public, I can't just allow my child to go wild, can I? Should I?

Oh my gosh I don't know what to do. I am not blaming this all on me - that I am not a good parent, I don't know how to deal with my child, etc. Because children have different temperaments which we do not always have control of. So there.

Help? Suggestions? Tips? Insights?



mommiesconfession said...

Thank you for visiting my site too...I have much fun reading your blog and I missed it!
Kids can swing there moods in any places.I experience it too w/ my son (carl) what i did was everytime we went to the mall i always talk to him what are we going to do,i mean, I said to him: We are going to the mall just to have a few grocery or whatever.And up to now he stick with it.But when its his time to have fun we talk certain things that are not allowed.Dont blame yourself dear kids are kids.As i observe too that some parents take some action with it right?I remember a mom that she couldnt hold her temper and he suddenly slapped her hands to her daughter oh my i was shock and turn around as i see nothing happened.

Jennboree said...

THAT little angel has temper tantrums? :)

Ava shocked me today by having a tantrum when I took her sick sister's juice away. She actually stomped her feet and fussed at me! haha

Public tantrums can be horrible! Taking his age into account, I would still use the tactic of holding him (kicking, screaming, whatever) and walking outside or away from the crowd. Talk in a very low, even voice, about how his behaviour is not acceptable and how you want him TO behave.

Sometimes it just isn't the time to be where you are and you have to leave. Sucks, I know! But until you can communicate back and forth it just isn't worth it to keep trying.

Key to going in public is time of day. I would take Bella to the store in the morning when she wasn't tired or close to naptime. I also bribe her. ha! I'd pick up some dinky $1 thing to occupy her.

Restaurants are a whole other matter. I think we avoided eating out until she was 2 1/2 :)

I'm sorry you have to go through this! Your sweet little one is frustrated because he can't express himself with words and yet he knows what he wants or doesn't want.

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I hate to tell you, but 4 year olds have tantrums too. just remember to be firm, learn to distract in public places to get it to end, and at home, negative attention to it is as powerful as positive attention, so just walk away if you can. be consistant and calm and firm!

Midas said...

Louan, he sounds like my 19-months old Yoash. He gives this very shrill cry if he thinks he wants something and I didn't give it to him. I let him cry it out.

Then when he's a little calmer, I squat down, look into his eyes and wait until he looks at me [which sometimes he never does because he's that mad!]

when he does, I tell him in a calm, low-toned voice that it's okay to want something, but it doesn't mean he can always get it.

I also tell him [I don't know how much he takes in, but I make my face really serious and calm] that if he wants something in the future to try and tell me first before he screams.

What I found out is if I get frustrated right back at him, then nothing ever happens except that we're both frazled.

Of course in the mall, or other public places, people give me funny looks for letting my child cry, and then talk to him like he's a grown up...but he's gotta start listening sometime and even at 19 months, he might just listen.

[and other times when I am frazzled to, he gets bribe with something.]Yep, bribery is alive and well.

My three year old gave me a huge tantrum

Midas said...

Yossi has a meltdown too, but he was sleepy I think.

SusieJ said...

This is horrible. But realize, that it's just as frightening for your son, as it is for you. He isn't doing this on-purpose -- he is mad, but he's unable to control himself. Just knowing that, sometimes can give you the calmness to help him move through it. I know it's awful.