Friday, October 29, 2010

Let's talk tantrums

Is it not supposed to be the terrible TWOs?

I honestly had a huge shock when the babies started throwing tantrums about 2 - 3 months ago.

What on earth, babies?

Don't you know it's the terrible twos?

And by the way, you're two months premature!

I have to tell you that I can't stand the screaming. But I do not give in. D, on the other hand, is a lot softer than I am and Kendra knows this.

When I'm around, I can tell him, "she's working you" because it's strange but men don't know when they're being manipulated.


Connor throws tantrums when he wants to go into my bedroom/ the study/ the bathroom but I have rules - "no kids in the bathroom without me, D or V, no matter how LOUD you scream".

Kendra throws tantrums when I say no to her - hates hearing no (!). Usually it's because she's opened drawers or cupboards and wants to throw my crockery onto the carpet or fling my neatly folded tablecloths, placemats, etc ALL over the dining room.

What seems to work most of the time is a firm "no" and then either distraction "oh look, there's a bird" or just ignoring them and walking away. The crying continues for about 10 seconds and stops because I'm in another part of the house by then.

It's very tempting sometimes to give in just to stop the screaming because Connor screams really loud while Kendra screams at a really high pitch.

I joked the other day that her scream is like that scripture in the Bible, Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow."

That's how she screams - piercing!

I know that I'm consistent but as for D and V? Who knows? I have my suspicions but I've told V my views on the subject and I trust her to get on with it. Although she is very soft...

At the moment I think I've figured them out but I know the tantrum success will be short-lived because they'll try some new tricks. I know this is normal baby behaviour just to keep me on my toes and keep the baby books people in business :)

So how do you handle the tantrums in your house? Are you the soft one?

P.S. Some feedback on other things I've posted about
  • We've had no biting for 17 whole days.
  • I decided to use Rebecca's tactic when leaving for work to avoid the crying. I say a quick "bye", act all cheerful and LEAVE. They don't even have a chance to realise I'm going before I'm gone. It also works well when they're playing or reading.


  1. Yes...a quick exit is the best! Tantrums are the worst...I generally ignore them if they're completely irrational, give the kid a chance to calm down, and then discuss what happened. Mine are old enough that they're starting to "get" what is going on and can actually understand why things are happening, but I totally remember when they were your kid's age and it was all so irrational! Hang in there...consistency and not giving in (because you're right...they're playing you) are they key. They'll catch on!

  2. no tips.... but it drives me crazy too! I wasn't expecting it this soon!

  3. Tantrums are the worst but we have found a nice way to avoid them, at least sometimes.

    Instead of telling the kids "no" all the time, I try to focus on the positive opposite. So, if they open a drawer they shouldn't be in, I ask them to close it instead of staying "no, don't go in there" and they comply a lot more often. If they are playing with something in an inappropriate way, (throwing, banging, etc.) I show them more acceptable ways to play with it. And if they want something they can't have, I say something like "we will have something to eat at lunch" or "we can go in the car after breakfast" or "that room is only for Mommy, you have your own room" etc.

    Give it a try - of course it's not 100% but it helps SO much. I notice the difference immediately and we are all happier.

  4. I am fairly confidently going to state that tantrums are not an issue. I am a big, heartless meanie! I just walk away. Most time I don't even offer a distraction. So mean.

    I think I am a lot more free with the children though. I let them "get into" some things. They love to help me load the dishewasher and move clothes to the dryer. Who knew a wet shirt could brighten a child's day?!

    I am a sucker for the pout though. My kids are big into cuddles and after they've been hurt/denied/wronged they want a little cuddle and to be held. It's the putting them down before they're ready to be down that we need to work on. I'm not big into clingy children, but I do love to cuddle with them while I still can!

  5. Someone told me after I had already survived about four kids that: A kid will only have a tantrum if it think there is a chance they can win. Tantrums dwindled in our house after that. I did realize that by ignoring them I was actually condoning the associated screaming... so now I turn to them and say: "We do not do that in this house." and I mean it... they are so surprised that they generally stop!!! And now you are thinking I must have angels - forget it, they are all real kids!!! All the best!!!

  6. Ignore tantrums - the first rule. It is attention seeking behaviour.

    The Princess was a huge tantrum thrower - from about a year. At last, at about 20 months, we had it. Hunter one evening threw himself down on the floor next to her and copied every move, every scream. (I stood on the stairs laughing hysterically to avoid her seeing me). She just stopped - it was her very last real tantrum.

  7. Girl, I understand. Both my boys are slapping my leg or hand when they get mad....and mommy is not gonna tolerate that!!!! I had no idea they would get like this before 2!


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