1-year old - how to discipline and cope - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wrote about this back when my son was 9mo old. I bought "Gentle Discipline" and read it - honestly got jack out of it (Nice book, but no real tools just theories). 

 

My mom was a fabulous mom 99% of the time. The other 1% she'd freak over the smallest things and whip me til I had welts up my legs, or slam me into the wall/fridge/door, or throw things etc... You get the picture. No warning on when she'd explode (at least none that I saw).

 

Everyone close to me that I grew up with used physical punishment. A quick slap to the back of the head, or a thrashing was 'known' to solve all problems. I really, really, really don't want to go there. I've got an explosive temper and I can easily lose control and go too far when I'm mad.

 

The problem is that my one-year old has changed over night. He's not a bad boy or anything I just don't know how to handle this new flowering of behaviors. I wasn't expecting this until he turned two. I'd planned on using "time out" for naughtiness - but a 1 year old isn't old enough to get the whole "sit here til I tell you to get up". I had hoped to avoid using his crib as a time out because I don't want him to associate sleep with punishment.

 

He's just started throwing tantrums - kicking, hitting, throwing himself around. When he's frustrated by his inability to do something I feel sorry for him (usually) and can speak soothingly and encourage him. But when he's mad because he wants to be able to throw food across the room, and starts a screaming / kicking fit I have a REALLY hard time not smacking him. 

 

He's also getting really strong and experimenting with hitting and biting. I'm trying to redirect (Don't hit mommy, softly touch - and helping him stroke my face softly) or "High Five!" if he's excited. However tonight I lost it. He came up behind me and hit me over the head with a toy which was heavy and quite hurt. I immediately tried the "Ouch! Don't hit mommy" and he laughed in my face (yes I know it's because he thought my reaction was funny, but it made me furious). I smacked him upside the head. I'm sure it didn't hurt him but he was startled and cried. I feel badly though because I really don't want to ever do that.

 

What can I do when he hurts me and thinks it's funny?

What can I do when he's throwing a tantrum because he didn't get his way?

 

I need more than just theories (which are great for a general plan of attack when raising kids) because the only tools I have are time out (too young), or hitting (which I don't want to do). He's in this inbetween stage where he doesn't understand what he's

doing, or he can't really control it yet - but I don't know how to cope while he matures.


 
 
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#2 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 08:33 AM
 
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Good for you mama, for striving to break out of the discipline patterns that you were raised with.  Just that you are mindful and striving for gentle discipline is HUGE.

 

I think there are 2 things at play here.  The first is that you need to find GD tools to have ready at hand so you don't revert to physical punishment (as you were raised with, and as many around you use), and the second is to nurture yourself so you have the reserves needed to deal patiently and not reach the explosion point.

 

At the tender age of 1 I find the best tool is distraction.  If baby is freaking out over something find something equally or more interesting and use that to distract.  You can also distract with songs, tickles, etc (it doesn't have to be a physical item).  Also think of "honouring the impulse".  If a toddler wants to jump on the couch, but that's not ok, try to find an acceptable way that he CAN get his jumping beans out (being bounced on someone's lap, tiny trampoline, whatever).

 

Another thing that makes life easier is prevention.  That means babyproofing in every sense.  I'm not talking about just making a safe place for baby, but also making a space in which baby can't get up to all kinds of annoying behaviours!  For example, you mentioned that your ds has taken to throwing his food.  One way of (almost) preventing that is to only give v. small portions at a time.  When my kids were little toddlers I'd sit them right next to me and hand them one thing at a time (like one green bean, one small piece of sandwich, one slice of apple, etc).  Having one apple slice thrown on the floor is WAY less triggering for mama than having a plate of spaghetti dumped all over the place, yk?

 

And don't forget to find time for yourself.  A refreshed mama is way less likely to lose her patience.  Prioritize "me" time in whatever way works best for your family (ds stays with dh while you go to the bookstore, you drop ds off at gym daycare while you work out, organize a weekly childcare swap with a friend, etc, etc).

 

Another thing I do to keep things in perspective is to keep reading GD books and websites, etc.  It affirms what I'm striving for, encourages me, gives me ideas, and keeps me realistic in my expectations of my kids (for their ages).

 

Good luck mama!


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

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#3 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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I think it may help if you try and think of your one year old as a baby. Because, really, he is.

I also think counseling may be really helpful for you. Given your background and your tendency toward having a temper, counseling could help you develop better coping skills and also help you put frustrating toddler behavior into proper perspective.


I really like the Happiest Toddler on the Block. Lots of practical tips. The author also does a good job, imo, of describing why toddlers do what they do and how to think about it.

 

Good luck and good for you for acknowledging where you need some help!

 

 

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#4 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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What I think is needed here is for you to form a different opinion of your baby's behavior. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "tool" you can use to do this, that I know of. These things are triggers for you because you think they are negative behaviors and you want them to stop. The trick is to think of the whole child instead of their behavior, and focus not on stopping a certain behavior but of fulfilling the child's needs and then accepting whatever behavior he has as normal and okay.

 

The things you are describing are entirely age appropriate and will stop on their own without any intervention from you, in other words no discipline is really required. However, here are some suggestions to deal with the behaviors until they stop on their own (which they will!).

 

When he hurts you and he thinks it's funny...

Babies do not know that you have feelings that are different from theirs. If it feels fun to hit you, they think it must feel fun to get hit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and it will change sometime around age 3. Until then, you have your own limits that you need to respect so use the minimum force required to stop the biting/hitting. If the baby hurts you, put some distance between the two of you so he can't hurt you anymore. Then, go back to holding/playing whenever you feel the urge to (which will probably be pretty soon!).

 

When he's throwing a tantrum because he didn't get his way...

Life is hard for little babies! They have so many big feelings, and only one way of expressing them. Hold and comfort him, validate his feelings, and let him express them however he needs to. 


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#5 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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I am so proud of you for being aware of your own tendencies and triggers.  You sound like a really loving, present mom.

 

I was raised in a situation that has some similarities to yours.  I have a 16 month old and HATE it when he whacks the crap out of me with some heavy thing.  It hurts, it is embarrassing (for whatever reason), and regardless of my reaction (same stuff you have tried--"no," "that hurts mommy," making a sad face, making a mad face, etc., etc., he either ignores me and does it again or laughs.

 

My one tip if you feel like smacking him:  grab your thighs as hard as you can.  Take that impulse and train it to be directed somewhere else.  That's all I've got, advice-wise.

 

Thanks to the PP for the Happiest Toddler reminder.  I have it in the basement somewhere and will try to find it and watch it.

 

This can be a really hard situation for parents and thanks to OP for having the courage to bring it up.  No flames, mama...we're with you.  blowkiss.gif


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#6 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 01:28 PM
 
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Tantrums are an expression of frustration at not being able to communicate effectively. Try to put "because he didn't get his way" out of your mind. Help your child learn how to communicate and work on findng ways to say yes instead of no. They want a cookie, you say no - they pitch fit. They don't understand why you are telling them they can't have food when they are just starving! They are essentiallly yelling "why are you starving me? I'm hungry! I thought you loved me!" 

Instead, scoop them up dance away from the cookies asking if they are hungry - immediately hand them something to eat - a cracker, a carrot, whatever.

Also, re evaluate why you are saying no in the first place - is it just because that's something no one else lets kids do? or because you truly think it's something that your child shouldn't do? 

 

what the other poster said about hitting is very true

 

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#7 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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Tantrums are completely normal behavior for that age, and kids learn through them. I would stop thinking of them as misbehavior, even when he has a tantrum over something he shouldn't have (which if I remember correctly is the cause of a LOT of tantrums LOL) and think of them as a phase to get through. When he has a tantrum, he's learning a great lesson - that things aren't always going to go how he'd like things to go, and then that things are OK in the long run even when things don't always go how you want. My recommendation for tantrums is this:

1. Really think through whether the answer has to be "no". Save the nos for things where it is really really important, so you don't wear yourself out saying no for a trillion minor things. Then when something really important comes up, you will not be so exhausted dealing with so many power struggles, and you'll hopefully have an easier time holding yourself together while handling the tantrum.

2. Don't get angry about tantrums. They're normal, and by definition are a loss of control, so he can't even help it. Just relax and let him have his tantrum. It's his loss of control, not yours.

3. Be close by and keep him safe. Don't talk a lot to him because he isn't hearing too much when he's out of control, but I would briefly empathize, and maybe say something to put the two of you on the same team, so to speak. "You sound angry. I wish you could have a cookie too." And then wait it out.

4. Eventually the tantrum will end, and then give him love and act as though the tantrum never happened. He still doesn't get a cookie, but the other half of the lesson is that "tnhe world goes on just as before and everything is OK even when you don't get what you want."

He is just at the very very beginning of the whole tantrum/power struggle phase. It will last for a while, so brace yourself! I was raised in a similar environment to yours, and I know it's hard to hold back from hitting when that's what you're used to, but it really gets easier the longer you stay gentle! Stay strong. smile.gif
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#8 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 04:05 PM
 
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#9 of 20 Old 08-07-2011, 08:43 PM
 
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I don't know if anyone else up the line brought it up...but have you considered teaching your son some baby signs? It can help cut down the tantrums SO much if he has a way to communicate that he's hungry, thirsty, wants more, etc.

There are a couple different books to choose from....Perhaps your local library has one to check out so you can give it whirl before making the purchase.

Good Luck!!


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#10 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 06:12 AM
 
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Learn the art of distraction. At that age they really can't be disciplined. And this is coming from a very strict mama who has high expectations of my DDs behavior. Honestly, the hitting thing is just something you are gonna have to get over for now. At that age most kids hit out of a sensory craving rather than to hurt you. My DD hit a lot when she was 12-24 months. Now, at 2 1/2 she would never hit me. She's completely done with that stage (knock on wood!). If I were you, I would provide your DS with lots of hittable toys....drums, ottomans, etc. Also try to help him jump around a lot and do horsey play (ie bouncing on your knees). The more you can satisfy his need for intense sensations the less he'll take those cravings out on you.

If he does keep hitting you and you find yourself getting really angry, put him in his crib and give yourself a time out. Sometimes I had to do that with DD. For one it felt like I was giving her some sort of a consequence, but it also gave me a chance to regroup. It is very frustrating to be hit by your own kid!

I used to just let DD have temper tantrums. Some kids are very intense, and they just need to let it out. It's scary to watch, and annoying, but I'd just let him have at it. When DD was tantruming I used to say "Mama's right here if you need me" and then sit facing away from her so she didnt feel like I was staring her down, but I was still available to her.

The good news is that if he's getting into the terrible twos this early, chances are he'll be out of them early too. My DD is basically over her terrible two stage. She is way easier to discipline now. We do 123 Magic with her (I love this book BTW) and she is so good about listening. All I have to do is give her a warning and she usually complies immediately. Of course she has her moments, but it's so much better than it used to be. Good luck!

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#11 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 03:58 PM
 
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You know you have anger issues and it seems like you want to have a plan to deal with these anger issues. 

 

IMO, the most important thing you can do is separate yourself when your child does something that triggers a hitting response from you. If you don't want to associate sleeping with time outs, I'd get a used PnP or other safe spot. When your child does that, place him in the PnP and walk away. 

 

I also liked Happiest Toddler on the Block, which does have practical advice. 

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#12 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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Below I've given a list of my general tips for disciplining a toddler that I've collected over the years.  None of these are original with me – all are things that I’ve gotten from books. My favorite books are:
Parenting with Purpose by Lynda Madison (I like this one because it has info on 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s)
Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis & Janis Keyser
Kids, Parents & Power Struggles by Mary Sheedy Kucinka
Playful Parenting by Larry Cohen (works best for kids 3+, in my experience)


First, remember that discipline = teaching. For me, good discipline means teaching the child what to do and what to expect. Also remember that learning new things takes time. Your 20 month old can’t tie their own shoes, so don’t expect them to learn to not throw their spaghetti on the floor in one day.

Before you discipline remember that children need to be well fed and well rested before they can learn anything. Feed your toddler every 2 hours. Make sure they get enough sleep. If you're both tired and cranky (dinner time), you're going to have more battles. Try to plan a quiet activity or a way to cool off then. If your child has been sick, expect their behavior to be "off" for the 10 days to 2 weeks it takes them to fully recover (even if they "look" OK).

Remember too that mom/dad also has a tendency to over-react if they are hungry, tired or stressed. If you know this, you may need to tend to your own needs before you can help your child.

Finally, the middle of a meltdown is not a time for teaching. It's a time for getting through. All in all, it's my reaction that makes the difference to discipline. If I know what I'm doing and can remain calm, I can handle a lot of situations. When I lose it (which I do all too frequently), things don't go as well. On the whole, however, we muddle through pretty well. Note too that these are my ideals. I often fall far short of my ideals. My goal is not to be perfect, but to keep moving in the right direction.

Here's the short version of the list:
1. Create a positive environment
2. Fill your child's need for attention in positive ways
3. Tell them what to do, not what not to do.
4. Remember where they are in development.
5. Decide if the behavior needs correction/stopping
6. Find a safe way for them to do what they're trying to do ('honor the impulse')
7. Gently help them comply/physically show them what you mean
8. Explain/warn of the consequences (keep them logically related)
9. Calmly enforce the consequences
 

Too keep this from getting too long, I'll put the specifics of what I mean in another post.


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#13 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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Here are the specifics.

 

1. Create a positive environment.
For me, this means child-proofing so my child is free to explore. The easiest way for a child to have a good experience is to simply be able to explore without limits because there’s nothing dangerous around. So, toys should be age-appropriate (that means no toys that they can take apart), books should be board books only, knick knacks should be put away, stereo equipment etc. should be behind doors/guards.

For others, this means helping their child explore the dangerous things until the urge is out. (That's easy to do with one, harder to do with more than one because your attention is divided.) Sometimes if you hold a fragile object or help them hold fragile object, that's all it takes. I also taught my kids a 'one finger' touch. It's easier to keep it controlled and gentle. We spent a lot of time exploring the neighbors' Christmas decorations with one finger.

IMO, every child should have at least one room where they are free to explore. Our kitchen was one of these rooms. All drawers except 2 had strong latches on them. The 2 free drawers had pans in them. One cupboard was all theirs, full of tupperware and plastic baby bowls and cups (and a few pans). The other room was the living room.

2. Make sure you fill up your child's cup of attention daily.
If they get positive attention from you, they're less likely to act out just to get attention. I'm a firm believer in 30 minutes or so of focused attention where the child takes the lead in the play. When things are getting rough, this helps restore our connection. (This is why I love Playful Parenting -- it's got a great explanation of why this is so important, plus good tips for restoring the connection at difficult times.)

3. Tell your child what they can do.
Don't phrase things in the negative ;) . Phrasing things positively teaches your child what is acceptable and gets their mind off what they shouldn't be doing. So, instead of saying "don’t jump on the couch" say "come jump on the pillows". Instead of 'don't stand up on the chair' say 'sit down'

4. Remember where you child is in development.
A young toddler has a short attention span. A toddler has little impulse control. Toddlers have a hard time stopping a behavior once they've started it. A toddler isn't great a using words when they're upset. Thus, actions speak louder than words for many reasons with a toddler. Toddlers are physical and tactile learners. They need to explore things physically and with their hands. Toddlers learn by repetition. They aren't doing this 85 times in a row just to frustrate you. My 6 year old does not see the world in black and white merely because she wants to rule the universe (though she'd really like to be Queen of Everything). My 9 year old isn't refusing to have a snack on the bus because he's being contrary. He's in a stage where you do not break the rules. Period.

5. Decide whether a behavior is really worth stopping.
Do I really care if my child takes ALL the puzzles off the shelf? Is it OK for my kids to slide down the stairs on an old air mattress? (They're pretending racing the luge.) Why shouldn't my kids ride their scooters in the house? (OK, they can't do it while I'm cooking dinner, but other times, why not?)

6. Find a way to honor the impulse if what they're doing isn't safe/acceptable to you.
Find something that the child CAN do that’s not the forbidden activity. So, if she wants to jump on the couch, put pillows on the floor and have her jump on those. If he wants to play in the toilet, set him up at the sink with a step stool, some bubbles and a few utensils.

If there just isn't a way to do this, then redirect to something they can do. For toddlers, sometimes just going to another room helps. For older kids, it's more effort.

7. Gently help them comply.
Under 3s are physical learners and sometimes need to be physically shown what you expect. Handing them the toy you want them to pick up. Gently helping them put their feet on the floor might be more effective than telling them 5 times "feet on the floor".

 

Also, remember that kids listen better if you go over, get down on their level and gently touch them. That act of connection makes your words stand out.

 

In other words, it's impossible to discipline a toddler sitting on the couch. You really do have to get up and do it.

8. Warn of consequences
Tell your child what to expect. "Please drive that truck on the floor. Throwing is not safe. If you don't drive it, I’ll have to put it up to keep us safe."

When you're thinking of a consequences, keep them related to what the child is doing. Timeout for throwing spaghetti on the floor doesn't make much sense to me. Better would be to have the child help pick up the spaghetti. (And yes, sometimes that meant me putting a single strand of spaghetti in my child's hand, and walking with them over to the trash. When they were young toddlers, that single strand is 'helping'. At 5, my dd could clean up after her own spills.)

9. Enforce consequences
This must be done consistently and calmly. Enforcing it after telling them three times "if you throw that (again), I’ll take it." only teaches them that you don’t mean what you say, or that they've got 3 chances before they have to listen.

You also need to remain calm. This is the absolute hardest part for me. If I'm reacting from a place of anger, I'm not disciplining (i.e. teaching). I'm more likely to punish than teach.
What are appropriate consequences for a child this age? First, try to 'help them' gently comply. If that doesn't work, then I apply:

1. Removing the toy if they’re not using it correctly.
2. Removing the child from the situation.

For kids under 3, time-outs don’t do any good. (for older kids, it's also highly debatable.) Young children don't understand why they're in 'timeout', and they don't link the punishment (which happens after they've done something) to whatever it was they did.

Just removing them to another location is generally enough. So, sit them on the couch or a chair and say calmly, "keep your hands out of the toilet. it’s dirty." Then walk away (and close the bathroom door!). They’ll get up right away, but that’s OK. If you're really on your game you can add "Let's go play in the sink."

3. Remove yourself from the child. For example, if they're hurting you. So, if they hit, gently take their hand and say calmly "don’t hit. that hurts. You must be gentle (and demonstrate gentle)." If they do it again, then get up and say "Don’t hit, that hurts. I won’t play with you if you hit." and walk away for a very short time.

Dd liked to bite when nursing. The first time she did it, I said "no" and stopped nursing for a bit. The second time in the same session, we were done. It took her about 3 days to learn not to bite while nursing. (And then she went through a period where she'd be tempted to bite, but would shake her head 'no' while nursing. While funny, that was actually much more painful as she'd take all my breast tissue with her as she shook her head firmly side to side.)

4. If you’re losing it, then it’s probably best to separate yourself from your child until you’re calm enough to deal with them reasonably. I had to do this on some long days with our both our kids. I'd plop them in their cribs/rooms, and after 3-5 minutes, I could deal with him again.

After our kids turned 3, we do timeouts in our house on occasion. Almost always it's when things have gotten out of hand we need to separate to keep ourselves sane/safe. If my kids hit, they were levitated to their rooms until they calmed down. When I'm tempted to spank my kids, I immediately leave the room. (I took a walk down to the corner and back during chore time last week because dd had really set me off. My kids now stomp to their rooms and slam their doors when they're mad. Huge progress.)

Sometimes we send a child to their room for interminable whining. If you've been offered a hug, a cuddle and an alternative to whatever is making you whine, and you're STILL whining or screaming, it's time for you to go be by yourself.

My kids often feed off of my negative energy, so a separation (either me putting myself in my room or putting them in their room) was effective in breaking the cycle.
 

If you can't stop the negative energy, then it may be time for some outside help (counseling) for you. OP, it sounds, in all honesty, like that 1% of the time your mom was abusive. It doesn't matter that she was great 99% of the time, the 1% keep you on edge, stressed you, terrified you, and gave you some real triggers in terms of what you expect from discipline. My parents were not abusive. They did yell sometimes, but I got spanked exactly once in my life. But I still find it hard to resist the urge to haul off and whack my kids when I'm really upset (and usually stressed/hungry). If I, with my non-abusive upbringing, have those urges, how much harder is it to stop when you've not had any good modeling? Learning to deal with your own anger might be a real gift to give to your son.


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#14 of 20 Old 08-08-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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My DS (12 mo) loves to beat on me. With him, it seems like he really wants to physically interact, and he just isn't really at a point of being able to come up with more appropriate ways to do that on his own. And as PPs have said, at this age, they really don't understand that we think differently than they do. Redirection is everything right now. When he goes to hit me, I grab his hand and show him with another way he can physically interact with me (kisses, hugs, patting cheek instead of smacking it, stroking hair, high 5s, et cetera) and remind him "Mommy likes gentle touch." It's gradually getting better. For his entire life up until the last few weeks I couldn't wear my hair down or uncovered because he yanked it relentlessly, but I can finally let it down without worrying too much now. I still get really nervous when he plays with it, but he's done really well with being gentle and not trying to pluck me bald. Honestly, he still whacks me in the face a fair bit, but hey, progress is progress, and even a little restraint at this age is awesome. 

 

As far as the tantrums go, it's really just a matter of changing how you look at it. He's not trying to be bad. He's just frustrated. I know I get frustrated when I'm having trouble communicating a point. I can't imagine how tough it would be to be so small with so little control over the world around me and very little means of communicating my needs. When DS pitches a fit, I usually just let him know I'm there for him (physically if I can be, verbally otherwise), acknowledge his feelings, and let him get it all out. With DD, I had a really tough time of it when she was this age because I had it in my head that temper tantrums = misbehaving. Getting over that made a world of difference for all involved, especially me. Try not to let it upset you when he tantrums. It's not about fighting against you mama, he's just frustrated. 

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#15 of 20 Old 08-10-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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You've gotten lots of great advice here!  I wanted to pipe in to offer a few specific things that have worked for me. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer1216 View Post

What can I do when he hurts me and thinks it's funny?

 

I think sometimes kids laugh at the reaction but also sometimes because they want to stop you from being angry.  If by laughing they can get you to laugh than you're not longer going to be mad at them.  At least this is part of what went on with my daughter.  I found that repeatedly and calmly explaining that "what they are doing hurt mommy but that mommy still loves them AND that mommy wants them to stop doing this so that baby and mommy can go back to having fun"... eventually it sunk in and my DD really understand that violence against people is never acceptable.

 

I think it's key to remember that your baby is doing this because he's a baby and he doesn't understand what he's really doing or why you are reacting the way you are. 

 

 

What can I do when he's throwing a tantrum because he didn't get his way?

 

I try to let my daughter (then and now) throw her tantrums.  I think it is healthy to express how you feel.  I usually will let her throw herself around for 30-60 seconds and then I gently and slowly approach her until I'm lying on the floor next to her.  Sometimes she wants to be hugged.  Sometimes she wants to be left alone.  I don't touch her, but I never truly leave her alone.  Also, I make a point of vocalizing what happened and what she is feeling.  I usually will summarize the situation and then say that I don't really like it when I don't get my way either.  It's not fair and it's not fun.  I say all of this in a calm and low voice.  Again, now that she's older this usually becomes the path for us talking about what happened or what's going on at school, etc...


Hope these suggestions help.
 


Partner to DH and mom to DD1 (3/2008) and DD2 (born 1/2012).
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#16 of 20 Old 08-14-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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I know it's frustrating when you see the tantrums and the experiments with hitting etc. start to emerge for the first time.  I agree 100% with all the mamas who gave you more philosophical advice!

 

I heard some advice from a child psychologist on the radio regarding toddler tantrums that sometimes helps my DS (he's 20mo. so you might be a couple months away from this being useful advice, but I found it really cool to know!)  A lot of times what toddlers are looking for out of a tantrum is to communicate and have their feelings acknowledged, they just don't have any other way.  So what you can do is acknowledge the feeling and mirror their feeling in your tone of voice but at a 'safe' level. 

 

The example they gave on the radio is a child wants a cookie before dinner but you don't allow it.  Let's say that all of your distraction/redirection attempts have failed and it's tantrum time.  It goes something like this:

 

Elliot:  COOKIE!  WAAAAAH!  WAAAAAH!  WAAAAAAH!

Me (picking up DS or looking him in the eye):  You're VERY upset.  Elliot REALLY WANTS a cookie.  Elliot is "ANGRY" (said in angry voice) that he can't have a cookie.

Elliot:  WAAH!  Wah!  Wah.  (decides to take hug from mama, goes back to toys)

 

Anyway, this is something for a slightly older child but I heard it when my DS was about one and started as soon as he started with the tantrums and it doesn't work 100% of the time but I've been pleasantly surprised when it does do the trick.  I've already been through the toddler years once and I thought my options were limited to waiting it out or holding the child, neither of which was effective for my DD.  Just something to think about.

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#17 of 20 Old 11-21-2011, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to get back with people and say "thanks". Things have gotten better. I have used that method of mirroring his anger. Sometimes just saying what he's trying to say "Logan wants to go outside, mommy knows" can avert a tantrum. Signing has helped a ton too - Usually tantrums come when he doesn't know the sign for something he wants. Well - unless he's tired or getting sick, but who isn't.

 

Anyway I've been coping better, and I appreciate this advice. I also broke down and started using his play pen as a time out place. It was the lesser of two unpleasant situations, and it hasn't (yet) seemed to bother him for naps or going to bed.

 

I also read the "Happiest Toddler on the block" and got some good advice from it. Thanks!


 
 
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#18 of 20 Old 08-03-2013, 04:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer1216 View Post

I wrote about this back when my son was 9mo old. I bought "Gentle Discipline" and read it - honestly got jack out of it (Nice book, but no real tools just theories). 

My mom was a fabulous mom 99% of the time. The other 1% she'd freak over the smallest things and whip me til I had welts up my legs, or slam me into the wall/fridge/door, or throw things etc... You get the picture. No warning on when she'd explode (at least none that I saw).

Everyone close to me that I grew up with used physical punishment. A quick slap to the back of the head, or a thrashing was 'known' to solve all problems. I really, really, really don't want to go there. I've got an explosive temper and I can easily lose control and go too far when I'm mad.

The problem is that my one-year old has changed over night. He's not a bad boy or anything I just don't know how to handle this new flowering of behaviors. I wasn't expecting this until he turned two. I'd planned on using "time out" for naughtiness - but a 1 year old isn't old enough to get the whole "sit here til I tell you to get up". I had hoped to avoid using his crib as a time out because I don't want him to associate sleep with punishment.

He's just started throwing tantrums - kicking, hitting, throwing himself around. When he's frustrated by his inability to do something I feel sorry for him (usually) and can speak soothingly and encourage him. But when he's mad because he wants to be able to throw food across the room, and starts a screaming / kicking fit I have a REALLY hard time not smacking him. 

He's also getting really strong and experimenting with hitting and biting. I'm trying to redirect (Don't hit mommy, softly touch - and helping him stroke my face softly) or "High Five!" if he's excited. However tonight I lost it. He came up behind me and hit me over the head with a toy which was heavy and quite hurt. I immediately tried the "Ouch! Don't hit mommy" and he laughed in my face (yes I know it's because he thought my reaction was funny, but it made me furious). I smacked him upside the head. I'm sure it didn't hurt him but he was startled and cried. I feel badly though because I really don't want to ever do that.

What can I do when he hurts me and thinks it's funny?
What can I do when he's throwing a tantrum because he didn't get his way?

I need more than just theories (which are great for a general plan of attack when raising kids) because the only tools I have are time out (too young), or hitting (which I don't want to do). He's in this inbetween stage where he doesn't understand what he's
doing, or he can't really control it yet - but I don't know how to cope while he matures.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer1216 View Post

I wrote about this back when my son was 9mo old. I bought "Gentle Discipline" and read it - honestly got jack out of it (Nice book, but no real tools just theories). 

My mom was a fabulous mom 99% of the time. The other 1% she'd freak over the smallest things and whip me til I had welts up my legs, or slam me into the wall/fridge/door, or throw things etc... You get the picture. No warning on when she'd explode (at least none that I saw).

Everyone close to me that I grew up with used physical punishment. A quick slap to the back of the head, or a thrashing was 'known' to solve all problems. I really, really, really don't want to go there. I've got an explosive temper and I can easily lose control and go too far when I'm mad.

The problem is that my one-year old has changed over night. He's not a bad boy or anything I just don't know how to handle this new flowering of behaviors. I wasn't expecting this until he turned two. I'd planned on using "time out" for naughtiness - but a 1 year old isn't old enough to get the whole "sit here til I tell you to get up". I had hoped to avoid using his crib as a time out because I don't want him to associate sleep with punishment.

He's just started throwing tantrums - kicking, hitting, throwing himself around. When he's frustrated by his inability to do something I feel sorry for him (usually) and can speak soothingly and encourage him. But when he's mad because he wants to be able to throw food across the room, and starts a screaming / kicking fit I have a REALLY hard time not smacking him. 

He's also getting really strong and experimenting with hitting and biting. I'm trying to redirect (Don't hit mommy, softly touch - and helping him stroke my face softly) or "High Five!" if he's excited. However tonight I lost it. He came up behind me and hit me over the head with a toy which was heavy and quite hurt. I immediately tried the "Ouch! Don't hit mommy" and he laughed in my face (yes I know it's because he thought my reaction was funny, but it made me furious). I smacked him upside the head. I'm sure it didn't hurt him but he was startled and cried. I feel badly though because I really don't want to ever do that.

What can I do when he hurts me and thinks it's funny?
What can I do when he's throwing a tantrum because he didn't get his way?

I need more than just theories (which are great for a general plan of attack when raising kids) because the only tools I have are time out (too young), or hitting (which I don't want to do). He's in this inbetween stage where he doesn't understand what he's
doing, or he can't really control it yet - but I don't know how to cope while he matures.
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#19 of 20 Old 08-03-2013, 04:44 PM
 
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sorry I'm new to this website!
anyway, I found this post when doing a web search about this same thing. I'm just wondering what ended up working for you. my son is going to be 1 next week and I'm going through the same thing! I read all the advice given and understand redirection and all that. However, in the case of the throwing food, what do you do? Ds is REALLY bad at this! he can be starving and will still throw food. I've tried telling him no, giving him one piece at a time, letting him feed me... nothing works! then every so often he'll eat like an angel. its frustrating because sometimes he'd rather go hungry than eat! its not certain foods either. he'll eat something great one night then the next night he wont even try- he just throws it. its also how he shows me he's done. instead of just stopping eating, he has to clear his tray by throwing the rest of the food on the floor! I just dont know what to do!!
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#20 of 20 Old 08-03-2013, 10:22 PM
 
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I am tired and have not read the other replies.  My opinion is that you are a human being and need a break.  You have a bad temper.  You know it's a problem.  You're very brave to come here of all places; but here is where I often find the most honesty and support on issues like this.

 

You would best benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy to train your brain how redirect your behavior when you reach your snapping point.  I used to yell at my husband. A lot. I have mostly stopped.  One tip: I kept a rubber band on my wrist and when I felt I was about to yell, I would put all my focus into that rubber band and snap the hell out of it on my arm. If it hurts enough, your brain will shift focus, which is what is needed and quickly.  It's really basic, really effecitve stuff like that which a good CBT therpaist will guide you on. And it really is helpful for many things.  

 

In the meantime you also need to figure out how to have more sleep and more freedom.  That's not so easy.  

 

I wish you well mama!

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