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Our DD is coming on 10 months old. She is a VERY passionate little girl. Every emotion she has is with lots of passion. It is something that we love about her, but also something that we are aware can become quite a challenge as a parent.<br>
Right now (and for the past 2 months or so) DD has been having little tantrums. I actually think she had her first full on temper tantrum at about 3.5 or 4 months. She screamed her head off and was very hard to distract when I wouldnt let her chew on a magazine because I wasnt sure of the type of dye and I didn't want her to choke on bits of ripped off paper. But even as a tiny infant she would look us directly in the eye and scream right into our face if what we were doing to try to sooth her was not what she wanted.<br><br>
Now if she wants something and we do not let her have it (because it is unsafe or will be ruined) she will scream and pout and cry. When she wants something more at dinner she will just scream shrill bursts of screaming repeatedly until you figure out what she wants. She does this when she is done eating too. At almost every meal we have to go through a scream session before we figure out if she is done or wants something more/else.<br><br>
We are trying to teach her some signs to eventually help with communication. At this point we try to not draw attention to it. We just calmly ask her if she is done or if she wants more of a particular thing or a list of things. If we get the right answer she immediately stops screaming and nods her little head and waits for us to give it to her.<br><br>
For now we realize that there is really nothing we can do about the tantrums when she doesn't get to do something she wants. We empathize with her anger and/or frustration and distract her with something else like a toy or something else she may find more interesting but safer.<br><br>
We do worry a bit about the future. How do we let our child know that there are better and more effective ways of communicating frustration or anger without tantrums? At what age do we start? I know 10 months is probably way too young. But is there foundations we should be/ could be laying now to help her and us out in the future? She is bright and we have realized (due to her ability to nod) that she does understand a large number of words and actions.<br><br>
We are aware that her tantrums are just going to get longer and stronger and more frequent into toddlerhood and then (hopefully) get better. Are there any strategies in helping a child who is extra passionate and prone to emotional outbursts cope with situations?<br><br>
(My DD is also very prone to big belly laughs and spends the majority of her day and time very happy).
 

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Aww....<br>
I'm not going to label your LO as "high-needs" just from the above description, but reading up on how "high-needs" (or "spirited") children are different might help. They are often described as "more"... more happy, more sad, more dramatic, more intense, more more more more. It can be VERY draining but at the same time VERY rewarding.<br><br>
My high-needs LO is now 3.5 and we have our ups and downs (normal developmental process). And I can say that as her communication skills have developed, we all gain tools for dealing with disappointment and tantrums. So I think working on signs with her is a fabulous idea.
 

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I was just going to ask basically the exact same thing. My dd is 9.5 months and the tantrums have been going on for about a month or the really bad ones. It's mostly when we take something away from her (our primary tool against it is just setting up a "yes" environment, but there will always be something she can find), and she screams and throws herself back. Often she hits her head, which makes her even more upset and I worry that she'll really hurt herself.<br>
Anyway, most of my IRL mama advocate just ignoring the tantrum completely. Like, let them scream and thrash around while you sit on the couch and read a book. The idea is that if they don't get results from it, they'll figure it out and stop.<br>
I also just watched a couple of youtube videos with Harvey Karp about tantruming (from his Happiest Toddler book; I guess we have toddlers now!) and his advice was to try to mirror the child by repeating what you think they're trying to communicate with their same intensity. Obviously, that would be a lot easier if we could know what our babies are trying to say, though.<br>
So far, I've tried some of both of them. I'm kind of scared to say it here, but for us, the ignoring really did seem to work, at least in the short term. I've only used it a couple of times and only when the tantrum was clearly about being mad that she couldn't do something that she knows she shouldn't do; I wouldn't want to use it for meal-time upsets or when I think she is really trying to communicate something important to me. I'm worried about what it might be teaching her about how I will respond to her "big emotions" in the future, though, and that makes me hesitant to use it more.<br>
For us, the mirroring her seems to mostly just upset her further. I think when she's tantruming, she feels out of control, and I wonder if seeing me acting that way makes her think I'm also out of control, which would basically mean her whole world is out of control. I want to keep trying to put words/signs to her feelings, but I don't think that getting crazy with her is helping anyone.<br>
Anyway, you're definitely not the only one, and I have no idea what to do about it either. I'll be checking back to see if you get any more helpful replies!<br>
And to the pp, my daughter is definitely high-needs. Very colicky early on and very much a "more more more" person now. I'm sure there is a strong connection.
 

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I've had much success with avoiding tantrums at less than 12 months by using distraction and trading. So if she has a hold of something that I don't want her to have (for whatever reason), if I hold something 'shiny' in her view, her short attention span and curiosity will work in my favor and she'll either drop the 'bad' item, or not even notice as I extricate it from her mouth/grasp.<br><br>
I also believe that if you ignore the tantrum, you're setting yourself up for worse things down the line. The tantrum is an expression of some underlying need. If you guide/support the child through the tantrum and identify (and meet) the underlying need, the tantrum/behavior will resolve. If you ignore it, and the need goes unmet, it will manifest in some other manner, often undesirable. The idea of ignoring a tantrum so the child realizes they're not going to get results and give up stems from behaviorist theories. The problem with that, IMO, is that it's addressing only the immediate behavior as opposed to the motivation behind the behavior.<br><br>
Just some food for thought. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
(and as for the mirroring... you're probably on to something when you think seeing you out of control might be scary for your LO. there are times when they need to "see" that we understand them, and then there are times when they need us to be constant and secure. sometimes those happen at the same time, sometimes not. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Yes, our DD is definitely spirited and more, more, MORE.<br>
We have been reading the book "Raising your spirited child", but thought that we could get some great ideas with how other people have successfully dealt with this here.<br><br>
We do not ignore her. For the reason others have said (we don't want her to think that we will be unresponsive to her when she needs us), and because it would be really difficult to ignore it as she just escalates her screaming until you fix it. She can cry so hard that she gets hives on her face, head and body!<br><br>
Hopefully trying to increase her ability to communicate will help. She does quiet right down when we do figure out what she wants/needs. If we could give her the tools to communicate more then hopefully she will just communicate to us what she needs or at least we will figure it out faster and the shrill screaming will stop.<br><br>
I do have to get better at proofing the home so there are fewer times of taking things away from her. We are moving into a new house at the beginning of July, so I have been hesitant and lazy about proofing this one to do it all again in under two months.<br><br>
So far distraction is what we have been using to a certain amount of success. Or just holding her and letting her scream and telling her that we know she is mad/frustrated/sad whatever and that it is OK.<br><br>
Thanks for chiming in mamas. I am open to any and all advice. Especially those with spirited children who have figured out ways to make toddler and child years easier on everyone. We need to know what tools we can use ourselves and what tools we can give our DD for all the rest of the years.
 

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My daughter is 11 months, is NOT high needs in my opinion (in fact, I get comments on a daily basis about how sweet and relaxed and laid back she is), and we have been having the same issues for a few months. Redirecting or trading doesn't work at all. She remembers the old thing and looks all around for it and gets upset if she can't find it.<br><br>
I came on here looking for advice, too, so hopefully some other mama's will come along with help.<br><br>
What does 'guiding them through tantrums' consist of for a child this age?
 

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with my dd we would do the trading thing all the time. it worked like a charm. but ds noooo way. he wants what he wants!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> i just tell him i understand that he is upset because he wanted xyz, after a little snuggle he is usually over it and onto the next thing he shouldn't be playing with (like a fly swatter ...ew <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grossedout.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="gross"> )
 

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I don't think there is anything you can 'do' from a discipline aspect about this behavior in a baby, beyond exactly what you are doing. Stay calm, don't make a big fuss over her screaming, and speak aloud words to articulate what she feels. She is much to young to 'use her words' to express emotion, but if you model the behavior now, she has something to work with as soon as she is developmentally capable.<br><br>
Honestly I think there is a good chance you will find the 'terrible twos' not so terrible. For those of us who had easily distracted babies, the determination and perseverance of a toddler was a shock. You are preparing your strategies for coping now, while you are dealing with a tiny but determined 10 month old, rather than a sturdier and stronger 18 month old.<br><br>
If you practice staying calm, using words to help her figure out what she wants, and not letting her baby tantrum overwhelm you, I honestly think you are in the best possible situation for managing future tantrums.<br><br>
Remember--how a person behaves at 10 months old is not an indication of how they will be at 10 years old. You might be able to accurately predict you have a baby with a strong personality, but there is no way you can know what that will 'look like' in ten years based on how it looks right now. My son was a super intense toddler, very physical, lots of hitting and crashing into things. Now he is an intense 14 year old--a total geek like mom, intense about his card related hobbies, intense about his computer interests and game systems, but not the slightest bit 'physical' or into sports. The intensity is there but it looks nothing at all like it did at 2 years old. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers have limited communication skills, which forces them to use ways of communicating that will be outgrown once they reach new developmental milestones.
 

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I don't have much experience since my own baby is just shy of 14 months himself, but I will share what I've noticed about his tantrums. They have been infinitely worse when he was not otherwise feeling well, which is to say, when he has been teething. Then again, some babies seem to not be bothered by teething at all, from what I read, but mine becomes a completely different child honestly. So I guess one question I'd ask is if perhaps you've noticed some correlation between teething/otherwise not feeling 100% and the tantrums.<br><br>
I know you also said that you haven't had a chance to babyproof as much as you'd like. I completely understand that! I have noticed though that the more access our son has to the house, safely, the happier he is. There's been a lot less of the whole throwing himself back on the floor crying now that he can more easily come in and out of rooms with us.<br><br>
And, like someone earlier posted, if he does have a moment, I normally just come sit next to him, explain that I understand he's upset because of x, y, or z (not that he probably even knows what the heck I'm talking about <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) and then he cries for a little, we snuggle and all is good in the world again. Or, even better, if I can lock on to the moment through my own frustration, a quick playful moment always turn things around immediately. Even just a silly face or voice makes a huge difference.
 
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