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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering what you all do with tantrums, especially the marathon ones. Dd is 25 months old and I would consider her on par with her other peers as far as verbal skills go and communicating her needs.<br><br>
Within the past 3 or so months, she has started throwing tantrums that go on <i>forever.</i> As in up to 45 minutes sometimes. Usually with tantrums I ignore her, but she is still able to come to me for hugs and whatnot. If it's out of frustration of not being able to do something, I help her find her words (ex "Do you need help with putting your shoes on?" when she gets mad that they're not doing what she wants them to), etc.<br><br>
Our problem though is things that she <i>really</i> wants, but can't have. An example was last night. I can't even remember what it was, but I told her no. Previous to this, she was in a good mood and acting like her normal self. She cried and carried on for a good 30 minutes. All the while I was asking her if she wanted to build blocks, read books, etc. I also acknowledge her feelings and explain why she can't have xyz. I finally got fed up and out of desperation locked her in her room so I could have a few minutes to myself. Not the best answer but I seriously felt like I was going to lose it if I had to listen to any more crying or whining (dd was already having a particularly whiny day, my pet peeve). After a few minutes it was time to eat so I went up and got her from her room. We snuggled for a few minutes, the crying subsided but with a few sniffles here and there and then headed down for supper. I'm unsure if it was the change in activities that did it or the snuggling (I had tried suggesting she snuggle with me before putting her in her room which only made her more mad).<br><br>
Again this morning the same thing happened. It was dh's day off and also his turn to sleep in. Dd woke around 6am, we had breakfast at 6:30 and carried on with our normal activities. Around 7am dd asked where daddy was. I said he was very tired and still sleeping but would play with her later. Meltdown city. She tried going upstairs, I brought her back down and tried engaging her in other activities and put the baby gate back up. Several more times she tried going up the stairs, either crawling under or climbing over the gate and each time I brought her back down made her even more mad. One time she got all the way up to him before I could get to her, and dh said it was fine that she stay for awhile. They snuggled for awhile, then dd came back down on her own after ~5 minutes. I offered to help her back over the gate and she threw another tantrum. Poor dh didn't really even get to sleep in as he gave up around 8am and just came down stairs. She was completely fine after that.<br><br>
I have learned that she is more prone to these tantrums when she is tired or hungry, but this morning she was neither. She had a good night's sleep (STTN) and had just eaten breakfast. I'm at such a loss as to what to do. <i>Is</i> there anything I can do or do I just have to wait until she outgrows it?
 

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That sounds really frustrating. That amount of crying would really get to me. We have never had a marathon tantrum here, and I will just tell you what happens in our home in case you can use any of it. When ds wants to do something, unless it is unsafe and we do not have a moment to help him, he is free to do what he needs to do. Over the weekend we hung some pictures up in our home. Ds really really wanted the small hammer dh was using but dh kept explaining how heavy and sharp it is. When dh was done, I helped ds to look at it and he held it for a while, with me right there. Did he hammer anything? No. But at least he got the opportunity to hold it and check it out, which was super important to him. We include him in just about everything. He sits on the counter with one of us right there, and helps pour stuff in the blender, food processor, etc. So he makes food with us and if he wants to cut up fruit, I give him "his knife" which is the dull small butter knife and he feels really important. KWIM? Sort of like, "honoring the impulse", the phrase I see a lot on the gd forum. That is so helpful.<br><br>
When he does get upset and cries because what he wants he is physically unable to do given he is still only 2 I just sit there with him or near him and ask if he wants a hug. I usually say something like, oh that is frustrating your feet won't fit in those baby socks (or whatever the situation is). You would like your feet to fit. Like you, giving him words. Then I just sit there since there isn't a whole lot else to do and be with him until he is done. I don't usually offer another activity as that almost always seems to offend him and make the situation worse. I also always make eye contact while giving the words, then just let him be.<br><br>
One thing that was getting to us recently was him being able to reach the thermostat. He loves touching those buttons and at first (we just moved so this is new) dh would keep trying to explain to ds not to touch, etc...ds didn't care. He really wants to touch those buttons! It's so fun to him! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Dh even physically removed ds from the couch and thermostat. That really pissed ds off, and resulted in lots of tears. So what I do and have explained to dh, is just get up there with him and help him play with it. It didn't take too much of our time, and he only did it a few times and then lost interest. Except he knows dh will give him a big reaction so last night he got up there and said, daddy, look! And started pushing buttons. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I guess what I am getting at here is look at what you are saying no to, and why, and can you open up to acting differently toward your dc's desire. Of course when I am tired/wanting alone time, I really don't always want to help him do something. But it usually doesn't take that long. I don't know if that is helpful to you because I didn't get a super clear picture of everything you do. But I hope something helps. I also want to say that my ds would be really mad if I put up a babygate and then physically removed him from getting to his daddy. He doesn't care about daddy sleeping in, he just wants to hang with him and would end up feeling powerless if I did that. So I know my ds would have reacted that same way. Anyway, hope something helps and good luck!!! Mary
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes your post does help, I like the idea of honoring the impulse. I do it now some, but I should incorporate it more.<br><br>
I know she was just missing her daddy, especially since he works retail and this time of the year is hectic to say the least so he's working more hours than normal. BUT, it is important that he sleep in (and me too, on my days to sleep in). It's our only saving grace of the week. side note: Dh gets up with dd1 in the middle of the night which is usually 0-1 times but occasionally every couple of hours so it's not like he is getting uninterrupted sleep the whole week, and I get up wth dd2 several times a night. Neither of us mind if she comes in and snuggles for a few minutes in the morning, actually we love it. But it's when she gets to jumping on the bed and running around like a maniac that it gets out of hand, and then she of course refuses to leave.
 

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I know when it's my turn to sleep in my hubby takes my 2 yr old out in the AM for a Jamba Juice, or to Home Depot, or just on some errands so that I can sleep in although sometimes I don't get to sleep in because my 10 mo old wakes up early now. Just an option if the kiddo is going to flip out...take them out of the house either for errands or to the park or somewhere indoors if it is cold outside.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">Meltdown city. She tried going upstairs, I brought her back down and tried engaging her in other activities and put the baby gate back up. Several more times she tried going up the stairs, either crawling under or climbing over the gate and each time I brought her back down made her even more mad. One time she got all the way up to him before I could get to her, and <b>dh said it was fine that she stay for awhile</b>. They snuggled for awhile, then dd came back down on her own after ~5 minutes. I offered to help her back over the gate and she threw another tantrum. Poor dh didn't really even get to sleep in as <b>he gave up around 8am and just came down stairs. She was completely fine after that</b>.</div>
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If she is throwing a 20 minute tantrum, then getting what she wants, she is not likely to change what she is doing. Kids do what works. I would work on continuing to calmly redirect, trying to get her to use her words, describing how she is feeling... but once a limit has been set, the tantrum can't get her what she wants.<br><br>
Some kids throw marathon tantrums because they just don't know how to get out of it. If you give them an "out" sometimes it helps. For example, I might tell my son (after the "I can see you're frustrated," etc) "I need to was the breakfast dishes... when you are ready, I would love your help." Then I would set his stool up right next to me, put an extra sponge at the edge of the counter... basically make it really enticing. "Washing" windows with a spray bottle and watering the plants are two other great enticing activities for my little guy. If he keeps having a tantrum, I just remind him every few minutes that when he is ready I would love his help.<br><br>
If he is having trouble ending the crying, even when he has decided to end the tantrum in favor of another activity, I help him "take big breaths" to help calm his body down. I model it and take a deep breath in, then blow it out slowly (I tell him to "blow Mama out like a candle.")<br><br>
Just a couple ideas from our house. Hope something helps!
 

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I understand about sleeping in...I got to today and it really helps, you're right. I just wanted to say I thought it was normal for your dd to be mad, as ds would have been also. The idea of going out is a good one, if that can work. Good luck!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br>
tantrums suck!<br>
However, having said that, they do serve an important purpose. If you haven't already, you might want to read the sticky about tantrums. Very helpful. One thing I've noticed is that distraction feels very disrespectful to kids. And the truth is, giving in is disrespectful not only of kids, but of ourselves as well. I am wild about Naomi Aldort's new book, Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves. It really gets to the heart of GD and the importance of fulfilling the need, because it is not going to go away.
 
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