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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted some input about how to deal with 1-1.5 year olds when they throw fits.

Xander had his first tantrum last night. It was something along the lines of "I'm hungry/thirsty even though you just gave me a bedtime snack but I don't want the crackers and sippy cup in the bedroom OR the boob, I want to go back out to the living room, dammit!" (he was really really REALLY tired). The only thing that comforted me is that he kept clinging on to me and giving me hugs the whole time and he eventually calmed down and took the boob just fine.

During the tantrum I tried to make sure he wasn't actually thirsty or hungry (we'd already taken him out of the bedroom for a snack when he signed he wanted some), and I basically just tried to be there for him -hold him when he wanted me to and back off when he didn't (he mostly did). And I did the whole "identify and explain their emotions and validate them" thing. Is that what I'm supposed to do? My FB friend and mom of 3 awesome kids says I need to do time outs, but that doesn't feel right, especially at this age and at bedtime.

Any reassurance/advice would be VERY welcome!!!

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Well, hello there, Megamus!

I think you did just right! His tiredness sounds like that was a big factor, so that's always good to keep in mind. But it sounds like he really didn't know WHAT he wanted, so all you can do is offer suggestions and then ride it out. I love that you kept offering support and talked about his feelings. I think it's important to let kids know that ALL emotions are valid and help them to express them in appropriate ways. Punishing them for having a tantrum is sort of the opposite response, and personally, I would never consider starting time-outs till maybe three at least. Before then, they're not really going to understand and may feel abandoned by you, which you probably don't want. I know when *I* have tantrums (yup, still do at almost 32), the last thing I'd want is for someone to punish me for it. That would just make me more mad! I want to be left alone to cool down, and then quietly go back to "normal" without a big fuss made. So, that's what I do for my kid when he has one.

Anyway, you done good!
Sometimes, you just have to go with your gut.

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I think you did great.

I don't get doing timeouts for tantrums, and never at this age! He was out of control and irrational. At this age they rely mostly on you to help regulate their emotions. Your job is to help them learn to deal with these powerful emotions. As he gets older, you can expect him to do more of it himself. But even when he's older, he'll need you.

Now that doesn't mean that I don't sometimes send my 5 year old off to her room when she's completely out of control. If you're hitting your brother because you're mad, off you go. But it is merely get her to calm down, and 70% of the time, we go with her.

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Originally Posted by Megamus View Post
My FB friend and mom of 3 awesome kids says I need to do time outs, but that doesn't feel right, especially at this age and at bedtime.
Timeouts at this age just make everyone feel like crap.

When children get tired their brains go through something called "flooding" and hence tantrum. (Perhaps this is the source of the CIO crowd?) Flooding is when it is impossible to reason with them. So don't try. Just be there.

But here's a thing.

Tired children can flood into laughter too! And when they stop, they are asleep!

I did this with my two DDs. Now I am doing it with a neighbour's 13 month boy. If you can get into a bedtime routine of a game that makes him laugh, then when he is tired, this is what he will do.

With my DDs, when we lay down for cuddle, we did raspberry tummy and bumpy bottom (gently lifting and dropping her nappy at the rhythm she laughs at). From about 2yo we did "round and round the garden"

At the end of the day, my neighbour's son comes to me. He wants to be held..."I'm going to get you...." and kissed in his neck. He thinks this is too funny. After about the 8th time he is asleep at the end of his laugh no matter the noise the other kids are making.

Definitely worth a try!
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