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DS is 14 months old and has been throwing progressively worse temper tantrums over the past couple of months. If there's something he wants and he doesn't get it, he will arch his body back, stiffen, and SHRIEK at the top of his lungs like we're torturing him. I've tried distracting him, especially when he wants to do something like pound on the keyboard, but he just comes straight back. The only thing that works is giving him a banana, and that only works sometimes. I don't know what to do - he's just so angry! I've even been tempted to smack his hand a couple of times (but I haven't!) when he's doing something he should and he just won't stop.<br><br>
For example, the keyboard thing. We have a laptop and he always wants to push the buttons. I'll take his hand away over and over again, sign no, and try to distract him. All he does is scream and head for the keyboard again.<br><br>
He also doesn't want me to eat. Anytime I eat or drink, he heads straight for me and screams until I give him some. Even if he's in his high chair with food in front of him, even if it's the SAME FOOD we have, he wants what WE have. DH and I have to take turns eating so one of us can attend to DS while the other eats.<br><br>
I'm so frustrated! Help!
 

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DD was *exactly* like that, so I feel your pain. It will pass, just like everything else does. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
As far as eating goes, why can't he have food from your plate? Just put extra food on your plate for him. It's totally normal for toddlers to want to eat off Mom or Dad's plate. It seems like they just can't be convinced it's the exact same food. Is the problem that he wants to be in your lap? We still go through that some days, so I just eat around her or wait until she's done. I know, probably not what you wanted to hear, but it's just one of those things.<br><br>
With the computer, can you put it away where he can't get it? DD is 22 months now and she LOVES to "type" (bang on a keyboard). There's no way I could leave a laptop within her reach and not let her play with it. I have to get online when she's sleeping or she wants to bang on the keyboard. I imagine this will also pass eventually.<br><br>
Honestly, the best advice anyone gave me for tantrums is just to let them happen. I don't mean that I ignore her or anything like that, but I don't run around doing everything in my power to stop them either. When DD used to tantrum (she hasn't done it much lately, and when she has, it's been short) she would roll around on the floor and ask for toy after toy after toy and book after book. She wanted to go outside, no inside, no in the car, no in the bedroom, no in the bathtub, no on the couch, etc. I would run back and forth bringing her everything she asked for, only to have her ask for something else and cry harder. I'd carry her from room to room, only to upset her more when she got there and realized going from the kitchen to the living room (or wherever) didn't make her feel any better. And her tantrums could last for 30 to 45 minutes. On a daily basis, she would have at least one 15 to 20 minute tantrum. On a weekly basis, she would have at least one 30 to 45 minute tantrum. I was going crazy.<br><br>
The wise mama told me that when DD was asking for things, she was only trying to think of anything that would make her feel better and help her regain her composure. But those things were not the source of her discomfort, so bringing her the toy or changing her location weren't going to help her feel better. When she realized that, she would get even MORE upset, causing the whole thing to drag out even more. Her advice? Sit close by and speak comfortingly ("I know you're upset/sad/angry. I'm right here if you want me") and rub her back if she wanted. If that seemed to make it worse, just get involved in something right by her, like folding laundry or something, so she would know I hadn't abandoned her, but was just giving her space to work it out on her own.<br><br>
It was hard at first, to hear her yelling for things and me just sit there and tell her that I knew she was upset, without trying everything I could think of just to make her feel better. It really did work though. Well, she kept having tantrums until she mostly passed that stage, but they became much, much shorter.<br><br>
I'm sure you've already read that it isn't our job to make them stop crying, but only to provide a supportive environment where they can work it out on their own. I had heard that too, but I never really put it into practice. I felt like I *had* to do something, anything to make her stop crying, but I realize now that by making stopping the tantrum my end goal, I was actually hindering her from working through whatever emotional drama she had going on in her head. Allowing her to work through it on her own was a much better solution - and she was much better at sorting out her emotions and regaining control than I had thought she would be.
 

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We've got some of that at our household too. I think the eating thing is hardest, by far. Eating in shifts isn't any fun, and since I always end up being the one whose dinner is delayed, I tend to feel even more crabby about it. DD won't sit in her high chair--it has to be my lap and then she wants to smear my food all over the table rather than letting me eat it. After a while though, when it's clear she's not going to eat any more, I usually tell her "mama needs to eat now" and sometimes she responds to that. (Bringing a few little animals that she likes and letting her play with those sometimes helps too.)<br><br>
I've lowered my expectations and keep trying to make adjustments, like not bothering to try to use my computer while she's awake, and trying to get a snack in before dinner so I'm not starving. (That's also nearly impossible since the period between 4 and 7 consists of "up," wanting to eat various things, tossing those things on the floor and then pulverizing them into a mess that needs to be cleaned if I'm going to walk through my tiny kitchen, and then asking to potty, and repeat.) Sometimes it works though. And meanwhile I repeat my mantra: "This too shall pass."
 

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Tatrums will pass. Let ds eat off your plate, it isnt the end of the world. Dont have the laptop around him or else what can you expect? Hes gonna want that keyboard, its cool! Or get an old computer keyboard and let him bang on that, thats what we did with ds. He loves his keyboard, dh rigged up lights on it too so that its flashing on and off. Enjoy your toddler, even the tantrums!
 
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