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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DD was the easiest baby ever. She was an absolute breeze, really. She is just about 15 MO now and is an entirely different animal. I've read The Happiest Toddler on The Block, none of his tactics work on her. She is extremely demanding, throws huge loud tantrums and is super opinionated, but can't really talk. I'm sure she's just as frustrated as I am, I just don't know how to react to her in a productive way at this point. I've always been very AP, I thought that would make these stages easier? How do you AP parent a toddler? I feel totally clueless.
 

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Is it possible that she's teething her canines or coming down with a cold? Those two made life pretty rough around here. And/or experimenting with independence? How to parent during these times? Stay cool and be there for them? General and vague, I know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's possible that she's teething, but I don't see anything coming down yet. I don't think she's getting sick, she's been acting this way for a few weeks and I think if it were sickness it would have appeared by now.
Thanks for the advice, however vague! I just don't know how to react. I certainly don't want to encourage her tantrums, but I want her to feel validated...I just don't know how to do that without always giving in. Hmph!
 

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is she frustrated about not being able to communicate? Have you tried introducing her to baby sign language? We found it cut down the tantruming to almost nothing.

so sorry, I know how quickly it can wear a mama out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, we started working on signing when she was around 10 mo, she knows a few and she's starting to actually say words to communicate. She's definitely frustrated that she can't talk too well. I'm hoping that things will get easier as she learns to form sentences and convey her feelings through words rather than crying and screaming and throwing herself on the floor.
I just want to know how to respond in a productive way in the meantime so I can be as gentle as possible with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, we started working on signing when she was around 10 mo, she knows a few and she's starting to actually say words to communicate. She's definitely frustrated that she can't talk too well. I'm hoping that things will get easier as she learns to form sentences and convey her feelings through words rather than crying and screaming and throwing herself on the floor.
I just want to know how to respond in a productive way in the meantime so I can be as gentle as possible with her.
 

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I think the book Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves give fantastic ways to learn to validate feelings and deal with tantrums. It has worked really well for us.
 

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my advice:
try verbalizing for her what she's trying to say. Of course this doesn't work when they're actually flipping out but it can help de-escalate a situation before it gets to that point.
For example:
DS is starting to get upset
"DS, are you mad?"
YES
"You want the ball?
NO
"You want the truck?"
No
"You want the XYZ?"
yes
"okay, I know you want XYZ and you're mad because you can't have it right now. we have to do ABC first. ABC then XYZ, ABX then XYZ"

I hope that makes sense.... I think the PP had it right when she talked about giving her the words. the other thing we did was not respond to tantrums. The few times he'd flip out, throw things, lay on the floor, stomp his feet, and cry (sometimes all in quick succession) I'd just say "I see you're mad and that's okay. when you're done being mad I'll be in the living room and we can play with your blocks" then I'd calmly walk away. The point was not to invalidate his feelings by telling him he couldn't be mad, but to not engage.

My other guess is that she's on the verge of a verbal spurt and things will die down quickly once that happens (and she can communicate her wants better). It DOES get better =)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by QuestionGal View Post
my advice:
try verbalizing for her what she's trying to say. Of course this doesn't work when they're actually flipping out but it can help de-escalate a situation before it gets to that point.
Totally agree with the above part about verbalizing. But...

Quote:

Originally Posted by QuestionGal View Post
the other thing we did was not respond to tantrums. The few times he'd flip out, throw things, lay on the floor, stomp his feet, and cry (sometimes all in quick succession) I'd just say "I see you're mad and that's okay. when you're done being mad I'll be in the living room and we can play with your blocks" then I'd calmly walk away. The point was not to invalidate his feelings by telling him he couldn't be mad, but to not engage.
I disagree with some of this part. I think there is a difference between "not engaging" a tantrum and "not responding to" or leaving the room. In my opinion, when you don't respond or if you leave the room you ARE invalidating and sending a variety of messages such as: I can't handle your big emotions, I'm not listening to your powerful message, or I won't stick with you through this. (I do agree about telling him it is ok to be mad though.)

What we try to do is validate the emotions, verbalize the situation, and stay close by her until we can all move on. Like I said in my previous post, Raising Our Children has wonderful step by step info on putting this in to action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the advice, ladies. It's helped tonight! I'm going to order that book right now!
I really think that she's on the cusp of talking and she's SO CLOSE to breaking through and I know she must be frustrated. I just get frustrated with her frustration and then she gets more frustrated because she senses my frustration, you know? I'm a super emotional person too, I think I know where she got it from
 

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Hey there DDC buddy! Jack is 15 months and wowee with the tantrums!! I've found that I can head a lot of them off if I pay more attention. We're also working on a couple of things at once, including a few molars and words, so I think that has a lot to do with it. DS is pretty fiercely independent and will tantrum if I do something for him. I try to ask him if he wants my help first, and then (for walking down the stairs or something like that) "mommy has to hold your hand to help you". I am also working on letting him help me - let's put the toys away together, let's unload the dishwasher together, etc etc. If he has something I don't want him to have I ask him to hand it to me (which he does 99% of the time). I say "please" and "thank you". When he's getting frustrated with communicating I ask a lot of questions, do some signs, he's started pointing which helps a lot.

When he does tantrum, just sitting next to him and waiting him out (it's not long), stroking his back or his head helps. I verbally acknowledge his frustration, and once he's calm we hug and I explain why he can't play with my cellphone or dump the French press on the floor.

Hang in there! I'm putting that book on my amazon wish list asap.
 

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It's normal to encounter a lot of tantrums and frustration at that age. It's a strange transition - they're trying to become more independent, but don't really have to tools or proper understanding yet to be allowed to freedom they crave. A lot of times you just need to wait it out.
 
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