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Baby Tantrums...Oh the joy!

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She11ybeanz posted 11/15/2013 09:12 AM daughter Piper is 15 and a half months old... and she is a little firecracker! I'm pretty sure she is going to be a redhead like her momma (I have naturally dark auburn hair) but her hair is so sparse that I can't quite tell what color her "old man comb-over" is yet...

Well, she is doing the "testing" thing. She started walking at 13.5 months and man is she into EVERYTHING now! She tries to run from me in public....and does a sniper crawl down aisles as if she thinks I won't see her.....and then giggles and goes faster when she sees me coming after her. (I got news for her....I'm a marathon runner and she ain't gonna out run THIS momma! )

Then there are the meltdowns where when she doesn't get what she wants she just screams and cries at the top of her lungs and my usual response is to not react to it because if I let her know she is getting a reaction she will continue. She will sometimes throw herself backwards like a bridge when I pick her up.....(gotta love the back-archin-carseat move! ) and she hates bathtime UNTIL its time to get out and she will play deaf and not come to me when I say, "Come here!" so when I pick her up and lay her down on the towel to dry her off and change her diaper and clothes she will take those LONG legs of hers and slam them down on me.....Grrrrrrrrr......and fuss at me in baby babble!

I'm new to this....and she didn't come with a I am assuming I am handling these situations okay. The time she screamed all the way to the front of the store to the point where they opened a register "just for me" (so lucky right?) and then I picked her up and she stopped screaming immediately.... I looked at the cashier and said, "Look! Magic!"

I'm really working on being patient with her yet stern when I need to. Not getting too upset with her but also not being a pushover. Its hard being the mommy AND the daddy. I envy people that have help at home. I love my daughter....but I dread the terrible 2's if this is any taste of what is to come! YIPES!

[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 9:13 AM, November 15th (Friday)]

metamorphisis posted 11/15/2013 09:29 AM

Sounds perfectly normal ( oh how I loved the back arch ). If I can give you one piece of advice that comes from years of parenting and daycare experience.. just one piece... mean what you say.
This is the one pitfall I fell into, and see so many other parents fall into. If "No!" means "well.. until your wear me down with your screaming" then you can expect more screaming. And it will get harder to control and LOUDER.
Just think of what you do now as a foundation for years to come. If no means no, they are less likely to test it later because she's not dumb and it doesn't work. If no means sometimes yes, then she will test it every.single.time.
All kids have different personalities but consistency will serve you better than any other tool I can think of

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:29 AM, November 15th (Friday)]

simplydevastated posted 11/15/2013 09:33 AM

Okay, I'm not trying to laugh at this, but...

We've all been there. DD7 used to folder herself up into a U, backwards. I don't know how she did it. I would have snapped my back. She's still my drama queen when it comes time to pick up her toys or do anything that she doesn't want to do, but she'll empty a dishwasher in seconds flat. So I know I'm doing something right.

My son was mild. When he was a toddler he would say to me "I'm going to have a fit." then he would lay down on the sofa under a blanket. He sure showed me who's boss

You're right, you do have to have the balance of patience and stern. Kids need to know they can't push the parents around. What works for me and my two when they don't want to help is that I give them two choices, one that works for me and one they won't like If they don't want to pick up their toys I'll say, "You have two choices. You either pick up your toys or you sit on your bed (they know this as a punishment), you have until I count to three to make your decision." Then I start counting and they usually get right up and start cleaning. I've also never used the words "time-out." I felt it was too soft and that they needed to understand that there are consequences for their actions. So I give them a time-out, but I call it a punishment. It works for us.

She11ybeanz posted 11/15/2013 09:40 AM

For example.....I have this ceramic vase on top of a shelf in the bathroom that has fake purple daisies in it. My daughter takes her baby hair brush and purposely hits the vase with it. I have told her NO on several occasions and after I have said NO 3 times, I take the brush away from her (or whatever other hard object she chooses to hit the vase with). I've noticed that she will watch me the WHOLE TIME she is hitting if she KNOWS its taboo and wants to see my reaction. I have been consistent with the NO and then eventually taking away her weapon of choice. She of course reacts by screaming and crying once I have done the latter. Oh well. I said no. I meant it. One day you will learn!

My best friend gave me good advice too...cause she has 3 "pick your battles!" Some things aren't worth the fight over and others you need to stand your ground on. Its all about consistency and balance IMO.

And, I have a feeling my daughter's timeout chair will stay pretty warm for much of her 2's!

[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 9:41 AM, November 15th (Friday)]

tushnurse posted 11/15/2013 09:46 AM

Yup all sounds very normal to me.

Ray Ramano wrote a book way back called Eveything and a Kite, he has a chapter on dealing with his toddler twins, and there are parts of it that will make you cry from laughter. Check it out.

Two things when you are stern, be stern, and follow through, if you are not consistent then she will challenge you every day for the rest of her life on it. Secondly, pick your battles. Sometimes they are just exhauseted, and don't want to sit in the cart, or walk or whatever, and letting them do what they want is easier than fighting it. I always found people didn't care how loud my kids were being if they were happy, if they were crying though that's when the looks come.

I was always a stickler for no nonesense when it's time to go in the carseat. My DD was the queen of backbend pelvic thrust to prevent you from buckling. I found out that a quick tickle to her ribs stopped and I could quickly buckle her, it became a game instead of a fight.

They can't talk yet, and get very frustrated when they can't get their point across. Be patient, and hang on to your hat, because sister 3 is a whole new challenge.

lieshurt posted 11/15/2013 09:51 AM

I have said NO 3 times, I take the brush away from her

I would say that saying NO 3 times is a mistake. She has to learn that you mean business the first time you say no. Don't wait until the 3rd time to take the brush away. This comes into play with the running away as well. My friend had this same issue and her kid ran into traffic in the middle of a parking lot. She wasn't hurt, but it scared the hell out of everybody.

[This message edited by lieshurt at 9:53 AM, November 15th (Friday)]

She11ybeanz posted 11/15/2013 09:56 AM

Well, the reason I say no 3 times is kinda like the old "I'm gonna count to 3 and then there is consequences" type of thing... I guess I should just start counting now!

Dreamboat posted 11/15/2013 10:15 AM

Shelly, you are doing fine. Just continue to be firm and consistent.

And just FYI, my DD16 was testing me last night. She wanted me to do something for her and I said no. She badgered me for 30 minutes and then pouted and whined while she did it for herself. Whatever. I dealt with her when she was 2 and did the back-arch-throw-herself-on-the-floor-and-scream, I know I can deal with whiny 16 year old.

Holly-Isis posted 11/15/2013 10:22 AM

If she knows she's not supposed to do it, no chances. They learn just how far to push it and will go to the edge every time. Will even try to make you move your boundaries. They feel safer with boundaries though.

DD was also a runner. I bought squeaky shoes...yeah they annoyed some people, most thought it was cute and a great idea. I also bought her little Indian anklets that jingled wherever she went. Most of the time, my go to was just strapping her in a carrier. The traditional carriers (rather than the Bjorn and carriers liked that) add very little weight to you and work up until about 4yo. She hated it, but I strapped her on my back anyhow.

I really had to pay attention to when nap and meal times were. I noticed that actually made temper tantrums worse with both kids. So I had the carriers so they could nap on my back and snacks handy.

Finally, distraction is a wonderful thing. I had a little bottle of bubbles in my bag (like they give at weddings). A notebook and a pen...they feel big when they can write with adult pens. Things like that, kept in the bag only as a treat so it was special when I pulled them out. You know Piper best so you know what would distract her.

lieshurt posted 11/15/2013 10:34 AM

Well, the reason I say no 3 times is kinda like the old "I'm gonna count to 3 and then there is consequences" type of thing... I guess I should just start counting now!

I get that, but sometimes we don't have the luxury of counting to 3. If she's reaching for something that could harm her, such as a hot frying pan filled with oil, do you want her to understand that no means no the first time you say it or that she can go for it 3 times and then you mean it?

I really had to pay attention to when nap and meal times were.

Holly-Isis makes a good point here. This was crucial for me. My son never had a meltdown or tantrum in public and I truly felt it was because I paid attention to nap/meal times.

jrc1963 posted 11/15/2013 14:33 PM

Take the vase w/ the flowers and put it away! Yes, she's going to have to learn that No means No... and I agree, 3 No's is too many!

But why not just put the silly thing away until she's forgotten about it and move on. You can always put it back out. To me, that's a way to "pick your battle".

Of course she'll move on to some other annoying thing... but at least you won't have a broken vase and shards of ceramic to deal with.

authenticnow posted 11/15/2013 14:36 PM

I agree with jrc. At that age it's all about 'me, mine, now' and no impulse control. By controlling her environment somewhat, it is less stressful for her because it's not constant temptation, and obviously less battles for you.

I also agree with the being in tune to naptime and mealtime, and knowing when she's had enough and is overstimulated.

She11ybeanz posted 11/15/2013 14:56 PM

I also agree with the being in tune to naptime and mealtime, and knowing when she's had enough and is overstimulated.

Oh yes...I know when she's really tired or hungry. I try to be very prepared for those times (overly prepared almost!)

I agree about the vase. I think I enjoyed having my decorated bathroom but now that she can walk, that's gonna go out the window. My house is a wreck less thing to dust.

metamorphisis posted 11/15/2013 17:59 PM

Just be careful with the tired, sick or hungry. It becomes a crutch. I remember my husband looking at me and saying "Well they are fed, they slept and nobody is sick. Can we say they are brats now?"

meaniemouse posted 11/16/2013 00:19 AM

Shelly--sounds like you have a strong-willed little girl on your hands. God I so LOVE those kids!! They are hell on wheels but they do make life interesting. And they turn out to be fantastic women!

I didn't read all of the comments but one thing I know for sure--you gotta chose what hill you want to die on with kids like that. For me the line in the sand was (and still is) always health and safety. If the issue doesn't fall under one of those two categories, I tried to prevent, distract, ignore and/or drink lots of wine. And remember they wouldn't be that age forever.

I'd go through your house and box up anything that seems to be the source of trouble. If you know that going out to do an errand might cause a tantrum or meltdown, don't go or try to go when she's not with you. You will be surprised at what you can learn to do without! If prevention doesn't work, try distraction. When you sense that things might be getting out of hand, change the subject say, "Oh my gosh I think I saw Elmo in the driveway!!" Toddlers are easy to distract so that works in your favor. If what she's doing isn't dangerous to her health or safety ignore. I know it's hard but even a 15 month old knows when there's no payoff for her behavior. Oh--and of course you have to save the wine for after she's in bed but it's always nice to look forward to.

To illustrate--one day I HAD to go to the grocery store because we were having company for dinner. I told the girls to get in the car and my 3-year-old came downstairs wearing her swimsuit, her snow boots and a pink feather boa. I didn't say a word and just put her in the car. I figured there were two types of people we would see at the grocery store. Those who would stare and think what a horrible mother I must be--and the others, the ones that would smile because they remembered what it was like to have a 3-year old.

And don't feel so bad that you are parenting alone. Trust me, even though I didn't divorce until my kids were 22, 18 and 15, I ALWAYS did the parental heavy lifting. My ex was almost useless as a parenting partner. At least as a single mother you don't have anyone constantly sabotaging you. It's not easy but if you can run a marathon you have what it takes to do this.

Seriously--hang tough, be consistent and know that this too, shall pass. Of course, there is always something new on the horizon but the longer you're at this--the better you'll get!

Sad in AZ posted 11/16/2013 00:19 AM

When DS started walking, I switched from the fragile Christmas decorations to soft, stuffed or unbreakable ones. I knew he'd be fascinated, and I didn't want to always tell him 'No!'

It was not an issue the rest of the year because I'm not a 'knick-knack' kind of person.

She11ybeanz posted 11/17/2013 20:09 PM

I tried to prevent, distract, ignore and/or drink lots of wine.

Check, check and CHECK!

Tonight was rough...poor thing had diarrhea and it made her area red and when I gave her a bath I gently put baby oil on down there in the bathtub which seemed to calm her down and then desitin and vaseline (per doctor's orders in the past) before her diaper. I would have let her air dry but was a little nervous since she had the runs...ya know?

I had to keep her distracted while I folded and put away 3 huge loads of our clothes (which took forever!) I had a radio of kids songs playing in her room so she could play in there and one of her favorite shows on the TV playing... and read her a book imbetween a few times.... it was hysterical the process....but eventually I got it all done. She is now in bed sound asleep and mommy has a very large glass of moscato next to her to finish off the evening..... much needed! I must tell you!!!

Holly-Isis posted 11/17/2013 20:12 PM

Cornstarch. It soaks up the diarrhea and protects the skin.

Poor baby.

She11ybeanz posted 11/18/2013 13:19 PM

Cornstarch. It soaks up the diarrhea and protects the skin.

My sister is using that today...poor baby....she just wanted to be held all last night.... I'm gonna miss baby cuddles when she grows up...

lieshurt posted 11/18/2013 13:22 PM

I'm gonna miss baby cuddles when she grows up

Yes, you will. My son is 16 and 6ft tall, so I definitely don't get baby cuddles anymore. I do still get hugs and "I love you mom" everyday though.

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