Parenting Advice Needed...

Let me start by saying it was a long day. Lots of car time for the toddlers. Husband had business out of the city that would take him past Grandma's pony farm. So, we took the tots for a little day trip. Lots of pony and kitty petting, then a long ride home. I think I made a mistake by letting Miss Peach start the Aristocats movie while I made dinner. The kiddos ,I thought, needed some unstructered run around time. Dinner was ready and there was no dragging her away from cute cartoon kitties, so we left her downstairs. Shortly after, she came to the table on her own to eat. Then it was tubby and bed time...meltdown! What do you do when they are screaming at the top of their lungs "I want to watch the Aristocats!"? I sat in the dining room with Husband while she melted for a while, screaming all the way. Do you ignore it, I mean, there was no way I was gonna let her watch that movie after screaming at me like that...bedtime or not! I just don't know how to handle it when it hits top volume? I put it to you...what do you do with the crazy toddler tantrum?


  1. Sounds like a good question to pose to my "Dear Brad" column.

    They say that not indulging them when they act out is the key, but of course we all have our breaking points. Don't be too hard on yourself :)

    The Egel Nest

  2. My Tommy is going to be three next month. I'm really hoping that the whiny tantrums stop magically at three. We'll see.
    I usually give him a few warnings. "Tommy, if you don't stop screaming you are going to sit on the naughty step." Then I usually say, "This is your last warning." After that he sits on the naughty step. His time doesn't start until he stops screaming. If the screaming proceeds to get worse and worse he goes up to his room by himself until he stops screaming. Then when he calms down he can come down and sit on the naughty step. it works pretty well. Most of the time he stops before with just one or two warnings.

    Stinking toddlers with their iron wills. Who knew? ;)

  3. I ignore them. My oldest chose to scream at me during a melt down. I screamed right back. She stopped crying and gave me the funniest look.

    The last thing you ever want to do is give in. Then they know you have a point. Even if the melt down is in public. We just ignore it.

    Once at Kohl's, the youngest decides to have a full blown tantrum in the store. We turned and kept shopping. Now Mom walked away, and Dad, well I hid so I was right by her but she couldn't see me. She lay there on the ground legs and arms just flailing and her voice just screaming. The funniest thing? A teenage girl is standing there with her mom and says "I can't believe they won't just give in so she'll stop crying." Her Mom turns and looks her and said, "We did the same thing to you." She then pointed to me, winked and smiled.

    After just a short time, our little one stopped long enough to notice she was by herself. The tears dried up and her face went from angry to..."Oh crap!" She hasn't done it since.

    Good luck! You can do it!

  4. Ours gets put in his room until he can stop crying or fussing. If he still doesn't stop the behavior, it's 1,2,3 then the spanking. I don't take crap from a 2 year old.

  5. I read a great article about the different types of tantrums when my oldest was 2.

    The simple answer is to never give in to their demands. The more complicated questions are whether to leave the room or stay there with them, if you should punish or not.

    I highly recommend this article.

  6. pull up a chair and watch... pour a glass of wine and let her have at it all the while throwing in little tidbits like...

    are you done yet?
    do you want to talk yet?
    No don't hit your head on the floor...


    then when she has calmed down or passed out. YOu tell her why she didn't get to watch the aristocats! lol

  7. hi,
    nice article:)
    thanks for sharing:)

  8. ARGH. Misery. I agree, NEVER give in. But it sounds like she was overtired, yes?

    She was going to bed anyway, so a choice probably wasn't really going to work for you.

    Sometimes I just walk away until they get over it.

    No matter what, I try to stay deadly calm, but that's easier said than done.

    GAH. This too shall pass. :-)

    Love your new header, by the way. LOVE.

  9. generally, i ignore it. nothing to be gained by fighting, or giving in.

  10. I'm glad you posted this. I have no advice to offer but have been eagerly reading all your comments because my toddlers is starting to have tantrums. So far, I hardly give in but I've been wondering how to do the 'time out' when he doesn't stay in one spot.

  11. Miss Peach maybe too big for this, but I put my son in his crib and leave him there until he calms down. I do this mostly for his safety, not so much for punishment.

    Other times, I'll get down to his level, look him in the eyes (if he'll let me) and talk very calmly and slowly like I'm talking someone off a ledge... because well,... I kinda am.

    If it's really ridiculous, I'll just go to another room until he relaxes until the storm passes.

    Never lose your cool or give in thought. Always in control, NW. Always in control.Channel your inner SuperNanny.

    I'm with you all the way! HUGS!

  12. Timeout works wonders at our house. Now, the Princess does throw a huge fit the entire duration of the timeout, but she never gets out of the timeout chair and she is a wonderful angel at the end of the 4 minutes (1 minute for each year of her life).

  13. Thankfully, I'm mostly past this stage. Mostly.

    We send the kids to their rooms until they are ready to behave and act according to the rules of the house. No timeout, per se; they control when they are ready to come down and behave.

    If they don't, they go right back up there.

    I've had times where I've sent them up to cool out and they've spent the next hour, happily playing. Or they fall asleep and get a much-needed nap. Sometimes, I'll go up and we'll talk quietly about what went on and why it was wrong, and how to avoid it next time.

    I think this banishment works because it gives them a measure of control, which is what they're after. When YOU are ready, come on back down and I'll be glad to see you.

    Hang in there! I've had to carry the kids to their rooms when I started sending them up there, but once they learned that "go to your room" means get up there NOW or face a pissed Mom, they stopped fighting it.

  14. What Mojavi said . . . pull up a chair and enjoy the show. If it doesn't seem like the fit has any entertainment value, then I usually go on with my business, occassionally asking if she is done yet. She quits, eventually.

  15. Sometimes I laugh, but I wouldn't recommend that all the time. Often it just fuels the tantrum.

    I manhandle mine into her bedroom, tell her she can come out when she settles down, and close the door. I don't capitulate, especially after she has screamed at me. It's tough, but necessary.

  16. Wow, sounds like your little one was DONE! When one of mine throws a similar fit, I calmly and firmly tell her "The rules are..." I might reiterate "That's the rule". Then I let it run its course. I just tell myself 'she has to go to sleep at some point'. Good luck.

  17. This is hard. We do the time out chair and they can't get out til they are calm.

    But it's hard!

  18. Here's what works for Quinn (and has since he was two or so). If we're at home I say, "I'm going to count to three and if you don't stop yelling/screaming/crying you will have to go and take a time out." I say that in the calmest softest voice possible - right into his ear. Through his screaming he can hear, I swear. Then I count 1, 2, 3...then I move him to the spot (if we're in the kitchen he goes in the living room, if we're in the living room he goes in the kitchen - damn small house) and set the timer. If he's still crying after the timer goes off I say to him, "Okay. Your time is up. When you are done crying you can join us." When we're out I tell him I'm going to count to ten and he needs to be all done crying. That usually works, thank god. If not, well, he has had a time out at the zoo and at the park - so yeah, I'll do that anywhere.
    Not sure if that would have worked at this point for you...but we use it all the time so he's getting used to the counting and needing to be all done. I do not tolerate crying/whining very well and especially at the dinner table, so there have been many nights when he takes a time out then comes back to finish. I have a love/hate relationship with time out.

  19. I stand firm...send them to can't give them the upper hand, no matter how much it breaks your happens to all of us hon! The next day, they still wake up loving you.

  20. Ear plugs + bedtime = mommy sanity returns

  21. I haven't had time to read all the comments....but I hope to come back to them though.

    My advice.....empathize. Tell her, "I know you really want to watch the movie are tired, and it is making you sad that it is time for bed. I'm sorry, but I can not let you be mean. Can you stop crying? Maybe we can watch the movie tomorrow. Mommy will remember that you want to watch it let's go get ready for bed. I'll race you!"

    or something like that. I try to understand that she is young, and doesn't know how to deal with disappointment. It is our job to help them understand that although it is okay to be upset, it is not okay to be mean. Then try to distract her with something else she likes that gets you to the place you want her to go.

    I am sorry I have to run...I have more to say. I MIGHT remember to come back tonight....MIGHT! LOL

  22. I've come to realize that kids are just overtired when that happens. Bed happens immediately around here.

  23. Yeah, sounds like over-tiredness. The end of the day is always the worst!
    Usually I ignore it or remove him from the room and tell him he can come back when he has a smile on his face. That usually works. But sometimes if he's just really tired, nothing works except an early bedtime!

  24. Warden,

    If they are screaming the good news is they are breathing. As long as the temper tantrums aren't coming along to frequently, you know, some days I feel like doing the same thing.

    Does it bother you? Just like the "I'm gonna hold my breath" Good olde Mother Nature will have them pass out and begin breathing on thier own.

    Choose the battles wisely. We had the lay on the floor in a store and scream. I stood there and waited. When I remained calm, even though I wanted to not be, the freak out ended. Last time it happened there.

    The movie. The next time they want to see it. Well, remind them of the last time and not show the offending entertainment.

    Good luck with your version of remaining calm in the face of pandamonium.

    If you put your child in a time out space you have to make sure they stay. Also, watch using the room as punishment space. This is also the location of peace, nap, and reading time. Warden, can't use solitary as the playground. Meaning is lost.

    All the best!

  25. I wanted to add, that if my girl is really upset throwing a fit, I often say, "it sounds to me like you just need to get those whinies out. Go to your room, get your blanket and get all those whinies out. I'll be out here (doing whatever) when you are done.
    usually she is back in like 2 minutes with a smile, and announcing that the whinies are all gone.

    Like I said before. I try to understand her feelings of disappointment, and realize that she doesn't have a clue how to properly deal with those feelings. it is my job to teach her those things.

    good luck....parenting is terribly hard.

  26. It's been years but I ignored it.

  27. Send them home...cause they aren't my child...I know not helpful.
    We stuck to our guns, and did not give in to tantrums, we let them run the course, but then we stood by our rules as long as we had not said something in haste that was unreasonable.

  28. I know I'm a day late on this, but I just have to say that everytime I think it'll be OK not to follow through, it ends up being hell for the next few days.

    If at all possible, whatever discipline route you take, always, always follow through and win!

  29. Sometimes there is nothing to do but wait it out. I definitely say ignoring it...if they are not hurting themselves, then don't give them an audience. Walk away.

  30. I am over here just reading all the comments b/c I need help in this area lately too, and mine is almost 4! Does it ever end?

    He does go to his room until he calms down, I just have a hard time getting him to stay in there... I tried ignoring him yesterday but he just got more and more into it when I did that... Oh I do hope this phase ends sometime soon!

  31. What works for the bean is to either say 'we do not speak to adults / mom / dad that way' and ignore the rest... or if she continues she gets a time out. A minute for every year of her age. It usually calms her down and she will ask to be held afterwards and will talk calmly enough i can explain that she can not watch her 'bear movie' for the 40 billionth time.


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