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My son started around age 1 and stopped around 3, and it felt it was never gonna stop and what worse he would do it when relatives would stop over and they would be horrified and of course it would be all my fault, but trust me it will stop, and luckily none of my other kids picked up that habit also. What I can suggest also is see what really sets her off and try talking to her on her level about it( one I did try that sometimes didnt work) asking her why she is so upset, it might calm her down slightly and you could divert her attention. By the way I asked my son who is now 5 why he stopped his response was that it hurt and he was tired of his head hurting, they do wise up!
Tyler, have you tried moving her to your bed, or maybe holding her for the duration of the tantrum? There's really not guaging when the tantrums stop. It's all about how and when your child learns to control their emotions.
I got a newsletter recently about using time outs as a cooling off period instead of a punishment. If you try to anticipate when a tantrum might strike, become aware of the signs, and then get her to take a time out where she can go to a calming place for her (like a favorite place on the couch with her securitu objects, or even sitting on her bed), you may be able to start teaching her ways to get her emotions under control. Not to mention you head off a tantrum! Might be worth a shot. I'm trying it with my little one now. We can't seem to go a day without at least one meltdown.
My older daughter didn't stop with the tantrums until she was 4 1/2, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel...way back there, somewhere :)
If at home, my mother would tell us "if you're going to throw a fit I'm going to throw water on you", then she'd give us a few minutes to calm down. If we didn't start the calming down process within a few minutes though, she'd get a big glass of water and pour it either on our chest or back (never in the face). After the first couple times, all it took to snap us out of it was to hear the water in the kitchen run!
My little sister used to throw public tantrums, and Mom would take us and leave the store saying that she couldn't take naughty girls out. After a while Ashley started throwing herself on the floor and refusing to move, and when Mom would try to pick her up she'd either go rigid and kick or she'd go completely limp and refuse even to be carried. Mom finally started taking my hand and saying loudly, "Lets go home Leslie, I don't want to be seen in the store with such a naughty daughter." We'd then walk away to an observation point (behind a display or into a store front of the mall) and wait. After a while she'd stop throwing a tantrum and her fake, hysterical sobs became frightened crying. That's when Mom and I would come back so that she would never feel abandoned, but she soon learned that throwing a tantrum was not acceptable.
I think it's different for everyone but as long as you dont reinforce the action I've found, with my daughter at least, that it stops being interesting. My daughter used to hit her head on doors or walls when she was upset as well, we would ignore it - talking to each other instead, or leaving the room - and soon enough she moved to another (less painful) method of getting our attention. I also noticed when she was happy she would make a game out of slamming her body/head into things as well so I would always turn her away from that action by redirecting her to another game instead. I think that may have helped her realize that hitting herself wasn't a good thing as well.