14 answers

2 1/2 Year Old, Temper Tantrums... HELP!

My son is getting into throwing temper tantrums. He is 2 1/2 and the light of my eyes. I just love this little guy so much and it frustrates me so much to see him get so worked up and react to his frustrations the way he does. We are expecting another baby in June and we are hoping this is just a phase. But I am wondering how I could handle this behavior better? Any advice?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you so much for all of the excellent advice. I have been reading through all of these and I have taken a few tips and my husband and I are trying a few new things... we are not paying attention to the tantrums, if he starts we will either remove him from the room and walk away (i.e. the dinner table to another room so he doesn't try to throw his plate, napkin or cup). The first time we did this he stopped completely, looked around and began to play with his dump truck. We also try to divert the tantrum, when we see it coming on we distract him with something else. So just these subtle changes have helped us to not get so frustrated and to know that so many other parents are going through the same thing it helps us to not get frustrated and be more patient. Thanks again! This is a great resource, I am sure you will hear more from me with the next milestone.

More Answers

My son is the king of tantrums! The way I handle it is to stay calm above all (even if it is only on the outside) offer to help or show him how to do something, or calmly explain (once) why he can't have his way then ignore the rest of the tantrum. (It's a great time to get stuff done around the house by the way!) Since I can't understand what he is saying when he is crying anyway, the rule is he has to calm down and ask again before I will respond to his request. IMHO, modeling the appropriate emotional response is the best thing one can do for a tantruming toddler because how else will they learn what is a big deal and what isn't? It's not always easy for sure! But, take a deep breath - it'll pass!

1 mom found this helpful

D.,

I am in a mom's book group that reads different toddler books and then get together to discuss them. THis is often a topic of discussion so we read a wonderful book called The Emotional Life of the Toddler. It had examples of scenarios and how to handle them. My son like yours has only just started having Tantrums and he is 2 and three months. I think part of what it happening is more likely that he wants to have autonomy and do things for himself and it is frustrating to not be able to do everything he wants. I am trying to be patient, and also help him to try to explain what he wants.

I would get that book and even if you only have time to skim it, it will help.

Good luck,

N.

Don't pay it too much attention.

Hi D.,

How well does he sleep. That is usually a sign of poor sleep. They say one out of 3 children have sleep depravation. That makes you very angry and hostile.

When my granddaugher comes to see me sometimes she is real tired and moody. I have her sleep on a magnetic pad when she stays with me and I see the difference in her behavior.

If you would like more info let me know.

Have a great week.

N. Marie

my daughter did the same thing when i was expecting, and when the baby was first born. They are starting to wane now although not completely and my baby is 4 and a half months old... its a process... and we discuss other ways to express our feelings ALOT!

D.,
This is very normal for his age. In fact, he may continue to throw tantrums here and there for the next couple of years. My son just turned four and his little temper will still flare up out of control every couple of months. I have learned a few things about keeping my son in check. Try to keep your son well fed (plenty of healthy little snacks throughout the day if needed), well-rested and well-exercised. Boys have a lot of raw energy, and if they cannot communicate and/or release their energy by running, biking, throwing or kicking a ball around, they get very frustrated. And always give him big kudos when he's behaving well...just good reinforcement! Good luck, hang in there.

Hi D.,
If your son has never shown any type of tantrum behavior before now, it is my guess it is his way of getting attention because of your pending new arrival. I'm sure you have talked to him in length about the new baby coming etc. and more than likely he is already feeling a bit nervous about it. Before your pregnancy, he got all the attention and now your growing tummy is the attention getter.

It is my experience that kids just don't all of a sudden start doing this. Most tantrum throwers start or show this kind of behavior before 2 1/2. He is still your perfect little guy, but just trying to deal with sharing you. Don't sweat it. Just do your best to assure him he will always be special because he was first born.

Think about it. How many times do people now go straight for your tummy, touch it and start asking questions about when you are due etc. Your son is smart and picks up on all that stuff.

Congratulations and Good luck to you and your growing family. Just remember the next time you see an expectant mommy with a child in tow talk to the child first. I can only imagine at times they must feel invisible.

L.

Try reading the book, Spirited Children. It helped me SO much!

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