Help My Son Is Out of Control!!

Updated on March 08, 2010
S.F. asks from Cincinnati, OH
13 answers

My son is going to be 2 in June abd he is already throwing his trantrums. What can i do besides give in to detour or reflect this situation?

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answers from Cincinnati on

Watch Supernanny. He needs some 2 minute time outs, where you are not reacting to his tantrums but remaining calm and not giving him the attention he wants when he is behaving badly. But give him the attention when he is acting appropriately. The show portrays this example very well. And it works!

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answers from Cincinnati on

hi -
as B said you really want to avoid giving in - this will only teach him that he can get waht he wants through temper tantrums. Temper Tantrums are normal at this age. here are some tips from

Tackling Tantrums ... some useful tricks and tactics

Every child will throw a tantrum at some point, but there are ways to deal with tantrum episodes and prevent them from happening again...
• Toddler-proof your home by placing dangerous or breakable things out of reach.
• Have clear routines to your child’s day; for example regular lunch, nap, bath and bedtimes.
• Plan ahead, keeping an eye on frustration levels so you can step in before they go over the top.
• Provide lots of opportunities for your child to let off steam every day –running around outside or at the playground, or dancing to music.
• Give children some control and choice over what to eat, wear or play with.
• Use distractions and diversions for as long as they work – a new toy, a changed activity, a song or game.
• As children reach pre-school age, talk to them about how you want them to behave in different situations and have clear, simple rules .

If tantrums do happen...
Even with all these strategies in place, you’re unlikely to have a totally tantrum-free life – so it makes sense to have a few ideas up your sleeve for how to deal with them.

For a minor episode...
1) Try ignoring it, by walking into another room or just carrying on with your own tasks
2) Use calming techniques to lower your own stress levels – deep breathing, relaxing your muscles, positive talk inside your head: ‘I will keep calm’.
3) If ignoring your child hasn’t worked, try jollying him out of his bad mood. Say something like, ‘Time to stop now – I’ll count to 10’, then give plenty of praise and cuddles if the tantrum stops.
4) If you’re at the mall, it’s sometimes best to just pick up your child and go outside to cut down your embarrassment.

For a really major tantrum, different tactics are needed...
1) Speak calmly, saying, ‘I’m here, I won’t let you hurt yourself’.
2) Hold your child tightly, preferably making eye contact.
3) Sometimes you just have to weather the storm till your child calms down.
4) A time out can help with over-3s if you find it impossible to stay calm. Time out involves putting your child somewhere safe but boring (for example, his stroller) for a couple of minutes. It should never be forced in anger and isn’t really understood by under-3’s. It may work best for parents to take it themselves!
Top tips for cutting down tantrums
1) Aim for some happy, relaxed times every day – reading a story, visiting the park, playing a game.
2) Show a good example by remaining calm when times are stressful. This encourages your toddler to do the same.
3) Cut down negatives – constantly saying ‘No’ will add to a toddler’s frustration. Instead, use phrases like ‘later’, or ‘after lunch’.
4) Keep aware of new stresses (potty training, starting daycare) that may need more sympathy.
5) Respect your child’s feelings. Feeling understood will reduce your child’s need for tantrums. Try saying, ‘I know that makes you mad’, or ‘That must have made you feel sad’. Your child will see that their feelings matter and can gradually learn to put them into words, saying “I’m angry” instead of acting it out.
6) Use positive parenting – reward your child with plenty of praise attention for behavior you do want, trying to ignore as much as possible behavior you don’t.
7) Avoid harsh discipline – shouting and punishments only make tantrums worse.
8) Use humor to defuse tricky situations – silly songs, laughter, making a game of tidying toys can all work brilliantly! A hug or a tickle at the right moment can also change a child’s mood.
Most children do grow out of the need for tantrums when they have more language and understanding. But the way you deal with them in the toddler years is important. If they are handled harshly, with responses like yelling and smacking, or if you constantly ignore your child’s feelings and need for comfort, they may well become worse and carry on for longer.

See for more ideas

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The tantrums seemingly never stop at my house between my headstrong 3 1/2 yr and almost 2 yr olds. I simply try to minimize the tantrums as much as possible by making sure they aren't hungry, overtired or over-no'd. All three of these lead to extra for us so I try to stick to an eat/sleep schedule and make sure they have plenty free play in back yard or at park to explore in a safe place. Inevitably there are going to be tantrums (usually when leaving said park!) I just do as several patient souls below recommended and ignore them as long as they are safe and not destructive. Many people recommend distracting them with something else but mine are very focused and determined tantrum throwers. I just don't give in and do my best to stay calm and give no attention. Very hard at times especially when you are tired yourself! If we are having a tough day I make sure to turn on some upbeat music and hope it infuses us all. As for errands I do my best to time them right after eating and when they are rested and i keep them short. Still, there is no avoiding the humiliation in the store at some point. I have a great friend with same aged kids and we will trade off kids to do errands to keep the stress down. Or pick things up for each other, Helps a lot during this age!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

"Ignore the behavior, not the child" is what I've always been told and I think it works for the most part. There will be tantrums sometimes. If he's getting a reaction out of you, even if he's not getting what he wants, the tantrums will continue. If you go about your business without even raising your voice, just politely saying no or take the object away, then he'll realize he's wasting his energy. Be consistent, don't yell, don't get upset, just ignore it. When the tantrum stops don't keep ignoring him, just act like it never happened and move on.

By the way I've heard the terrible twos start at the age of 1 because it is their second year of life. My daughter just turned 2 and the tantrums started a while ago, but now she's actually better behaved than 6 mos ago.

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answers from Youngstown on

do not give in when tantrums are the issue. be consistant. assign a time out space where you can sit him for 2 minutes. be firm, not mean but he needs guidelines and behavior should be taught. early.



answers from Canton on

My daughter will be 2 soonand we've noticed a change in temperment as well. At home when I've seen one coming on I give her a choice (limited to two things), redirect her (ask her to bring me something put something away etc). I think she really doesn't have the verbal skills to express herself well but about 1/2 the time I think she wants to help or have my attention. That being said there are timed that a tantruum is unavoidable; talking and redirecting hasn't work. When at home I let her tantruum and ignore her. When I notice her calming down I say something positive or address the issue that was a problem. For some of the tantruum my husband has taken to removing her from the situation (picking her up to her room) until she is calmer.
In public I do a lot of redirecting, some giving in, and asking her if she aNts to leave becAuse of her behavior if we are doing something she seems to be enjoying.
But I suppose this is another "welcome to parenthood" phase and is inevitae as they don't have the words to express themselves ans they want to start doing more and more In dependently



answers from Portland on

A young child's life is pretty constantly managed, and often abruptly manipulated, limited and controlled by parents and caretakers, schedules and circumstances.

Some children can accept all this management without too much distress. Some find it incredibly frustrating. Too much frustration (which the child did not choose to feel) quite logically results in tantrums, pouting, hitting or passive collapse. In the case of tantrums, parents may believe it necessary to add an additional frustrating layer of discipline, which usually translates as "punishment."

You don't say what kind of situations result in your son's blowups, but since that behavior seldom occurs without some situation that provokes it, can I assume that he is often reacting to your requests, demands, rules and restrictions?

If that's the case, can you consider life from his perspective? There may be ways you can reduce the conflict and clashes by simplifying his days, planning ahead when you need to meet a schedule, giving him advance notice when he'll need to let go of an activity he's enjoying, participate cheerfully with him when you want him to complete a task (probably won't take any more time than dealing with a tantrum), and keep as much humor and fun in your days as possible (this will enrich your parenting experience, too!).

Do allow for the fact that your little guy is still very, very young, and will not have much sustained self-control for quite a few years yet. Be very steady and patient. You will need to repeat the same lessons over and over. And over. It's not his fault he has so little experience with life.

Sometimes your son might melt down simply because he's tired, hungry, or can't accomplish some new goal he's set for himself. In those cases, be prepared to help him find words for his feelings. Your empathy and coaching will eventually give him alternatives to tantrums.

Except for those occasional kids who are truly challenged by emotional disorders, children truly do want to be happy. Even the most negative behavior is actually a mistaken strategy to find greater happiness.

All kids need better alternatives modeled by someone with more experience with life – like a loving parent. Almost every child can be drawn slowly into patterns that will make the whole family happier. This requires awareness and attention by the adults in his life, and sometimes retraining of habits even the best-intentioned parents can so easily fall into, like impatience, yelling, and allowing the child's negative behavior to "work" sometimes. Inconsistency on your part will guarantee that his challenging behavior will go on longer.


answers from Norfolk on

Avoid giving in. It only makes things worse in the long run. They quickly learn to use it to get their way, they do it more and more often, and then you have to de-program a little monster. If you are in public, take him to the car and if he can't calm down, take him home. When my son was that age, we didn't go too many places. When he pitched a fit, I'd haul him off to his room and sat him in my lap in his rocking chair until the storm was over. He'd usually be over tired to get into such a state in the first place. If we were good about taking naps, we could minimize the melt downs.



answers from South Bend on

Welcome to the world of 2-year-olds! We tend to start this behavior around 18 months, so be thankful yours waited! I have seven beautiful girls and have a time line for children! You love them to death until about 18 months and then ask whose kid is this until their about 4 1/2, then their great until about 10 (for girls anyways). Then you wish they would sit down and just be quiet! From 10 until teens you can't wait for them to leave (lol)! I love my children and they are the light of my world but there are seasons we go through with them (which I would not trade for the world!) Just remember they grow so fast and are gone before you know it! Treasure every moment and remember the tantrums will not last forever! Redirect as much as possible and definitely find a place when the tantrums begin! I agree with ignorning the behavior but not the child and when the tantrum is over plenty of love and hugs!!! I hope this helps!



answers from Dallas on

When he throws a tantrum, do NOT give in. That is what fuels the tantrums, if you give in he will know that it works. Screaming will get him what he wants, so why stop? What has worked for us is ignoring the tantrum. My daughter got no special attention when she acted like that, and she certainly never got what she was screaming for. Once they figure out that it doesn't get them what they want, they will stop trying.


answers from Cincinnati on

Time outs are a beautiful thing. It helps keep them in check. They're not just for "punishment" but also if the child is just a bit out of control. Good luck!



answers from Jacksonville on

At about 16 months we started the tantrum room. I would pick up my daughter and place her in the tantrum room, the living room, and say Tantrum room, you stay here until you are finished. Then I walked away. By that Christmas, at 20 months, she picked herself up and laid down on the living room floor and screamed her head off. I ignored it.



answers from Kansas City on

I tell my daughter I cant understand her when she does that and ignore it until it stops. It's hard to ignore, but if they arent getting a reaction, they'll quit. I had a friend who did it at a store and her mom looked at her, said "i cant wait until your mother gets here!" then walked away. She freaked out, got off the floor, and followed her mother, not throwing another fit in a store. This might not work for every child, but it worked for her. Good luck, hon, these fits are unfortunate!

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