Throw a Tantrum

Updated on January 03, 2011
C.Y. asks from San Jose, CA
11 answers

My chirld’s 2 years old. She often throws a tantrum in recent two months. She rarely got angry before, but now she’s always against me. If I call him to wash her hands, she says “No”; and call him to go to bed, she says “No”, even I say you are a good girl, she will reply: I am not a good girl. She will cry or carry on if we do not do what she wants us to do, she won't listen to whatever I say . I don’t know what to do. Do all the children at this age act like this?

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answers from Chicago on

Welcome to the joy of having a toddler! This too shall pass. Hang in there and ignore her tantrums while guiding her on how to deal with her agressions and feelings.

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answers from Norfolk on

Classic two-year old behavior. My daughter, who just turned 3, is full-throttle into the contrariness. Like your daughter, she will contradict us even when we are giving her a compliment! That is perfectly normal. She is practicing being independent, which is a good thing. You just have to decide what your "house rules" are, and consistently enforce them. If she throws a tantrum, crying and carrying on, pick her up and put her in her room. Stay with her in there if you want, you just want her to see that there is a place where she can go to have a fit. Later, if the tantrums continue, you can just send her to her room and tell her "You may leave your room when you can cooperate/wash your hands/brush your teeth/stop screaming." I used to worry that my kids would "associate" their room with punishment and then not want to go to bed in their rooms. This has not happened. This is a 100% normal milestone. It sucks, but you'll get through it. I have heard professionals call the years when kids are 2 and 3 "the first adolescence" and I think that's wonderfully appropriate. Just like teenagers, your daughter wants to "fly free" but she doesn't have the tools to do it. Your job as a mom is to help her through a tough time and guide her towards being a responsible member of society. Don't let her be the boss of the house; just like a teenager, she is seeking boundaries and she wants to know that you will love her even when you don't like her!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Perfectly normal and I am right there with you! My son is 27 months old and has been having tantrums over the last month. I can't wait for this phase to end. I have to say that after a few of them you kind of figure out what works best and what doesn't. You will also start to notice what kind of things will produce a tantrum from your daughter.

What works best for me and my son, I give him warnings when it is time to do something. For example "Eli, in two minutes when I'm done with the dishes, I'm going to change your diaper." On my way to his room to get his diaper, "Okay Eli I'll be right back with your diaper." Diaper changing is a big fight for me. I praise him when he lets me change him with no hassle, and without reminding him that he gets a reward for good behavior. He got a dinosaur bank for Christmas and when he acts well, I will give him a few pennies to put in there. He loves it!

Also, if you don't want to hear her say no, don't ask her a question. Give her a choice, "Daughter, it's time to put on your jammies. Do you want to wear the princess ones or the flower ones?".....etc. Toddlers realize at this stage that they have little control over their lives. I like to give my son choices and this seems to help.

Another thing that has worked wonderfully for me at bedtime is setting a timer. I have a timer on my phone that I set for 10 minutes and tell my son as soon as it goes off, it's time to go read stories, or whatever. It works really well most of the time :) (Last night it didn't work and he dragged his feet the whole way to his room, while screaming).

Dr Sears has a wonderful book called the Discipline Book.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

It is normal and it will pass. But it will pass much faster if you take an attitude of "We don't do tantrums". If you are at home. Ignore her. Completely. Pretend you don't see or hear.

If you are out in public, pick them up, take them home, put them to bed. If someone you know starts to baby talk to them and give them extra attention, tell them to STOP.

You say your child is 2. But the year of 2 brings a LOT of changes. They may go into it a little darling that doesn't completely understand. But they are little sponges and soaking up everything from vocabulary, to learning how to push your buttons, to desiring to please. Kids really do want to please us and if we give them half a chance, they will. If your child is 2.5 or closer to 3, this phase can be ended very quickly by putting her in her room or sitting her at the table with nothing to do. I am not really talking about time out. I'm just saying, put her someplace, make her stay, put her back when she gets up, and don't speak to her until she's done crying. When the tantrum is over, you can talk about what was wrong and tell her better ways to handle it.

They are full of emotions and trying to elicit a highly emotional response from you. So you need to make certain you are not becoming emotional and feeding into this.

Oh yeah...and if your daughter is old enough or advanced enough to say she's not a good girl, she's already well on her way to manipulation tactics. When she says that tell her that if she's not a good girl then she doesn't get to....fill in the blank with some activity she likes to do. It's NOT to early to ground her from something she likes and to remind her for a couple of days why she's not doing thus and so.

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answers from Denver on

They call it the "Terrible Two's" or a reason. This is very typical. My daughter became a "Terrible Two-er" at 2 years and 2 months, I can almost mark the day on the calendar, my boys were not as bad, they hit it closer to what I call the "Terrible Three's". Needless to say they are just taking time to learn their boundaries, and see what your limits are. Just stay consistent with all that you do, don't cave in, and compliment her efforts (sometimes just telling them they are good doesn't clarify what they have done to be a good girl so they don't believe you - make sense?)

You also need to come up with the most consistent thing you can think of as a consequence for the tantrums, because you can't let them think it is ok. With my first boy it was to put him in his room - he hated to be away from us so the tantrums did not last long. With my second boy I would send to the couch, he just hated to be in trouble period so it was torture to him. My daughter is in it right now and we haven't totally come up with a consequence for her yet - but we will figure it out just like the other two.

The biggest thing is to keep your cool and not waver.

It takes all kids different amounts of time and as frustrating as it is, it does pass, I promise.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Mine sure did. I think they are asserting a bit of independence.
Mine would say no but then do it anyway after a min wait. LOL it was cute.

As far as the crying. I used to put them in their room and say I don't want to hear it. If you are going to throw a fit do it in your room. Come out when you are calm.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Our first daughter was pleasantly agreeable, no tantrums...our second daughter that is now 2 is completely different. She knows that she can't get away with tantrums with me because mommy will put her in timeout, but with daddy she will tell him no, scream, fall to the floor, throw toys, hit him with her fist and with toys...etc. He asks me why don't the kids misbehave like that with me and i told him because they know mom is not to be toyed

I always come down to the child's level to talk to them, at times give them the choice of options ( which top do you want to wear the yellow or pink, do you want carrots or peas, do you want to wash your hands in the kitchen or bathroom?) With the options in the beginning now our 2 yr old will wash her hands any where and do just about anything I ask because its not always a command. Of course not everything is an option only those few things above. They just want some type of control as they are growing to establish some independence.

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answers from Dallas on

Yep - they are developing their own personalities and want to do more on their own, be in charge of their lives as much as they can. I definitely agree with reading "Happiest Toddler on the Block" and "Love and Logic" - great stuff!

The idea is to help your child learn to make good choices, and to give them SOME control over their lives (cause they really don't have any). Start giving your daughter the opportunity to make choices in areas that don't matter to YOU (what she wears, what she does first, who does something - like "do you want to wash your hands or do you want mommy to?"), etc. It helps them feel more in control, teaches them to make choices. It's pretty neat :)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bakersfield on

My sister just realized this morning that her two year old wasn't acting out anymore. It was a wonderful shock to her. I contributed it to the fact that she kept her daught on a tight scheudle and always did things the same way. Used the same words when talking through the tantrums and always tried to give her daughter a heads up on what was expected. It took some time but it's worth it. Be consistant!



answers from Detroit on

In a nutshell, yes. Some are more persistent and strong-willed than others but all kids at this age are starting to assert their independence however they can to some degree and trying to see how much they can control. Sometimes age 3 is worse than 2!

I would check out books like "Toddler 411" , "The Happiest Toddler on the Block", "Parenting with Love and Logic", and similar, that are about toddler behavior, discipline, and child development. They can help you to understand what is normal, and how are some ways to deal with it.



answers from Houston on

oh the terrible 2s how fustrating and normal it is. mine is just starting the no phase. do you want to sleep in your bed no do you want to sleep with mom no do you want to sleep with bubba no do you want to sleep by yourself no do you want to sleep on the couch no do you want to sleep on the floor no do you want to sleep in the trash can(cause by this time I know what the answer will be and have to humor myself ) no. is no the only word you know no. do cats fly no. do you want to wear this shirt no do you want to pick out your own shirt no. do you want to go without a shirt no. welcome to the no club. :) humor youself with it instead of getting mad. ask her dumb questions that you know will be no and you will get your answer no. :) enjoy it it doesnt last long.

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