Toddler Temper Tantrums! Is This the Way It’s Always Going to Be? My Story + Some Help for Sufferers! (Painful Video To.)
Toddler Temper Tantrums! Is This the Way It’s Always Going to Be? My Story + Some Help for Parents! (Painful Video To.)
My sweethearts are 14 months and 3.5 weeks old. I so want them to stay here a little while longer. WAH!!!
My twins have entered the exciting and chaotic world of toddler hood only a couple short months ago, and while one has remained pretty sweet from day 1, the other is quite the little handful.
I won’t say the quote un quote ‘good one’ is the easiest baby on the planet. She’s very clingy and needy, with me anyway. Yeah, no daddy girls here. They are ALL for mommy!
But she’s honestly as good as I could have hoped for, and if she cries you know she needs something, and you jump just a little faster and a little higher. I’m sure moms of multiples know what I mean when I say that, as usually there is one twin that is just more difficult to handle then the other.
Much like the common Jekyll and Hyde scenerio, we have two babies and two sides to every story. We have the complete opposite side of the coin…my Annaliese. Oh when she smiles boy do you want to eat her up, but when she starts screaming and throwing her body around for no reason at all, you want to pull your hair out.
This screaming part of her personality has being going on for many, many, months now, and we had to even have her checked out by specialists because even the pediatrician himself said that it was not normal for her to be crying so much. We thought maybe something was medically wrong with her, but nope!
I heard my whole pregnancy, and was deeply looking forward to it, about how twins entertain each other, and it makes it all so much easier on mom by this point, and if that is true what is the deal over here? I mean sometimes they play for a minute, but usually are on opposite sides of the room. Annie still bullies her. She’s a bully by nature, and I pray that passes.
Both demand a heck of a lot of attention, and for some reason choose me over everybody else to give it to them. I am feeling quite bad for my other children right now, but I know things will get better in this respect, and I should eat it up while I can. I’m smart enough to know that. Having twins alone at this point would seem like a breeze to me, but I digress…
I understand wanting attention, but when you take the crying to another level and throw all out tantrums at only a year old, does that mean I’m in big, big, trouble come the ‘terrible twos’ or in my mind the worse ‘tumultuous threes?’
I’m praying it’s possible for the personality to turn in a good way, but am not completely sure. This one, (Annie-bug), would be a handful without the second twin. Good thing she’s so darned cute, is all I ever say to everybody.
Tantrums PLUS evil behavior?
She will bang her head against the wall at times and laugh. She bullies other kids by slapping or clawing at them in the face when they come up close to look at her. She makes evil grunting noises when she does this, or laughs aloud. This disturbs me greatly. She got my face good yesterday. Memory serves me well enough to know I have not been in this place before.
I thought most all 13,14 mo olds were still in the polite phase of babyhood, and if any bad behavior was to happen, it would be later on down the line, but I have been proven quite wrong. Tantrums can start this early. Annie is proof of it! Don’t ever think that tantrums are reserved for the terrible two’s and up, oh no. After researching this, I see I am not alone.
Kids just get close to say, ‘Hi or ‘She’s so cute’, and lately…they get it. She just goes smacking at their faces if she can reach them. I tried to get a picture of her and Mikayla in the photo booth at Chuck E. Cheese, cause really you can only get two people well at a time, and I captured the hair pull on camera.
She got angry and refused to stay still for the picture, and grabbed at Mikayla’s hair taking a chunk of it literally out her her head. I walked it over to my husband and he couldn’t believe she did that, and that it was real hair in my hand. Poor Mikayla. This one has a hair pulling fetish. She has gotten me before to, and let me say, ‘OUCH!!’
Unless of course it’s bad, she seems to laugh when she falls and should cry, and just has a mean streak I am praying there is still a chance of fading away. Any hope in sight here?
Let’s talk about what toddler tantrums are, and how to handle them:
1) MOST toddlers will throw tantrums at some point. (Encouraging to hear.)
2) Frustration Tantrums.
Tantrums are sometimes caused by the frustration they feel from not being able to verbalize their wants and desires, so they use this extreme form of expression to get help and/or attention, and boy does it ever get attention. Sometimes they are just venting as we do, but in a much different way.
3) Manipulative tantrums
These are a different kind of tantrum, NOT caused by frustration, but it’s a tantrum where they are trying to get a certain response and an end result from you, that makes them happy, and throwing the tantrum gets them that result.
Be it your picking them up and getting all of your attention, getting a particular toy or food that they want, getting you to allow them to do something they want to do, but will not let them.
Later on it may be triggered from something like they might want a toy or object while you’re in the grocery store which you refuse to buy. You have to be able to differentiate between the two types of tantrums, and work at helping the child deal with them in the proper way.
When they get their way time and again, they repeat. Yes even sweet faced toddlers can manipulate, so ignoring and/or walking away from the tantrum is a good way of saying, ‘It doesn’t bother me, and it isn’t working.’ Of course it is truly bothering you deeply, but when they don’t think the behavior is getting through to you, the behavior will likely stop or at least lessen.
This is only good advice during certain tantrums. Make sure all other things have been ruled out, needs met, etc. FIRST! If your baby is screaming because she is thirsty, or her diaper is overly wet, THAT is another story. You certainly will learn as you go.
The ignoring thing, and walking away, is the same thing as with a bully at school. React to them with sadness and/or fear and continue to be bullied. Stop reacting and act completely unaffected, ignoring them..the bullying stops. It works in both cases!
Of course it is far harder to walk away from your precious child, though sometimes it might just be necessary. (They have to be in a completely safe place, of course.)
4) Mommy meltdowns.
It’s easy to get temperamental yourself, but a shouting match with a small child does you no good! It scares the child himself, and will only reinforce their behavior. Like they say, bad attention is still attention. Besides, you don’t want your child to fear you. Respect is one thing, being frightened is another.
5) Don’t take the toddler tantrums to heart. It isn’t personal.
A toddler throwing tantrums is not your fault. It does not make you a bad parent or have anything to do with you whatsoever. (What a relief.) When little ones are fighting for independence is when the tantrums begin to flare.
This makes sense as Annie already fights for her independence, and does not like to be held down or limited in any way. She thinks she is twice her size, and over twice her age. When you try to restrict or even contain her in a car seat or stroller, she goes insane. Those things are necessity though.
6) Know the triggers.
Understand them, and if possible avoid them. As time goes on I guess I will be able to identify them all better, however I am quickly learning. But for a parent who has suffered through such tantrums for awhile, you should be able to take notice of various triggers.
If you notice your child getting hungry, go and feed him or her before the storm hits. If you notice he or she is cranky and tired, get him ready for bed before she gets over-tired, which makes crankiness that much worse. If the child is over-stimulated, take some of the external stimuli away.
If they are under-stimulated & bored, play a game of Peek A Boo, or hand them a couple of pots and pans with a large spoon to divert frustration elsewhere, and make baby happy, as these emotions seem to be able to turn on a dime, and go from tears to smiles quite quickly.
If you get frustrated, or the tantrums come from seemingly nowhere without cause and all of your childs’ needs are met, and it isn’t frustration related….walk away!
This can be a very difficult time, and not only are you doing like it says above, saying that certain types of tantrums are not encouraged and should not occur so I’m not paying you any mind, but you are clearing your own mind. A frustrated angry parent absolutely needs a breather. Pace it off. They will NOT hate you.
7) Keep your head on straight. Forget about what other people may think.
Don’t worry about strangers, and what they are thinking of you. You aren’t to blame. When my child or children scream in public I always get on the defensive thinking, ‘Oh my God these people think I’m a terrible parent because this is happening.’
First off…DON’T CARE what people are thinking, but know that they most definitely are NOT thinking that, and if they are, they have problems of their own, and likely aren’t parents themselves, because WE understand when we see those things happening. We feel for the mother or father going through it.
Yes, there might be certain people thinking, ‘Glad she’s not mine,’ like was even said to my face with Mikayla, but it is NOT a reflection of you as a parent. People are either going to be understanding or ignorant in this life. You have to learn to remain unaffected, and do for your family.
Of course if you are in a Church service or at a movie, and your child is making a ton of noise screaming, then you must take the child out of that element for the sake of other people. But most people do realize that ALL babies/children cry, and it might be in aisle 12 of the supermarket…That is NOT your fault.
Should you do what I have seen before and pull your child up by his arm and drag him across the floor to the exit screaming in what is likely to be pain, THEN you will be looked at as a bad parent, no question. I have seen these parents and even reported some events, if I feel it’s warranted.
Shelly don’t play where that stuff is concerned. I don’t believe in, nor will ever condone violence against children. Handle things in a compassionate way, though frustration, even embarrassment is common and normal, and those feelings don’t make you a bad parent, I assure you.
I understand getting so frustrated you want to to bow your head like I dream of Jeanie, and return back to the homestead STAT, but hitting, dragging, or hurting a child in any way is not going to help the situation, but make them afraid of you and scar them for life. That is when people will look at you.
Anybody who is also a mom will be understanding towards your plight. Don’t get super sensitive in public places. Babies do cry. Tantrums do happen. You aren’t a bad mommy.
Act cool in public and keep a level head on. Your child can sense your emotions, and will eventually respond to that. Hang in there! This gives me some hope. I’m putting my own advice to good use starting today.
See, I’m the mom who runs to a crying baby for everything all of the time. I can’t but for a minute or two handle the ’cry it out’ thing. Yes, even with twins. With one forget about it? Coddle, coddle, coddle, and we have paid the price for that, believe me.
Even that couple of minutes makes me want to vomit, I feel so ill inside, even if does reap positive results. Those who know me, know this. Now on this occasion in the video below, Annaliese was put in her pen which is the entire living room for Pete’s sake, no small ‘cage’. No restricted little circle. I was feeding Allie because she had been napping and missed ‘lunch time.’
Usually I would give Annie a cookie and leave her beside her, but she was going all red faced trying desperately to break free from the high chair, and at this point I had no help, so she needed to stay where she was safe and could play. Allie had napped and now needed to eat to, so it was the only thing to do. Annie went from smiles to a total grouch in about 3 seconds.
This is what it looks like, and for somebody like me seemingly ignoring her for these few minutes hurt deeply, though I’ll admit I did not fully ignore her. I snuck in at a couple of points in time, but it didn’t do much good. She didn’t seem to even want me.
Her arms were flapping and flailing when I went to pick her up, so I retreated back to Allie who was crying because she was hungry. Annaliese doesn’t nap well at all. I think it’s a big part of the problem. Something that needs to be worked on.
*Making this tore me into pieces. Don’t think me heartless for doing & showing this, but I wanted to see who can relate, or give strength to those who do. Maybe we can draw support from one another. I can’t even re-watch this after editing. It’s too hard for me, but it’s such a big part of our lives now.
I always show the good in all of my videos & I guess it’s time to be real, that it isn’t ALL roses. There are daily challenges. If you face them..you are not alone. This was just heartbreaking for me though. A toddler tantrum in action*
Things that may help.
1) Attachment parenting.
Holding your baby/toddler close, and giving them a feeling of love and safety as often as humanly possible, which while juggling multiples is hard, but giving each child his or her own personal time with you, helps create inner peace and helps to minimize tantrums.
If the child rejects your affections in the heat of a particular moment in time, don’t feel badly, as what happened to me on the day of the tantrum in the video. Just walk away! Don’t yell, don’t curse, just be in her sights, and let her work it out. If you can find no other problems that you can help her with that may be the trigger, there is little you can do.
Do try close body contact and a soothing tone of voice 1st though, if a tantrum should happen, and always be affectionate. It may help prevent them or stop one in its tracks, God willing.
2) Know what sets your baby off.
If it’s boredom create something fun for him or her to do, or become the fun yourself. You are the most interesting person in the world to your child. If they need more sleep, work better on a napping schedule, and an overnight routine, to help your baby get the right amount of sleep.
Just like adults get grouchy when they don’t catch enough ZZZ’s , so do toddlers. They just don’t realize they need it as much as we know we do. They feel like when they are sleeping the are ‘missing’ something. Work on this as best you can, if there are sleep issues involved.
If its possibly from being surrounded by too much chaos, remove the child from all of the commotion. Some kids are set off by too much stimuli in their environments, and find it hard to process it all. Take them out of that element and into a more peaceful one. That just may help an overwhelmed tot.
3) Stay calm.
Fake it if you must, but don’t let your child see that he’s won and is getting a reaction from you. They know fairly early in life how to get what they want, and how to push buttons. That is why God made them so stinkin’ adorable. Learn how to read your child and help him appropriately without tension.
If he’s frustrated help him, if he’s cranky, get him a sippy cup with some milk or juice, but don’t blow your top! Calm and mellow parents, make for less stressed, and more calm children, as kids are often a product of their environment.
Yes sometimes it’s just part of their personality, but you can break this nasty habit, with compassion, strength, intelligence about triggers, walk away when you need to, even though it’s hard, and never fight back with your child.
In my personal opinion now matter how old your child or children are, it is always best to walk away before you ever say or do anything you might regret. It’s important to keep yourself together, and know ‘This to, shall pass’, and of course, ‘God never gives you more than you can handle’, which I have questioned at times, but honestly..he really doesn’t! It does not mean you won’t be tested, however!
Now twin tantrums? That’s a toughie. Triplet tantrums? Woe is me! Let’s all just pray they don’t happen simultaneously very often, if at all. If they ever do, do be sure to have some support around you, or call for some if need be. Get the husband to step in. Hey he’s half the reason they are there .
Have a good one folks. Remember you are not alone. We will get through this together!