Thursday, May 8, 2014

Taming the Tantrums (One Year and Beyond Part One!)

It's finally here! The first in our series "One Year and Beyond" is about taming the tantrums. Fun, fun, right? I am so excited to be a part of this group of toddler mamas sharing our experiences together! I am by no means a pro, especially when it comes to tantrums, but I'm more than happy to share with you some of the methods that have worked for us!

I used to think that if I responded correctly and was consistent in training my daughter, she would never ever throw a temper tantrum.
 Boy was I wrong! 
(This heartbreaking face was in response to the IPAD dying and me taking it from her to recharge it. Her tantrum face is absolutely pitiful...adorable, but sad all in one. It's almost too much to handle!) 

The tantrums started with a bang right after she turned one. They began with a little back arch and screech and developed into full blown wailing, body on the floor, limbs thrashing, my life is over kind of deal.

The first few times I hoped it was a phase, but all too soon I realized it was something we were going to be dealing with for a while. 

It is hard for me to admit that my sweet innocent little baby isn't quite so innocent anymore. It's quite the testimony to what the Bible calls our "sin nature"! I didn't teach her how to throw these tantrums or how to be disobedient, it is part of her nature.

That being said, I have learned to be understanding and patient with my daughter when she is throwing a tantrum, recognizing that it is usually because she doesn't understand why she can't have what she wants, is tired, hungry, or even teething. 

Even though I may understand why she is throwing a tantrum, I still do not tolerate it. The only way she will learn that throwing tantrums is not how we deal with life is if I teach that to her. That's quite the responsibility. Have you ever seen an adult throwing a tantrum? I have. It's a little more sophisticated, but just as ridiculous. That is why I believe it is in my daughter's best interest for me to "tame" her temper tantrums. I don't want her to be one of those tantrum throwing adults.

There are several ways that I respond to her tantrums, depending on the severity of the tantrum, and the reason she is throwing a tantrum. These are definitely not a "cure all" for tantrums. I know that every child is different and may respond differently to these methods. These are just the things that work for us at this point!

  • I ignore it. If she is just throwing a little fit because I won't give her something she wants, I simply do not respond to the tantrum. She has quickly learned that she doesn't get what she wants by crying, screaming, flailing etc. If it something she can have, I wait until the tantrum is over. Even if she's allowed to have the item she wants, I still don't give it to her until she stops throwing a fit and says please.
  •  I tell her "no" and discipline her if she is throwing a defiant tantrum in response to something I have told her to do or not to do. This one is the hardest for me, yet, I often have to put my feelings aside and recognize that it is in her best interest to learn that her actions have consequences. Sometimes even consequences that hurt. That being said, I have resolved never to act out of anger or frustration when it comes to disciplining her. 
  • I put her in her crib. If she is throwing a tantrum out of plain tiredness, I don't discipline her, but I tell her that if she doesn't stop throwing a fit, she is going to bed. She often stops her fit. If she doesn't, we put her in her crib until she either falls asleep or stops throwing a fit. Either way, she usually stops her fit within a few minutes of crib time. It's amazing how that works!
  • I spend time with her. I have come to learn that if I have been distracted a lot that day and not spent a lot of quality time with my daughter, she is much more likely to throw a tantrum! So if it's been that kind of day and I know she's just craving my attention, I often take that as a cue to stop what I'm doing and read her a book or just get on the floor and play with her. Typically if I can see a tantrum coming on and realize that she just needs attention, I try to give it to her before the actual tantrum. That way she is not getting my attention in response to her fit.
The one thing that all of these methods have in common is that I do not give in. Even one time of giving in leads her to believe that she will get what she wants by throwing a tantrum. It may be an unbearably long training phase, but in the end, I believe that is what's best for her, and that's why I respond the ways that I do!

What's your best tantrum tamer? I am looking forward to hearing some ideas from other great mamas as well when it comes to "taming the tantrums"!

Come link up with us every Thursday and share your wisdom. Also, come check out our mamas who have some wisdom of their own.
From Here to EternityWords About Waverly
my delicious adventure Photobucket
My Delicious Adventure                  The Life Of Faith
Running From The LawThe Olive Tree
Running From The Law             The Olive Tree          

May 8:          Taming the Temper Tantrums
May 15:        Weaning from Breastfeeding or From Formula to Cow’s Milk 
May 22:        Dealing with Mommy Guilt
May 29:        When People Share Their Opinions and How to Lovingly Handle it
June 5:         Traveling with your Toddler
June 12:       How to get your toddler to eat their veggies…or their food at all
June 19:       How to make time to blog in the busyness of motherhood
June 26:       Bedtime Battles (nap or bedtime)

Now it's time to link up your posts with us!

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And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


  1. Crib time is amazing isn't it? Evie is so much happier when she has some crib time. I think it's because they get to be alone for a bit and alone time is much needed for everyone :)

    1. Yes, yes it is! I think we all need a break sometimes ;)

  2. Good point, I think spending quality time is key to having fewer meltdowns/tantrums! Now that I think about it, when I spend lots of time playing and reading with Emerson, he has a much happier demeanor and is less likely to get upset about something [unless he's hungry of course]. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how to help calm a tantrum!

    1. Thanks Hannah! Yes, it's a good reminder of how much nurturing our kids really need!

  3. LOVE the last one! I've noticed that Mia is less likely to be ornery when she's had a fun interactive day with one of us, and it's even better when she gets both of us!
    You are such a good momma! I am sitting here nodding my head each time I start a new paragraph! I've had a hard time admitting that Mia isn't so innocent these days either :)

    1. Aww you are too sweet Courtney! Thank you :) Yes, it's hard not to just think everything our sweet babies do is adorable. I know it won't always be cute though!

  4. Great Post! I am right there with ya mama! I think it is great that you mentioned spending time with her. I think sometimes we don't realize that they are throwing tantrums not just for a toy or outraged about something. But simply for us to sit and be more engaging with them. Such a good reminder!

    1. Yes, there have been several times when I've noticed my daughter whining or throwing a fit just because I'm focused on something else and she wants my attention :) She knows how to get it, but it's important for me to spend that time with her and give her the attention she needs so she doesn't have to throw a fit to get it!

  5. I really think your last point is a big one. And it works not only with toddlers, but bigger kids as well. When my three and five year old are having tantrums this almost always helps calm them down and relax. Then after we've spent some quality time I can go back to what I was doing and they can as well. We all feel much better. Although I don't always choose that route, that's the best one.

    1. Thanks Leilani! Yes, it is often hard to quit what we are doing and spend that always happens right when you have to get something done, right? It works wonders though and makes everything less stressful :)

  6. Great post. I agree that wanting my attention is a big reason why my son has meltdowns. It usually happens when I'm distracted and telling him no. I like the idea of crib (alone) time. I might have to try that one.

    1. Thanks Sara! Yes, we don't do crib time very often because we aren't home a lot but sometimes in the evenings it can be a life saver for fits!

  7. We are in the midst of some very frequent runaway emotions, so these are great ideas! I've recently been working on ignoring the tantrum and also spending quality time with my son. Sometimes I feel as though the tantrum is attention related. I love the crib idea.

    1. Thanks Lauren! Yes, there are so many things to try when it comes to dealing with tantrums. I do think quality time is key for prevention though:)


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