1.5 yo tantrums, help please!

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Post  Thu, May 31 2012, 2:04 pm
MY 1.5 yo DD is generally well behaved. However, sometimes when I tell her she can't do or have something she completely loses it. I never know in advance what things will upset her - sometimes I tell her no and she is fine and other times, she screams until she literally froths at the mouth and she won't stop until she simply has no more strength.

She doesn't even seem to care so much about what triggered it because once she is done crying she doesn't even ask for what she wanted before. She simply acts as if nothing happened, takes a drink and cuddles with me and then goes to play happily.

I have tried everything during the tantrum - ignoring her, holding her, talking to her and saying "we don't scream, we talk. Tell mommy what you want." (she is ka"h very verbal and has no problem expressing herself) and even giving her the item she wanted (I just did this as a trial, but she wouldn't even take it from me!), andnothing works.

It seems like once she gets upset she needs to scream it out until its over, but that's a terrible trait to have when she is older! Is this something she will outgrow? How should I handle it when she has a melt-down?
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Post  Thu, May 31 2012, 2:19 pm
disclaimer- don't have kids yet, but it totally sounds like normal behavior to me Smile
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Post  Thu, May 31 2012, 8:04 pm
Tantrums are such 'tricky' things - as adults we do it is particularly difficult, as we do not know what sets off our children. Your DD is fine - and this is all very developmental for her - and she will outgrow it - I promise Smile

Being a year and a half is hard work - she is exploring her world, realizing that she has control over others (especially during a tantrum), finding her words, communicating with others - very hard work! She is normal and it sounds like you are doing a fabulous job as a mommy - keep ignoring her tantrums OP - she will grow out of them by 2 Smile
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Post  Fri, Jun 01 2012, 11:48 am
amother wrote:
It seems like once she gets upset she needs to scream it out until its over, but that's a terrible trait to have when she is older! Is this something she will outgrow? How should I handle it when she has a melt-down?

Don't worry about when she's older. If she didn't scream and tantrum now, that would be abnormal. Ever heard of the "terrible twos"? They often start at 1.5.

Just ignore. Wait for her to calm down. Sometimes after a few minutes you'll see that she needs some help calming, so just go over to her and ask if she wants a hug, or if she wants to sit on mommy's lap, or whatever. But that won't work until she's over the hump of the tantrum. Mostly, just ignore, stay calm, don't show any frustration, and know that this is completely completely normal. Hey, my four year old still "tantrums" at times -- still developmentally normal. My two year old has been doing it for a while already. Has nothing to do with what they'll be like when they're older, any more than a baby who likes to play with her food is going to turn into an adult who eats like a pig, or a preschooler who says "no" is going to turn into a contrary adult who doesn't listen to authority. These are all completely developmentally appropriate. It's what kids these ages do.
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Post  Fri, Jun 01 2012, 3:52 pm
It's just a normal stage. My DD is also 1 1/2, very verbal, and generally reasonable, but we do have tantrums. I think they can be minimized, though, by not getting into too many power struggles and saving "no" for when it's really necessary. Sometimes it won't work and you have a tantrum anyway, but many times she'll just accept the answer and move on calmly. For example, earlier today we left the house to go on an errand. Our destination was to the left, the playground is to the right, and I was letting DD walk because it was less than a block. So of course she starts pulling to the right and saying "Park! Park!" I crouched down to her and said "You want park. First we're going ______, then we'll have lunch, and maybe after lunch we go to the park." She thought for a few seconds and then said "First _____" and followed me in the right direction. Whew, I got lucky that time - but still, if I'd just said "No" I doubt there would have even been a chance. Often she'll accept it better if you give a reasonable alternative. She says "Read more book" and instead of "no" I say "More book after pajamas." And if she cries for a few minutes even then, well she sees that I meant business when I said it was pajama time. When the crying stops, we get into pajamas and then read the book. Eventually she learns that's the way it goes.
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Post  Sat, Jun 02 2012, 7:23 pm
OP here-
Thank you for the replies! I guess I got nervous because my son never did this. The first time he tantrumed, I walked out of the room and ignored it and he never did it again. My daughter is my second child and ignoring the tantrum didn't work for her. Maybe it's a girl thing?

I do try not to say no too often, but she doesn't only tantrum over a no. Today, we were in the park and she was on the swing. She asked me to take her out and as I was lifting her out, she got very upset. I asked her if she wanted to stay in and she said no. So, I asked her if she wanted to come out and she said no! She began to cry and I tried to figure out what she wanted, but I couldn't. I ended up moving her to the side where she could scream until she was over it. (Interestingly, she doesn't lay on the floor or kick etc. She stands perfectly still and screams and cries and froths and slobbers all over...but she doesn't move.)
Afterward, I asked her why she had been crying and she told me: "don't want it!" The only thing I could come up with is that my son went on the swing when she came out and I think that she didn't want to go on the swing, but she didn't want him to go on either!
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