What Works for Us: Diffusing Toddler Temper Tantrums

Tantrums are exhausting. They are embarrassing. They are at times debilitating to the whole family. But, unfortunately, they are a natural part of a child’s development.
FYI- This is actually a picture of Big Brother doing his “Big Smile”, not an actual temper tantrum. I don’t tend to grab my camera during those moments… :)

Around 18 months, children begin to get frustrated when they are unable to do things that they want to do (whether it is from physical limitations or us not complying with their every demand). Several months later, they might even begin to throw a tantrum out of defiance. Sound familiar? This is an everyday occurence in our house.

We have tried a variety of methods in an attempt to diffuse the meltdowns that occur around here. But the method I am about to share with you has been the most successful for us. Don’t get me wrong…we still have plenty of temper tantrums thrown, but at least we have a way to deal with them in an effective manner.

Basically, what we do when Big Brother begins to “throw a fit” is calmly tell him that he needs to go to his room until he is able to tell us what is upsetting him in a calm way. He must walk up the stairs and to his room, then sit to the side of his dresser until we either come get him or we tell him he can come down. That’s it.

We don’t tell him not to throw a fit, because obviously he is upset about something and is just trying to express his feelings. However, we try to give him time to settle down before explaining it to us (and give us a little time to diffuse ourselves). It is our job, as parents, to teach him to effectively deal with his feelings. And taking a little time out is good for everyone. Besides, fit throwing is a lot less enjoyable for a youngin’ without an audience!

We began using this method after reading Making Children Mind without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman. If you haven’t read this book, you should. It is honestly THE BEST parenting book I have read. This is the approach that he takes to dealing with tantrums in his book.

You might be thinking, “Well, that’s great to do when you’re at home, but what about when we’re at the grocery store or out other places?”

I honestly don’t have an answer {if you do…PLEASE leave a comment}. I personally grocery shop on the weekends when Prince Charming can stay with the kids during naptime while I head to the store. It is a lot less stress this way. When we leave someplace that I know Big Brother is not going to be happy about leaving (like the park), I try to warn him ahead of time by telling him that he has {10, 5, 2} minutes to play and then we’re getting in the car. And if he does throw a fit, I simply ignore him and get everyone packed up. Right or wrong, he eventually settles down.

So…now it’s your turn! Share your very best tips to dealing with toddler temper tantrums in the comments. We’ve already got a head start on our Facebook page!

37 Comments

  1. When my son throws a tantrum at home, I say, "Let me know when you're done," and walk out of the room. Of course, this will not work well when he figures out how to start breaking stuff, but he's not 2 yet . . . . Another good home strategy is preventative naps. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep, and they are 10 times easier to work with.

    Outside of the home, I find that the strategy of letting a toddler know that you're leaving/changing activities in a few minutes works wonders. As does the strategy of "You can do _____ one more time, then it's time to ______." I also encourage my son to say thank you to something/someone ("Thank you friends," "Thank you trains, "Thank you playground") when it's time to leave.

    This is more of a preventative step as well, but I think teaching our son baby sign starting at 9 months has given him an understanding of language that sort of sped him through the tantrum phase. He hit his tantrum stride around 13 months, but now that he's 22 months and speaking in full sentences, there are a lot fewer tantrums around here. Being able to communicate early, and feel like we are listening to him, has really helped. He is beginning to understand time concepts now, so I can tell him what we're doing "next," "later," and "after" and have it be understood.

  2. I am glad you posted this, my 14 month old has picked up how to throw a tantrum from the our sitters older girl and my husband and I want to find a way to nip this quick. I have heard of baby signing as a way to communicate-any tips on words or phrases that help the most? thanks

  3. I used to take my son to the book store to play with their wooden train set. When it was time to leave, he would pitch a fit. I would tell him if he had a temper tantrum we wouldn't come back for a long time (and we didn't). I would also tell him that I know he is sad to go, but if he leaves like a big boy without crying we can come back very soon (and we did). He quickly learned to cooperate.

  4. The book "Common Sense Parenting for Toddlers and Preschoolers" is excellent. "Common Sense Parenting" and the toddler version is a resource from the Boys Town model and is very effective. They focus on increasing praise and practicing appropriate responses with your kids (pre-teaching). I used this model with teenagers with behavioral problems and I also currently use it with my 4 year old. When he is misbehaving, he earns a consequences (ex. he loses the wii for the rest of the day), then I tell him what he needs to do to earn back a 1/2 hour. The concept is that he earns a consequence and then it is a smaller consequence when he does what is expected. If he refuses to put his toys away, he has to clean his room too, I tell him that once his toys are away, I will help him clean his room (and then I really do). Before we go somewhere where he has thrown a tantrum in the past (say McDs, over not getting a happy meal) in the car I tell him, "we're not getting a happy meal, so I want you to ask me if you can have one, and I'm going to tell you no, and you'll say Ok and go back to playing." Then we practice. We also practice how to leave when it's time without crying and talk about what the consequence is if he cries. About 85% of the time this method is effective with my 4 year old!

  5. Thanks for sharing this again on FB – we're in the defiance stage of temper tantrums and do exactly what you do – send him to his room, I just need to remember to do it calmly. I often find that I end up throwing a tantrum as well.

    As for being out and about – I also do what you do, give him warning ahead of time that we'll be leaving. This usually makes it quite easy and he's actually often asking me to get going before the time is actually up. I sometimes have to pad it a little to get him to change his tune, but it works.

    I'm sharing with my FB crowd as well.

    Jamie

  6. If there was a scale from 1-10 for the intensity of my child's tantrum, it would be an 11. Since she was 3 years old we've been dealing with not just tantrums, but violent ones. We have had to be very creative in how we deal with and prevent the tantrums. Obviously, we don't want to give in to her all the time, but there are times where you have to "pick your battles" to say the least. We also give her choices and we'll tell her, "you can choose to help Mommy by (enter whatever it is you want them to do) OR you can choose to not help Mommy and get a timeout. Usually they will choose to help mommy. ;) We also will tell our daughter who is now 5 almost 6 to go to her room to calm down. When she's calm, she can come out and apologize for her behavior. We also use a timer to help get the kids to do what they need to do. We'll say, "okay, the timer is set let's see if you can beat it" OR "Okay, the timer is set for 5 minutes and that's how much time you have to put your shoes on" If they don't get there shoes on, they miss out on something or get a timeout….Usually this one works even with my most difficult child. However, even though these tricks work at times, our daughter has very intense and very violent tantrums at times. Sometimes we will have to put her in timeout ourselves because she will refuse to go and when we do she will hit, kick, bite, scratch and scream and yell. We do not spank our daughters, so that is out of the question, but when we place her in timeout and she repeatedly gets up to continue to hurt us, we are left with very few options. We have found one thing that works well in these situations is to hold her (like you're hugging her) and restrain her arms and legs from hurting you. She will usually scream VERY loud during this time, but it's the only way we have found that keeps both her and us safe. If we don't do this she will hurt us or herself. And yes, a lot of people will say that child needs to be beat, but what those people don't understand is that you can't even reason with her when she is in these modes. We have also noticed that they happen when she's tired. We are actually going to have her tested for celiac disease since it runs in the family and we believe this might be the reason for her behavior problems….if not, maybe something else. But, I feel that we need to get to the bottom of it. Being a substitute teacher before I decided to stay home, I have a lot of experience working with different types of kids and the only kids that acted like this were either autistic or oppositional defiant. It's very frustrating, but you do what you can do. Our other daughter who is almost three is pretty laid back and rarely throws tantrums. When she does she seems to get over them pretty easily.

  7. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention after the holding time, which lasts until she's done fighting us, she is able to calm down and apologize…it's in that moment that we are able to talk to her about her behavior.

    1. Just read this post and my son acted EXACTLY like your daughter. Guess what? He was then diagnosed “on the Autistic Spectrum”, having a few symptoms of Aspergers, a few of Sensory Processing Disorder and a few of ADD. My advice is if the tantrums continue to occur, there is an underlying reason. Get the book “Out-of-Sync Child” and have your child evaluated! Early intervention is the KEY!!

  8. I'm surprised that they listen and go to their room? If they are in the middle of a tantrum they usually take it out all on the floor (which I've been my nieces do). Do they actually listen and go to their room? Also what are your thoughts about their room becoming a place of "punishment" as opposed to a "haven" of rest and relaxation and play? Just some thoughts!

  9. I thought I would update on here….our pediatrician had suggested that we go to a psychologist to help us learn how to best deal with our daughters tantrums. We called them, only to find out they don't take our insurance….so we were told to compile a list of doctors our insurance does cover and they would refer us to someone they think would do a great job. Anyway, a friend of mine ended up letting us borrow a book. It's called, "The Explosive Child" by Dr. Ross Greene. Anyone who is dealing with really extreme violent tantrums should check this book out. Our daughter had results the very first day we started using these steps that the doctor (from the book) suggested. Our daughter had on average two to three violent tantrums a day. And sending her to her room didn't really teach her anything and made our life a living hell. The very first day after reading this book, I got my daughter to get out of bed without me having to stay in the room (only someone living with us would understand how this is a big deal) Every morning is hell if I were to walk out after waking her up to get her breakfast before she was already up and out of bed. It was one of those things that I used to just "pick my battles" with. Anyway, that same day she came home from school in a bad mood, but instead of throwing a tantrum, she told me, "Mommy, I'm feeling very angry right now and just need to be left alone". She has NEVER said that before…no matter how many times I told her to go to her room and calm down. Anyway, it's been a week of no tantrums and VERY little moodiness from her. The book explains it all, but I'm thrilled that we figured out what was going on with her. It's not that she's ADHD or anything, it's that she simply doesn't have the same strength emotionally as other kids do. As the author says, "we wouldn't discipline a child who struggled in reading would we? No, we would help them! Why do we think it's okay to discipline a child who has struggled emotionally? I've had amazing results from this book…the reviews are pretty amazing as well. I would actually suggest this book to any parent to be honest. =)

  10. My "trick" that works for my family is to warn my son that we will be leaving soon and then when his time is up, I ask him what is the last thing he wants to play on. He will usually go down the slide one more time and we're good. This works for us nearly every time.

  11. This strategy is a great suggestion. And I agree on your non answer as what to do in public. I have developed the strong parenting opinion that you can set your kids up for success by not putting them in situations that will provoke possible bad behavior (through frustration, exhaustion, etc.).

  12. It’s refreshing to hear a parents who are out to teach their child how to deal with frustrating situations as opposed to simply stopping an undesirable behavior. We have a similar strategy at home with my 3 year old. Instead of going to her room, however, she is placed on a stool in the kitchen area. She’s very sensitive and I think she would feel to isolated being sent to her room. Plus, I fear she would easily be distracted by her toys and end up calming down because she was distracted by them. We desire her to learn how to self soothe through thinking things over, breathing, and simply removing yourself from a situation to gain some perspective. She is always warned before time out (i.e. if you don’t calm yourself down and start making good decisions, mommy will have to put you in time out to help you calm down). We want her to know we are here to help her through this, not against her. If she continues after a warning, she is placed on the stool. Not many words are spoken. We simply tell her she is being put in time out to help her calm down and that she needs to think about how she can make good decisions in this situation. We set the timer for 3 minutes and continue on with our tasks. She is not ignored but not allowed to talk. This is simply because I want her to understand this time is for thinking and calming down, not just a place to sit and chat. Once the 3 minutes are up, I go up to her and ask her why she was in time out. If needed, I ask more questions, pressing to see if she really got it. I assist her as needed but she usually explains exactly what happened and what needs to start happening. We then hug and she apologizes to whomever she hurt. I can gladly say that she has never spent a time out in tears. She seems to really understand that it is a tool there to help her and that it is not a “punishment”. Also, the frequency of time outs has greatly decreased because she has learned to calm herself with out them. Upon given a warning, nine times out of ten, she calms herself down before she actually needs a time out.

  13. We’ve been using this method with our children since my oldest son was about 15 months old. We started with my older daughter when she was about 12 months. They are currently 28 months and 16 months (and then my youngest daughter is only one month), and while they can both pitch their share of tantrums, this is definitely the easiest, least frustrating, and actually shortest method of containing the fits. Neither one of them have a large vocabulary (my son is actually in speech therapy), but we always talk to them and try to explain to them what they have done wrong and that they need to calmly work through their emotions. It’s definitely a work-in-progress :-P

  14. My only child is 2 and he has just started throwing tantrums. If it’s in the grocery store and he’s in a cart, I’ll hug him, say that he needs to quiet down, his behavior is unacceptable and then start singing his favorite song in a voice that he can only hear if he calms down. It works 99% of the time! Granted, I don’t generally like giving him attention when he’s acting that way but when you are in public, you have to do what you have to do. I read about this method in a book but can’t remember the name of it.

    When we are at home and he has one, I’ll generally tell him that his behavior is not warranted and when he’s ready to behave and act like a normal person to let me know. Depending on what started the tantrum, he’ll get a time out. Usually he throws a fit when he doesn’t get a snack he wants like gummy fruits, which are the big ones. In that case, I’ll give him two choices of something he can have, place them on a table and tell him that they will be there when he’s ready.

    I keep hearing from friends that 3 is worse than 2 so I can’t wait :))

  15. Oops…I forgot to add that after we tell him to let us know when he’s ready to behave we’ll walk away and do something we need to get done like laundry or dishes. Generally ignoring him does the trick.

  16. For public tantrums, my children know they can’t do them in public–it’s not fair or appropriate to act that way around other people in the store/restaurant/park. If a tantrum starts, I ask if they’d like to calm down or go to the car. If they can’t or won’t calm down, I take them to the car (nicest if I’m with someone I can leave my other kids with, but we all go if it’s just me). We sit there all buckled up and I act really bored but if they stop even for a moment I brighten up and say “Oh! Are you done?” Pretty soon they really stop and I ask if they are ready to go back. As soon as they can commit to no more crying, we go back.

  17. That is so very brave, Laura :-)
    Just one logistical question: when you are forced to take your kids back to the car, what are you doing with the shopping cart? Leaving it behind in the store?

  18. I know this post is a bit old but I figured I would share anyway…. I am currently pregnant about 8months and When my 18month old son begins to get irritated from being in the cart too long I try distraction… I noticed he was getting bored sitting in the cart after awhile and then would get antsy and then throw a fit. So I would hand him things to put in the cart to help mommy which he likes doing, or I would pull him out and have him push the cart around or play with him in the cart so he doesn’t feel like he is neglected and restrained for such a long period without any freedom or guarantee of leaving the store. Hope this helps you guys!

  19. My son is going on 19 months…in the last two months he has started screaming, throwing things, hitting, anything to get frustration out. Time out doesnt work and Im not spanking him. Hes just beginning to say words so I’m not really sure how to REALLY communicate with him. What should I do?

  20. With our 3 year old son, physical contact seems to be the best defuser. We have to get down on his level, either give a tight hug or hold his arms, and tell him to calm down (calmly…). This helps both mother and son regain lost cool. Sometimes it takes a few minutes of just saying “calm” (I don’t have the slightest idea why THAT’S the word that works). And when desired calm is achieved we can talk about it, or “show mom”. As he’s not very verbal yet, it’s mostly mom or dad giving him the words to express the upset. It even works in public. It’s not 100% effective 100% of the time, sometimes you just have to pick up the tantrum thrower and keep going with the knowledge that by the end of the next aisle he’ll have forgotten about it anyway…

  21. I’ve got a 3 1/2 yr old son who’s tantrums are unlike anything most people have seen. I’ve been told at least a dozen times by friends and family that they can’t babysit for even an hour or two because the tantrums are so intense, that they just don’t know how to deal with it if I am gone. (I’m pushing for a behavioural aid or respirit but the govt in Canada doesn’t seem to think my son is “disabled enough” to qualify for anything like that.) I’ve been commended a lot on my ability to calm him down, so maybe one of these little tricks could work for someone else too. :P

    I’ll tell you what I do in a few different scenarios

    1. At home, my almost-2 yr old daughter gets frustrated with something (like not being able to get her shoe on.) She’ll start to scream and fuss, which immediately causes my son to get annoyed and scream at the TOP of his lungs. I immediately get eye to eye with him and say (in a gentle, but disappointed tone) “Hey, don’t scream. I know you don’t like hearing your sister cry, but that doesn’t mean that you get to scream. If you are frustrated with her, you can go scribble.” At this point, he stops, and I give him paper and some crayons (which are generally just an arms reach away from the kitchen table) and he quietly scribbles on a piece of paper to get his frustration out while I help my daughter with her shoes. Before I even get both shoes on her, my son has calmed down 100% and is starting to draw other things like cars, houses, and his latest obsession- wasps.

    2. At home, when he is grouchy, uncooperative, or *trying* to poke at and annoy his sister, or if he knocks something off the table on purpose, I simply say “Ok. Go to your room until you are all done being grumpy. You are not being a nice boy to play with right now. I only want to play with you when you’re happy, so GO.” At which point, he’ll go to his room (sometimes I have to tell him twice) and he’ll lay down on his bed and stay there for anywhere from 5-20 minutes usually. I never lock him in his room, and I only shut his door if he does something really REALLY bad.

    3. If we are in public, I try anything I can to distract him. He HATES being constrained to a shopping cart so the whole time I’m in Walmart or Costco or whatever I’m going through a rolodex in my head of jokes, questions, and anything to talk about. If I ask him about a memory, then that will keep him busy for a few minutes while we talk about it. For example “Remember when we went to so and so’s house and they had a BIG trampoline? That was sooo fun hey?” And he’ll think and talk about that for a bit to stay occupied. I also hand him small things and ask him to hold onto them or put them in the cart for me, like toothpaste or whatever. I used to sing quietly when he was younger and that worked like a charm, but now he doesn’t like me to sing. :P I also have him help me search for things. “Oh where…. is the milk? Oh where oh where oh where could it be?” right as I’m approaching it and he’ll pipe up “Der’s da MILK!! Right Der!!”

    He doesn’t have much empathy for others so I am constantly trying to teach him about what other people might be feeling in response to his actions. Also, if he is genuinely SAD, then he gets hugged tightly and his back rubbed until he feels better. If he is just being bratty, then I don’t tolerate it. I just say “You don’t get to scream/hit/make a mess just because you’re mad. You can still be mad, but you don’t get to have a fit about it.” And when he hurts his sister and I talk to him about that, I don’t just always tell him not to hurt her. I often remind him sternly, “You are NOT EVER ALLOWED to hurt her. And she is NOT EVER allowed to hurt you either.” I don’t want him to feel like I’m just always protecting her, and not him aswell.

    So there’s my tips, from a 24 yr old mom with a son who has quite extreme fits on a daily basis. I also learnt from a mother with Autistic children, to never *ask* them to do something when you can tell them “it’s time” to do something. For example, “can you go get your shoes on please?” would often get a “NO!” in reply, whereas “It’s time to get our shoes on…” Goes over much better, usually with zero protest.

    One last thing… Yo Gabba Gabba. He loves that show and has a ton of their songs memorized which have come in handy SO many times for me when brushing his teeth, picking up toys, making him put chocolate bars back on the shelf at the grocery store checkout, keeping his hands to himself, trying new things, etc. In any situation there seems to be a fun little yo gabba gabba song that I can remind him of, and it’ll change his tune completely.

    I look forward to reading more posts on this subject! I’m sure I can still learn a lot from you other moms and dads. :)

    1. Dear Parents and Guardians of Children,
      Keep up your great works with doing one of the most important jobs and gifts from God that you will ever have. It is encouraging to read this blog and comments. I pray for all those that find themselves challenged with the role of parenting, teaching, and guiding children. With all of the daily struggles, it is hoped that there are more triumphs then there are defeats. As a servant of God, a wife, and a mother of 3 children (5, 4, 1), I can only add one suggestion to the above suggestions already listed about tantrums (regardless of where we are…my husband and I remind our children to visit/talk with God and ask Him for help. We have done this from the onset of tantrums. Our children have responded well with this and actually remind me that I need to talk with God when I get a bit out of sorts. The children have so much love for their Creator and know that when any of us need time to visit with God, we do not interrupt, talk back, or disrupt that precious time with God. Granted the children do not always talk with God; however, by the time they finish “thinking/talking/praying to Him”, they have calmed down and are able to use their words or appropriate actions to communicate their frustrations. As Christians, we are commanded to pray without ceasing and this is just another reminder to us to do so. God Bless and thank you for your taking the time to read this posting.

  22. Ahaparenting.com has changed my life! I have a 22 month old and she was exhausting me with tantrums I ran across this website and I feel like a better mom and our relationship has gotten much better.

  23. When I am at the store with my kids and they are acting up, I make them do their time out by holding onto the side of the cart or stroller or hold my hand. This works best with older kids (3+) when they are not sitting in the cart. I have also been known to leave a store or take them to a side aisle to calm them down, which works well for younger ages.

    For tantrums, they mostly come when they didn’t get their way. I remind them that they “get what they get and don’t throw a fit.” We use time out on the stairs. I have also told them to go out of the room until they can calm down or walked away. A friend of mine made her kids sit right where they were when whining–including the floor of the grocery store! When they are very little, they sometimes just need a hug and reassurance that you care to help them express their frustration (but not giving in.) It becomes a teachable moment in self-control and learning the correct way to express the frustration.

  24. As soon as my son started screaming to get attention, I started to develope my methods of defusing him. When he cries, that is ok, babys cry. But, when he screams, screaches or yells, I firm lay say, “we dont yell.” Now that he is almost 18 months, the tantrums are a daily event. I incurage him to say what he needs rather than point and sream, but sometimes frustration takes over. Whenever he has a tantrum, I tell him that we dont yell, and tell/make him sit. If he stops screaming, he can get up right away. The stirn, “we dont yell” has made it possible to take him shopping, to restuarants and church regularly.

  25. I know public tantrums are the most frustrating. And as crazy as this sounds the thing I have found what works is to take my daughter to the bathroom. Taking away the audience can help diffuse a tantrum. It works a lot like time-out at home. Just a different setting, I take her in the stall and sit her on the toilet and say “When you can calm down, stop crying, and tell me whats wrong then we can __ (finish shopping, finish eating etc). The semi-private setting helps save some embarrasement for me and for her.

  26. I’ve found that a lot of the toddler frustration comes from the limited verbal skills. I’ll let my son get past the angry point of a tantrum, and when he starts to calm then I’ll explain his side. I do this so that he knows that I know what the issue was about.

    Sure, I’m not going to give him what he wants, but when I’m handling temper tantrums this seems to get him calm. I’ll just explain in simple words why he started melting down in the first place. Something like, “You were mad. You were mad because you wanted to put your shoe on by yourself. You didn’t want any help. You wanted to do it by yourself. It was so hard. It was so hard to put on your shoe and so you got mad. You got mad because you couldn’t put on your shoe and you wanted to do it by yourself.” (An excerpt from a real tantrum… oh the drama!;) )

    I’ve noticed when I start telling his side, he’ll relax. He usually cries too, but not a dramatic tantrum cry, just a sad cry because of all the emotion he was feeling. After that, he’s good to go!

  27. I found a way to deal with tantrums when my children where small. This will work at home, although I do like your idea, as well as out and about with your little one. Basic principle is the same, child must calm themselves down, however without a room to send them to I just put the child in my lap, not caring who watched and calmly told child to calm themselves down before I would let them get down. Don’t hold too tight, just wrap arms and or leg around so child is constrained, they will scream, push etc, but don’t react, almost ignore them, just tell them when they get themselves under control then they can get down and continue with what ever you are doing. Be prepared to sit there till they calm down then let them down and ask them why they where upset and go from there. I did this in a dentist office once and the other mothers expressed amazement at how well it worked. Of course the first few times may take a little longer for child to calm down, but they will get the idea very soon, if you are presestant and don’t react. Good Luck! just found your website for my grandchildren and already love it. yvonne

  28. I just found this site and love it! When my two year old throws a tantrum, we have been telling him to go to his room and lay down. The first couple of times we had to take him there, but now he takes himself. We don’t even shut the door, although half the time he does that himself. He’ll lay there for a few moments/minutes, however long it takes him to stop crying, and then he generally comes out of the room and announces that he is “all better.” We then talk him through what we were trying to do before (be it putting on our shoes, going to the potty, whatever) and he is almost always cooperative. It is even to the point that when he gets sad or feels himself getting mad, he will say that he needs a nap. I have also found that this works in public as well. Although it is somewhat embarrassing at first, you get used to it and they get quicker and quicker with the recovery. If he throws a tantrum in a store, I tell him to go lay down. He will usually sit in a lump on the floor and hide his head (bonus that when doing this he is quiet). Whenever he chooses to get up, he’ll say “all better” and we move on. Thanks for the website and fun ideas!

  29. I have found that a good way to calm my daughter down when when she is having a tantrum/crying fit, is to give her a cup of water, and tell her to drink, it gets her focused on something else for a min, its refreshing, and stops her crying.

  30. When we are at the house, and I can’t figure out what our 18 month old grandson wants, we ask him if he wants a bath. He just stops crying. By the time we finish, he’s over it, and in a good mood.

  31. Our method from day one is that tantrums get you the opposite of what you want. If we say we are leaving the park in ten minutes and we get anger, then, it’s, “OK, you want to leave now.”

    We really don’t get tantrums.

  32. Early on when our oldest little boy was barely walking, but would still be full of energy, we needed somewhere to go to dispense some energy when it was raining or to cold outside to play. So, we began going to Wal-Mart to look at the toys and to be sure to CLEAN UP the ones we looked at very closely. Very rarely did he get to pick one out to bring home and he would be told in advance that he would get to pick one out. This also prevented splurge purchases from being made. This habit got him used to leaving worn out from jumping up and down “running” (for lack of better terms) along the isle without buying anything. It also helped him transition into cleaning up very easily at home. Now when we go, with our new little one in tow, they both have the benefit of learning that it’s ok to look, but we don’t have to have everything. Sometimes he may ask a couple of times for something, even with the best of manners, but still puts it back with little to no whining or attitude. We live paycheck to paycheck like most folks, and are able to watch and see what he really likes and plays with every time, allowing us to save a little here and there in order to buy it and put it up for Christmas or Birthday. To God be the Glory for doing that with us at the time, because we had no idea the outcome of what we were doing would such a blessing later on.

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