How do you Handle Temper Tantrums?

This question comes from Alycia C. from The Ramblings of a Crunchy Mom to Be

How do you handle temper tantrums by your 11 month old? (or similar age)

If Tommy doesn’t get what he wants or he’s just mad in general he throws his hands up in the air and then flings his arms and head forward in a pouty “I GIVE UP!” way and just wails. What’s the best way to handle this in a child so young? Also, how do you get Daddy to understand this is normal behavior? Daddy simply cannot handle his tantrums and keeps saying “this has to stop NOW. This WILL NOT continue to happen”. Yeah….right. lol

Do you have any advice for Alycia? 

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

12 thoughts on “How do you Handle Temper Tantrums?

  1. temper tantrums are always hard, but at this age I think you should just ignore it. He is just trying to get your attention. Of course every kid reacts differently but this is what worked for us.

  2. It seems he is crying out for attention, and the best way I've heard to handle it is to ignore him. Leave the room all together if you have too, and once he realizes his tantrums are not working, he will soon change his behavior. But you must stand firm when you ignore him and not give in.

  3. Dr Sears gives great Tantrum advice on his website, also I like the discipline book No Cry Discipline.

    When Caleb throws a tantrum like thing, I don't focus on the tantrum itself, but why is he acting out that way? Is it because he is tired? Bored? Wants to nurse? Frustrated? He never acts out for no reason, he is expressing an emotion of something, and it's my job as a parent to figure out what that something is. When he throws a tantrum it's either, okay let's nurse, or okay, let's nurse down for a nap…etc…

    I ask Caleb, what's going on honey, are you feeling frustrated? I know, it's frustrating…saying things like that in a calm voice to him, looking him in the eye as a person really helps him. I respect my child, and he respects me even at a very young age. It's not about getting a child to stop acting a certain way, but figuring out why they are acting that way. Tantrums are not a bad thing at all, they are a great sign of a child healthly and alive, expressing themselves in frustration 🙂 Great sign of a strong will! 🙂

  4. luckily my oldest did not have his first temper tantrum until he was 4 yrs old but my youngest is the exact opposite. he is 12mths and if he is crying uncontrollably we put him in the crib for 1 minute. if he comes out crying again he goes back in. he usually stops crying after his second time b/c he has realized that he will just go back to bed.

  5. thanks for the advice so far…sometimes Tommy is genuinely (sp?) upset over something, one of us leaving the room, being frusterated at not being able to figure something out, etc. In those cases I talk to him calmly, tell him I'm sorry that he's sad and comfort him the best I can.

    When he's throwing a fit over not getting his way or something similar is where the problem lies. Is it okay to ignore a tantrum over this while comforting the other type of tantrum? I usually just try to talk to him and tell him why he can't have _____, or why he can't do ______. I know he can't fully understand me but I figure it has to help somewhat!

  6. I have always ignored tantrums. And it works. I refuse to put any energy what so ever ~ not even putting them on time out. I will walk away and let them wail it out and when they realize that they gain absolutely NOTHING from this it will eventually go away.

  7. With my little one I try to distract her from what's upsetting her or tend to her obvious needs, like giving her something to drink if she's dehydrated, which is a common cause of her tantrums. If she's mad I took my keys back, I give her another toy. Since she has no other real way of communicating I try not to get upset with her.

    But, sometimes shes just fussy. Even if she doesn't need another nap she may need some quiet time. I will take her to her crib to cool off, and she is usually playing quietly within a minute or two. Then I let her stay there to have some time where she is less stimulated. It works almost every time.

  8. My son was a bit older (maybe around 15 months) he started to throw temper tantrums and we learned for him most of the time it was because he couldnt express to us what he was wanting or needing. We had gone to a speech therapist, because he had just regressed in talking and she started us using some sign language. It really helped and the temper tantrums let up a lot because he was able to let us know by sign what he wanted like drink, food, ext…
    We didnt use sign for a long time but enough to get us through till he was able to comunicate with words better.

  9. Well…I am in a little bit of disagreement with most. We don't tolerate tantrums. We don't ignore them. As soon as a kid understands that that behavior is not allowed, then we put in time out until the child stops the fit. (we say “you can scream if you want to, but it hurts my ears and I'm trying to talk to daddy, so you have to do it in the other room)

    IF my kiddos (4.5, 2.5, and 6 months) throw a fit (or even whine) then they don't get anywhere by acting like that. We don't necessarily punish the behavior (surely not with a 11mo. old) but we say something like “Oh…I am so sad that you are acting like that…that means that you can't have such and such! As soon as you calm down and act sweetly then we'll talk about it.” That changes a little depending on the age of the child. For example, an 11 mo. old would hear…”no sir…you can't have that toy right now as long as you act that way. Say (or sign) 'please' and then maybe you can have it.” While teaching the no tantrum policy, we will often times allow the kid to have whatever it was that they wanted as soon as they can ask (or sign) with out the fit.

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