(previously)sweet 1 yr old neice/major tantrums/HELP!

mollyjaneaAugust 20, 2004

i care for my 12 month old neice full time (my kids are grown and gone)and love her to bits. she's bright and has been a cheerful, cooperative soul but has recently taken to having a major tantrum if i don't pick her up on demand. she plays on her own very well and i read to her and play with her quite often during the day. in the past, if she asked 'up' and i didn't comply, she used to fuss a bit, but was redirectable almost all of the time.now, she will scream at the top of her lungs and carry on for-EVER (over 30 min)until she is shaking and drenched in perspiration. at that point, she shakes and continues to cry uncontrollably even after being picked up.I won't list all of the strategies i've tried, but will say that i am firm in not giving in but have my limits. help, please.

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Fit throwing is normal for that age. We used to walk off when one of my sons would throw his fit. He'd get mad and then come over to where we were to try it again. It didn't take long for him to learn we weren't giving in. We have also videotaped tantrums. The kids cannot stand watching those tapes.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 11:35PM
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When it happens could she be hungry or something? I know how grumpy *I* get when I'm hungry LOL

Just an idea. When DD was little, if there was something going on that we needed to nip in the bud, I would concentrate on only that behavior I wanted to change, and let other minor offenses slide until the problem behavior was gone.

i.e. if she was going thru a 'tantrum' phase or 'talking back' phase, that behavior would result in her favorite toy at the time being put up in the closet for the day.

But other little things like dinnertime behavior I would let slide and focus only on the one thing. At that age, 12-24 months, they can't understand too much feedback about too many behaviors.

And usually, the behavior in question was better with only a week of focus on it.

Good for you for not giving in! Even at 12 months they can learn to manipulate if you start to give in.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 12:13PM
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I always used the walk away method. In 20+ yrs as a pre school teacher I found that worked best. For older kids I would tell them if you are going to do that, do it in the bathroom or other room we aren't going to hear it. Sometimes they got picked up and moved into another area. It usually didn't take long for it to get through that that did not work. I had one little girl walk up to me after a real fit and say "Can't you see I'm crying I want that, what ever, now!" I watched her one day in a public place do this with her mom and she got what ever she wanted by screaming. The other teachers and I had a heck of a time that year! I felt bad for the girl as she got older in kindergarten she was going to have a really hard time by that time the other kids would not put up with her much. At 12 months a fit is normal as a child is begining to learn the world really is not made just for them. To do as they bid. They are learning what works best to get what they want and need. Just remind yourself she is a strong girl (at least lungs) and the world needs more strong females in it!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 6:53PM
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My nearly one year old does the same- she will scream if she wants me to pick her up- so I pick her up and let her know she is loved.
She is way too young to be manipulative. She is merely expressing her needs in the only way she knows how. In my opinion, ignoring her would be teaching her that her cries don't matter and I'm not willing to do this.
Eventually, I know she will be very secure. The very last thing I'm worried about is spoiling her. A child cannot get too much love.

Good luck to you and remember that she will grow out of this stage soon enough. Try to remain open and give her as much love and respect as you are able (treat her as *you* would want to be treated if you were upset).

    Bookmark   May 15, 2005 at 11:01PM
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For a two or three year old's tantrum I agree with craftybrat. However for a one year old, I VERY STRONGLY agree with sahm. Also, it depends somewhat on the child and the situation. If she is shaking and drenched with perspiration it doesn't sound like manipulation, her feelings are very real.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 12:07PM
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Once you have ruled out hunger, tired, thirst, or soiled and know that it is a tantrum, follow the advice to walk away. You can either address this behavior in a one year old body or a 4,5,6 year old body, but as long as the behavior is rewarded by attention it will continue.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 4:03PM
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A tantrum in a one year old and one in a 2 year old are very different things....
The one year old needs something....but of tem by the time a child is 2 they learn to be manupilitave....
Pick her up and love her.....and if you are really busy, put her doen.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 12:04AM
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I agree with both sides of this (1 vs. 2 year old tantrums) because sometimes they just DEMAND you hold them, even if you are busy etc. But being one year old IS different than being two. Do you pick her up regularily without her asking? What do her parents do? She could be feeling sad about something and not be quite able to verbalize it yet. Then again I have seen the other side of this. I have a friend with an almost 3 year old who is so demanding about being picked up that it borders on ridiculous. He refuses to hold her hand, walk by himself, if he wants to be picked up he just refuses and hangs on her legs. We were at a farm picking berries with our children and he freaked. My friend was 9 months pregnant at the time lugging a 35 pound kid up a hill, meanwhile my 3 year old asked- "What is his problem?" I think there is a very fine line between disipline and security, you want your children to behave, but you also want them to feel secure and loved. Tough call, at one year old, I would probably pick her up briefly, meet her needs, and then continue with whatever I was doing, if she keeps insisting, tell you will pick her up when you are done with dishes/clean up whatever. Then spend some quality time holding or sitting on the couch together.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2005 at 11:55AM
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Liz has some good advice.
"Posted by: LizinNH (My Page) on Tue, Oct 25, 05 at 16:03

Once you have ruled out hunger, tired, thirst, or soiled and know that it is a tantrum, follow the advice to walk away."

I would just like to add that we acknowledge our one-year old son's attempt at communication - without a doubt he is communicating in the only way he knows how. We tell him 'you are alright' (pick a phrase and stick with it), and then walk away. This at least lets him know we hear him, but we are determining the needs of the current situation.

Just don't let anyone tell you one-year olds are not capable of manipulation. (He suddenly becomes incapable of walking when he has to wear mittens, and you should see how his behavior changes at his Grammy and Grandad's house - where every squeak gets a response.)Every child develops differnetly, so my son may not be a perfect example. But one year olds are perfectly capable of manipulating environments and people. Many can; mine can.

Best of luck. Eppa.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:21AM
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