Little Miss Temper Tantrum

7.27.2012

Remember in E's 14 month post where I gushed about how sweet and cuddly she has been lately? Well she is still being super sweet  and giving tons of hugs and kisses. But, and this is a big but, I've also seen an occasional little shift in behavior and I'm not really sure what to do. Sometimes I can't help but laugh but I know that I have to be serious about it because I definitely don't want her to think it's funny.
It all started a few days ago when I took her to the mall. They have a little play area there so I thought it would be fun to get out of the house and let her play for a bit. Unfortunately it was closed when we got there because they were redoing the carpet. So we strolled around the mall for a little bit and Emerson was as sweet as could be. Then I decided to let her get out of the stroller and walk around. The mall was pretty much empty so I knew we wouldn't be in the way if we were slow. We walked around for about 30 minutes and I let E ride some of the little rides. Then we started heading back toward the store where we came in. I told Emerson that it was time to get back in her stroller.


This is when chaos ensued. As soon as I started trying to put her back in her stroller she started arching her back and crying. She was arching so hard that she made the stroller fall over backwards twice. Of course I'm trying to reason with her and this is only making matters worse. She is crying loudly by this point and everyone around me is starting to stare. I know it's hard to believe that a 14 month old is strong enough to keep an adult from putting her back in her stroller but let me tell you: girlfriend was DETERMINED that she was not getting back in that stroller.


Somehow I was able to finally get her to sit down long enough to get her strapped in. I handed her a sippy cup with water and she was fine 10 seconds later. I, however, was not.


To put it mildly, I was in complete shock! I have never, ever seen her act like that. I know that it was just her way of showing that she didn't like something but it is just not something I would expect from her. Once it was all said and done I was able to look back and laugh because I know that almost every parent goes through something similar. But at the time it was just a little bit stressful!


Unfortunately that wasn't the end of the acting out. We haven't really had any more tantrums but over the last few days Emerson has decided that she does not like the word no and the way to show it is to hit or scratch. She has hit or scratched her Mimi and me several times over the last few days, sometimes without even being told no. She is not hitting hard at all- it's really like a hard pat but I can tell that she is doing it aggresively and I would just die if she did it to another kid. Most of the time when she does it she will look right at me to see what kind of reaction I'm going to have. Sometimes she'll even kiss us right after she hits or scratches- almost like she is trying to say she's sorry. It's just weird because it seems like it just came out of nowhere so I'm really at a loss as to what to do. I mean, really, how do you discipline a 14 month old? 
I have tried telling her no or redirecting her, I taught her the sign for don't hit, and I've even tried putting her in timeout for one minute but it doesn't really seem to change the behavior. I want her to know that it is okay to express her anger or frustration but definitely not in that way. I guess I need to break out my Happiest Toddler on the Block DVD and learn some strategies because I can't stand the thought of my sweet little E being a hitter. It's just so unlike her! My hope is that it's just a little phase that she is going through but I guess only time will tell.

The part that is craziest to me is that we are already at this stage! I feel like she was just a tiny, squishy little baby and now she's this little person with her own thoughts and feelings and she's determined to show them. I know that this is only the beginning but I just want to make sure that we handle it the right way. Whatever that may be...



Nicole said...

Oh that's so awful to hear! I hope you get your sweet angel back soon!

Katie said...

Welcome to toddler-hood! It feels terrible when it happens and it's way more traumatic for the parents, especially when you feel as if everyone is looking and judging you. I'm certain that every parent has gone through that and the people looking are either remembering a time when their own child did something similar and sympathizing, or aren't parents and really have no business judging you at all. It's hard to try to reason with a child throwing a tantrum because they are honestly so angry that they can't hear you. Honestly, I remember just holding mine tight, rocking, and shushing them until they were calm enough to listen. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. You'll get through it (and be prepared for more)!

Stephanie said...

I feel your pain! Mason is doing the same things. We even had to leave Mass the other day. His behavior wasn't even acceptable for the darn cry room! It was so embarrassing. I've read Happiest Toddler on the Block and I'm almost done with Pre-Toddlerwise. Both books have good advice! Good luck, mommy!

Tiffany said...

I know it is hard, and kind of shocking, when your sweet little girl hits this stage. I would just say a firm no when she does it. With Sydney the sees that we are upset and she stops anything like that.

-Lauren said...

It feels good to not be alone. The word no in our house brings out a little monster! My husband says he doesn't do it for him...yikes! Mama needs to get a little tougher. Xo

Stephanie said...

I dread this day, and know it's coming, because Chloe already has a little streak in her where she'll try and hit. Ugh...Another blog I follow had this same question not too long ago and got some pretty good suggestions. Here is the link: http://join-tiaras-world.blogspot.com/2012/07/discipline.html

Good luck!

Kelli Kegley said...

Oh bless! I remember that stage very well!! And I definitely remember trying not to laugh! It's just funny SOMETIMES to see this little human act so big! Good luck momma! And don't you worry about what others think! The ones that think anything about it are the ones who don't have kids or don't have kids that age... Their time is coming ;)

Katie said...

When Kaylee gets mad like that or does something she shouldn't, I say no, lightly spank her little tush, then say "time out" and hold on to her for about 20 seconds then say "time out over, that is a no no."

Mateya said...

Oh goodness I can't believe she's at that age already! Just know that all kids go through that. Like you said, she is just trying to get her emotions out and doesn't know how to do it!

I have no idea how you discipline at that age but I have no doubt you'll get it figured out :)

Megan said...

So lately Vince has been doing this too and I want to try to nip it in the butt before he can walk and really throw a fit.

Rachel and John said...

Henry has trantrums sometimes too but they are always in our house (so far at least). The only thing we do is wait for him to be happy again before giving him what he is after (it's only been reasonable things so far). Like sometimes he wants his milk while I'm making it and he freaks out. I will stand there holding the milk watching him, until he stops. Then I'll give him the milk.

Michelle said...

This is exactly what we're dealing with over here!! I' at the point where I'm about to ask for other peoples unsolicited advice because nothing seems to tame the tantrum. I hate when it happens in public though...I can feel all the eyes burning holes into me!! But we've all been there before...I'm just praying for patience. And remembering to cherosh all the "sweet" moments even more to outweigh the screaming moments!!

Joeylee said...

Keira started throwing little tantrums like that around that age on and off. I just thought it was a stage she was going through. It only lasted a short time and a couple months had passed and then around 18 months they started back again. Good luck and hopefully they don't continue to bad

Kelly said...

Maggie is doing the same things. Started a month or so ago though. I haven't found anything that works and honestly, I'm not sure anything can at this point in the game. They are gaining and wanting to assert their independence, but can't communicate well or really be reasoned with at this point. I try to just say a firm no and then either walk away from her showing her I will not entertain that kind of behavior or if not possible (like a public place) I try to distract her with something and get out as quickly as possible. I think it's too early for them to understand time out, but hopefully soon it will be something we can do.

Natalie said...

Oh goodness girl, I feel your pain. Callyn did this for the first time at SEVEN months. Can you believe that?! Naughty, right?! ;) We were so shocked, and of course it was in a restaurant and we had NO idea what to do. I thought we had like another year before it started. She doesn't do it often, but occasionally when she wants something or doesn't want us to take her away from a toy or something, she'll do the same thing. I think just make it clear you won't tolerate that behavior and she'll catch on quickly. Good luck!

luvbnmom said...

My son first started throwing temper tantrums at 12 months! It is not fun at all, especially when we are in public. The pediatrician told us the best thing to do I to ignore that behavior. Apparently they are looking for some type of reaction.....whether it be good or bad. If he is safe, I am told to just walk away and ignore him. It works fairly quickly most of the time! And believe me, I know just how strong kids can be and I completely understand the not being able to get them in the seat easily! I had a similar situation when I tried to put my son in his stroller at the mall, after playing around the water fountain. Same exact reaction!!!! The pediatrician also said when they hit to simply say two words, like no hit. Anything beyond that they don't understand! Oh yeah, he also said when you say it make sure that you ate very even toned, so they don't sense that you are mad and then just go on about normal activities again. After I took my Pediatricians advice things got so much better.....don't be afraid to call your pediatrician and ask for tips! Every child is different, so nothing that I have said is guaranteed to work....especially all the time, but it did help us! Good luck with everything! I know that you will figure out what works the best for you all! You are a great mom, it is just a natural stage for most kids. Hang in there!

Andrea @ Life in Dawleywood said...

oh n o! Don't feel bad girl because you're not alone! Gracie will sometimes do the same thing and she gets like this super human strength when I try to pick her back up off the floor, ha! She has started hitting me in the face too, and it infuriates me! I don't really know what to do about it, I guess it's just a stage so I'm sorry I don't have any advice but I do feel for you!

Paige said...

Uh oh! The toodler girl stage is starting :) haha such fun times.
But what a cutie she is!!!

Traci said...

...and so it begins. I'm fairly certain I did a similar post to this when Hadley about this age too. They say girls hit the terrible twos a littler earlier than boys.

Mandy said...

Oh honey!!! I've noticed a little sassiness coming out in little miss AE, too and it's already got me wondering how we're going to handle her. This is when the "fun" stuff begins. HA! You'll find what works with her soon enough. She's definitely old enough to know when what she's doing is wrong, but for sure when she's in that melt down mode just keep reminding yourself that there is NOTHING that you can do to make her stop. Don't react b/c it will only make her reaction worse! It will pass soon enough!! Love you sweet friend!!

MICHELE said...

we have the same problem over here with my son. It is so hard. And I hear ya on the re-directing/time outs and he is 18m. It is less than effective. HA! You are a fantastic mom and all you can do is what you are doing and keep working with here. You said everything right about teaching her to work through her emotions. She will get it but it takes time. lots and lots of time. She is a cutie though and when they give you those kisses or grins it makes it hard to be "mad" for long. :)

Amber and Brian said...

Oh yes. It was about this age when my daughter really started the tantrums. I asked her pedi what to do at her 15 month appointment, and she said I could start putting her in time out.

She's 19 months now and time out is still hard, because she still doesn't completely understand that she has to sit and STAY there. DH is better at the discipline thing. It's SO HARD for me not to laugh. Or immediately apologize to her for disciplining her, cause I just hate seeing her cry. :/

The Michelle Show said...

I'm not at that stage yet but advice from my Mother (who is a 25 year nanny for children with behavioral problems) tells me to tell you that you're doing everything right and the trick is to just KEEP AT IT! Keep at the time outs, the signing for no hitting, the saying no. She'll get it eventually. Go Mom!!

Natalie said...

Isn't it the craziest things that set them off? Nolan is usually pretty good about not throwing tantrums but every now and then his emotions get the best of him and he does...but it's always the weirdest things. Like today my husband went in for him after his nap...he was totally fine...he came out saw me and starting crying hysterically for no reason...I mean what is that about? I think it's because he has began getting shy around people and so he just gets all these emotions. These toddlers are crazy sometimes!

Megan said...

Oh gosh, you poor thing! I have no advice, but I know that y'all will do the right thing for her. And then you can share all your tips with me one day. Haha!

April said...

I am right there with you right now. My son just turned 2 and the terrible 2s are here! When he gets in a tantrum I usually will ignore it if we are at home and if he is doing something he shouldn't or something he wants that he cannot have I just say "Mommy said no" very calmly and try to redirect his attention. We do time-outs just to get calmed down and I try to sit beside him and talk to him about what he did that was bad. But in public I will usually get right in his ear and say "you are not being a good boy" or "lets not do that", etc....seems to work for now at least....who knows

Naptime Review said...

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Carissa said...

We have just entered in this phase too. Wyatt has hit me in the face not hard but still because he's mad. I try to let him know that it's not okay. He also has learned to throw a tantrum when not getting his way. I just ignore him if I can and he gets up and goes on. They all go through this even the sweetest of children!! Hang in there!!

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