Saturday, June 23, 2012

Getting a Handle on Tantrums

A few days ago Paula from Hope for the Future wrote a piece about dealing with tantrums. I was asked to contribute. Below is the whole piece. Paula was only able to use the piece in parts. I wanted to share with you one of the ways we handle tantrums in our home. Having two boys 11.5 months apart we deal with tantrum everyday.
My youngest E is 18 months and is the easiest to deal with when it comes to tantrums. For the most E’s tantrums end as easily as the start. He screeches out and then is pleasant even if he doesn’t get his way. On the occasion that I have to get on to him, I always get eye level and in a firm voice tell him no to his behavior and what I expect. Now E is tenderhearted so he will burst into tears at a firm no.D on the other hand, is my rambunctious 2 ½ year old is not that easy.  D requires physical force, meaning that something thing must be done to him (restrained), taken from him, and sometimes he must be removed from the situation.  So this is how it usually is between D and me.

  • ·      D will do something that he knows is not allowed like stand on the couch and play with the mini-blinds. I will tell him, “ D no! Do not touch the mini blinds and sit on your bottom.”
  • ·      D obeys for 2 seconds and is right back to his mischief. I repeat myself but physically sit him and remove his hand. Here is where the tantrum starts.
  • ·      D will fall back on the coach stiffen his body. I tell him “mommy said to stop and you are disobeying “ He yells “NO!!!” I remove him from the room and take him to his room, and say, “You do not tell mommy no. You must calm down or you will sit on your bed until you do.”
  • ·      If he doesn’t comply I sit him on his toddler bed, leave the room, close the door and set the timer for 2 min. This step is repeated till my son has calmed down enough that I can talk to him without listening to screaming, crying or whining, I do not tolerate any of these is a disobedience situation.
  • ·      Once he is calm, I take him back to where is was misbehaving (if it is applicable and repeat my expectation).

I know that this seems tedious and long, but the goal is training. I don’t want to have to worry every time I go to someone’s house that my son is going to stand on his or hers furniture. I want to raise sons that respect rules and authority.
Proverbs 22:6  “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Proverbs 22:15 “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives if far from him”

I hold to this verse during tantrums. My child is being foolish, he doesn’t know how he aught to behave or act. Which is why God saw fit to give him to me so that I can train him and discipline him. The world around us is counting on the mother, fathers and caretakers of children to live up to these verses. If we do not we are left to a world led by foolish, wayward undisciplined men and women.

I look forward to reading how you handling tantrums with toddlers.


  1. I am actually. Trying this same approach with my 17 months. Sometimes I feel like I wanna just scream right along with him lol. However my husband and I believe in those very verses along with the general parenting approach. With training, im sure the little guy will come around!

  2. We do very much the same thing although we have to use a stool because my fabulous (and slightly bizarre 2 year old LOVES her bed). Thank you for sharing reinforces maybe we are on the right track!


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