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I am having problems with his temper tantrums

Hi, my name is Deb. My son is 21 months and I am having problems with his temper tantrums. We live an hour out of town so we have one day a week which is our town day. Nearly every week he throws big trantrums, refuses to have a nap etc. It`s embarassing as everyone stares and I get some dirty looks. I start each positive that we will have a good day but end up really stressed by the end of the day. It doesn`t just happen in town, it happens at home as well. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this???

Answer: Dear Deb, With little ones, (and even us big ones) we get easily irritated when we are out of our routine, have little control over situations, are tired, are hungry, are too busy, are stressed. Your little one cleary does not want to do what your are doing, or he is frustrated because he wants to do his own thing. Here are some ideas: make what he wants into your daily routines by turning your activities into a game (eg, most of the time kids want time with mum and time to play - so instead of hurrying him through the grocery shopping you can play a game of "I Spy where is the bread" etc); take breaks at a park; have music in the car; talk to him about what you are doing; involve him in your jobs (eg holding a carrot at the supermarket), ask someone else to look after him in town whilst you do your jobs. If and when he has a temper tantrum you can continue doing what you are doing or stop and take a break which ever is most convenient to you at the time. Whilst he is having a temper tantrum (alternatively see him as being frustrated and possibly tired - remove the unhelpful labelling of temper tantrum), you can breathe deeply and focus on getting your job done quickly as possible whilst helping to calm down your child. Don`t expect him to stop if you are tense and worried about other peoples reactions. This will make the situation worse. Focus instead on him and you...and filter out the others around you....they are not at all important at this moment and will only serve to make the situation worse for you. I hope this helps a little - it would be more helpful if we could discuss this more. Betty
Answered: 22 Nov 2007