I have an 18 month old who now screams at the top of his lungs when he doesn’t get his own way and throws himself on the floor so hard he’s hitting his head which I’m sure must hurt him. I try calmly talking to him and give a hug but it’s like me touching him makes it worse?? I try distractions with other toys or going outside but if he doesn’t get the thing he wants he doesn’t want anything. The screaming drives me insane and I feel like I’m losing control and yelling at him to stop. Any tips on how to handle this better? Thanks

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  • You may have to try a few things to find what works for your son. Holding him in a firm but not tight hug might work. Don’t try to reason with him, he won’t be able to handle it. Some kids respond to you ignoring them.

  • Oh wow, not good. Lots of helpful tips on this post, hopefully one of them works

  • I try to remember a poster I saw that said something like “Bring the calm to their storm’. They are learning to regulate. One post I saw, the Mum was saying (about bigger kids though) – “Just add water” Give them some ice to hold, a drink of water, a wet face washer – something about water can help. Its hard especially when the tone, sound, volume or pitch causes you to become more stressed. Practise your breathing. This stage too will pass.

  • I used to clap my hands loudly to distract them for quick moment then try to calmly redirect. Obviously it didn’t always work.

  • I too have to work on my reactions, I try to stay calm and sometimes I just can’t but I am really trying to stay calm and redirect, or just step aside for a minute and let them get their meltdown out and come back again to reassess.

  • Screaming can be many things, attention seeking, unwell, something wrong. Try directing him around the house pointing to things seeing if it has an relation. Even if he doesnt want them, keep showing him affection cuddles, positive emotions, handing him his favourite toys. If you know for sure there is nothing wrong and purely attention seeking, try to avoid giving into him. He will stop when he cant get his way

  • I agree with those that have said walk away. Breathe and come back when you’ve calmed yourself down.

    I also head a bit of advice over the weekend that I have decided to implement. Imagine yourself at 80 looking back at this moment, when your children no longer live with you. How will you want to remember the situation. It’s helping me pick my battles, and just react with love rather than getting angry. We’ll see how long it lasts, haha.

  • Walk away, somewhere just out of his sight. Don’t give the child attention he is demanding and give him time to get over it. . When you walk back to him just start up on a different topic or distraction.

  • I found choosing my battles to be the best. Let the little things go so they think they are winning and getting there way sometimes. I found kneeling down to there level and saying I am here when you are ready to talk and would like a cuddle. Sometimes you just have to let them work through there emotions and let them know you are there when they are ready.

  • Give plenty of positive attention.
    Try to give toddlers some control over little things.
    Keep off-limits objects out of sight and out of reach.
    Distract your child.
    Help kids learn new skills and succeed.
    Consider the request carefully when your child wants something.
    Help your child to verbalise his need and wants and praise him when he does so calmly.

  • Oh this must be so hard. My younger brother was a head banger at that age. Full on purposeful bangs when he had a tantrum, no matter the floor surface. He grew out of them at about 2, our mum tried everything from soft talking to not so soft, even made him wear a helmet one afternoon out of exhaustion. He was made to know that what he was doing wasn’t okay and wouldn’t result in rewards. Try to help validate his feelings and talk them through, because being upset is okay but the actions aren’t. And for yourself, take a deep breath and remember you’re doing a great job.

  • To me screaming is saying something is wrong.. After observing my daughter and her cousins ages 5,5,2,3m my daughter never screamed. She would cry when it was time for food, nappy change, bed or when she was teething badly but that’s it. Her cousins 2 & 3m both had allergic colitis and it took a long time to diagnose, there body could not tolerate dairy properly and therefore wasn’t taking in nutrients properly because of the dairy they were consuming. I think finding the root cause is more benificial than trying to supress the symtpoms or distract away from them. You need to stop yelling at him though, you are making the situation worse by sharing negative emotions which will make the child anxious. Yelling at kids makes them more likely to act out. There is studies that show that yelling at children can be as damaging as physcial abuse. Perhaps seek out a psychologist/counsellor? You can apply for a mental health care plan so you get 10 discounted sessions a year. Even without a child, if any person feels like they are losing control i would highly recommend this. I have seen multiple and they made a substancial difference in my attitude, overall positive outlook and being able to respond better to situations. Because you have said he is 18months old, has he just had his 18mo immunisations? If it wasn’t happening before them I would be paying close attention to make sure he isn’t having any adverse reactions, the banging his head on things is what is giving that a red flag to me as a possibility because of some of the ingredients like heavy metals. I would firstly look at food intolerances though and vitamin/mineral deficiencies.

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