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February 08, 2013

Anatomy of a Tantrum - One Year Later

I wrote this post about Henry's tantrums at almost 1-year-old. Almost exactly a year ago. I think it's funny looking back at it now because when Henry is really screaming now, he looks JUST like this. I almost, kinda relish those moments cause it brings me right back to his little newborn face. 

But back then, his tantrums were so sudden. And, honestly much more frequent than they are today. Today, I can see the look on his face, see the tantrum unfolding, see his whole world falling apart. Back then, the littlest thing every little thing set him off into the same familiar pattern -- scream, tears, happy -- and nothing I did could prevent or stop them. 

Today, tantrums are much more drawn out and just different. I happened to have my phone the other day and snapped a tantrum. Henry had a mini-cupcake for snack, but quickly realized he ate it all and wanted another. I told him no, that was enough cupcake. And, here's Hen's tantrum at almost 2-years-old: 

Henry gets the news that I won't be giving him another cupcake. He fights back tears, trying his best to understand, process, and be alright with the disappointment. 

Then comes the pleading. "Whhhhhhhyyyyyyyyy?! Noooooo!"

Then, a brief moment of acceptance. Before...

totally losing it.

I try to ignore him when he gets too bad, he usually just needs space to deal with his emotions on his own. But if it goes on for too long I will try and distract him. We hit about the 10 minute mark of the wailing so I pulled out some sticky hearts I was saving for Valentines Day.

He was happy with the hearts for a minute, before he said "cupcake?"  and was right back at it. In total, the tantrum lasted 30 minutes from start to finish. He finally calmed down after taking him downstairs to tot school and completely away from the kitchen. 

I'm a little relieved these don't happen as frequently as his baby tantrums did. But, these are pretty exhausting too. Toddlers are no joke.

Have you noticed a change it your toddler's tantrums as they've gotten older?

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Sarah said…
Yes! Aubrey now lays on the floor, kicks her feet, and it lasts much longer. Yet another challenge of parenting, right?
the naptown organizer
That last picture on the bottom right is just too cute. And yes- we've had some changes recently in behaviors as well. Whenever a behavior is addressed or he doesn't get something he wants nowadays, little man starts asking for and sometimes screaming for a nap in a really sad voice. I'm pretty sure if he got to actually take a nap every time he asked, he'd be up in his room all day!
ARWmamaoffive said…
oh definitely! My littlest just turned two in the last month, so we are now looking at some extreme independence showing up, which is normal, because he is learning how much he can do and how much of an impact he has on other people around him - and how to work said people around him. Like the fact that his sisters and brother are softies and will give him what he asks for, his grandpa never really likes to say No, and Mommy and Daddy say No to the things that the others will so sweetly give him! Thus, we get independence in it's strongest forms! :) It is a good step in that they are learning to be a part of the family and not just a taker from the family and at the same time, you step in to extremely important ground where training is so important because what we do now will impact what we have in six months from now (and two years, and five LOL) :) I love the variety of faces - it's a little bit like looking at my baby (oops! Did I say baby? I meant independant two year old!)
Hannah said…
I'm always glad to hear what other parents do when their child throws a tantrum. I've been trying to just distract him right away, but lately that hasn't been working. Sounds like we need to try to let him deal with it on his own for a little bit before stepping in!