Saturday, June 11, 2011

My 16 month old has temper tantrums

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Politeness 

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Comment: Thank you for your response. Luckily, my oldest is very tolerant and does not hit at all. He is working with us to help teach his younger brother not to hit. We are very lucky to have our children in environments in which no children are allowed to hit each other. I feel as though he is just getting his aggression out in the way he knows how at this time. We will continue to talk to with him and show him the appropriate behavior. Thank you for your input. Kay

Questioner: Kay

Subject: 16 month old temper tantrums

Question: Hi. I am a mother of two boys. My oldest is 4 1/2 and very calm and usually even tempered. My youngest is 16 months old and is just as sweet as his older brother, but with a bit of a temper. Over the last few weeks, he has started hitting those around him when he gets angry. He has also gone as far as hitting his head on the ground. We don't spank in our house, so he doesn't see hitting in his environment. When he acts out we calmly tell him not to hit, not to hit himself, be soft, we love him, but we are also at our wits end and would love some advice. Any suggestions?

Answer: Dear Kay:

Sounds like he is challenged using his words. Have you been teaching him how to identify his feelings with feeling faces and vocabulary. Teach him to express himself verbally. This is especially important because we tend to focus on feeling words with girls and not boys.

Also, while you maynot spank or tolerate violence are you absolutely positive he is not being exposed to it somewhere else in his environment. Even being around children who are hit or hit others has an impact on some children. There is no hitting between the brothers as well? Just curious as sometimes parents as our society still does not address sibling violence. I am not saying this is the case with your boys just thinking out loud.

If you focus on building his feeling vocabulary and encouraging him to use those words I think you will see a big difference. Also he probably is more physical than his brother so you will need to emphasize more physical activities to give him an outlet for his aggression as well. Expression of emotions takes many forms and sometimes people are just more physical in their preferences for expressing their feelings.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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