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4 answers
I have four children ages 15 to 2 and a half. Lately the 2 and a half year old has been having major major tantrums. They are random too. When I wake her up to get dressed, time to take a bath, when we get in the car, out of the car, leave a store, go to daycare, pick up from daycare it doesn't seem to matter. However these are not just little tantrums they are huge, kicking screaming hitting no mommy no daddy we put on her clothes she strips them off she throws things and all and they don't just last a few minutes the are more like 20 to 30 minutes. I dont know what to do at this point I've tried everthing, my other three children never had tantrums like this. Any advice?

answers (4)

It sounds like your daughter is experiencing really strong feelings around transition times. From the ages of about 1 - 6 years old children are experiencing a lot of brain growth, especially in their middle brain which is the emotional center. This means that your daughter needs a great deal of support around the big feelings that she is having around the difficult transitions, which, by the way, are very difficult for most small children. Try this: Let her know ahead of time that you and she will be doing something different, e.g., "in ten minutes we are going to brush teeth . . . okay, it's been about 7 minutes so in 3 minutes . . . " When she begins to get upset, notice that she is having these feelings and acknowledge it out loud to her. "I see that you are really angry (frustrated, upset, sad) and I'm wondering if you are not wanting to leave because you haven't finished your game (I'm wondering if you are really sad because you will miss mommy, etc.)" Hold her if you can, let her have her feelings and give her empathy. this is crucial because when you connect with her like this, she will know that you "get it." She will still have to make that transition and she will know that she has a parent that loves and supports her. "Hold the limit, hold the feeling" is kind of a mantra in our house and it means that we are able to emotionally support our child, be empathetic and also hold the limit that we've set. Try it a few times and see if the 20 or 30 minutes doesn't go down to 5 or 10. 
have you tried ignoring her? that's the only thing that works with my 20 month old. time-outs don't seem to faze her at all. im a firm believer in spanking, but i don't spank over a tantrum. what she wants is attention, and she could care less whether it's negative or positive. by ignoring her, she will quickly realize that her behavior is not getting her anywhere, and she will give up. good luck!
She probably needs more attention and more freedom in her life. Let her choose between two outfits in the morning, two snacks, etc. Givingh er options will let her feel like she has control over her life. Being the youngest in what is most likely a busy home she probably just feels shuffled around from place to place.
This question was over 6 months ago and has since gone away as she has grown out to the terrible two's. I was looking for a more professional answer yours seems a little crude she getting plenty of attention, freedom and love and is not shuffled anywhere I am not a new mother seeking advice I am an experienced one with a new dilemma that is now resolved.

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