Toddler Tantrums and Discipline

Hello Ingrid. I have a 2-1/2 year old boy.

He gets frustrated and throws tantrums (and throws objects) when he is unable to accomplish a task...example, he loves trains. He has a train track and likes to link a train with other trains, but if you link too many together it's hard to keep them on the track when going around a curb, so they usually fall off. He gets very frustrated and cries, throws a fit and starts throwing his trains. No matter how many times we try to explain to him why the trains fall he does not understand, keeps doing it and throws fits. And no matter how many times We (his parents) tell him not to throw his toys he always does, and after the 2nd time his father usually scolds him and spanks him. My son then can't stop crying because he's upset now because his dad yelled at him and spanked him.

Now my question is, are we doing the right thing?.....my husband says he needs to learn not to throw things, and not to throw tantrums. I am not against discipline when my son is being disobedient...but in this situation, I feel like My son is only throwing the toys because he's frustrated, not because he is trying to disobey us. Yes we tell him not to throw but he does it anyway, but i'm sure it's out of frustration.....are we doing the right thing? Or should we approach correcting his tantrum and frustrations in another way? I look forward to your response....thank you!

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Toddler Discipline
by: Ingrid from Toddlers Are Fun

Hello and thank you for your question and concerns. Toddlers are learning to become independent at this phase. They especially get frustrated when something may not work out as they had planned. (such as placing the train on the tracks). However even at that age they can and should be taught to deal with their feelings and frustrations appropriately, and throwing the objects are not appropriate.

The next time this happens,I recommend that you speak to your son "eye to eye" at his level and you explain to him that he cannot throw his toys. That if he is mad then he must express it in other ways. Talk with him about what he could do differently to express his frustrations other than throwing toys. (yes even at this age they can understand) For example: By simply telling you he's mad. If the tantrum gets out of control then place him in "Time Out". This is also an area where you and your husband can lead by example. If you get upset about something then you should express your anger appropriately as well. No screaming or yelling etc. ( I am not saying that you do scream or yell, I am only giving an example :0) He will mimic and learn what he sees. These are "learned behaviors".

This next tip is sound advice that I do with my son. It is very important to "PRAISE" him more in a day than he is corrected. If you see him playing nicely with his toys then praise him for that. Keep reinforcing that he is a "good boy". This not only builds self esteem but also gives the child an incentive to do the right thing. They feel proud. I have a great page on "Time Out" rules and I would suggest that you may want to try this form of discipline and see if this works out better for your family. Thanks again and keep me updated on how he is doing!

"Time Out Tips Page"
http://www.toddlers-are-fun.com/toddler-behavior.html

Thanks!
Ingrid
Toddlers Are Fun.com

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