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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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My son will be 17 months at the beginning of next month and

Resolved Question:

My son will be 17 months at the beginning of next month and is a great kid. He has, however, started having full -blown crying tantrums whenever he is not allowed to do what he wants. I completely understand that this is normal but I'm looking for advice on the best way to handle these situations.

Also, we do try to not say "no". I mean, of course we do say it, but both my husband and I do regularly explain to him in other ways such as "that's not what we do, etc".
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 1 year ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

CoachJenK :

As you stated perfectly he is within normal behavior here with the tantrums. he is beginning to know what he wants and when he wants it but does not have the verbal skills to ask or express himself other than in a tantrum. No parent will ever have a tantrum free home but there are ways to minimize them so that as he gets older they dont become persistent.

CoachJenK :

I would be clear on whatever boundary you set. I will give an example. you decide to give him a cookie. He eats it and enjoys it and wants another. You say only one cookie...he then begins to scream and have a tantrum so that he can have another cookie. As loud as he gets, under no circumstance do you give him another cookie. If you do, what you will teach him is that if he screams loud enough or long enough he gets what he wants.

CoachJenK :

When you hand him the first cookie you might say to him...I am giving you this one cookie but that is it. No more cookies after this one. This way he hears the "rule" but you must follow through.

CoachJenK :

when he begins to scream walk away and "busy" yourself with something else. As long as he is safe from harm he can scream and cry all he wants. Just dont give in.

CoachJenK :

If he will not calm down what you can also do while still ignoring him is sit near him with one of his toys and pretend to get very interested in playing with it, even talking out loud to yourself, but not to him about how you love to build or play with this toy. Continue to play on your own until he comes over and begins to engage too.

CoachJenK :

do not bring up the cookie incident. If he begins begging again, you must get up and ignore him and do other things.

CoachJenK :

the cookie is just an example but it can be used for anything.

CoachJenK :

Let me know your thoughts so far. I look forward to connecting with you when you are online.

CoachJenK :

Here is a wonderful book for you to read as well. http://www.happiestbaby.com/learn-about-your-baby-toddler/the-happiest-toddler-on-the-block/

Customer:

Great, thanks. It's good to know we're on the right track. I'm guessing the above advice also should be used with sleep training, correct? I'm still nursing him a bit, mostly before bed, so we have struggled with him going to sleep on his own. For the past 2 weeks, I put him in his crib (which is still in our room) and then pretend to go to sleep until he goes to sleep.

Customer:

We want to move him into the other room, what's the best way to do that?

CoachJenK :

sleep training is a whole different animal. if you pretend to sleep but are in the room with him then he will always expect you in there

Customer:

I know.

Customer:

We tried when he was younger but it never stuck.

CoachJenK :

I would place his crib in his room and begin slowly to make him feel safe and cozy in there

CoachJenK :

ahhh the follow through :-)

CoachJenK :

if you dint make it stick he will know and things will be very hard.

CoachJenK :

I have a no wiggle room policy in my house....I set the boundary and then I stick to it.

Customer:

Most of the time, lately, we make sure he stays in there. If he is still crying for an extended period of time while I'm in there, I hug and kiss him and tell him it's goodnight time and he has to go to sleep. He will eventually cry it out but I hate that.

Customer:

Should we confirm his going to bed by himself first (in our room) and then move the crib into the other room? That seems to make the most sense but I'm not sure of the timeline.

CoachJenK :

do you pick him up?

Customer:

We try not to.

CoachJenK :

I would do it all at once. I would put him in his own room and then gently start to train him

CoachJenK :

read a book while he is in his crib

CoachJenK :

get him cozy

CoachJenK :

walk out. if he cries come back in 5 minutes. do not pick him up. pat his back and say mommy is here, its time to sleep and walk out.

CoachJenK :

then wait 6 minutes and do it again

CoachJenK :

your visit to the room should be 30 seconds or less

Customer:

Ok, that's been our problem, we stay too long.

CoachJenK :

it will take about a week but if you are CONSISTENT and dont deviate he will get it.

CoachJenK :

think of it this way...you are doing him a disservice by helping him.

Customer:

Great, thank you.

CoachJenK :

he needs to have this skill

Customer:

I know he does. He does it by himself at daycare but knows we'll come to him at home.

CoachJenK :

its a quick pat of reassurance and nothing more

CoachJenK :

EXACTLY

CoachJenK :

kids know when we are wimps. :-)

CoachJenK :

and of course we are...they are our babies

Customer:

What about during the night if he wakes up? He doesn't do it regularly but will sometimes wake up and is usually hungry. He's struggled with weight gain and is still super small so I feel like I have to get up and feed him.

CoachJenK :

does the peciatrician say you should be feeding him during the night?

Customer:

I should check in with her. My guess is she'd probably say feed him (he's 90% length, 75%head and 7% weight) He's also off dairy and gluten and we're limiting sugar... we've tried a lot of stuff.

CoachJenK :

if she says you should then follow that but if she says no, it is the same routine as putting him to bed. he wakes up you wait five then go in for a QUICK pat...no picking up or hugs or kisses...just areassuring pat and reminding him it is time to sleep.

CoachJenK :

i would scream too for mommy to come in and give me hugs and kisses.

Customer:

When I asked about taking him off the bottle, she said wait until 18 months to even start and I know he has cousins who were supposed to start way earlier.

CoachJenK :

the daytime is the time to give him lots of hugs and kisses and nighttime is for sleeping

CoachJenK :

no worries about others, just follow what she is telling you.

Customer:

Ok. So, a hug and kiss the initial time down and then a pat...

CoachJenK :

yes. night=SLEEP

CoachJenK :

but do not get sucked back in the room with one more mommy please.

Customer:

Ok, I will try. :)

CoachJenK :

it will take a bit and some hellish night s but if you start and then quit again you will pay for it. so pick some days and nights when you feel strong and then no wiggle room

CoachJenK :

come to me anytime.

Customer:

Thank you so much. This was extremely helpful!

Customer:

Have a good rest of the day. If something else comes up, I'll be in touch!

CoachJenK :

my pleasure. please take a moment to click on the rating tab so you can rate my work

CoachJenK :

I am here if you need me.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1723
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and 2 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

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