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My son just turned 2, and he started throwing more tantrums on us.

He doesn't eat well or drink enough milk ... and he is becoming more adamant and says "No" more often. If we force him to drink milk, he cries, cries, and cries louder. His mom is getting frustrated with his crankiness. She is trying timeouts and sometimes spanking. We don't want to do these things. This is our first child.

How do we deal with this phase of tantrums he is going through?

2 Answers

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First, we have to understand, why tantrums are so common at that age. From what I understand as a parent, at this age kids want to express a lot more than they are able to. This leads to a lot of frustration and tantrums. The best way to deal with tantrums is not to let them happen: often tantrums happen when kids hungry or tired or miss the nap, so if you know, that this is a direct path to tantrum, don't let you child get too hungry or too tired. Also pick your battles. For example, advantages of milk are not proven, and too much milk can actually cause anemia.

Once the tantrum happened, there is nothing you can do to stop it. Any additional attention will only prolong it. So what you can do, is just stop paying attention and let the child cry, or, some people find, that holding their child in a hug helps. Usually, during tantrums kids loose control of themselves and this is very frightening to them. When my child was that age I read somewhere the advice to hug the child and to hold him and to tell him that everything is ok and we love him when the tantrum is over.

I followed the principles that I listed above. Either that or I was lucky, but terrible twos were not terrible for me.
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2 year olds are most definitely not concious and are not always able to control their behavior!!!! Why do you want to teach your child that it us ok to hit or use violence? There are many good suggestions here that are kinder, compassionate, and humane. Tantrums although sometimes avoidable, are part and parcel of toddlerhood.

When my son has a tantrum, they usually don't last long, especially if he knows I will not budge. The problem we (the parents) have created (NOT the child's problem or fault!) is that we've waffled too much on decisions so he's learned that if he cries and throws a fit, he can sometimes get his way. If I'm firm in my decision and neutral, the tantrum usually passes fairly quickly.
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