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  1. #1

    How does a future-stepmother handle a 2-yr old's tantrums??

    My partner has a 2-year old who I adore when he behaves well. But at times he is such a handful!! He would make some requests that when declined, he would start throwing tantrums that basically make for an embarrassing scene --- ANYWHERE! At the supermarket, at the park, at home. Anywhere. My partner is sooooo tolerant of him! He just picks him up the floor, doesn't say anything, carry him around trying to contain him until he either gets what he wants, or gets so tired of struggling and crying he'll fall asleep. I'm not a parent yet so I don't feel confident telling what my partner ought to or not to do. And besides, that is not my child. He also spares him the rod, which I think doesn't help the situation. From this behaviour pattern I think things will just get worse. I'd say if I was the mum, I won't tolerate him so much.

    I would just ignore the kid when he throws tantrums. It's not that I don't care. I do care, but I gathered that by ignoring children's tantrums, you show them that what they're doing has no effect whatsoever, and that tantrums do not get them what they want or settle anything really. I am a 26-year old with no children of my own, so I'm not sure. Am I doing the right thing?

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Hi Miss Eimee,

    This is truly something you and your partner will need to discuss if you plan to get married because if the two of you can't agree on your discipline methods, it will breed resentment in you and eventually, as the child gets older, he will start to play the two of you off each other (if mum says "no", I'll just ask dad).

    You already have some fairly natural parenting skills if you're noticing that what this child does is wrong, and his father's responses haven't changed the behavior.

    So here's a suggestion on how to handle 2 year olds when they started to test their boundaries (and they ALL do).

    I will preface this by saying that we did not "spare the rod" in our home, and yet the rod was never used often because once they experienced the correction, they were quick to remember it and not repeat the same behavior.

    But I also worked in a Preschool for nearly 6 years, and we had to curb behavior there in a different way. It can be done, but I just have noticed over the past 25 years that those who choose to spare the rod have to deal with poor behavior for a longer period of time (I like to nip it in the bud).

    If a 2 year old throws a tantrum, you can say in a stern, loving voice, "I will not let you do that." It immediately makes the child feel more secure because they now realize that they're "out of control" behavior can be helped, and daddy won't let me be out of control. If they continue to throw their tantrum, then it's time to separate them by taking them to the car, or a quiet room until they choose to settle down. You can say, "when you stop crying, and put a smile on your face, we will go back in". Or if you can't leave the room, you can hold the child in one place until they settle down (don't let them hit or kick you).

    Sometimes the child will struggle, but eventually they always settle down. Once settled you can talk to them and let them know that that kind of behavior is not okay. You're not giving them what they want, you're giving them what they need. They need to have boundaries and they need to respect your "no". They need to respect whatever you say. If you say, "It's time to get your shoes on because we're going to go." They need to respect your direction and do what you say - immediately, without throwing a fit.

    I never had the "terrible twos" with any of my children and my children received LOTS of compliments from strangers. I could take them to any restaurant and know that they would have good manners and sit quietly - even at 2 years of age. It's called training. You have to train your children and that takes time and effort. It isn't easy. Sometimes it's easier to just keep doing what you want to do, while your child is screaming in your arms, but really, there's not fun in that. Wouldn't it be nicer to have your child do what you want them to do, with a smile on their face and sit quietly in your arms while you have a conversation with someone else? It can be done, but the training starts at home.

    Please let use know if you have a specific situation you would like help with. We've got lots of ideas to share.

    Warm regards,


  3. #3
    Great advice there, Kate! You're the best! OMG I cannot believe that this could potentially become a huge problem not only for my partner, but for our relationship and future family as well. We have plans of getting married but not soon enough. But thanks to you, this will be one of the many things we will be discussing before we make things official.

    With your proposed action plan on the child, do you think I've started on the right foot?? I NEVER baby-talked my partner's son. Always talked to him like an adult, treated him like an adult, even when he throws fits on us on the pettiest of things. This is how my mother raised me --- she always believed that children, when treated as adults, will start behaving like adults earlier in life. On the other hand, she also warned against allowing behaviour constraints to spoil the fun of childhood. She had the ideal that children should learn the ways of adults, but should also be allowed to enjoy the fun (and mistakes) of childhood. Using this ideal I usually would ignore the tantrum but when it gets out of hand, with a low voice I would just say: "doing that will not get you what you want", or "doing that will not change my mind".

    Sounds like you've done a very good job training your children. I respect and commend you for that It must be hard, hey? Trying to balance work, life and being hands-on with your children. I would love to have my partner's son and my own future children behave like yours. I'd like for my kids to be well-behaved anywhere and be gracious with people. Your ideas are great!! I sure will be checking back these forums everyday! Your support is greatly appreciated! xoxo,

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