Saturday, December 19, 2009


It's been a bit of a rough week. Our little man has been having a lot of temper tantrums, which we think we can mostly attribute to teething (Elijah is getting his second set of molars).

The good news? He only needs three and a half more teeth. The bad news? You guessed it - He only needs three and a half more teeth (he's been working on that 'half' for a few weeks now).

Mealtime has been particularly rough. He wants to eat, but once I start to feed him he freaks out - biting and banging his head on the high chair. Not pretty. We finally figured out that he's in pain (the poor guy).

When Elijah first started to have temper tantrums, we were thrilled. It was during his first set of HBOT dives that he started to tell us that he didn't like getting his diaper changed and that he didn't really appreciate getting put in his car seat. Over a year later and he still doesn't really like those things and still lets us know.

Having to come back inside after playing outside also sets him off - as does not letting him go somewhere he wanted to go.

A lot of this stuff is just typical two-year-old stuff. While some of the ways he deals with his frustration isn't so typical (i.e.-biting his hand to the point of causing it to bleed), a lot of it is your run of the mill temper tantrums (and from what I understand - some self-injurious behaviors can also be considered 'normal').

I remind myself that there is a reason that "they" call these the Terrible Twos. Elijah does have disabilities, but more important than any of his diagnoses is this fact - he is a two-year-old. There is more that makes Elijah similar to his peers than what makes him different. And I believe that statement is true when it comes to every single child, no matter the disability. We are all linked by a human connection. It is so important for me to remember this.

The temper tantrums this week got me to thinking...what causes your kiddos to lose their tempers?

I'd love to hear from Elijahland readers who are parenting or have parented (special needs or not) a child who has temper tantrums. What gets your child upset? How do you deal with it? And, if your kiddo has never had a temper tantrum, what do you wish they'd get mad about? Because, I know when you're parenting a child with special needs, there are things you never thought you'd wish for. I never thought I'd see temper tantrums as a blessing, but I do. The blessing is in never taking anything for granted. Write a comment and we can share stories (you don't have to have a blogger account to do so...just post it anonymously and sign your name at the bottom). I'd love to hear from Elijah-fans (yes, you!). Okay, so is that a totally pathetic attempt to get comments or what? :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, I think the temper tantrums are from Elijah's inability to communicate his feelings. You are doing a remarkable job of reading his actions and coming up with the correct conclusions. Have you tried the bliss symbols to see if he can communicate pain? I know he's very much aware of what you and Andy do and maybe he could show you where he hurts. I'm praying for you all and deeply admire you and Andy for all you do.

Linda Torgeson

rc45 said...

Hello Lisa,
Yes temper tantrums are a normal trait of 2 yr. old. It is fun to watch Maya our almost 2 yr. old.
Reggie Warren

Kathy Lausted said...

Lisa, Elijah does have special needs and he has temper tantrums, this we know. As you said he has many traits of a two year old which make me smile. Yes, smile. I'm at a different perspective than you. I'm a Grandparent. When I was a young parent, I felt the same things you did. Now I'm a Grandparent and enjoy everything about Elijah - even his misbehavior. I wonder if that's how God feels when he looks at us. Yes, at times, we are corrected for our misbehavior and sometimes we hurt ourselves. Elijah is a beautiful young boy. You and Andy are great parents. I am so enjoying being Elijah's Grandmother. I feel that God is enjoying being a loving Father to him, as well. Love gets you through a multitude of things. Love, GrammaKat

Anonymous said...

Oh yes - the thrill of the 2 year old temper tantrums! Like you said, another aspect of Elijah's life that is more similar to his peers than dissimilar. Our big tantrum today, happened with both kids - at the same time. Dinner was NOT, I repeat, NOT acceptable to either of the kiddos. Drew threw himself back in his booster seat and wailed while Aubrey shouted over and over "I don't want to - I don't want to!" Everything from please eat, watch Mommy eat, to EAT NOW! didn't work. Not a lot of conversation around the dinner table, and a LOT of veggies scattered on the floor, and the table, and the chairs.... But like you, I find myself taking a deep breath, stepping back and trying to remember was life was like BEFORE I had the opportunity to listen in on such things, and be the "Mommy" the angry toddler was referring to. I hope the ice chips helped and have a wonderful evening!

Ann Wilson

Carson Man said...

Hi Lisa, My almost 2 yr old twins are in the "terrible two's tantrum thing" already. They will be 2 in Feb. One of the twins is special needs(CP) and the other, a typical growing boy. I will tell you the tantrums came for my Carson (CP) when we did HBOT in May. It was the greatest thing EVER to SEE!!! At that time, he finally was trying to roll away from me while changing his diaper.He gave us that disgusted look we had never seen before. His twin had already been doing it for some time. Now they BOTH have tantrums over the same things, taking them in from the leave pile, and snow pile...big crying out sessions. Also, when one brother trys to take a toy from the other...big tantrum. Carson still does not walk, but can army crawl like crazy and has a tight grip with his left hand. He definetly trys to keep up with his brothers.(I also have a 3 yr old) My husband says I baby Carson more, because he cnnot walk, so I try to watch that and push him to stay close to his brothers. As our OT says,"its great to see naughty behavior"!!!I love your blog! I only have contact with a few different moms with children with CP under the age of 3. Elijah is so cute and I love to see his progress. Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!

Tara Bennett said...

When Miss Chloe has tantrums, I just try to distract her. Right now, I use the Christmas tree lights as a distraction -- it works every time! Temper tantrums are hard for us because Chloe's inability to communicate makes it so I (usually) have no idea what is upsetting her. But I just try to love her and help her as much as possible, and when I think she's just acting her age and throwing a fit, I distract her. It works so far. I'll keep you posted, though! lol!

Anonymous said...

Prevent temper tantrums by teaching other ways to express themselves. Example:You ALWAYS shake your head back and forth to show disapproval.
Clap your hands or some other motion for approval.
Generally, we have been told to ignore the tantrums. If you respond they will use it again.
Maybe as you take care of the hurt hand you shake your head NO.

Lisa said...

Thanks to all of you for the thoughts, comments, stories, advice. I so enjoyed reading all the comments and appreciate your words of wisdom!

Linda- I've never thought of using the bliss symbols. Not sure if he'd be able to visually attend to the pictures, but it'd be worth a try.

Reggie and GramKat - It's fun to be a grandparent isn't it? I suppose it's a completely different perspective :)

Ann- I love hearing about your amazing little miracles. It's hard for me to imagine dealing with two little people having temper tantrums at the same time. But, you're right, it's a blessing to 'have' to deal with it. Perhaps I'll get the priviledge to listen to two little people complain at once someday. ;)

Hi Heather! Nice to "meet" you. I get excited about naughty behavior too! When Elijah gets into trouble, I have to take a moment to inwardly rejoice before I correct him. I can't help it, it's a miracle he can move let alone get into trouble. Thanks for reading my blog!

TMI Tara - Distraction is a great idea. We use that sometimes too. It doesn't always work, but I probably should try it more - especially when Elijah is doing some of his self-injurious behaviors so that I can protect him. Thanks!

Hi Anonymous- We do try head shaking with Elijah. The problem with it is that Elijah has a hard time looking at us. Not because he's trying to be naughty, but because it's literally hard for him to see us because of his visual impairment (which is especially the case when he's in a rage). You make a good point though, I should be more consistent in my head shaking...especially since we'd like to see him use it more himself to tell us no (and nodding to tell us yes). We do model it for him, but I forget sometimes.

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