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self destructive tantrums
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self destructive tantrums

My 28 month old has been throwing self destructive tantrums.  He will hit his head on the floor, throwing his whole body weight down.  He will not stop until I intervine.  He jumps up and down on his knees.  He bites and hits himself.  He does this when I am holding or feeding our 5 month daughter.  He asks me to put the baby down.  I don't know how to handle this jealous.  The baby does require more attention with frequent feeding and diaper changes.  I explain to him that I have to feed the baby and will put her down when she is down or he can sit with me on the other side.  He says no and will throw the tantrum until I put her down.  I try to give him lots of attention and affection when I am not holding the baby and when she is napping.  I always tell him I love him and how special he is - how cute he looks and how smart he is by doing things that I list.

With his tantrums, I've tried ignoring him, restraining him, spanking, and putting him in his room.  Nothing seems to work.  How can I stop the tantrums and make him feel equally loved without giving in to him?
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You may not be able to stop the tantrums and certainly you cannot insure that he will feel loved - none of us can control how others feel. However, you can manage the tantrums and not 'give in' to his demands. Such deference to him will certainly increase the frequency of the behavior. You should carry on with whatever you are doing, and literally pay no attention to the behavior. He is drawing you near to him by this behavior, and you are unwittingly falling right into the trap, so to speak. So, carry on, ignore his behavior and, when he experiences that it does not produce the desired result, the frequency of the episodes will diminish.
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