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car ride tantrums

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  • car ride tantrums

    My 2yo dd is a social butterfly. problem is, when it's time to leave a friends house she goes ballistic. She will tantrum the whole way home be it 5 miles or 20. She has earpiercing screams, and cries for her friend so hard that she scares herself b/c she's so out of control. It's really hard to drive listening to that and nothing will calm her down. Here's what i've tried to doing so far:
    preparing her in advance to leave, having a goodbye ritual of hugs bye bye, reaching back and putting my hand on her leg so she knows i'm there for her, pulled over and nursed till she calmed down (but she starts back up after putting her back in carseat), playing her kid songs, playing quiet classical music, yesterday i stood outside the car waiting for the storm to be over so i could drive calmly. I get so agitated. But today that didn't work. the minute i got in the car the screaming started back up. Has anyone gone through this? any ideas of how to get her to go home peacefully??

  • #2
    You didn't mention food or drink.. I remember that helped at that age. You can always clean the car later!


    • #3
      thanks for the suggestion! Usually she's eaten before we leave, and if she's in the midst of a tantrum she won't take substitutions (i have tried food/toys in that instance), but maybe i'll try offering her a special car-time snack before we buckle in...Hope this is just a short-lived phase!


      • #4
        Other ideas.... -move carseat to other seat in car.

        -borrow another seat and let her pick.

        --get most annoying electric light-up talking toy only for car.

        --give her something you NEVER let her have, cell phone, old camera, takling x-mas ornament.

        --bring your cat


        • #5
          We've always had car problems, outselves, but never as intense as what you describe!! Sounds really tough. I find myself hating car seats and wishing for the days before they were invented... Do I prefer attachment or safety?

          Anyways, the ideas mentioned sound good. Food has helped us before. Special items that she doesn't normally get also help. And expressing our joy when she does get in/ride in the car happily.

          It really takes a tremendous amount of patience that is tough to muster. In those cases, my best solution is empathy--trying to imagine why she is so unhappy and trying to understand.
          Last edited by AwakenedMama; 08-08-2008, 03:43 PM. Reason: typo


          • #6
            my 23-month-old is only now starting to tolerate the car seat. having different kinds of food and chocolate milk (if you don't object) really helps.

            as for your daughter, how much time do you allot to preparing her to go? perhaps you could make it longer?

            one of my daughters had a hard time with transitions when she was a toddler. using a timer helped because they can't imagine or visualize what "x minutes" means but she knows that when the bell rings, time's up!

            another idea: if you have a polaroid camera, why not take a picture of your daughter and her friend before you leave? then she can hold it in the car on your way home.

            hope this helps!


            • #7
              i would also try empathy. tell her "i see that you're really angry right now. you don't want to leave your friend. you miss her" etc.

              also, i'd try having something really exciting planned for when you get home. that way, she doesn't see going home as such a downer to her day, but rather something else to look forward to.