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To ask if this is normal in a 6 year old

(61 Posts)
Thepowerof3 Tue 06-Aug-13 09:56:16

My 6 year old still has tantrums, screaming and crying (not usually in public) she is my eldest so am I BU to ask if other six year olds do this as I would've thought she would've grown out of it by now but obviously she hasn't and I'm driven to distraction

Thepowerof3 Tue 06-Aug-13 20:58:21

If she refuses to go I pick her up, underneath her arms so I don't hurt her

pointythings Tue 06-Aug-13 21:00:16

DD1 did this at that age, we taught her to put herself in 'time out' to calm down. She was allowed to read and play quietly away from us, we made it very clear this was about defusing a situation and not about punishment. It worked very well, and I don't think it's at all abnormal, six is still very little.

LingDiLong Tue 06-Aug-13 21:21:49

Yes, DS who's 6 has them. My 8 year old DD doesn't and had grown out of them at 3 or 4. He's just much less able to deal with his emotions, he isn't very 'emotionally articulate' really. He gets angry, he screams. We are trying hard to encourage him to talk to us and find other ways to deal with his anger. Recently he's got a lot better at calming himself down quickly and is always very contrite afterwards.

Davsmum Wed 07-Aug-13 14:05:14

I do think childrens tantrums differ depending on who they are with and how that person is reacting.
Thats why I believe we all need to look at our own responses to tantrums.
My niece has massive tantrums for her Mum and yet gives up almost immediately for her Dad and does not bother with them at all for her Grandad or Grandma because they just wouldn't tolerate them and ignored her completely whereas her mum would tell her off - or try to placate her and kept trying different things because sh felt she should DO something to stop it.

Thepowerof3 Wed 07-Aug-13 16:42:51

I put her in her room so I'm able to ignore it otherwise I find the screaming nerve jangling, maybe I'll send myself to my room!

LingDiLong Wed 07-Aug-13 20:35:33

Davsmum - DS's don't! He has them with everyone. When he loses the plot, he loses the plot.

Thepowerof3 Wed 07-Aug-13 20:38:48

My DD does it for everyone outside of school

WhoreOfTheWorlds Wed 07-Aug-13 20:51:03

Our DCs never really had tantrums and had definitely grown out of them by the time they went to school at 4.

But we holidayed earlier this year with a 4.2 year old who tantrumed 2-3 times per day. It was full on screaming, howling and rolling on the floor. Often it was caused by something as insignificant as a drop of water from a puddle splashing onto his shoe?

One day their tantrum last nearly an hour. In desperation their Mum left them in their bedroom and the child came downstairs still screaming and shouting, but looking for their Mum. When they walked into the kitchen where I was standing alone I said very sharply 'Oh do be quiet now, no one wants to hear that noise' and the child was immediately quiet.

They were quiet for about 20 seconds, then when they heard their Mum approaching they immediately started howling and tantruming again.

I can't believe this is normal behaviour? The child seems incredibly highly strung and extremely manipulative.

NoComet Wed 07-Aug-13 20:53:21

I'm very old school, very disobedient DDs get a smack, by 6 DD2 knew room meant room.

Anyway she's very far from daft and even when in full rage she knew me and DD1 were likely to ignore her, so she might as well go and calm down.

It's not very fair having a big sister who doesn't strop, she's even less sympathetic than mum.

DfanjoUnchained Wed 07-Aug-13 20:54:01

What time does she go to bed?

LingDiLong Wed 07-Aug-13 20:55:06

3 yo DD has tantrums where she's clearly looking for a reaction. DS's are different.

Just because one child might be doing it for attention it doesn't mean they all do.

And just because you were able to shock a friend's child into being quiet, it doesn't mean it would be as easy for their parents!

Holidays are often a nightmare for kids who are 'highly strung' - they're tired and out of routine. Tantrum city.

My 11 year old dd1 used to have proper screaming jump and down tantrums between the ages of 5 and 9. Ignored and sent to room till calm but it was stressful. Shes brill now but is still stroppy but that's hormones. It will pass!

CorrineFoxworth Wed 07-Aug-13 20:56:09

Might be worth looking at tantrums v meltdowns

LingDiLong Wed 07-Aug-13 20:57:55

Ooh, thanks for that Corrine. I'd say my DS has 'meltdowns' then definitely. It's nothing to do with attention or wanting something, they come from nowhere and seem to completely overwhelm him.

WhoreOfTheWorlds Wed 07-Aug-13 20:59:02

Davsmum, what you say is very interesting?

I noted that the child was far more likely to tantrum infront of their Mum because she felt the correct response was to try and calm the child down and reason with them, or try and distract them. I very much got the impression that the child thoroughly enjoyed Mum's undivided attention during that time.

Obviously the child knew there was zero point tantruming to me or to their Dad who was highly annoyed by the tantruming and would just leave the room.

Goldenbear Wed 07-Aug-13 21:41:24

My DS is 6 and still has 'tantrums' in private but he is copying his sister who is 2. Often it starts off as a 'joke' and will escalate into something more real but I have to say they were worse after school 6 months ago. They are definitely lessening as I just talk to him now.

Thepowerof3 Wed 07-Aug-13 21:47:37

She goes to bed by 7 but we are more flexible in the holidays, thanks ghostsgowooh that makes me feel a bit better

CorrineFoxworth Wed 07-Aug-13 21:47:43

I'm glad that link was useful as I would hate to be accused of internet-diagnosis!

Thepowerof3 Wed 07-Aug-13 21:53:52

That's so true LingDiLong, my DD wants to stay up like her friends but just can't seem to cope

PatriciaHolm Wed 07-Aug-13 21:57:04

DS still has tantrums (not meltdowns, that link is really good thanks Corrine as it has passed through my mind before) at 7.5. His are, these days, largely when he's hungry; he CANNOT deal with hunger at all well, but then neither can his 43 year old father, so I know how to deal most of the time. He doesn't do it for anyone but his parents either.

I also have almost 9 yr old DD who is having pre-teen strops all the time. It's just fun fun fun in this house atm -reaches for wine glass- wine

WhoreOfTheWorlds Thu 08-Aug-13 11:01:14

Thank you for that link Corrine, reading that it's very clear that my friend's 4 yr old is definitely tantruming and not having a meltdown.

I have witnessed them pulling the same style of tantrum at all times of the day, in very different situations and in their own home. So I don't think it's caused by hunger, tiredness or being out of routine.

I think they tantrum because they are very highly strung and they are allowed to, and because they then get their Mum's undivided attention while doing so.

TheSmallPrint Thu 08-Aug-13 11:06:54

Yes, I have an almost 6yo DS who is great at throwing tantrums. He also has a naturally deep and loud voice so there is no ignoring him. I have found distracting followed by cuddling to be the most effective way of calming.

I had always assumed tiredness was then main cause but actually I wonder if hunger makes a difference, he is a big lad (98th centile height wise) so maybe he needs more food!

Davsmum Thu 08-Aug-13 14:34:07

Its not just how you handle a tantrum while its happening - its how you handle a child in general because the way you do can lead to tantrums!

If you are not consistent or you don't listen to a child when they need you to listen or you say No before you have given a request any thought and then give in and say yes because they kick off and you didn't really mean no in the first place then it can all lead to frustrations and tantrums.
So can not preparing them for what is going to happen - like just removing them from whatever activity they are doing without any notice or warning.

Its surprising how many people probably do not link any of that to a child's tantrums.
Something causes a tantrum. Children don't just suddenly have them for no reasons.

valiumredhead Thu 08-Aug-13 16:01:24

Ds had only just stopped and he's 12.

WhoreOfTheWorlds Thu 08-Aug-13 17:05:19

I agree with you Davsmum. I believe my friend's child tantrums because he's very highly strung and nervous, and he doesn't feel very safe in the world.

His Mum's approach is quite a wooly and she isn't always consistent in what she says or does and I think this actually makes him feel quite afraid. So his tantrum begins and then her hesitant approach to his distress only makes him feel more scared and that no one is in control of the situation.

My Mum can remember being a very little girl and throwing huge tantrums and what made her tantrums 100 times worse was the knowledge that her Mum didn't know how to cope with the tantrum and just went to pieces, and that made my Mum feel terrified. My Mum would describe herself as a very anxious and highly strung child.

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