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to expect DS aged 4.8 to have stopped tantrumming by now

(54 Posts)
tripletipple Wed 14-Nov-12 17:20:31

He had another major meltdown in a shop today. Normally I avoid shops with him at all costs but today thought that it might be ok if I explained to him beforehand exactly what we were going in for and nothing else. Wrong!

It's not just shops though, can happen at any mention of the word "no" or any disguised version of it.

Should this not have stopped by now? Do you have a child of this age who still has tantrums or did you have one who has since stopped?

AIBU to think he is too old to still be doing this?

Cortana Wed 14-Nov-12 17:24:41

Every child is different. There's no age where any of them should start or stop doing anything.

It seems you communicated the situation well to him. Does your DS perhaps find it hard to communicate his frustrations? Does he display the same behavior at school?

piprabbit Wed 14-Nov-12 17:27:57

Mine, mine <waves arm eagerly in air>

He used to be horrific. Since starting school he has improved a little. We are trying to stick to the simple rule "If you tantrum, you miss out". So if he kicks off because he wants sweets - well he doesn't get sweets. Or if he doesn't like his tea, well he'll end up missing tea altogether if he keeps up with the screaming and stamping. We explained the idea one day when he was calm, and he is gradually starting to hear us when we remind him that he'll miss out as soon a tantrum starts.

Good luck - it is awful but I'm sure <grasps straws> that it will pass soon.

tripletipple Wed 14-Nov-12 17:28:26

He's not at school yet (Scottish system) but he goes to nursery. He doesn't have tantrums there but they say he doesn't stay within boundaries very easily.

He can communicate his frustrations but loses it at the same time!

piprabbit Wed 14-Nov-12 17:28:31

BTW he is, apparently, angelic at school hmm.

OatcakeCravings Wed 14-Nov-12 17:30:48

My DS is the same. He is 4.6 and can keep a tantrum up for a good hour. Angelic at nursery though, keeps it all in until he is home.

piprabbit Wed 14-Nov-12 17:38:31

It's as if my DS has a picture in his head of how he thinks things are going to be. The tantrums happen when reality doesn't exactly match his expectations, and in the past there has been no scope for compromise or negotiation (it's his way or nothing). We are gradually having more sensible conversations, but if he is tired or already upset... we are back to old-style tantrums.

Adalwulf Wed 14-Nov-12 17:40:16

My Ds is almost exactly that age - and he still tantrums regularly – daily really.

I also have two DD - eldest 7 did calm down around 6 but since 7 we've had a few teenage style tantrums. My dd2 is 3 and while generally calmer is obviously at prime age for tantrums which are still daily.

It really gets me down as DH works away and it’s just us.

My DS aren't as predictable or as avoidable - so I just have to deal with them. As they get older it gets harder not easier to deal with in public especially round the school where they are very well behaved for their teachers.

I try and make sure they are not tired or hungry and we don’t give in to them – make sure they have time to play and run off stream as well and that they have quiet time to talk to me.

I also try really hard to think positively – that the traits that make them this determined and persistent must be useful in later life.

I really do DS especially would just stop doing it.

tripletipple Wed 14-Nov-12 17:41:26

Thanks for the replies

None of the parents of the children in his class at nursery that I speak to seem to have any problem with this kind of thing. They just say things like put him on the naughty step. Are you kidding me? I'd like to see any of them get him on the naughty step in full blown tantrum, including the dads.

ISeeSmallPeople Wed 14-Nov-12 17:41:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DontCallMeBaby Wed 14-Nov-12 17:44:42

DD started tantrumming at 4. Not often, but ballistically. Still does from time to time, aged 8. Frightens the life out of herself and comes for a cuddle once she's calmed down.

piprabbit Wed 14-Nov-12 17:48:34

I suspect the parents at OPs nursery are lying glossing over the truth. Tantrums are very, very common right up to (and beyond) the start of school.

Ronby Wed 14-Nov-12 17:49:03

The fact that he doesn't have tantrums at school suggests to me that he can control his behaviour if he wants to.

Children only usually continue to display this kind of behaviour if they know that they will get their own way by doing so. Do you end up giving in to him to avoid the embarrassment? Does he only do it in public where he knows your response is different to at home? He is old enough to understand that certain behaviours are not acceptable so be strong and firm with him but reward him if he does behave well.

SparkyTGD Wed 14-Nov-12 17:50:43

DS is 7 & still has major tantrums, as do most of his friends.

Not usually throwing themselves on floor ones but throwing stuff & yelling/screaming, yes.

JoandMax Wed 14-Nov-12 17:57:27

DS1, 4.4, still has major tantrums but they are much better since he's started school - I think he's too tired to bother!!

We've found a star chart helps and we have a chat everyday about how it's better to keep calm and talk to Mummy/Daddy if he's cross or worried rather than shout and scream....

I also have never found naughty step works at all, just makes it escalate rapidly so I offer a clear choice "if you continue to tantrum we go straight home or you can calm down and we'll go to the park" is much more effective

tripletipple Wed 14-Nov-12 18:01:30

Sorry, not managing to keep up with everyone!

HIs tantrums aren't so much shouting and stomping, we are talking complete meltdown, more like DCMB, by the end of it he is a bit dazed, very apologetic, not sure what has happened.

Today it was actually about asking him to stay still while I tried to shop (for 3 items) and not run up and down and bang in to people /things. He couldn't/didn't so I decided to leave the shop. He went crazy (probably because he knew he had caused this and I was annoyed). It wasn't so much about him not getting things (as we had already bought the thing for him that we had gone for).

I just feel he should have grown out of it by now but maybe IABU

Adalwulf Wed 14-Nov-12 18:04:33

That what I don't get Ronby we don't give in even in public and in fact thier tantrums lose them things - at minute DS is earning back his toys as his behavior and trantrums have been so frequent and extreme last week.

We've had the whole it must be your fault from the Grandparents - who are then shocked when they have them and they fail to head off trantrums with distraction or stop them in their tracks.

Clear boundaries, lots of praise, managing their expectations do help at times but don't stop all the tantrums.

Actually I'm starting to wonder if they behave in school partly as they find it a very stressful place - they are very shy and dislike noisy environments with lots of people they can't get away from- so maybe they keep their heads down.

Adalwulf Wed 14-Nov-12 18:08:42

I don't know if it would help - but we do have a habit of taking the DC to parks before shopping trips or for long walks.

It's not always possible - but does mean they are that bit clamer though if they are very tired that leads to bad behavior.

It's hitting the right balance - which is probably why I haven't done that much shopping in person these last few years but a lot over the internet.

valiumredhead Wed 14-Nov-12 18:10:08

My 11 year old ds is still quite capable of having a major meltdown occasionally, in fact he had one last night when I told him he needed an early night - it involved door slamming and stern words from his dad. don't expect them to stop anytime soon OP grin

DaveMccave Wed 14-Nov-12 20:18:04

My 5.5 year old does. I recognise the meltdowns explained. It's not just a tantrum it's a full on, kicking and screaming seeing red, completely out of body experience that lasts up to an hour and there isn't a thing I can do to stop it. I have to ignore her whilst she bites/kicks me and physically move her to a safe place to ignore her, which gets a lot of disapproving looks (why isn't she disciplining that brat for kicking her?) If you've had a kid that has meltdowns, you know there's nothing you can do but wait for them to calm down. She's usually scared and shaky and has trouble breathing after them and says she couldn't stop herself. She is more prone to them when very tired/hungry. They are much harder to deal with now,as she's too big for me to carry.

I don't give into her about the petty things they start from. Last one was because she wanted a kitkat from her grandparents when we were leaving, and she'd already had pudding, and it was past bedtime, so I said no. It took about half an hour to force her into her car seat and about an hour for her to calm down. I still have bruises from her bites and kicks. She was told she could have the kitkat the next day, but that went back to the gp's house when she wouldn't get into the car, and she also lost her bedtime story for not calming down too and I didn't back down on those things.

The week before the hour long meltdown was because she wanted to play on my phone at a fireworks display and I said no.

I often wish I'd agreed to whatever she requested, but once they start tantrumming and heading for meltdown I know it would be terrible parenting to change my mind. People who see your children having these tantrums assume you don't discipline them at all though, which I'm sure you've experienced. Crazy really, if we didn't, they wouldn't be in meltdown mode would they? Well done them for having calm children, that's obviously all down to your excellent discipline and nothing to do with genetics. Smug bastards. grin

cheekydevil Wed 14-Nov-12 20:48:05

Err, we are not all smug bastards. I really feel for parents that have to deal with meltdowns. I think it must be very distressing for you and your dcs. I know I am lucky, I see my Dd's friend have a mild one compared to what I am hearing here and I am at a complete loss at how to react or what to do.
I don't want any child or parent to have to go through that and wish I had the answer. Is there much research on tantrums?

hettie Wed 14-Nov-12 20:49:22

go I thought I was going to kill ds in the 6 months before school (so in answer to your question- yes!). Awful and frequent meltdowns... it has just now (at nearly 6) started to ease off, but huge sympathies,

Pandemoniaa Wed 14-Nov-12 20:54:40

ds1 (who is the epitome of a cool, laid back adult now if that's any help) was King Tantrum. We'd pretty much seen the back of them when he started school but in his reception year they returned. His trigger was definitely tiredness and while he was, allegedly, absolutely angelic at school, I think that the tantrums were the direct result of coping with a much more structured and far longer day. Things tapered off again by the time he was just over 5 but apart from not giving into him, there wasn't a lot that could be done other than encourage him to give into his tiredness rather than boil over. Shopping always seemed to be a particularly encouraging environment for a tantrum too.

sheeplikessleep Wed 14-Nov-12 21:01:18

DS1 is 5.1 and still has tantrums, triggered when he is tired and / or hungry.

I had to literally drag him kicking and screaming home from school the other day, for a reason I can't remember.

He gets so worked up, it's just like he's sometimes just a ball of frustration. He growls at this brother.

9 times of out 10, he is delightful, seriously, such a well mannered boy and behaves impeccably at school (apparently!).

But the times he does kick off, my god, he kicks off.

I also thought this stage would have passed by now.

Unfortunately, DS2 who is 2.9 seems to hold his own on the tantrumming front now too <agh!>

AllDirections Wed 14-Nov-12 21:05:25

DD3 is coming up 6 and has only just stopped having full blown (and I mean full blown, total loss of control) tantrums. I never gave in to her and she had tantrums at home and out and about. OP if you're being consistent and talking to him later about the behaviour then you probably just need to wait for them to pass which they probably will in time.

I don't remember DD2 ever having tantrums and her behaviour could always be controlled by using rewards, sanctions, explanations, etc. in a way that has never been possible with DDs 1 & 3. I think it takes either having a child who is like this or being very open minded to realise that the tantrums are not always about poor parenting.

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