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2yr olds tantrums controlling/impacting whole family :-(

(44 Posts)
OppsAd Sat 28-Nov-15 15:12:13

We've two ds, 4and 2. Our 2yr old is very bright, very articulate and extremely demanding. He seems so angry about everything unless getting his own way and the tantrums are now dominating family life, we avoid going certain places, avoid certain games, everything feels like hard work etc. He will kick off screaming at full volume if for example he suddenly decides he wants his brother toy, he will kick off if we don't watch want he wants if having a film off, he will kick off if he has not got exactly what he wants for dinner, he will scream blue murder at night and in the day, and whoever he is with. On the other hand he can be an absolute delight, he is loving, cuddly, tactile, sweet and funny. However currently his tantrums are dominating our family life and having a detrimental impact on our older son.
We try to distract him, we try to guide him round the issue, we acknowledge his upset and explain why we aren't doing what he wants, we offer choice etc. We ignore the tantrums but this doesn't seem to be lowering frequency. Any advice, I love my son dearly but he is pushing us all to the edge at the moment.

Strangertides1 Sat 28-Nov-15 15:22:49

I don't know if this might help, we have a 1.5 and 3.5 yr old when either kicks offs at home I pick them up. Put them in the bottom stair and day 'thats not nice because .....' When you have finished screaming/hitting/throwing you can join in again, until then I will not play with you. If they get off the stair, that's fine I simply play with the other and ignore the one in trouble until they say sorry. I will talk to the other one saying things like 'it's not nice to be screamed at that's not good friends, I like when friends are nice and say sorry' ect ect. It works for us as neither one of our boys like to be ignored and outta the fun. No idea on how to handle it outside the home x

Sighing Sat 28-Nov-15 15:25:38

flowers Can you remove him to another room (his room / behind a Stair Gate) to ignore the tantrum? Don't engage until he's calmer?

OppsAd Sat 28-Nov-15 15:27:01

Stranger thank you, we adopt a similar strategy but it doesn't seem to be improving, tantrums probably 30 mins out of every hour. I just feel really sad about how sad he is, how angry everything makes him and how much it impacts all of us. He is also just so defiant, he blatantly does everything the opposite of asked but in a really challenging manner as if provoking a negative response. He doesn't lack love, attention etc, we have a lovely family, lots of time and activities, positive things etc. :-(

SaucyJack Sat 28-Nov-15 15:28:34

Drink until it's funny?

No sensible advice sorry, but plenty of understanding. I currently spend far too much of my life marching out of places with a roaring toddler under one arm.

ShortcutButton Sat 28-Nov-15 15:31:14

Can you just wait 2-3 years??

SewingAndCakes Sat 28-Nov-15 15:37:15

How is he at night; does he sleep well?

AnotherTimeMaybe Sat 28-Nov-15 15:40:00

I'd take a closer look at his diet.. Something could've aggravating him! Is he on cow's milk? Maybe try goats milk instead? I assume he has no sugar etc?

reni2 Sat 28-Nov-15 15:44:21

Sleep. Does he sleep enough? Can you put him to bed an hour earlier/ have a nap? Slight improvement? Try 2 hours.

Sirzy Sat 28-Nov-15 15:44:40

Have you thought about some sort of visual timetable/now and next board to help him understand what's happening? Make sure that there are lots of fun things for him included but that he can see that he has to do certain things first?

Try to keep the days as structured as possible so he knows what to expect throughout the day?

manana21 Sat 28-Nov-15 15:45:22

i agree with the suggestion of the stair gate in a room that you've toddler proofed as far as possible, remove and ignore until the tantrum is over. It will get better, DD could scream for a continuous 2 hours at this age and after 3 it got a lot better. Otherwise - can you afford a bit more time in childcare so you get a break from it/to separate them out a bit so you get a bit more calm time on your own or with the older one? Sometimes you need to think of strategies to get through this bit rather than solutions

Could you make time to do some things just with the older one, to balance out the impact that the tantrums are having on them?

Other than that, it's a firm, consistent response, and remembering that this too shall pass. One day you will look back on this, and realise that, whilst it was hellish at the time, it did stop.

Until then, winecake and chocolate for you.

taptonaria27 Sat 28-Nov-15 16:05:57

I'm sure you are, but please do what you can to ensure that he is not gtting his way above his brother just because he shouts louder/ seems to care more or is more difficult. I have seen this happen in a friend's family, the older child is quiet and anxious and the family still is dictated to by the now 8 year old, who to be fair is much calmer but still control of where they all sit for example.

Notso Sat 28-Nov-15 16:06:43

flowers DC3 is a tantrummer. through a process of trial and error we have found that hugging him calms him down much faster.
We don't give in to him but hugging him gets him calm enough to be able to talk things through with him, whereas before he would just scream himself into needing his inhaler or until he was sick or both.
His is nearly five now and I do think age has helped, annoying for you though. I was worried he would be angry at school however so far it hasn't been an issue however there has been a distinct worsening of his anger at home since he started full time.
We have worked out a few things he can do to help himself calm down. We have a basket in his room with a book, a mirror, a glitter bottle, a stress ball, a teddy and a rain maker. He also has discovered by himself that looking out of the window helps calm him down.
If I sense him winding up I will suggest he might like to go upstairs for a little calm time, he will usually agree. Sometimes he is reluctant and I go up with him. We make it crystal clear he isn't being punished for being angry.

Enjolrass Sat 28-Nov-15 16:35:07

I feel for you OP.

Our ds was like that! His tantrums stopped going places, doing things. We could have 6 or 7 a day.

Removing him from the situation until he calmed down worked for us, I think.

The reason I say I think is that it could have been changed in him.

When he was angry at his older sister or screaming for his own way. One of us would pick him up and take him away from the situation until he calmed down.

It took a while but it worked. But he also started part time school not long after this and is now in reception.

He still is quite demanding, but nowhere near as bad and is starting to let you explain things. A year ago he wouldn't let you say anything if he thought it was going to be anything but 'yes'

He is actually incredibly well behaved at school. I was gobsmacked at parent consultation. Because I expected some comments on him not wanting to listen or something.

It's really very hard thanks

Motherinferior78 Sat 28-Nov-15 16:46:01

This might be helpful:

VagueIdeas Sat 28-Nov-15 16:50:27

I remember how my DD's tantrums ruled my life. And, if I'm honest, it made very miserable and depressed.

Whoever asked about sleep might be onto something though. My DD's behaviour was always MUCH worse when she was tired, and I usually only realised this after the event.

NellysKnickers Sat 28-Nov-15 16:51:37

Ds2 started this at 18 months. Still doing it now at nearly 5. Tantrums are much less frequent but he still rules the roost....Most of the time. He too is extremely bright. Over the last year I've just taken him home when he's done it while we are out, it's worked, he's definitely better than he was. I've also done the ppp parenting course which has helped me understand him a little more. There's no easy answer it solution I'm afraid. Mu best advice is to congratulate yourself on each day you get through grin Wishing you the best of British luck op.....

queenrollo Sat 28-Nov-15 17:09:47

This is my life at the moment too, with a very bright but demanding nearly 3 year old. He's not like this at nursery at all....they were stunned when I told them what he was like!! So clearly the triggers are at home sad
He has a very strong sense of self and I acknowledge his feelings and we are trying to help him cope with how big these feelings are. But it's draining and I often count the afternoon hours down until bedtime.
Naps are tricky because even a short one in the day will see him wide awake until 9.30pm, by which time I'm past needing my own bed quite honestly.
I don't have any answers I'm afraid, just a lot of sympathy and understanding.

WeAllHaveWings Sat 28-Nov-15 17:15:11

We try to distract him, we try to guide him round the issue, we acknowledge his upset and explain why we aren't doing what he wants, we offer choice etc

We've found distraction and choice only really work to head off a tantrum.

Guiding round the issue or explaining yourselves is (in my opinion) too much for an already tantrumming 2 year old. Calmly take him away from the situation (we used the bottom stair, not as a naughtly step, but somewhere to calm down) until he does calm down, doesn't matter how long it takes stick it out. Don't explain as it wont go in. Be consistent and he'll eventually get it.

OrchardDweller Sat 28-Nov-15 17:16:00

DD1 had daily monster tantrums and rages over nothing. Sitting on the bottom of the stairs for time out just didn't work as she'd angrily march back to where the action was and continue. There was no way she'd be held/hugged and she was never going to think about her behaviour! We installed a stair gate on her room and she'd go in there until she'd calmed down. It did impact on our lives as whilst she was at this stage as there were certain places we didn't go to (cafes & restaurants in particular) until she emerged from the other side. We tried everything and eventually after a couple of years she settled down (a bit).

DS is one of the most calm, laid back person I have every come across and I can't remember him ever having a tantrum.

OppsAd Sat 28-Nov-15 17:17:30

Currently we remove him from the situation and kindly but firmly make it clear his behaviour is unacceptable and he can return when he is going to be kind and listen. He will eventually stop screaming and then we will have a hug and return to normal for a little bit. I have tried holding him but he will scratch, hit and struggle so much I just can't do it anymore.
Both Dh and I make sure we each do special one to one stuff with both children each week to have special time. Ds2 is worse at home than when out. He will go to bed about 7 often asleep by half past but it is normally a tantrum induced sleep now which I absolutely find heart breaking. He is up at 5 ish and we can normally get him to have a half hour nap in day but that is it. I don't feel it's enough but even that is a battle. I think it is a case of suck it and hope we move through this soon, ds1 was easy in comparison. I am just exhausted with it. Both Dh and I work four days a week so ds2 is with us each one day in week and grand parents rest of time. One to one he is actually quite delightful, though will have occasional melt down (maybe every couple hours), it is the weekends I dread, they are just so stressful.

OppsAd Sat 28-Nov-15 17:19:39

Apologies weallhave, that is what I meant, we try these tactic when we can see a tantrum coming, once in full swing we do remove him immediately esp if he is/ or going to hit or hurt anyone

diddl Sat 28-Nov-15 17:37:18

Is your oldest at school?

What's the youngest like at his GPs

OppsAd Sat 28-Nov-15 17:40:03

Diddl, yes oldest at school. Ds2 fine at gps, same as with one to one, as long as he has full attention, I.e you play with him, don't do anything else, don't answer phone etc!!

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