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Just at the end of my tether with my children and in tears - is this normal?

(9 Posts)
JustAMoPlease Sun 28-Aug-16 19:25:02

I've two boys aged 3 and 5 years old. The 3 year old seems to be on a endless stream of constant temper tantrums, over anything and everything, he is extremely strong willed and determined and just feels like everything becomes a battle. Tantrums can last over 45 mins and you literally just have to secure him in somewhere safe until he calms down - for example sitting with him on the sofa or in his bedroom. I dread taking him places in case we get a tantrum. All of the other time he is a lovely, extremely affectionate, intelligent and sociable child.
My 5 year old really concerns me. Most of the time he is a very sensitive, loving and intelligent boy. He is absolutely wonderful one to one but the more people about, or the more spontaneous an activity the worse his behaviour gets. He has emotional outbursts which just seems to be so overwhelming. Normally they involve complete and often very over the top aggression (hitting, lashing out at whoever is around) over something minor, followed by bouts of anger (shouting, yelling, screaming) then really tearful and upset. He doesn't understand why he lashes out, says everyone should stay away from him in case he hurts them, thinks everyone should dislike him, etc. These outbursts come in waves often in short time periods, so for example the last week has been hell, but before that he really seemed to be settling again for a few weeks. We have a loving, stable family home, there are no huge issues in our family, the children are very well loved, supported and nurtured. We do lots of outdoor activities and spend a lot of time interacting with them, lots of family days out etc. We had suggestion of ASD in Year R (he is just about to go into Y1) but this got dismissed due to lack of consistency in his behaviour and when an ASD support specialist came out he was certainly not demonstrating the above.
The combination of both of them is exhausting and I don't get rest-bite. DH works very long hours and not around for a lot of the time but very supportive when he is, family members won't take both children as find them too much together. I am at my wits end with managing them and feel I too often resort to shouting and punishment. I am trying to be consistent in my approach - I have a calm down zone for ds1 where he has to sit when feeling aggressive and reinforce continuously how much he is loved, but it is some of the behaviours we don't like. I'm exhausted and feel like a terrible mother. I actually avoid going out with other people now as I fear how much others must judge me and the constant turmoil of the children. However, both boys, on their own are a pure delight. I am so upset and worried by the turmoil ds1 especially seems to go through and do not know how I can make this better for him - he seems to carry so much anger and upset and I have no idea why.
Sorry for the ramble.... sad

MrsMozart Sun 28-Aug-16 19:51:45

This might be an off the wall thought, but have your GP check their calcium and parathyroid levels.

I suggest it because it's something I've had to look into for another reason. During my research I came across an article on a child who had severe outbursts and investigations showed high calcium as being the issue. I'll go see if I can find it.

JustAMoPlease Sun 28-Aug-16 19:58:14

Thank you - we have worked hard on his diet generally, he has very little processed foods, limited sweets and sugar, etc. Good vegetables, protein etc. I would be interested in the article - happy to explore all avenues!!!

MrsMozart Sun 28-Aug-16 20:02:03

Can't find it at the mo', but will keep looking!

Whilst we all need calcium, when we get too much it messes up our whole system. I have something called hyperparathyroidism, which has just been diagnosed, hence my research.

When these get out of balance they really do mess with one's moods, etc. Definitely worth investigating, even if just to rule it out.

TheFear Sun 28-Aug-16 20:12:22

Really interesting what you say about your 5 year old, my now almost 8 year old is exactly like that.
He's improved after 3 years in school but we have had him assessed due to ongoing issues in school where he lashed out physically for what seemed to be silly or random reasons.
He has no diagnosis other than being highly clever, intolerant of others, quick to move from one thing to another thus gets impatient and takes out his frustration on his school mates or play mates.
However he is bright and lovely at home, is best buddies with his older sibling, is somewhat obsessive about certain things e.g. Only eats certain foods, adores technology and science, but is just generally quirky and a bit odd.
I think you're normal in what you're saying, parenting is stressful even when your kids fit into certain boxes. I would guess that both of your babies will grow and change as they get older and you'll find things get easier very soon.

PitchFork Sun 28-Aug-16 20:18:15

silly questions and possibly not relevant:
- do they get enough exercise? one hour at least of tumbles every day?
- how is their sleep?
- how is their diet?

JustAMoPlease Sun 28-Aug-16 20:23:56

Not silly at all pitchfork, yes they get loads of exercise, we're outside most of the time, limited screen time and lots of play, tree climbing etc. Sleep 5yr old good 11 hours a night, 3 year old same but still wakes three or four times. Diet very good, we limit sugar, lots of veg, cook everything from fresh. The sugar thing makes a HUGE difference, I know instantly if 5yr old has had chocolate for example.

MrsPatrickDempsey Sun 28-Aug-16 20:25:20

Again - may be a bit off the mark but I read something about testosterone surges at various stages of a boy's life which may cause this. Might be worth reading up on?

MrsMozart Mon 29-Aug-16 06:59:05

Here it is (hope it works!):

www.healio.com/pediatrics/journals/pedann/2013-12-42-12/%7Bbfcbe6d5-cd95-451f-9706-7dfa2c8c4ee6%7D/a-12-year-old-boy-with-increasing-verbal-aggression

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