Advice needed - DS in the middle of another meltdown and has a toy sword ready.(7 Posts)
DS has been getting himself more and more worked up for the last hour. It started over something small - he would not help his sister clean up the table for lunch. I said I would put his lunch away until he came and helped. After 30 minutes of him refusing to co-operate and getting more and more worked up I said fine, lunch is over now.
Since then he has been screaming, picking up various objects and threatening to hit me with them, spitting, running outside and grabbing rocks and I thought he was going to throw one at the window at one point.
I have not shouted, I have talked calmly to him, I have physically restrained him from hurting me but have not smacked him. I know he must be hungry which will not be helping the situation.
Please help, what can I do with him????
He used to do this a lot, as in almost every day, now not so often, but this is a bad one.
He completely lost control of himself. I put him in his room initially to calm down, and said he could come out when he wasn't angry and shouting. He grabbed a toy sword and said he was going to hit me. Then he ran outside and got the big stone. He was shouting "I hate you" and "You don't deserve to have children".
He's calming down a bit now. I gave him his lunch once he was calm enough to ask nicely (sort of) for it. I feel that was giving in as I had said lunch was over but he was obviuosly starving and that was making the meltdown worse.
I think you need some support in how to avoid getting into the situation in the first place, 30 minutes is far too long to be negotiating and ordering the same thing, getting into a conflict with nowhere to go.
Clear the table please
For half an hour?
Then another 30 minutes of raging?
Could you not have sent him to his room for a bit of thinking time, preferably within the first 5 minutes?
Or warned him that if he didn't help out, then the consequence would be...and following through every time.
How long has he been using rage as a release mechanism and a way of avoiding doing something he doesn't like?
Do you have another adult around who could help be part of a consistent approach to disciplining him?
Are you always looking for him to kick off, in a way that you are not with his sister, is he performing to your expectations?
Asking him to clear his things off the table so we culd eat lunch started it. I asked maybe 3 times, then said, fine, you can have your lunch once you have done what I asked. He was angry that I then sat down with his sister and ate. I told him to go and calm down in his room, I didn't want him screaming around the table. He is very stubborn, it's not unusual for him to scream for 30 mins instead of doing the thing I ask. After that time I felt that lunch should be over, but if he had come and apologised I would have given him lunch there and then. But he continued for another 30 mins, that's when it got really bad. When he's like that he can't even hear me.
I am consistent, and strict about boundaries. For example, this meltdown could probably have been avoided by "giving up" and clearing the table myself - I know plenty of people who do that to keep the peace. But I believe that long term I am teaching him that he can control me with his tantrums that way. However, today he took it to another level, and I felt at a loss for what to do.
He is now fine, and has apologised for saying he hated me. I told him I know he didn't mean it, and he only said it because he was angry, but he must not say things which hurt people's feelings. Beyond that he has not taken any responsibility, he insists that it's all my fault because I'm "mean".
To answer your questions he has been having meltdowns since he was a toddler, but they have become less frequent. He's very emotional and has a short fuse. Things which other children would shrug off are 10 minutes of crying at least for him. I try to be fair to both my dcs but it's difficult when they are so different. DH is around to help only at weekends. I would say we are both firm and consistent. Maybe I need to think how he would be if we were not!
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