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3 year old screaming tantrums all week - please help

(13 Posts)
SeeingDouble Fri 24-Jun-11 16:32:23

Please help, this week has been truly awful - DS1 has had 1 or 2 screaming tantrums per day for about 1/2 hour each time. Sometimes before his nap, but past couple of days it has been upon waking. I leave him (them actually as he has a twin brother) to wake up of their own accord, but still the screaming. I can't touch him or speak to him, he just screams 'Mummy go away!' constantly. I've tried ignoring him to let the tantrum work itself out, tried picking him up, talking softly. His twin brother doesn't seem to be that phased by it, but when I cuddle him, DS1 starts screaming anew and that's it for the next 30 minutes or more. Even though I have to put DS2 down pretty much immediately. I have been in tears through not knowing what to do and all the pent up stress (he couldn't scream louder if I was sawing his legs off, god knows what the neighbours think); but also worried because something must be wrong with him??
Recently we did try stopping the lunchtime nap as it was interfering with bedtime but this week it has been back on as it looked like they were getting overtired. But this is the week of the most serious tantrums.
Any advice/empathy gratefully received

TheSecondComing Fri 24-Jun-11 16:37:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeeingDouble Fri 24-Jun-11 16:43:44

Care to share how horrific it has been? And any strategies for keeping sane? <hugs>

TheSecondComing Fri 24-Jun-11 17:22:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeeingDouble Fri 24-Jun-11 17:51:47

Yes, what is it with the manic thing?! It's like someone injects them with Red Bull whilst they are sleeping. And the whingeing/moaning/crying thing is driving me to distraction too.
It must be really tough for you with a baby to take care of at the same time. Do you think she's misbehaving because of the baby? Less attention etc?
With you on making excuses for playdates too.
The only thing that's working for me at the moment is Shaun the Sheep on DVD ...

TheSecondComing Fri 24-Jun-11 18:44:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lovemy2babies Fri 24-Jun-11 18:56:56

Does the op or secondcomming have any family or friends who could look after the babies whilst mum spent one on one time with the eldest?
My dd1 was like this when baby was born.
Got much better when she got attention from me.

TheSecondComing Fri 24-Jun-11 19:04:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Roo83 Fri 24-Jun-11 19:34:03

Ds used to do this, in the end I would sit him in front of cbeebies as soon as he woke up and after about 10mins he'd just get up and start playing, ask for a drink etc. I know tv isn't the answer usually but it did work. He's dropped his naps now so no problem

missorinoco Fri 24-Jun-11 19:42:56

Does he watch much television? I found the dropping nap phase a nightmare fun challenge. I put the child in front of the television for an hour or so for some down time instead of to bed. I should warn you I had a week or so of an impossible child from 4 pm onwards. When you drop the nap bring teatime/bedtime forwards half an hour to an hour if you can for a little while.

My other thought was is there any chance he has an ear infection or something like that?

Good luck.

julantal Fri 24-Jun-11 21:38:33

wow-- and i thought i was the only one who wondered how could such a small kid wake up so unhappy from a nap-- i thought a nap was suppose to make you feel better????

crazy-- but this phase did pass for me-- it was horrid for a bit-- and i wondered shat the heck was going on and i ran to the dr once thinking it was that she was sick-- but she was not-- just "crazy"

my plan was to talk with her before the nap and tell her that when i came to get her up this is what i expected or i would tell her what we were going to do when she got up-- like go out for ice cream or to the store for cat food-- and when i would enter the room to wake her-- she would start with the whinning crap and i would jsut gently say-- are you ready to go out-- or i will wait until you are ready and just hang out and do things as she screamed her head off-=== it was fun and at times still is-- but it did get better with time.

Mummyloveskisses Sat 25-Jun-11 00:10:51

seeingdouble I was going to say exactly what julantal just said, choose something you know he loves doing and make a huge deal of it and what you will be doing upon waking up.... and exactly the same as previously said if he wakes with tantrum, quietly say (as if to yourself) Oh he isn't ready to do X yet I will just wait till he's ready.....

thesecondcoming I was in the same position as you (DD can still revert back when she feels like it) she would scream or bang around while DS tried to sleep or insist on banging around near the cot/pram once he was asleep.... so what worked? Well I put a stairgate on the front room, didn't put TV on all morning and then when I wanted him to go for a nap I would ask her what she wanted on, I would put it on (the front room is child proof) she was 2.9 yrs) give her a minute to get engrossed then leave the room putting the gate lock on. Whizz upstairs and put DS2 down. Then I would come back into the front room give her cuddles ask if she wanted to do something like playdoh for example if she wanted to carry on with the tv I would sit with her and cuddle making a big deal of now DS2 was asleep how much time we could have together.... that I loved our cuddles wasn't it nice letting DS2 sleep and look at what we are doing etc.... or if she chose playdoh I would sit making things and again saying how nice it was us doing things together and what a big girl she was becoming etc

SeeingDouble Sat 25-Jun-11 09:37:39

Thanks for all the comments. Think it must have been partly attention-seeking behaviour/confusion as DH was away last week. He is now back and DS1 seems generally happier this morning - he even said earlier "Mummy, I won't shout any more". We shall see after the nap ...
TV is generally a treat so don't really want to use it as a way to stop the screaming, but if it stops me from screaming ...
And thanks for the suggestion of mentioning a treat before the nap - will definitely try that one and take a deep breath before trying to talk quietly :-)

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