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How do I handle emotional tantrum by 4yo for no reason?

(11 Posts)
Confuzzeled Sun 17-Jul-11 16:34:28

So we were all upstairs (me, dd 4yo & ds 23mo). I was making the beds and they were happily playing. Then for no reason dd starts using a baby voice and saying 'Mama, need mama". I said, 'Why are you using a baby voice, your not a baby"? She starts wailing and shouting Mama in the baby voice. I told her to stop it as it wasn't a nice noise.

Then it all started to go wrong, her fake wails turned into real screams and she started screaming saying her throat hurt, then her bum hurt then that ds had hit her when he was nowhere near her.

I didn't want to hug her and give her attention as she'd wound herself up into a state and I didn't want her to think it was okay to wail and make things up when she wants to. So I told her to take a deep breath and tell herself to stop crying because it's all just silly and she has nothing to cry about. I told her to think of something happy like the cat dancing. I carried on making the beds and after about 20 mins she calmed down and acted like nothing had happened.

I feel like a bitch for not hugging my crying little girl but at the same time I don't want her to play me.

How should I have handled this, I really don't know.

Meow75 Sun 17-Jul-11 16:37:07

I think you did pretty well, actually. I agree that cuddling her when she was trying to blame DS for whatever had upset her would've been wrong.

Others may have a different view, but there doesn't seem to be any permanent damage/effect to your DD, so what's the problem?

Confuzzeled Sun 17-Jul-11 16:45:46

I just wanted to know how to handle situations like this. When dd was a toddler and ds is now, I'd ignore tantrums until they were finished. Now dd is 4 and hasn't had a tantrum in ages, I just wanted to know how to deal with it.

FlubbaBubba Sun 17-Jul-11 16:55:39

I think you handled it fine once it got out of control, although it's quite normal for children that age (IMO and IME) to play at being different things/people, be it a cat or a baby, and maybe you could have let her continue to pretend to be a baby, but helped her understand what 'nice' baby noises she could have made instead of the wailing (you do have my sympathy though; DD1's impression of a baby is awful and screechy!) smile

Meow75 Sun 17-Jul-11 17:57:38


I apologise; my final statement sounds rather dismissive and a bit grumpy in my first post now that I've re-read it and your response to it. I'm not a meany, honest, and when I said that statement in my head it sounded more supportive and nicer than it now reads.

I'm sorry if I made you feel unreasonable for asking, you weren't.

Meow sad

Confuzzeled Sun 17-Jul-11 18:41:28

Don't worry I didn't take it like that, although I was feeling a bit sensitive after dd's tantrum smile

Meow75 Sun 17-Jul-11 19:46:07


Hope DD has felt better for the rest of the day.

IamtheSnorkMaiden Mon 18-Jul-11 20:27:06

I think you handled it fine.

Ocassionally my five year old daughter has out-of-character moments like that for no good reason.

Usually when she's 'over' whatever silly fuss she was making, I give her a quick hug and kiss and ask 'what was that all about?' then try to move onto something else and forget all about it.

cory Tue 19-Jul-11 08:20:44

Sounds like you did fine. Lots of children have these moments, nothing to worry about.

differentnameforthis Tue 19-Jul-11 09:59:40

OK, so that turned into a battle. Now you need to decide if her talking in a baby voice was really worth that battle (not that you could have foreseen that)

She is mimicking her brother. That is what children do. At 5, my dd wanted to drink my milk, like her baby sister, so I offered her some in a cup. She also asked for a sippy cup as it was more like her sister's bottles.

It's natural that she should mimic his ways as she sees him getting attention for this, and wants that too.

differentnameforthis Tue 19-Jul-11 10:01:26

How should you have handled it? I would have asked her what she needed me for, and then said to her (if it bothered me that much, which it wouldn't have & didn't when dd1 did it - so I let her grow out of it) 'mummy thinks you are big girl & that you don't need to talk like ds to get my attention'

Then left it at that!

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