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5 yr old STILL throwing tantrums, please help!!

(6 Posts)
elah11 Sun 02-Oct-11 20:27:27

I have a 5yr old, (6 next Feb) and I am at my wits end with her and her tantrums. At least 4 or 5 times a week she throws an all out screaming, kicking tantrum, usually when she is denied something she wants ie not allowed outside to play because its late or not allowed sweets before dinner, that sort of thing. She has always been like that but what was somewhat acceptable or normal at 2 or 3 is getting beyond a joke at 5 sad.
We have NEVER given into a tantrum, she is put out into the hall or up to her room and told she can come down when she is finished, which she does and she always says sorry. I always try to stay calm, ignore the screaming and I dont shout back, all the things you are told to do in a tantrum but its not working. I actually feel its getting worse now not better because 1) she used to only do it at home for us, but today she did it it the grandparents for the first time ever, and 2) she is physically becoming too heavy for me to lift out of the room or bring upstairs (she lies on the floor screaming and kicking so I have to move her out of the way of the other kids).
Please tell me what I can try, I feel I have done everything and nothing works. I am clear with boundries and rules, I give her time outs for naughty behaviour, I praise her all the time when she is good, I spend lots of time with her and tell her I love her etc, I use the 1-2-3 method and while that works sometimes, it often ends in a tantrum too. What can I try? I am sorry to say I even smacked her last week which I never do, I was just at the end of my tether and of course it had no effect. I dont think she even noticed ! When she is not screaming she is a lovely bright, sociable, confident girl with lots of friends and doing very well in school. Her vocabulary would be above average so its not down to not being able to express herself, its just she wants her own way and thats that .
Any advice please??????????

Giddly Sun 02-Oct-11 20:33:21

Watching with interest. We have the same issue except probably not as frequent, and she started them quite late (at about 4). Not much advice, but the only thing I do find that helps it to identify flashpoints and tell her in advance what will happen
e.g. "tomorrow when I pick you up from school we won't be getting sweets at the shop, but you won't make a fuss and you'll walk home with me nicely, won't you?" All said in a very light, conversational way.

Tgger Sun 02-Oct-11 20:52:08

Oh dear......can you see any other triggers- hunger/tiredness? My nearly 5 year old is pretty good these days, but if he's either really hungry or really tired then we are much more likely to get tears. Not so much tantrums, but tears. Do you punish her with stuff like no t.v (as well as time out)? I do this with DS on occasion (luckily doesn't come up too much).

What's her sleep like? Can you get her to get an extra half an hour to an hour a day?

Do you (by mistake- easily done) give her too much attention for a tantrum? Is it done and dusted once she's calmed down?

What happens if you tell her to get to her room rather than pick her up- with a threat of something (eg no more t.v) if she doesn't.

If you decide on a new strategy I would chat to her calmly about it when you are both calm. Say something like "we need to sort out your behaviour, because you are too old to have these tantrums" so I am going to do x, y, z. Can you do a sticker chart- rewards for when she deals well with something. I get DS to say "ok Mummy". Perhaps point out to her the difference between her behaviour at school and at home and get her to treat you more like her teachers.

Good luck!

strictlovingmum Sun 02-Oct-11 21:26:00

Sorry, no real advice to offer, except what others already said up the tread, as I understand she is probably in Y1 at the moment?
We had similar episodes with DD now 5 at the beginning of this academic year due to her being very tired, hungry and classroom structure exhausted.
I think we are over the worst, and we handled it by praising good behaviour and effort, but at the same time on several occasions did withdraw friday sweets and ended up telling her "You are a big girl in Y1 now, imagine if someone was to see your behaviour at the moment, you would feel very ashamed" (she hates feeling embarrassed)
She is a lot calmer now and seem lot more mature, although I did come down on her as ton of bricks on few occasions, and I certainly wasn't prepared to take lot of nonsense from her.
Good luck, it is probably tiredness and transition that is making her behave in this way, make sure she eats, sleeps, has unwind time, but also step up the discipline and take no prisonerswink she will get there, they all do one way or the other.

elah11 Mon 03-Oct-11 10:36:51

Thanks for the advice ladies, its great to hear other peoples thoughts. We are in Ireland so she is actually in Senior Infants which is her 2nd yr in school, so she is well used to 'big' school by now. She goes to bed around 7.30pm to 7.45pm every night and wakes between 7am and 7.30am generally so gets at least 11 hours sleep a night which I would think is ok for her age?
Tgger I really try not to give her attention for the tantrum, I walk away and leave her and when its over I always give her a hug and accept her apology, my mam thinks I am wrong to be so 'nice' after but I think once its over its over?
I have tried the embarrassment factor and she doesnt care lol, she through a big strop in front of her friends about 2 weeks ago and they were like shock but she didnt seem to care. She gets so caught up in it you cant reason with her or anything then you just have to walk away.
I cant see any specific triggers as such....except when she doesnt get her own way obviously smile. Yes she is probably more likely to have a tantrum if she is tired but it can just as easily happen when she is well fed and well rested confused.
I have done the sticker charts before but not specifically for the tantrums so thats one I think I will try, thanks.

ohanotherone Mon 03-Oct-11 13:33:59

Have this with my DS. I don't do time out etc as it makes him worse, quite aggressive, I physically can't manage it. I don't negotiate and I stay calm. I point out that the TV (or whatever) will go off if he carries on.I sit down and wait for the tantrum to resolve. I have taught him to count to ten, calm himself down, that he only gets listened to if he speaks calmly and clearly and not in anger. I repeat no very calmly then hug him when he comes and asks for a hug to calm himself down but also make it plain that I am hugging to him calm himself down.

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