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When do tantrums become something more than venting frustration

(10 Posts)
ForTheLoveOfSocks Sun 27-Jul-14 12:01:03

Help. DD1 is nearly three. Her tantrums are getting increasingly worse. Today's screaming fit was because my dad sat down on the couch. I was feeding DD2 and putting her down for a sleep. DD2 is five months.

Everything is a battle. And when she doesn't get her own way, it's literally like the red mist desends and she screams until she gets her own way.

If I'm honest we are struggling to cope with it. After today's episode I put her to bed and she went to sleep within five mins.

If she is hungry or tired, that usually effects her. But they also happen when she isn't tired or hungry.

We've tried ignoring them. We've tried reasoning, sticker charts and the naughty step. It's getting to the point when she is like this, I don't actually like her very much.

I do try to play with her lots. We read books, play with play doh etc. DD2 is pretty chilled out, so I do get to spend some time with DD1.

I'm starting to think this is a bit more than pushing the boundaries/sibling jealously.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Sun 27-Jul-14 18:01:10


EST0106 Sun 27-Jul-14 21:06:13

I think you might have hit the nail on the head with 'she screams until she gets her own way'. She's learning that this behaviour gets her what she wants. My DD has just turned 3 and seems to be coming out the other side. I definitely don't have the answers but some things that seem to have helped is- ignore, ignore, ignore. I literally step over her and carry on with what I'm doing. She brings herself out of it fairly quickly, certainly much quicker than if I try to reason with her etc. If the tantrum starts over something she won't do, I.e, brush her teeth seems to be the latest, I explain that I will count to 3 and if she won't do it/let me do it, she will go to her room until she calms down, apologises and cleans her teeth. Follow through and never give in. Tonight she was messing around and wouldn't get into bed for her second story, I did the whole counting to 3 and if not in bed no story. She didn't so no story despite her then immediately getting into bed and shouting 'but I'm in bed now', tough! Also try not to shout, be really boring and monotone, my DD definitely thrives on the drama!! I also have a baby whose 3 months, I don't think this behaviour is as a result of him coming along, it's just a phase. Good luck.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 27-Jul-14 21:10:05

I seem to remember with my eldest that she had a final fling of the twos from about 2.8 to 3 when it really was quite awful. Suddenly at three she got at lot better.

ForTheLoveOfSocks Sun 27-Jul-14 22:07:59

I'm hoping she does improve soon.

Half of the trouble has been I'm constantly undermined by my DH and our parents. They all let her have her own way because it's easier rather than discipline her. But now everyone is starting to see the affect it's having on her, so thankfully we are starting to see a united front on it.

I must admit I do shout, but it's purely out of frustration of not being able to get through to her.

I have started putting her in her room when she goes; I just need to remain calm when it happens.

Something my DH also said tonight was we need to stop telling her she is naughty and try to praise her for being good.

She is such a lovely girl when she's not like this. It's nice to know I'm not alone in trying to fathom out toddlers.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 28-Jul-14 14:15:57

My son is 2.8 now - and he has become much more challenging lately. He doesn't tantrum much but the demands, the demands, the demands! Its never-ending, he has such strong views about EVERYTHING, an hour with him is exhausting! He gets so cross when told no.

When he is tired or bored it's worst, constant demands for biscuits, chocolate, drinks, his dummy, TV (all the things I try to ration!)

I am praying it is his final fling before he is three in October ...

Bumpsadaisie Mon 28-Jul-14 14:16:48

PPS it is getting really difficult to say "no" to him, so many demands and him getting so cross if I say "no". But I think it must be done. And wine.

Iggly Tue 29-Jul-14 20:01:16

But she went straight to sleep - so she was tired.

RubyrooUK Tue 29-Jul-14 20:37:26

My take on tantrums is that you have to do what fits that particular child.

DS2 goes ballistic and then you can ignore him until he eventually gets bored. DS1 on the other hand works himself into a terrible state where he is so, so upset that it actually ruins hours and hours - he will actually vomit with upset if it goes too far.

So I take a different approach with each. Both boys are always massively praised for good behaviour and I always consistently discipline for the same things - ie no tolerance on hitting.

Then I try to distract DS2 before he reaches nuclear and then ignore if he throws a wobbler. DS1 takes more careful handling and if you can give him an "out" of his tantrum before it escalates through distraction or producing something interesting at a very relevant moment and breaking the cycle, it very quickly ends and he's grateful to be out of it.

I also wouldn't discount the massive change of a sibling for your DD. It's not just about jealousy - it's about the growing awareness that it's not all about you (ie the first-born). Toddlers take a long while to develop empathy! I think DS1 was still definitely reeling from the addition of a sibling at your DD's stage. That tends to improve over time.

I've never tried putting either boy in a bedroom as I think it would scare DS1 and DS2 would be destructive. I don't do naughty step either because both boys love love love the idea of being naughty. So that wouldn't work too well!

I use a very, very calm Time Out. As someone said above - monotone, no drama. I talk about how, say, we don't hit and how we are going to sit and think about it. When TO is up, I ask them to say sorry and cuddle and kiss. It's then forgotten. It's not much in the way of punishment, but nobody ever wants to go to Time Out so it works.

Sorry if there is no helpful advice here - just thought I'd share some of my experience. Big hugs for you though dealing with a tantrumming toddler and baby - it's exhausting!

Clutterbugsmum Tue 29-Jul-14 20:49:31


I think you are right about depending in the child.

DD1 had awful tantrums, but she had issues with her speech and used get very frustrated. These improved once her speech improved.

DD2 didn't really have tantrums but she was able to negotiate talk really well from about 18 mths.

DS just used to lie stiff as a board on the floor making no noise at all, you could just ignore him until had finished.

But yes they are hungry, thirsty or tired will make tantrum worse.

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