Twin tantrums - DTD nearly 5 and can't control emotions(5 Posts)
Hello; I'm new to this but certainly not new to bad behaviour. We're at a loss as to how to deal with DTD's screaming fits. I've tried the hugging and showing sympathy route when she loses the plot - which often seems to help when she's very tired after school. But how do you deal with a small gremlin that wakes up early (6:30 am) in the morning and goes nuts because we've not rushed in to find her sticker book (and has woken up DTS and parents in the process)? I often feel totally useless because I start off calm but then fly off the handle as well, which is not the answer either. She also throws things across the room and hits her brother when things don't go her way. She normally wonders over for a cuddle in our bed, which is obviously a much better way to start the day. Any suggestions on how to achieve a calmer house much much appreciated.
I am slightly confused: am I correct in thinking we are talking about twins, a boy and a girl, and it is mostly the girl behaving badly?
And you say she has 'woken up parents'; does that mean YOU and DP? Or grandparents who live with you?
How is she getting on at school, and is she in Reception or Yr1? Are both children in the same class? What lessons does she like, and is good at? Are both children equally able?
I think you need to set up STRICT guidelines for behaviour, and try to stick to them while keeping calm and 'in control' yourself. (And I don't pretend it is easy to do!)
Can she tell the time? Does she have her own alarm clock? If not, get her a cheap battery digital alarm clock, and specify the time she is ALLOWED to get up. (If she can't tell the time properly yet, write down exactly what the clock will look like when she can get up).
I worked as a primary TA and helper for over twenty-five years, and would not tolerate that sort of behaviour.
If you respond to my queries, I'll try and suggest more actions to take.
Hello Ferguson, apologies for any confusion. Yes, we are talking about a boy and a girl, both in reception, in the same class. It's mainly DTD causing concern due to her screaming. (Although her brother will fight back as well when she hits him.)
She enjoys writing and reading more and more. Both twins have gone from lagging behind in class to getting on quite well now. They are the youngest in class, born in August (plus born pre-maturely at 28 weeks).
DTD can't tell the time yet. We have a digital clock that shows the sun in yellow when it's time to get up but that's regularly being ignored.
I also meant myself and DP, not grand-parents !
I think the hardest for us is to draw the line between cutting them some slack due to tiredness after school, and clearly not accepting certain types of behaviour... i look forward to your ideas. Thanks!
Obviously, you can't expect perfect behaviour from 5 yr olds, and having two makes it even more difficult! I can only suggest to make 'rules' as relaxed as possible, so they don't mind observing them, thereby reducing conflict to a minimum. Regarding waking and getting up in the morning, if that is a major problem, maybe have a rule that she HAS to wait until she is called to get up; I'm not a great fan of 'reward charts' but to have one for her staying in bed until called, marking each day she manages that, with some little treat for achieving a week without dramas, could help. Brother, of course, shouldn't be left out, so he can have a little treat too.
If you can have a consistent routine for 'after school', keeping them occupied or having healthy snacks or drinks, maybe a bit of TV, so they always know what is expected of them, and they don't get any unwelcome surprises. Also, I guess they need to do some reading, but if they are reluctant, don't 'push' it too much as it isn't vital at this age. Could they maybe do joint reading, so they take it in turns to read a page, or are they on very different levels, which might make that more difficult; though it might also spur-on the weaker reader.
I know it's not easy, but it's probably up to you to provide a schedule so the children always 'know where they stand'. Our DS used to sometimes be a bit 'lively' after school, but he would often have a little book and 'call the register' for mum and I, and then tell us what lesson we were going to do! (Both parents were at home through most of his primary years, which made it much easier.)
I know a lot of children are very tired and grumpy at this stage - half term is upon us, hooray. I just wish I could handle her awful screaming better. As I said, the cuddles sometimes work, but sometimes I feel like I'm rewarding bad behaviour by doing it! I'm with you on the rewards charts. We seem to be constantly handing out stickers, collecting pegs etc for outings/treats...
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