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4yo DS - violent temper tantrums - help please!

(5 Posts)
civilfawlty Tue 15-Mar-16 19:18:57

So DS is completely gorgeous, and sweet and empathetic most of the time. But about twice a day he completely loses it. Nothing in particular which sets him off - could be a thing really, usually not getting his own way - and he goes ballistic. And recently, the tantrums are getting worse. He is kicking and biting and hitting. And he is strong. I'm at my wits end. Does anyone have any experience/ recommendations please?

Worth saying that he is a terrible eater. He just is never interested in eating - always has something better and more interesting to do. Trying to get him to sit at the table ALWAYS triggers a tantrum. But if I shovel food in his mouth while he is doing something else, he'll eat. He is also still obsessed with milk in a bottle, and is clearly getting his fuel from it. And, unsurprisingly, trying to reduce/ withdraw causes major tantrums.

Pretty clear that all these are related. I just don't know what to do! Urgghhhhh

Janecc Tue 15-Mar-16 20:13:22

Sounds like my friends ds when he was little. She used to turn him round and hold him to prevent kicking and hitting her. Wouldn't recommend unless strictly necessary. And not for kids maybe 5 plus. My friend always fed him every mouthful at his age because he wouldn't feed himself.
I suggest vocalising what he is feeling in short sentences what you think he is feeling and why. Eg something like 'you sound cross'. 'You want milk and I'm asking yourself to eat this that must be really frustrating.' Let him know when he can have some milk what he needs to do perhaps - eat this and I will give you some milk when X is on the tv? Some children have big time temper tantrums.
Stay firm and keep with it. Like all things in life if you give him good boundaries and talk to him and listen to him, this will pass.
At this age both my friends son and my DD were heavy users of the step for discipline. It worked less well as they aged. My friends ds progressed to calming down in his room. My DD had some monumental tantrums even when she was 6 throwing all her stuff around. I let her and her consequence was to tidy up her stuff after. She was warned. I did help her tidy up. DD is too afraid to go to her room to calm down. She rarely had uncontrollable anger. When she does, we go to her bedroom and we have 'time in'. I vocalise her feelings for her. But this hasn't happened for ages. Both kids are nearly 8. Hope that helps to see that with all things in life, it seems so difficult at the time but if we stick with our convictions, an unsurmountable mountain is suddenly conquered.

civilfawlty Wed 16-Mar-16 16:50:38

Thank you so much for replying so thoughtfully. It is reassuring to know it's not just us.

SevenOhTwo Thu 17-Mar-16 16:50:17

Our DS, also usually very sweet and good-natured, had an awful phase of tantrums around six months ago when he was 3 and a half ish. It was mostly to do with not wanting to do somthing - walk, get on a bus, go to nursery etc. he could spend up to an hour lying on the floor kicking things and screaming, and if I held him (which I often had to do to get him home/away from danger) would try to hit/bite/scratch me.

I started letting him go in the pushchair more for the school run, and tantrums stopped quite quickly - I think he was mostly just exhausted. Although could be coincidental and he he just grew out of it I suppose.

I wonder if it is similar with your DS but with food - melting down through lack of energy but not realising he's hungry. Any chance of getting some kind of expert help with strategies to help him eat more/ get more comfortable with eating food?

I was firm with DS and explained e.g. That I had to hold his arms down as I would not let him hit me and I could not let him tantrum on the pavement for his own safety, but I quickly learned not to get angry/ try to apply punishments as it was completely counter-productive. My gut feeling was that he was not in control of himself during these episodes, and was not being 'naughty' as such.

He is much better now at 4yo, can't remember the last time we had a big tantrum.

SevenOhTwo Thu 17-Mar-16 16:51:21

probably just jinxed myself saying that and will get one later grin

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