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5 year old MEGA tantrum

(12 Posts)
Rubeydoobie Sun 14-Aug-16 20:42:05

I think I posted this in the wrong forum originally. Any ideas would be really appreciated. I think I'm most concerned about the stuff that was being said...


I'd appreciate some ideas on how to do things differently after a really rough evening with our eldest daughter (5).

She hadn't been eating much dinner at all the last week and a bit and we felt that she was suffering from it, being very low on energy. We moved house a fortnight ago so we had been giving her a bit of slack, but over the last three evenings we told her that she had to eat everything we gave her, and although she got really fed up and it took about an hour each time, she did finish her food. Our hope was that she would recognise that it was important, and in fact each time she finished she would say sorry for getting grumpy and say that she would try again tomorrow.

Tonight we planned to give her a meal she usually really likes but as soon as she came to the table she started flopping everywhere and poking at it again. We told her that the same rules applied and that we would help her if she needed it.

Nearly an hour later and not much had been eaten (she is capable of wolfing down a meal by-the-way) and then she started growling as she pushed the chair away from the table. When I moved her back and said that she had to finish her food the tantrum started...

"You're making me angry!"


Arching her back and trying to get away

"I just want to leave this family!"

I think we were really calm, as we've had a few of these from her before, and mostly we just say that we won't go away, that we do love her, but that she has lost control and needs to take a moment to breathe. Writing it down makes it sound ridiculously perfect, so on reflection we probably do get exasperated too.

It got worse so that she was trying to run away from the table, and at one point my wife shouted at her after the daughter told her that she "wished you weren't my mummy and I just want to leave you for ever."

At this point I thought she needed to be alone so I picked her up (through flailing limbs) and took her into a bedroom to be alone. On the way she was shouting things like "I just want to destroy you!" and "I want to destroy this family which means you will be dead", which was pretty horrible to hear her say. I said that she could come out when she was calmer and ready to talk.

There were a few rounds of her trying to run out, and about ten minutes of full on screaming but then it calmed down.

My wife and I were gutted this evening. the daughter said lots of sorrys, had a bath and then went to bed, but i just don't feel that it can be left and discarded as 'another' tantrum. I'm pretty emotionless and it hurt, but my wife was absolutely gutted and has been talking about how much it hurt her and how angry and upset she was inside.

Any ideas?

llhj Sun 14-Aug-16 20:48:30

'Gutted' and 'emotionless' is a bit extreme I think. She's moved house which is a very big deal for a wee one. She's tired and had a meltdown, take her comments with a pinch of salt if it's a one off. She's looking for a reaction. You sound caring but a bit intense if I'm being honest. Keeping her at the table for an hour three nights in a row might have tipped her over the edge. I think I might let her eat as much as she wants and let her having to clear her plate go for a bit. She's very small still.

veryproudvolleyballmum Sun 14-Aug-16 21:16:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

llhj Sun 14-Aug-16 21:19:02

This is a duplicate thread.

1Catherine1 Mon 15-Aug-16 23:27:45

My daughter (who is also 5 yo) told me a couple of weeks ago that I am "the worst mummy in the world". I had put her in her bedroom after being rude to me. I told her not to leave her room that evening as hurtful things like that were not ok in our house, I informed her that I would speak to her the next day (It happened at 6pm and bedtime is 7:30pm). It gave her enough time to recognise she had crossed the line. She has since been apologetic and she has not pushed it again in this way.

As far as the behaviour and food is concerned, I think you need to look for patterns in the behaviour. I was having this problem at the start of the holidays, I have since implemented a schedule. My DD has a list of things she must do each day before she gets "screen time", her preferred reward. One of these things is exercise of some description others are academic and creative, this is to ensure she has some mental stimulation all day. She has food before 5pm, attempts to feed her after this results in scenes like you describe, even if she was hungry 10 minutes earlier. She still goes to bed at 7:15pm (to be asleep by 7:30pm) and she is not allowed to get out of bed before 6am. This prevents the described behaviour due to overtiredness.

Don't turn mealtime into a battle. Children occasionally go off food for a while, if she is eating something then give her time. Our approach when we had this problem was to tell our DD to put her meal in the fridge, if she was hungry she could finish it later. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn't. She did however learn that she wouldn't skip a meal and then have snacks and treats instead. It is just a phase and not worth fighting over unless she is starving herself. She may actually just not be hungry, kids are very good at only eating when hungry rather than us adults that like our 3 meals a day when society dictates! My DD went through a phase of not eating much at dinner time at all so I rearranged mealtimes and gave her a big lunch and a snack later. It is a possibility, as is that she is snacking during the day as it is the school holidays.

Hope my experience with my daughter is of some use to you, I must admit to finding my daughter's behaviour very difficult at times too.

corythatwas Thu 18-Aug-16 07:45:42

OP, I suspect that you are going to get the same replies as on your last thread: that this is well within the range of normal and that it is up to your wife and you to stay calm and make sure it does not take on a significance that could be damaging to your dd.

Also that sitting a 5yo at the table for an hour to make her eat something she doesn't want is inappropriate.

My 2yo dd once told me that by the time she is grown up she won't have to have me for a mummy because I'll be dead by then. She is now a young adult with very good manners and very loving towards her family and other people. We have an excellent relationship and she is very, very respectful.

Incidentally, I was a bit off my food the other week, combination of slight indigestion and some work-related stress. The very thought of having to sit for an hour staring at the food I couldn't eat and then thinking I had to say sorry for not being hungry- I couldn't cope with that. And I am over 50.

DoreenLethal Thu 18-Aug-16 07:49:18

You need to rethink your mealtimes! Anyone telling me I had to eat everything before I even started, on a plate I hadn't even plated up myself would be told to back the fuck off and I am 47.

LizKeen Thu 18-Aug-16 07:57:30

Sometimes children go through stages where they would eat everything around them, and then go a few weeks of eating very little.

You have turned something very normal into a battle. You have forced her to eat every bite. You have forced her to sit at the table for an hour. You now have the cheek to say you are gutted at the reaction.

You have brought this on yourself. She is 5 years old. You are the adult. I suggest you and your wife take a good look at yourselves and wise up.

paxillin Thu 18-Aug-16 08:13:39

Put food in front of her, she eats what she eats then leaves the table. Kitchen is closed until breakfast, she will eat soo enough.

You created a situation that causes these tantrums. It would be a rare 5 year old who reacts differently.

Tonitomkinson1 Fri 19-Aug-16 21:15:44

Hi I am just wondering weather anyone can help me, my youngest daughter is 5 and her behaviour is spiraling out of control. She has a 4yr cousin and it seems her behaviour changes whenever she is with her.she does not want to share toys whatever my niece has she wants and try to snatch it, she always wants to be first all the time. It is getting to the point where I am thinking of seeking professional help, any answers would be gratefully appreciated x

1Catherine1 Sat 20-Aug-16 22:14:34

Hi Toni, it is probably best you start a new thread rather than post on someone else's as you will get few replies and it isn't very polite to hijack someone else's thread.

However, to answer your question... It is all about consistency. You have to remind her of your expectations, then consequences then follow through is necessary. Then you have to keep doing it, even when you are too tired and you just want to be left alone.

For example, in the case your DD is playing with her cousin and starts snatching and not sharing.

Strike 1 - "DD in this house we share with our friends"
Strike 2 - "DD, I have told you to share, if you don't you will {insert punishment here - we have her naughty chair that is away from everyone and everything for 5 minutes}"
Strike 3 - Implement punishment reinforce reason but do not engage in discussion.

After 5 minutes - discuss with child (I ask my DD what she did to get on her naughty chair, she often tells me she doesn't know but she is getting better at telling me). Reinforce expectations and allow to continue playing. Repeat from Strike 2 if DD continues.

This is basic supernanny stuff but it work when applied consistantly (although I have heard it not work for some kids). Have a look on the website, it has some useful stuff.

albertcampionscat Sat 20-Aug-16 22:17:48

I reckon I'd have thrown a tantrum too. Give her a break and let her leave some dinner.

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