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At my wits end with my 3 year old - running away

(9 Posts)
DarkDarkNight Sat 12-Nov-16 15:34:12

I've posted about him before but as an overview I think his behaviour is 'normal' developmentally but on the extreme end of the scale. He is hitting, throwing toys, trying to break things. His tantrums can go on an hour or more. He is defiant and stubborn.

Today he ran away into the supermarket because the tray he picked in the cafe was dirty and I picked a clean one. I went after him but lost him quite quickly as it was busy. I went and asked my mum to stand at the doors (the only exit) then started to look for him. After a couple of minutes I went back to the cafe to check there before asking staff for help.

He was stood in the middle of the cafe with a tray looking scared and lost. I ran up to him but before I could even say anything he threw the tray and started lashing out. He managed to hit me a couple of times while I was getting his harness on him. Is this normal? I was expecting him to be scared and want a cuddle and reassurance. It's like he is always putting on a front.

This episode was followed by shopping where he tried to hit and kick me from the trolley and was rude and surly to me and even strangers who spoke to him. I can't cope anymore. He goes from sunny 'I love yous' to 'go away mammy I don't like you, I'm going to run away and nobody will take care of me' in the blink of an eye and for no reason whatsoever.

user1477282676 Sat 12-Nov-16 22:23:51

It sounds very hard....I honestly don't think it sounds "normal" though. It almost seems as though he might have some sensory issues OP....have you noticed these episodes are often driven by dirty things or things which aren't "right"? And also are they usually in public places or will he also do it at home?

Parietal Sat 12-Nov-16 22:38:03

is there anything stressing him at the moment? changes in routine or people that might make him feel insecure? My DDs with both be very volatile (lovely one minute, tantrum the next) if they are feeling insecure or worried but don't have the words to explain the worry. Ramping up the love and attention when they are being good helps a lot, plus talking over anything that might be a worry.

Butterymuffin Sat 12-Nov-16 22:40:41

That sounds hard to deal with. I would see your GP and say you want some investigations done for underlying conditions/needs. Also ask for support for yourself. Is Homestart in your area? Theysupport parents of under 5s.

justwanttoweeinpeace Sat 12-Nov-16 22:52:36

I'm not getting running away, something different, but my usually lovely 3yo is also suddenly having hour long tantrums and hitting. It's usually linked to him being tired. But sometimes it's just not getting his own way.

At the moment my best approach is to tell him that I'm not happy with his behaviour, that he should finish the tantrum and then come find me when he's ready to be a nice boy again. Then I let him follow me around tantrumming and ignore him til he's done.

Obvs that isn't going to work so well in a public place though. Hopefully a cleverer mum will come along with something to help both of us.


Msqueen33 Sat 12-Nov-16 23:02:34

It sounds quite extreme. Do you have more examples?

DarkDarkNight Sun 13-Nov-16 21:16:28

Thanks for the replies. I have tried love bombing, and books about feelings and emotions like 'No Matter What' amongst others. He can be such a delight, he's great company and people often comment on how polite he is and what a good conversation they have had. He's funny and loving and he never forgets anything ever. But the old swings are so extreme.

I'm not sure about it being a sensory issue, he has in the past got very overwhelmed in crowded or noisy places, but the tantrums happen at home too. He has always been quite high needs, and highly strung. He was a very difficult baby, he just cried endlessly and nothing would sooth him. I came across PURPLE crying and that explained it quite well. Then when he was around one he used to bang his head on the wall and throw himself backwards.

There are a couple of things that could be stressing him out. I'm separated from his dad and have been since he was one but he is not seeing a lot of him at the moment due to his dad working long hours. There is no real routine which we had before. Also he has started doing five days at nursery, although I think this is too much for him and he could do with a day or two off. He doesn't nap in the day anymore apart from when he falls asleep exhausted after a tantrum, but I've brought his bedtime forward to try to combat tiredness.

He had another tantrum today because I said no to something in the supermarket. I picked him up and he was lashing out, I held both his hands to stop him hitting me and he head butted me. Before this we had had a lovely day, he is just so changeable.

Other examples - getting him ready can spark huge tantrums. He will deliberately try to break his toys and then cry and cry when he succeeds. It is really hard to leave the house sometimes - he will take his shoes off or go and hide behind the curtains. I did a thread a while back about picking him up from nursery - he will smile when he sees me, then back away and try to run off. If ever he runs away and I try the tactic (somewhere safe) of just waiting for him to come back rather than chase him I would be waiting all day, he genuinely doesn't seem to care.

DarkDarkNight Sun 13-Nov-16 21:16:53

Sorry for the essay blush

MyPeriodFeatures Thu 01-Dec-16 05:09:28

Dear you. 💐 He misses you, hes at Nursery 5 days a week and struggling with the change. I hope it settles soon. These things pass. He sounds a lot like my child who is 3.

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