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How to stop tantrums being part of the routine

(4 Posts)
BillywigStings Tue 18-Dec-18 18:39:24

DS (3.5) now enjoys the routine of having a horrible tantrum lasting up to 2 hours before bed. He attacks me. When I really can’t control him i reatrain him so he can’t hurt me. If I leave the room he trashes it and pees/poos on the carpet and screams blue murder. He now thoroughly enjoys doing this before bed every night.

It’s killing me. What should I do?

OP’s posts: |
lovely36 Tue 18-Dec-18 23:40:15

Omg. That sounds awful I'm sorry. What's the bedtime routine like? Is it because you stop him from doing he likes? What is his typical bed time. For starters you need to make it clear you are NOT going to allow that type of behaviour. Be calm and assertive and also have you tried giving him a consequence?

Kleinzeit Wed 19-Dec-18 09:54:12

I am so sorry, BillywigStings, that must be awful for both of you flowers

I guess your DS already knows it isn't allowed, otherwise he would be doing it at any time of day and not just at bedtime. And he isn't really enjoying it either, for the same reason. He sounds miserable and he knows it's bad but he just doesn't know what else to do.

He might just be overtired and losing the plot because of that, so an earlier bedtime might possibly help. Or is there a specific thing he really doesn't want to do at bedtime? Like toothbrushing, that starts the whole thing off? But if there isn't a specific trigger then this is probably an anxiety and attention-seeking thing, made worse by tiredness. Maybe he just doesn't want to be left alone at bedtime and he is doing everything to prevent that. He is even making sure you can't leave him alone by wetting and messing.

So one thing to try: first of all, plan out a nice calm bedtime routine and tell him what it is. For example he puts on his pyjamas, goes to the toilet, brushes his teeth, gets into bed, then you talk about one nice thing that happened in the day, and then you read him a story. Then he gets a cuddle, a goodnight kiss and off you go. And here's the thing: just before you go you tell him you will go downstairs for one minute, and then you will come back and give him another another goodnight kiss, and he should stay in bed until you come back. After a minute you come in, give him a kiss, and tell him you'll be back in two minutes. Repeat, gradually stretching the time out til you get to about ten minutes. Then stick at 10 minutes. Give him a kiss and say goodnight and that you'll be back in two etc minutes, but don't say or do any more. Calm, quiet boring. If he talks to you say "goodnight" or "see you in five minutes" etc. and leave, if he is getting agitated then stay in the room quietly and repeat "I'm here" til he calms down then do the kiss and two minute thing.

The idea is to keep him in bed and to stop him having to yell and tantrum (etc!) to keep you / get you back. Hopefully it will let him relax so he can go to sleep sooner, and if not sooner then at least without being hit or having to clean up a lot of mess.

Make as little fuss as you can over the wee and poo. Clean him up, put him back to bed and back on track. You'll be back in two minutes.

Also make sure he gets plenty of nice friendly attention from you during the day - maybe things have got busy and stressful recently and he's been getting a bit less relaxed attention than he needs.

BillywigStings Wed 19-Dec-18 18:46:57

Thanks. It’s just the minute I get started with the routine - which is getting teeth brushed, toilet, wash hands and face, story and bed. He says he is not tired and doesn’t want to go to sleep. Once he is in bed he is fine as I try to end his tantrums with him saying sorry and cuddling so it’s usually over by then. Really helpful tips tho. Thanks

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