Normal 3-year-old tantrums or something else?

(5 Posts)
Tempnamechange123 Mon 15-Apr-19 18:17:42

My three year old DS has always been “wilful”, “spirited” and all the other adjectives people use to describe boisterous children. He walked at 10 months, has always slept pretty well, he has good speech, developmentally he’s hit all the major milestones and he has no problems at preschool.

But he has frequent EPIC tantrums that my DM is convinced isn’t normal (I think she’s either hinting at ASD or bad parenting/not enough discipline).

It begun around the time he started walking. He’d bang his head repeatedly off the floor/wall/cot during a tantrum. This went on (on and off) until he could talk to us properly around age two. Now he flings himself on the floor and flails around while crying/shouting. 99% of the time these tantrums happen for no obvious reason. He can be fine one minute, and then doing that the next. Sometimes they occur after he’s woken from his afternoon nap but will go on for an hour on and off. Nothing we do or say calms him. If we restrain him/cuddle him, this makes him worse.

Generally he’s ok when we’re out. These happen at home. He usually just shouts and cries but sometimes says “I can’t see” “I don’t feel well” “My leg/knee/foot/belly hurts”. If we tell him to stand up, he says “I can’t walk”. I’ve ignored this as thought he was lying but maybe it is something physical rather than mental?

I am intending to book him in to see the GP but just wanted some advice on whether this is standard three-year-old behaviour or if this sounds familiar to anyone with children who have ASD or anything else?

OP’s posts: |
typoqueen Tue 16-Apr-19 10:17:35

my DS could have been a world champion at throwing a tantrum, he aslo would complain of pains in legs, tummy and head, but obviouisly the way he was throwing off he had no pain, we aslo had the " i can not walk" it went of for a few days so i took him to the Doc, all the doc did was tell him to sit still and told me to walk out the room, Yep DD soon gave chase!! legs working fine, in the end i litrally ignored him, every time i would get up and walk out the room, i never said a word to him untill it stopped, it worked eventually once he reaslised he was not getting any reation or attention from me probably took about 3 weeks

Whiskyagogo Tue 16-Apr-19 12:28:23

My youngest is the same. Very wilful. Walked at 10 months (but generally always been a terrible sleeper!). Very active and wants to be on the go constantly.

She has just turned 3, and will have epic tantrums over odd things. There is no logic to any of them.

I find the best way of dealing with them is to ignore them! But I'm quite good at that as she's my 3rd! 😂

Tempnamechange123 Tue 16-Apr-19 13:11:18

Thank you both. I’ve tried ignoring him but he literally will go on for an hour. He seems to struggle to calm down by himself. How long do you think it is safe to let him do that? He has other goal-orientated tantrums (for example, I’ve told him no, he can’t have another sweet) but I can deal with these by putting him on naughty step/time out. I don’t think that would work for the meltdowns.

OP’s posts: |
Whiskyagogo Tue 16-Apr-19 16:35:47

Yeah my daughter's can go on for an hour too. There is no reasoning with her.

It can be over not getting another sweet, wanting to be first in the bath but at the same time refusing to get in the bath, things like that. My eldest was the same!

Naughty step seems pointless, I only really do that if she hits/kicks/scratches one of us.

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