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Managing child's rage during lockdown

(7 Posts)
Rumplestrumpet Sat 25-Apr-20 18:48:44

Parenting under lockdown....

Has anyone got a child they don't recognise?! One who's turned into a monster?!?

Our 5 year old is generally a lovely child, obviously has her moments but can be reasoned with and is usually a lot of fun. We got through the toddler years with barely a handful of tantrums. But increasingly over recent weeks she's become so incredibly difficult. Her moods swings are so extreme it's like a classful of hormonal teenagers rolled into one. It's exhausting for us as parents and must be so distressing for her too.

Strict discipline doesn't work at all, so we've relaxed the rules as much as we can and focused on positive attention, encouragement and love bombing. But even if I spend hours playing with her exactly as she wishes, the first sign of things not going her way and she's full of rage, screaming, throwing herself on the floor and threatening to hurt someone. The toughest thing is that she's refusing to do things we know she enjoys (walks on the beach, playing in the bath) and is cutting off her nose to spite her face.

Has anyone found their kids struggle through lockdown in this way? Any great tips on how to deal with it? Thanks

OP’s posts: |
NuffSaidSam Sat 25-Apr-20 19:26:19

Discipline wise I would take things back as much as possible to how they were before.

They need as much consistency as possible and relaxing rules (taking away boundaries) may actually be doing more harm than good. They need to know where they are, what the parameters are. She needs to know that you're in charge, that you've got this. It's too scary for a five year old to be in charge and that's what's happening if you're letting her do what she wants/spending hours playing exactly to her rules.

Take back control. Put up with the initial tantrums. Let her know she's safe because you're running things.

Gillian1980 Sun 03-May-20 21:04:13

I could have written your post OP. I’m afraid I have no advice though as we’re still struggling.

Dd is nearly 5 and has gone from a lovely child with the usual 4 year old wobbles here and there, to an absolute vile nightmare. It really is incredibly upsetting as we love her so much but she is being really unbearable.

We’re maintaining boundaries and routines and discipline as much as possible. But she just seems really unsettled and is having massive mood swings, shocking behaviour and huge sleep problems.

I have sought professional advice and am using gentle reassurance strategies alongside our familiar routines etc. But at the moment not much is having any kind of impact.

I’m completely drained - physically, emotionally, mentally. I just can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel at the moment.

Wfh, DH wfh and an 11 month old as well as dd. Chaos!

GBKJ102218 Mon 04-May-20 15:10:50

I am in exactly the same situation with my daughter who will be 5 in June. She is usually the most kind hearted and lovely little girl and still is however, like yours, becomes a raging monster slamming doors, banging, screaming and shouting. It's most definitely a channel of emotional release for them but for us it is absolutely the most difficult thing!

I do not discipline for it as she isnt being naughty, she is releasing her emotion - they dont know how to explain how they feel yet as they dont understand. The lockdown situation is dreadful for all of us especially a young child. They talk about the virus and understand the distance rule but they dont 'understand' it properly to be able to deal with the schools closing, not seeing friends or family and not going anywhere apart from on walks. This is such a tough time for them and i wont react to it with shouting back. This only escalates the situation and makes them distant and nervous.

We have been doing the same and just telling her when she is doing it that we understand how she is feeling, we love her and if she wants to talk to us about anything that she can.

She usually stops after a few minutes and then comes up with a reason for the meltdown which even if it is clearly made up on the spot, we discuss it and finish it with a hug.

I constantly use the distraction method 'oooh did I just see lightening outside?" "Ahh has it started raining?" "Is that the bin men I can hear outside?" Etc... this stops the behavior every time for us!

Unfortunately I think this behaviour is set in until we get some normality back in their routine with familiar faces and school.

Concerned7777 Mon 04-May-20 15:58:04

My god I could have written your post. Must be something in the air with these 5yo . My ds is like Jekyll and hyde never know which I'm going to get and he can switch in a heartbeat. No words of wisdom just that you are not alone.
I suspect it's a little bit lack of interesting new things to do and frustration from not fully understanding what's going on in the world and why we aren't seeing family, going to school or even out the house apart from the odd walk.
I cant wait for school to start again not ashamed to say that by any means , he needs the structure and stability.

Ibizababyy Wed 06-May-20 22:27:01

Another in total agreement here- DS is 5 in July and usually the most easy going, wel behaved delightful little thing. However he has become so unstable in his emotions and moods since lockdown. He also seems incapable of playing independently anymore- no doubt made all the worse by his baby brother arriving the very day his school was closed- talk about turning his whole world upside down! I think that’s why he won’t take himself off to play anymore- he wants to be close to one of us for reassurance and also maybe abit is jealousy of baby although he is so loving to him.

We’ve never had tantrums before now but they are a daily occurrence now complete with foot stamping and screaming like a banshee. He is able to tell us he feels angry or sad but doesn’t seem able to address it any other way. It’s always the tiniest things that set him off. The other day in the midst of an almighty tantrum about a board game he suddenly said ‘I’m fed up of doing the same thing everyday I want to just go out somewhere’- my heart broke! It’s the only time he’s actually said that although I suspect that’s at the root of most of the behaviour.

Sorry I haven’t helped at all there have I. I have no advice other than to keep plodding on that’s al we can do.

Ibizababyy Wed 06-May-20 22:37:42

Just thought I have tried some stuff that’s worked abit- something I’ve had success with over the past 2 days is at breakfast I sit with DS and we devise a schedule for the day and write in on a mini white board. So today we had:
Break for snack
Outside time
Play with toys

He ticks off when we have done each one. I’ve found the schedule has helped really settle his behaviour and we only had one meltdown today (I moved a cushion hmm he had been playing with). We had got very fed up with lockdown as adults ourselves and were drifting listlessly through each day so I think he felt like he didn’t know what was going on. The structure helps me feel better too actually! Also limiting TV and telling him what is coming next seems to have helped abit eg ‘in ten minutes it’s time for outside time’- I even set a timer on the oven if I think he’s likely to resist, almost like when he was younger.

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