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Challenging 5 Year Old Tantrums(5 Posts)
Hi, I’m looking for a bit of advice regarding my sons behaviour.
He’s only 5 but this has been something he has always done and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
If he perceives his feelings to be hurt, he will lash out.
It used to be physical hitting and biting and now it’s more verbal, but still severe.
Yesterday I collected him from school and everything was fine. He had something in his pocket which needed returning so we took it back. He was disappointed but ok.
Then the tantrum started.
Louder than I’ve ever heard any small child shout at their parents he screamed “I hate you” “you’re the worse mum ever” “I want to be in another family”.
I knelt by him and offered calm reassurance, which is typical. I don’t engage in his temper with him. It eventually stopped and it was as if it never happened. Had a cuddle.
The thing is that he’s not a baby anymore and tantrums are less tolerated. Judgements are made and he’s going to upset people. The teacher has started giving me knowing looks although she’s never suggested there is a problem.
Normally he’s ok, a lovely helpful boy, but people don’t forget or always forgive. I myself was quite hurt and humiliated this time.
Sometimes the lashing out is directed at himself “I’m the worst boy ever”, “throw me away” etc.
We’ve never said anything like this to him nor has he been exposed to it.
Is he in reception or year one? He does seem a bit of for that kind of behaviour, I'm not surprised it's upset you.
Is it when he's tired? After school, could he be finding return to school hard and the stress has triggered it? Or is it just when he doesn't get his own way?
I found that my son (also 5) gets like this when he does not feel he has control over a situation or if he struggles with something at school. Have you spoken to the school about it? If he is struggling at school then he will have a whole days worth of anger about it inside which would explain his big tantrums. i recall specially my son was very similar after he moved upto year 1. he felt left behind as could not keep up with the new teacher and he really struggled for the first few weeks. He is ok now but I know still finds it difficult to concentrate for long and keep up some times. Yesterday he was in an awful mood when I picked him up from school. It would appear that he felt he was being bossed around all day at school and was not then going to take any instruction from me. when I gave instruction he just whined, screamed and shouted at me. Today after school we went to the park and he really ran off his frustrations which worked brilliantly. By the time he got home he was very happy. I do thing that for some kids, boys in particular, the school day does not give them enough time and space to burn off their energies. I have noticed pre lockdown that a visit to the park to burn off steam does wonders. Your son is possibly learning these phrases from other kids but behind that he is obviously upset and angry about something. I'd also suggest some 1 on 1 time with him at the weekend to really find out what triggers these responses from him and some discussion about how in the future you will coach him to behave differently.
Hi at what age did your child stop the biting/ hitting? Sounds similar to my son who is 3.9 months he still lashes out and does them things and seems to get so angry and uncontrollable but when he is happy he is a completely different child very helpful etc. I feel for you, it's so hard when they play up and we feel like it reflects on us as parents when we have no idea why they behave the way they do!
Hi there. I train foster carers on behaviour support and have a 2yo and 4yo sons and there in one way to support children who are feeling distressed. I've written an article on how we all deal with stressful situations and how our parenting can help a child deal with distress. When I write distress, I mean when the child is feeling sad, upset, angry about something and anything. Part of growing up is learning to deal with our feelings using positive behaviours. (not easy to do for adults never mind children!)