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Help me tame DD's temper (4yrs)

(19 Posts)
kbaby Mon 11-Aug-08 21:36:17

Dont know what has happened. Over the past few weeks she has become so angry. She is lashing out at the smallest thing and constantly talking back. For example if I tell her off for doing something she normally says' if you dont stop shouting at me I will break this book/throw this/kick you or something along those lines.

The other thing she is doing is losing her temper. She never really had major tantrums when she was younger so I cant see where this change in behaviour has come from but if I tell her off or put her on the naughty step she loses it big time and will scream, tense her face and hands and has now started going to her bedroom slamming her doors and throwing stuff at the doors.

I am hoping that someone may help me understand why she is now like this and what I can do to help her overcome it. I know that she is annoyed at being told not to do something but they way she is acting seems very extreme. Is this a normal part of development at this age?

Btw - I normally disapline her by giving 2 warnings and then the naughty step.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Mon 11-Aug-08 21:39:14

i would love to help but i have just been on the recieving end of one dd1's monumental tantrums. she is also four so maybe an age thing? hopefully.

dd tends to react better if you try and 'talk her down' rather than shouting/punishing her. which is something im am trying to explain rather unsucessfully to dh who imo was the one who caused the tantrum.

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Mon 11-Aug-08 21:51:23

bump for you

AbbeyA Mon 11-Aug-08 21:54:34

I would advise ignoring the tantrum completely-go into another room if you find it difficult. Once she has calmed down discuss it with her, ask her why she felt angry, how she thinks it makes you feel, what she thinks it achieves, what she wants to achieve and what would be a better way of going about it? Try and work out a compromise.After a while she should get the message that a tantrum is a waste of time. Give her plenty of attention when she is being good.
The naughty step doesn't seem to be very successful so I would abandon it.
Good luck-it isn't easy!

Tidgypuds Mon 11-Aug-08 22:01:54

Hi, I feel for you my DD 4 exactly the same. I talk to her about her behaviour and calmly tell her she doesnt need to get so angry or upset and if something upsets her then to try to talk to mummy about it and how it makes me feel sad when she says naughty things to me its best when she is calm ie: an hour before bed time if it has been a particularly bad tantrum day. It is getting better.

I find trying to explain why her behaviour isnt acceptable whilst during or immediately after doesnt work as she isnt listening as is so angry etc.
Time out step to calm down sometimes works but not always.

I think its a stage she will go through although my DS never did he was a breeze and still is...maybe its a female thing wink

myermay Mon 11-Aug-08 22:03:28

i also have this with my eldest son. He is not temperemental but is fairly aggressive, back chatting and quite angry. No talking reasoning has worked. Even when i'd tell him off he'd do something rude like poke his tongue out at me of mimick me.

So i do sympathise with you, this parenting thing is tough!

I got tough with him. Made a chart up for his behaviour, negative things as well as positive. I gave him ticks for sharing, being good etc, crosses for interuppting and being rude. He works towards things like ice skating, cinema etc. He is a few years older than your child though. But so far so good it seems to be working, it's a constant thing though. I have to keep reminding him about the chart.

myermay Mon 11-Aug-08 22:04:43

hi no it's not a girl thing. My ds1 is gorgeous but rather awkward however my ds2 is a breeze. Maybe it's an oldest child thing, as they've been spoilt!

AbbeyA Mon 11-Aug-08 22:07:16

It's not a girl thing-my DS did it for far longer than 4yrs.

kbaby Wed 13-Aug-08 18:51:42

I was thinking of doing a reward chart for her but what exactly do I reward her for. I cant put a star on it for being good that day and not losing her temper as she does it evey day.

Ive tried talking to her about why she gets angry and she says its because I shout at her, so I said that sometimes I o have to tell her off but maybe there are better ways of dealing with it. I was met with a blank stare.
Tonight for example she hits out at her brother even if he dares look at what she is playing with.

simplelife Wed 13-Aug-08 18:56:00

My DS1 never had toddler tantrums but developed a terrible temper at age 4/5.

I found the best(only?) way to deal with it was to ignore, ignore, ignore, just as you would toddler tantrums.

He's now much calmer at 7, but when his temper does flare up, I have taught him to take himself off to his room to calm down when everything gets too much for him.

kbaby Wed 13-Aug-08 21:21:09

She is like the incredible hulk, you can see her getting visibly angry before she lashes out and she just shouts for no reason. Tonight DH asked her to get in the bath and she said she didnt want one so he asked her 3 more times and she said I am not having a bath and if you put me in it I will rip everything and break everything in this house. So she was put on the step to calm herself down. its this type of thing I find hard, should I ignore her cheek and answering back and hope that with less attention it goes away or should I deal with it.

Orinoco Wed 13-Aug-08 21:29:11

Message withdrawn

HonoriaGlossop Wed 13-Aug-08 21:49:01

Why did she have to have a bath? Why not negotiate with her? Yes she's four but she's allowed her own opinions and feelings. IMO there are ways round rather than just telling her, which she obviously finds annoying - some kids are just less 'biddable'! With DS sometimes it worked if I said "Ooh OK then it'll be my bath!" He usually found he didn't want anyone else to get in. Or negotiation - ok you don't want a bath but your face is really dirty, will you get your flannel and wash or shall I help you?

I do think ignore cheek and answering back largely - because it's just human nature to want to fight back when you feel powerless, as children often do; they pull faces, or laugh, or talk back - let them. they need to feel they have a little bit of their dignity etc. They very easily feel belittled. And it isn't affecting you being able to give a consequence or whatever - it's just their little fight back.

Maybe she is losing her temper more because she is getting older and wants to be negotiated with more? sometimes it's easy to treat them as we always have done but of course they get older and want different things, more control, etc.

kbaby Wed 13-Aug-08 22:38:26

HG- Maybe your right. I will try it tomorrow and see if we get off to a better day.

One of the problems is she fights with DS constantly, She wants to play with him but then when he isnt playing the game the way she wants to do it she shouts and hits out at him. Ive treid explainig to her that because he is you younger he doesnt quite know what she wants him to do. Tonight they were playing with a crawl through tunnel and because he was going through it the wrong way she starts shouting at him so he gets cross and hits her and she then hits him and on it goes until i sort them both out. She is never like this with her friends and instead plays really nice with them because she knows she has to wait her turn or be kind etc.

gagarin Wed 13-Aug-08 22:49:01

"when he isnt playing the game the way she wants to do it she shouts.."

Is there any chance your dd thinks that if she doesn't play the game (ie life!) the way you want her to you shout at her?

So that in her mind she's just doing to her brother what you are doing to her?

Think about how you interact with her. Is most of your communication with her along "ordering about" lines - like "time to get dresed/eat/wash hands and don't hit/push/shove"?

Try switching it round and comment on what she does well. Like "lovely smile/playing/tower of bricks etc"

Tell her she's lovely. Tell her you like her. Ignore the bad behaviour if you can and keep underlining all the things she has done that are good.

Imagine a day in which your "boss" told you what you were doing wrong all day. Not nice.

Othersideofthechannel Thu 14-Aug-08 05:54:04

Agree with HG. I was going to add teach her to oppose you in a less enraged way but if you are shouting at her then you are going to have to work on that first.

kbaby Thu 14-Aug-08 21:01:23

Ok ive tried not shouting today.
I had to firmly ask her at one point today to put some books back on the shelf in wh smith because she wanted to buy them and I said she couldnt, she put them back after a few requests and then when we left the shop I told her how proud I was of her or putting them back when I had asked her and what an excellent girl she had been. Ive also been praising her throughout the day for playing nicely etc. It seems to have improved because we havent had any anger outburts at all. We have had friends over though which kept her occupied.
When I cuddled her in bed I told her that we had had a lovely day and that I was so happy that she had been good.
I just have to keep at it now and try and stop my self from shouting at her, hopefully this means she wont copy my behaviour and it will get better.

gagarin Thu 14-Aug-08 22:11:23

How great grin!

You should feel very proud of yourself for making today such a good day.

I'm sure it's not the end of tempers for her or you - and it's very tiring being nice hmm - but def worth it.

HonoriaGlossop Thu 14-Aug-08 23:15:13

yay, good for you kbaby. Keep calm, keep positive - and don't throw in the towel the next time she throws a wobbly, which she will I'm doesn't mean it's not working. I'm sure it will, it's just that it will take a bit of time for her to adjust to new ways.

You sound like a very loving mum smile

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