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8 year old still having tantrums. Will she grow out of them?

(10 Posts)
SouthernandCross Tue 25-Oct-11 15:53:47

I know most children have grown out of tantrums at this age, but my 8 year old hasn't. As a rule, she has at least one a day, today's was because I caught her about to wallop her 5 year old sister in soft play and I made her come and sit with me for the last 10 minutes we were there, rather than being allowed to go and play.
If you were one of the parents sitting near our table, I can only apologise for the scene that followed sad In the end she refused to put her shoes and coat on to leave so I got my 9 year old to carry them while I 'helped' DD back to the car with no shoes on.
Most tantrums occur when she's asked to do something she doesn't like, even thinking about having to do something she doesn't feel like doing will cause screaming, crying, pleading not to have to do it, saying she doesn't want to, telling me I hate her, noone likes her etc, etc
This can go on for from a few minutes to up to half an hour.
She doesn't tantrum at school anymore, she had a few last year, and more the year before but used to do it a lot when she started school, which shows she has some control of it.
She does cry though, if she gets something wrong, or is in trouble. She's also a bit of a drama queen, but when she's tantruming she is really worked up and upset.
Her teacher last year said that if she was doing badly at school they might have her assessed for something but she's in the top sets for everything and they are very pleased with her. I would say she is not very socially aware, she doesn't read body language well and is awful for touching people all the time, when it really not appropriate.
It's only at home she's a nightmare.
Has anyone had a child like this who settled down eventually? Or did you find something that helped? I'm feeling a little worn down by it, especially as I have a three year old who likes to throw a tantrum when his big sister does.

exoticfruits Tue 25-Oct-11 16:29:06

It is hard-mine was 12yrs!
By that time he realised that he was going to have to talk about it a lot and so stopped.
I would chat to her. Tell her that people will be surprised because DCs grow out of it by 8yrs and that you know everyone gets frustrated and annoyed, but they have to find other ways of dealing with it. Discuss alternatives with her e.g. a cushion to hit-counting to ten. Tell her that it would be much better for her to discuss it with you because you may be able to help, but you can't help someone in the middle of a tantrum and it puts you off wanting to help anyway!

bilblio Tue 25-Oct-11 16:34:19

How do you react when she has a tantrum?

The best thing to do is ignore her and wait till she calms down. Doing anything else is likely to prolong it. Trying to reason with anyone who's in that state of mind will just make it worse. As will shouting obviously.

As exoticfruits says talking to her when she's calm is a good idea.

SouthernandCross Tue 25-Oct-11 16:38:44

It's good to know I'm not alone and yours did eventually stop. Was he the same; ie better at school, and quite sensitive and emotionally immature too?
I do try and talk about it but she likes to make excuses, then run off.
My eldest has the odd strop, and the 5 year old has a shout when things don't go her way, but DD2 is far and away the worst tantrummer. I don't really mind too much, I figure it's something she has to do, but then I see other people watching, remember she's now 8 and go hmm.

SouthernandCross Tue 25-Oct-11 16:44:37

Bilblio, I'm pretty calm but do stay near-but-disinterested when she's stropping, especially in public. If she goes into why can't I do this/ you hate me mode, I just keep stating why she can't ( todays was I can't trust you to not hit your sister) and ( I love you very much but I can't let you hit your sister), with a lot of 'I can see you are angry's. If it hadn't just been me with the kids at soft play, I'd have taken her somewhere quieter so she could calm down, but the others were charging around and I needed to watch them too.
On the plus side she kept threatening to go on the playframe, and kept telling me I couldn't stop her, but when I said 'I don't give you permission to go' she sat back down again.
She's not totally out of control, it's just her emotions that are sad

cumbria81 Tue 25-Oct-11 16:49:31

I hate to say it but I was like your DD. I was well behaved at school but outside I was a nightmare, with frequent tantrums. I think I was about 13 when I finally stopped blush and even then I can remember having an almightly meltdown at 15 because I didn't like my new hair cut blush blush

I just don't think I was very good at expressing myself. Looking back, I remember feeling so angry and full of rage and it was the only way I could deal with it.

exoticfruits Tue 25-Oct-11 16:52:27

Probably she is just a bit immature.
If she runs off, return to the subject later. Ask her how she felt, did she think it helped to get what she wanted, would there have been a better way, what would people think when they saw her?
My DS had no answers once he was calm again-he was embarrassed. In his case it was taken up at school, he was having to discuss it afterwards and he didn't like it.
I can remember even after that having the odd occasion of saying 'just stand back-on a scale of 1-10 how important is it? His were caused by frustration when things didn't go according to plan.

SouthernandCross Tue 25-Oct-11 16:59:03

Cumbria, people often ask why I put up with it, and the answer is that I was exactly the same as a child. I know how she's feeling and really don't think she can help it.
She's had a much more stable childhood than I did, and I know I usually deal with it better than my mother did. I was yelled at, punished, told I was bad/horrible and made to feel bad and embarrassed when I lost my temper.
It didn't help me control myself at all, I felt worse sad

exoticfruits Tue 25-Oct-11 17:01:19

They can't help it after a certain point. I got very good with DS and could head it off, but once he had started there was nothing to do but ignore and wait. The talking had to be afterwards.

exoticfruits Tue 25-Oct-11 17:01:54

Sorry -head it off sometimes.

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