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DS's tantrum.... Am I alone?

(11 Posts)
notsurehowtodothis Mon 23-Jan-17 16:05:25

My DS is shortly to be three. Until about an hour ago I thought I'd seen every type of tantrum he could throw at me, and I felt I had seen it all with the 'terrible twos.'

Until.... About an hour ago I collected him from pre-school.mthey mentioned he seemed tired. He is, but he was fine until he got in his car seat, when he then dissolved into hysteria. It was like a scene from the exorcist. He was using every ounce of energy to scream, and cry, and it was that kind of cry where they almost can't breathe for the hysteria. I managed to secure and settle him enough to make the three minute drive home (country roads, I cannot walk him there and back despite the short distance) but by the time we got in the house he was soaked in sweat, eyes bloodshot, face red as a beetroot, still screaming. It's the first time I've ever seen him like this, as he was almost 'in another zone'. There was no communicating with him and it was as though he couldn't hear or see me for rage. Then, as I had carried him from the car and was trying to calm him, he basically started using me as a punch bag. I mean, he's two, so it wasn't exactly brutal, but It was very 'anger-fuelled' and I actually felt frightened and scared, more as this was so unusual. He hit me about ten or eleven times, all the while just in this red rage. I kept trying to talk to him and talk through it, or turned my back and walked in the other direction, but he just kept going until he eventually seemed to have no energy and slumped on me in a heap. He is now totally exhausted and asleep on the couch but I feel like that was some sort of horrible dream. I have literally never seen him like this.

Has anyone else's child had a tantrum like that? How do you handle it? I feel completely overwhelmed.

notsurehowtodothis Mon 23-Jan-17 16:17:02

I should add, although probably obvious, he is my eldest child and so I am still very green in all areas of being a Mum. Or, a good one at least.

corythatwas Mon 23-Jan-17 17:57:32

My eldest had those. Completely out of it. Nothing you can do except wait it out and then comfort/provide a place to sleep. No point trying to communicate while it's going on because they can't understand you. Just make sure they can't hurt you.

This too shall pass.

notsurehowtodothis Mon 23-Jan-17 19:33:48

Thanks Cory. I hope so. It was horrible.

polkadotdelight Mon 23-Jan-17 19:39:13

Oh bless you. My DS is 2 and getting good at pulling a tantrum but I have no idea how I'd cope if he did that to me.

BlueCowWonders Mon 23-Jan-17 19:41:47

Only once. And DS was so frightened by it he put himself to bed straight after. Never happened again.

NiceGlassOfSherryAndASitDown Mon 23-Jan-17 19:57:55

It sounds like a meltdown. My older two DC have autism and have them regularly. Youngest DD (26 months) has them from time to time and is neurotypical. I think basically it's when the external situation (be it tiredness, emotional, social or sensory overload) is more than the individuals coping mechanism at the time. Complete exhaustion will do it, a build up of stress or anxiety. I have had them myself and they're hideous. It's exhausting to be around and terrible to experience. I agree with the previous poster who said the best thing to do is let it run its course. Any form of interaction kind of fuels the fire in my experience - being touched is overwhelming, noise and light feel like torture. The best thing you can do is get him somewhere dark and quiet and just hold him (if he'll let you) or let him know calmly and quietly that you are there. Sometimes I use lavender oil on a tissue for them to sniff. I'll leave a drink and snack nearby in case they are beyond being able to express hunger or thirst...I might see if they need the toilet but mostly I will leave them to it whilst offering comfort close by. Sorry you've both been through this, it's truly shit. But if it is a meltdown you can educate yourself on them and help him learn the triggers as he grows up. I believe many kids grow out of them smile

Spotsondots Mon 23-Jan-17 21:15:54

Agree this sounds like a meltdown rather than a tantrum. Our DS (3) has had a few in his time. They are hideous. You've had some great advice in managing/surviving them from a pp. hugs for you and DS, they are awful. sad

Spotsondots Mon 23-Jan-17 21:16:54

Agree this sounds like a meltdown rather than a tantrum. Our DS (3) has had a few in his time. They are hideous. You've had some great advice in managing/surviving them from a pp. hugs for you and DS, they are awful. sad

notsurehowtodothis Mon 23-Jan-17 21:23:32

Thanks all. Just by the word alone, 'meltdown' certainly feels more apt than 'tantrum' based on the behaviour. I just couldn't get through to him and it was so upsetting to see him like that. He has had a lot of change in his life recently (house move to entirely new and unknown area, new pre-school) and we're just trying to find a rhythm again after having DH home for a good chunk over Christmas (he works away in the week so we only see him at weekends). The last few nights he has had very broken sleep, awake at three for at least an hour or two before crashing out until 7am and waking exhausted. I think it all just came to a head for him today. Since he woke up early evening he has been angelic, it makes me feel like I almost imagined it. Thanks everyone, as awful as it sounds I take comfort knowing it happens to others and it (probably) wasn't something I did to make him feel that way.

Ohdearducks Mon 23-Jan-17 21:23:55

Agree about meltdown, a build up of multiple emotions that rise to the surface and spew out like a volcano, calmness, reassurance and earplugs it's not nice to be pummelled by your toddler but be assured he feels so safe with you that he knows you'll love him anyway so he lets rip with his frustrations! Poor you and DS hope you both feel better. flowers

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