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Putting toddler into bedroom to calm down from tantrum

(14 Posts)
HughLauriesStubble Mon 20-Feb-17 10:56:38

Ds recently turned 3. We also have 2 yo dd. Ds has always been a lovely placid boy and still is for the most part. We escaped any major 'terrible 2' issues but he has started having awful tantrums now. There are a few other things going on that are having an impact on him too (I'm due baby no 3 soon and there has also been problems with a related child being rough with him and taking toys from him).

His tantrums start with a whinge about something and just escalate. It's sometimes because I tell him not to do something he shouldn't be doing and sometimes because he doesn't want to share toys with his sister (he was always good enough with this before the problems started with the related child taking toys from ds but that's a whole other story)

We try to diffuse the situation, distract him, give him cuddles etc, but sometimes as a last resort, he literally will not calm down so we put him into his room and close the door for 5-10 minutes until he cools down. It seems to work ok, and he says sorry and gives us hugs and kisses afterwards but I feel bad for doing it. If we don't do it, he just gets more and more wound up, upsetting everyone including dd. Does anyone else do this? Are we cruel parents?

Sunnie1984 Tue 21-Feb-17 07:21:58

We have to do this with our three year old.

It feels horrible as we've never had to do it with our eldest.

However he seems to need alone time. We tried doing quiet time and sitting in his room with him, but it made it worse and not better.

Now it usually only takes a couple of minutes and then he will cuddle and have quiet time in his room with me, then ready to face the world again z

skankingpiglet Wed 22-Feb-17 15:30:35

I've had to do this too when DD1 (2.8yrs) really has lost complete control (only a handful of times). She too needs space from what was upsetting her and time alone to calm down. My presence just upsets her further.
At times when she's been slightly less nuclear, I remove her to her room but stay with her sitting at a slight distance.

Crunchyside Wed 22-Feb-17 15:34:53

I think it's fine if that's what your child needs and your instinct is telling you. I normally agree with "positive parenting" stuff but I disagree with the advice about always cuddling and comforting tantrumming children. There's no good cuddling them and comforting them during a tantrum when they're thrashing around screaming "go away mummy!" which mine does! You wouldn't like it if you were angry and needed some space and someone kept trying to shout at you or cuddle you. There's a difference between shutting them in their room as a punishment and putting them in their room compassionately because they need the space.

Bubbinsmakesthree Wed 22-Feb-17 15:38:19

I think if it works and you are clearly framing it as giving them some time to calm down rather than banishing them as a punishment then it's fine.

Bubbinsmakesthree Wed 22-Feb-17 15:39:36

X-posted with crunchy but those are my thoughts exactly!

JaxingJump Wed 22-Feb-17 15:40:03

Nah, if it works, great!

A child is either loved or isn't and will know which they are. Disciplining bad behaviour by putting him in his room won't change that. Kids are smart and can grasp the concept of consequences from very little.

Oblomov17 Wed 22-Feb-17 15:43:09

Do you tell him?

" I am going to go into the xxxx/lounge/dinning room/downstairs, until you have calmed down"

If this is working, then all is fine.

Bubbinsmakesthree Wed 22-Feb-17 15:47:16

Disciplining bad behaviour by putting him in his room

I don't think of a tantrum as 'bad' behaviour. It's getting emotionally overwhelmed and not having the skills to control it. If giving them space helps them calm down then great but I don't think children learn not to tantrum via punishment.

JaxingJump Wed 22-Feb-17 15:52:04

Well a tantrum is hardly good behaviour. Screaming and roaring and hitting people is definitely bad behaviour in my book. Though understandable at this age where they are lurking about how to control themselves.

Crumbs1 Wed 22-Feb-17 15:53:10

Sounds like good parenting to me!

ipswichwitch Wed 22-Feb-17 15:55:27

We've done this with DS2. He sometimes gets himself into such a state with a tantrum, he's best left alone for a short time (we just sit and wait for it to ride out a few feet away). Any attempts to distract him, cuddle, even being in eyesight just makes him worse. After a few minutes he calms right down and comes back to us for a cuddle. This happens when he seems to get overwhelmed at his own emotions, if he overreacts to being told no, or is tired.

Sometimes he will remove himself from the situation and take himself to a quiet corner/up to his room. His tantrums are becoming less frequent, and much shorter and now he's 3 he's getting that bit better at regulating his emotions - he's a strong willed one and can be a bit rollercoaster like!

His brother would be hysterical at being given time out in his room away from anyone, so we manage him a bit differently (usually time out in a corner in the same room as us) as he hates being alone.

I think different personalities will handle things differently, and sometimes different tactics are called for. When DS2 calms down we have a cuddle and a talk about what happened and how he felt. I guess he's like me - I like time alone to work though my emotions at times.

Bubbinsmakesthree Wed 22-Feb-17 16:14:28

Well a tantrum is hardly good behaviour. Screaming and roaring and hitting people is definitely bad behaviour in my book

Well it's bad insofar as it's undesirable behaviour we want to help them stop doing but I don't think of it as being "naughty"

Most of my DS's 'unwanted' behaviour falls into one of 4 categories:

-tantrums (needs to learn to calm down and control emotions)
-things he doesn't yet know are wrong (needs to learn appropriate boundaries)
-wanting to do something different to what I need him to do (needs to learn to follow instruction)
-deliberately pushing boundaries (learning that boundaries will be enforced).

Only the last one and the a certain extent the 3rd I really class as 'bad'.

seasaltbaby Wed 22-Feb-17 22:35:07

Yes we do this with DS who is 2.8 yrs, agree with bubbles that it's a way of calming down when he's become emotionally overwhelmed & it's definitely not a punishment for being 'naughty'. Yet it is teaching him that shouting & screaming does not get him his own way. Today he very quickly said sorry without prompting.
We also did this with DD who is now 5 & who was a handful as a toddler but who is now a complete joy (mostly!)

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