I can't handle my three year old(18 Posts)
My sons behaviour is getting out of control. When he doesn't get his own way he throws the biggest tantrum. I collected him from nursery today and he wanted to take a toy that belongs to the nursery when I said no and explained that the toy belonged to the nursery he ran off and I had to go after him he threw himself on the floor and was kicking and screaming I tried to calm him down by talking to him and explaining that the toy was not his and he can come back and play with it tomorrow! By this point he was still not calming down and it took two members of staff to calm him down, we finally left and I spoke to him again letting him know that his behaviour was unacceptable. He was fine for a little while, apologised and rode off on his scooter, as he was going too fast I told him to slow down as he was way ahead of me he shouted back 'I don't want to' and continued when I finally caught up with him I spoke to him again and then it all kicked off again. He cried and screamed all the way home so I told him he would not have his treat along with no TV he is still screaming now screaming 'somebody help me' I literally don't know what else I can do to avoid him getting to this point.
I don't have any genius advice but consistency and calmness are key, I think. Be firm and calm. There's something I read about "make sure his world is the same after the tantrum as it was before" ie don't give in but also maybe don't punish him further mid tantrum. He's three so he's out of his own control. It's really really hard though so (hugs).
Thank you for your advice I will take this into consideration. I completely understand now that punishing him mid tantrum was the wrong move as it just escalated things, however I needed him to understand that he can not behave that way especially when we are out. Thank you again.
Does it help to know they have a hormone surge around 3ish hence the tantrums. Mine started coming out with 'the trees look sad mummy but the sun is happy'. He was processing a lot of new feelings and had a noticeable development leap.
He still has tantrums but i get down to his level, ask him to look at me and take some big breaths, then try to explain
You can't reason with a child who is having a tantrum. They literally can't hear you or process logical thought.
When it all kicks off you ignore. If you have to then carry them out.
When it's all over explain. Don't give another telling off. Move on.
It's hard OP it really is.
The part of the brain that processes reason does develop eventually. In their 20s it should be fully developed! Also very young children don't have the words to express their emotions.
My dd has just turned 4, her behaviour had gotten pretty bad, screaming and shouting and she'd started kicking me. I've found being very positive and over enthusiasts has worked wonders for her, I also tell her what we/she's doing so she's prepared, I've found explaining ahead of time where we're going and what she'll be able to do or how she needs to behave has helped.
We also do good behaviour pom poms, she gets 1 when she's done everyday little things like walking home from nursery nicely, getting her pants on without help or drama or when she was good waiting at the Drs today, when she gets 10 pom poms we do something extra fun.
Like a pp said once she's been told off for something it's forgotten and we move on.
It's a hard age for them and us.
When my son (the same age) does this o usually just turn around and leave the room/don't acknowledge it. Eventually he cottons on and stops and apologises.,
Does it help to know they have a hormone surge around 3ish hence the tantrums.
Pretty sure that's a myth.
Distraction is your friend. Think about a word / phrase they like saying and coax them into saying it. Multiple syllables help and then they forget their anger*.
E.g. when I've let DD have her way for a bit, I then say "you've got no choice. It's a..." She finishes off with "non-negotiable". Or if she's doing something dangerous: "you know that little girls and X don't mix. It's a". "Bad combination".
Failing that, tickling until she says "surrender" usually does the trick.
I tended to ignore my daughters tantrums, someone told me that a performance needs an audience and it definitely makes sense. As long as they are safe and can't injure themselves ignore it. They tend to fizzle out pretty quickly if there's no attention.
Nobody can handle their 3 year old, don't worry.
Yes to distraction. I always found a loud gasp and a point and an 'Oh my goodness look!' worked.
He's probably tired after nursery but if he's not going to do what he's told on the scooter then he can't ride it. That's not a punishment, it's a consequence because it's not safe. Maybe carry the scooter and let him scoot if he can stop playing, leave whatever toy at nursery, and put his coat on etc calmly, or some other behaviour requirement.
Personally I never punished with no TV as that was more punishment for me than the kids!!
Distraction sometimes works for me. Not always though. I feel better equipped to handle it this time as my 3 year old is DC2 so I know it is a phase she will grow out of. My now 6 year old was an unbelievable tantrum thrower at 3 and is now fine. Her now 3 year old sister is worse I think.
So distraction works. Or sometimes I find giving her a minute or two to let the big screams out and then I get down and speak really quietly and calmly tell her it's ok, try and give her a hug. This will often stop her in tracks and once she is calm and I explain why she is not behaving nicely etc. She will often say sorry. This works sometimes. Sometimes she keeps going and I wonder if she is possessed and where I went wrong and I have to bite my tongue to stop myself from screaming! You have my sympathy, it's tough going but it's a phase and I found it lessens considerably as they get close to four.
My 3 year old DD is exactly the same as your son by the sounds of it! She is literally the most stubborn child I have ever met (and I'm a nursery nurse). She will argue black is white and if you disagree or say no to her she will throw a wobbly often ending in kicking and screaming.
I pick my battles but don't let her get away with everything as I don't want her to end up a brat who thinks she can get her way by kicking off but when it's ALL day long it's hard to stay sane.
My son and 2 year old DD are very different thank goodness. I feel for you though it's so draining to have a child like that, I find myself apologising for her and making excuses for her behaviour as I feel people judging me as her mum and letting her behave in that way.
Ironically she's actually quite a sensitive and anxious child but the way she expresses her feelings when she's worried or in a situation she's uncomfortable with is to have a strop, hoping as she gets older we can find a better outlet!
Hugs mama we are all just doing our best xx
He's probably tired after nursery which is making the situation worse. I'd ignore as much as possible (obviously you can't ignore some behaviours like scooting to fast by a road but ignore the tantrum). Make sure he's safe, stay close by so your not abandoning him (mine always got
get so hysterical that a cuddle is required by the end) and cheerfully chat your way through it! Faux happiness is my secret weapon when dealing with crazy toddlers. He won't be entirely in control of his emotions so cut him some slack without giving in if you see what I mean. He will grow out of it thank god my DD is nearly 3 and I'm wishing her life away sometimes
I read recently that helping them to acknowledge and name what they are feeling helps them to process and deal with the big emotions that can be overwhelming otherwise. E.g. "you are feeling angry and disappointed that you are not allowed to take the toy home aren't you. It's ok to have those feelings- it's difficult when we can't have what we want." Takes the wind out of their sails enough to avoid a tantrum. Might be worth a try?
Sounds tired. Sometimes stupid choices can help: would you like to put the toy back in the box or give it to your keyworker?
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.