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I would like advice and support from other parents of dcs who have really bad tantrums

(28 Posts)
Overrun Mon 17-Sep-07 11:19:55

I have 3 boys, ds1 is now 4 and he barely had any major tantrums, yeah he got upset and cried a lot sometimes but that was about it.
I also
have dts, they are going to be 3 in October. Dt1 does have sort of tandrums, (well they all do, I know smile) He lies on the floor and wails.
But its dt2 who is the little horror. He can kick off for nearly an hour, and we get the works, screaming, kicking, hitting, lying on the floor. He just goes beserk.
Because I haven't really had to deal with this before, even though I have an older child, I am a bit of a novice.

We have tried ignoring, but how can you when they are a danger to themselves. He seems to gain supernatural strength and if we try and hold him we end up covered in bruises etc

On the whole he is a happy very loving boy, but he does seem to take things to heart. His language skills are within normal range for his age, but he is perhaps slightly behind his dt. I wonder if this is connected?

I find it quite upsetting really, and would like to chat to other people who have experienced this.

Lorayn Mon 17-Sep-07 13:31:45

I havent suffered from this myself overrun, and understand what you say about danger, I have posted on a few of these threads lately, all saying to basically try and ignore unless there is danger.DS is the same age as your two (well he is 3 in nov) and luckily I havent had to deal with this but I can imagine how hard it would be if I did. All i can suggest is try to stay as calm as possible, ignore as many tantrums as possible and really enforce something like the naughty step, although if he is likely to do himself damage, maybe a naughty bean bag or something would be better as it would probably be safer for him.
Good Luck

sugar34plum Mon 17-Sep-07 13:33:12

Hi i have been through this with my 2 ds and first off they will grow out of it.

does ds give you a sign just before kick off time?

The way i dealt with ds 2 was to ignore him as long as he wasnt about to hurt himself or anyone else i completely ignored the tantrum. Instead i was playing jigsaws or cars with ds 3 and made it look like so much fun. If ds2 came and destroyed what we was doing i simply said that is very naughty put him on the naughty sofa and turned back to ds 3. It took time and the most amazing strenght of patience but we got there eventually!! This was backed up by my hv and also by a sw friend who said i was doing the right thing.

Ds2 is now 5 and ds3 is 3 and no more tantrums at all!!! They know mummy just ignores them. Tantrums are about attention and getting there own way.

i know the worst is when you are shopping mine ds's brought sainsburys to a standstill once. they screamed that loud every isle i turned down people were just stood dumbstruck wondering who was being murdered. These ignorants actually made me laugh!!

Its very hard but plaster a smile on your face and let them scream. Sod everyone elses reactions there kids were no angels either they have just chosen to block out " the dark years" grin

I get compliments daily on how charming my boys are and how great their manners are but trust me 18 months ago there were satans treasures!!

hang in there

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 13:36:39

sorry, didnt mean to leave you out smile

How old is he??

My son who is now 3.6 years old used to head butt the floor during his tantrums, if i tried to pick him up (especially in public, to try and save on the embarasment) he would kick and punch me.

The good news is he would never head butt the floor hard enough to cause any damage, just a red mark and the floor was fine!!!

I used to walk out of the room, which was very hard, but seemed to work as he would soon stop and run after me and tell me he had hurt his head, to which i would reply yeah i know, it hurts when you hit your head on the floor doesnt it.

In public i gave up on feeling embarassed and did the same thing when possible, if not i would just stand there and wait until he had finished.

Distraction is a good one, if you can see a tantrum coming.

tasja Mon 17-Sep-07 13:41:31

Hi overrun, I found your thread.
My DD is usually so well behaved and so many people commented on that. The past week she has been a devil. she cries and screams over everything and over nothing! And hits andkick. I don't know what to do. My mum told me to just ignore her that is the best way. I've been doing that, and my MIL's advice, try to distract her by singing her favourite song or rhyme. That also works. Must say it's been going much better today.

MrsMarvel Mon 17-Sep-07 13:47:14

Ignore bad behaviour but always distract them. Try to get to the root of the problem without pandering to his tantrums.

princessmel Mon 17-Sep-07 13:51:09

Hi, My ds used to have major tantrums when he was 3 1/2. They would come from nowhere and last for ages.

Holding him to try and cuddle him didn't work atall.

In the end this is what we did.
I gave him the chance to stop etc. and used to ask him to calm down, in a calm voice, and if he didn't ( of course he didn't)I'd put him by the front door for 3 minutes.

Then I'd leave him go into the other room and get on with what I was doing. Usually seeing to dd who was scared seeing ds going crazy! During this time he'd either be crying 'I'm sorry' or screaming and throwing shoes etc.
After 3 mins I'd go back and explain why he was there, ask if he was ready to calm down and have a cuddle etc and he would sometimes and that would be that.
But sometimes he'd scream 'no' and then he'd have to stay there for 3 more minutes. And so on till he stopped.

This lasted for ages and it was hard. Sometimes we'd have loads a day starting first thing. I'd feel so down about it. I did go to my homeopath and she gave him a remedy to help him. I do think he had trouble calming down after beeing so worked up.

Anyway they phased out in the end.

I have been told that boys get a surge of testorone at 3 and this is something to do with it. Not sure if its true or not.


Overrun Mon 17-Sep-07 16:01:20

Thank you every one for responding.
It really does help to exchange ideas, I know that I am not alone in this of course, but you do end up feeling like "its just my child"
Sugarplum - you have strenghened my resolve to ignore, you raise a good point about smiling. I guess this will call for some good acting! I will just plaster a smile on my face and do some deep breathing!
Law3 - I have tried the walking out but unlike your ds, he carries on attacking me shock What would you do then? I find it hard to ignore him if he is grabbling hold of my legs and hitting me sad Interesting though that you don't hurt themselves during the tantrum smile
Tasja, thanks for finding me smile Lorayn - with the naughty step, did you ever have to hold yours on there, or would they just get the message after being returned. I do time out in their room more, maybe I should retry the step?
Mrs Marvel - Do you mean the root of the problem of each tantrum or do you mean a more underlying issue. This is what freaks me out, that it might mean that he is seething with frustration or feeling that he doesn't get enough attention (always a worry with dts)
princessmel - thanks for your input, so the front door was like a sort of naughty step i suppose. I think you are right, sometimes they just get so worked up they can't calm themselves down very quickly. Testerone surge, he is nearly 3. <thinking gap on>

Good to know from a number of you, that eventually they phase out, I mean I know they come back in the teenage years, but I wanted a bit of a break before then grin

He has just had another one while I picked up ds1 from school. I can't seem to tighten the stupid harness in the pushchair and he was able to stand up and fling himself about. I was ignoring him, but too worried about him falling on his head to completely blank him sad

Lorayn Mon 17-Sep-07 16:30:32

overrun I always just returned them and restarted the time they were there for, holding them is still giving attention iyswim.

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 16:33:03

overrun - My ds does hit me occasionally and has to take time out.

You have to very consistent (the key!), even if you are out in public. I would tell him the rules before you start, such as: i dont like being hit, when you start to hit i will count to 3 and the behavior better end before we get to 3. If it doesn't you will go to time-out.

Pick a time-out spot that is boring. I use the bottom of the stairs. Anyway, try to catch him right before he hits and count 1-2-3, don't take your time either. If he goes ahead and hits, then pick him up and put him in time-out. Tell him he will sit quietly for 3 minutes and you will start the timer when he is sitting quietly. Each time he gets up or screams...whatever... say, without emotion, "you got up so we'll have to start again." You may have to say/do that 15 times, but he will be learning that you ARE consistent, there are negative consequences to his actions, and you will follow through.

It does get better, really!!!

Lorayn Mon 17-Sep-07 16:39:53

also about the harness in the pushchair, get some reins, and use the seperate harness, we had to do this with ds's car seat as he always managed to get out.

Overrun Mon 17-Sep-07 16:43:44

Thank you Lorayn and Law3 - I will deffo look into using a harness to keep him in, as it is a nightmare trying to push a double buggy hold on to my ds1 and keeping an eye on dt2 in case he falls out.
What about doing a time out in his room, if we are home, or do you think that stairs are better?
Another question! To do time out when you are out, you have to restrain them don't you? This is my biggest problem, as I do end up getting injured and my eyes fill up with tears, as some how I find the loss of control a bit scarey, if that doesn't sound too odd?

Lorayn Mon 17-Sep-07 16:54:12

The most boring place you can find is best fro time out and generally not their room, this is a haven for them and rightly so, try to minimize its use in discipline.
As for time out when out, I find it is an awful lot harder so a 'if you can be a good boy when you're out you get this' (preferably some 'you' time rather than sweets, eg: we will read a book, play a game, go to the park on the way back etc,) then remove it when they misbehave, but if the other twin has behaved, go to the park, let them play and leave the one who has shown the bad behaviour in the buggy, explaining why.

Hopefully with the consistent use of time out at home ds will learn to do as he is told, then not need it when out as much.
If you feel you must do a 'time out' of sorts try just totally ignoring him 'until you can behave i dont want to talk to you' then carrying on with what you were doing and ignoring them can be just as effective when out and about.

Dont worry about if anyone looks at you whilst they are playing up btw, a quick 'would you prefer me to discipline them or let them run wild??' is usually plenty to stop the staring.I often smile at parents I see trying to discipline their kids out of the house to show we arent all judgmental with 'perfect children' wink!!

Overrun Mon 17-Sep-07 17:05:06

I read a Dr Green book, which recommended using their room, he didn't think that it would put them off going to bed or anything like that.
But I am always in two minds about it. Not that keen on Supernanny, so the naughty step is not my favourite.
I guess its all trial and error. I will settle on a strategy now and be consistent with that.
I sometimes think I read too many books, watch too many programmes and end up mixing them all up, or trying one on one day and another the next!

Lorayn Mon 17-Sep-07 17:07:01

well, dr green may be right, this is only my personal opinion after all. do whatever you think is right, I do think that even if it doesnt put them off sleeping it can all to easily change from time out to just playing in their room. I know if I put DS in his room he would just forget why he was there and play lego or something!

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 17:08:10

lorayn makes a lot sense, time out is more boring on the stairs.

Forgot you have twins, must be hard. I would suggest time out in the buggy when out. Dont physically restrain him during time out, just keep putting him back. It wont happen overnight, but he will eventually realise you mean what you say.

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 17:10:30

i dont call it the 'naughty' step, i call it time out. Dont know if that makes any difference, but makes me feel better!!!

Lorayn Mon 17-Sep-07 17:11:54

we dont say naughty step either really, its generally 'right time out on the stairs you were warned' and that way we an do 'time out on that chair' if we are at someone elses house ot something, cant really take a naughty step with you lol.

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 17:17:21

true Lorayn, didnt think of that!!!!

Overrun Mon 17-Sep-07 18:12:05

You two should write a book together grin
As for the room thing, if by going there and playing for a little while, they forget why they were put in, must mean that the tantrum has stopped, so in a sense its worked smile

Lorayn Mon 17-Sep-07 18:15:59

unless you want them to realise they have done something wrong, distraction can be great but they also need to learn not to behave like that, so it's up to you to decide when the bedroom is acceptable and when it isnt.
As for writing a book, I'm sure you'll be able to once you come out of the other end, its just experience!!

law3 Mon 17-Sep-07 19:02:15

overrun - didnt think of that either, so perhaps it would take 3 to write the book!!!!

Again agree if you want to just stop a tantrum and they played in room, that would be fine. If you want there to be a consequence for hitting, might not work as well.

But hey as long as you can find something that works for you, go for it, there is no right or wrong way to do things, just things that work!!!!

Overrun Tue 18-Sep-07 16:24:55

OH boy, he had another one today, well two, but the last one was the worse. He resists with all his might getting in the pushchair to get his older brother.
Now I can't time him out, otherwise I would be late to pick up ds1. I had to really struggle with him to get him in, and ended up shouting at him in the street, while leaning down on his shoulders to force him in.
god I feel bad now, thats one for the book called "What not to do........"

law3 Tue 18-Sep-07 16:46:54

overrun - you poor thing, its really draining isnt it. I dread to think what i would do with 2 of my ds's.

Dont worry he did his time out in his buggy!!! Would it be possible to let him walk to the school, leave a bit earlier, kill two birds with one stone, he wont create and he can get rid of some energy??

What do you think??

princessmel Tue 18-Sep-07 18:11:22

Yes the front door mat is I suppose a naughty mat. He always stayed there when I put him there.

Its awful when they happen day after day. But you need to remember that its not just your child.

We have had a few leaving nursery too. Me walking with the buggy while ds was going crazy. I was just pushing it to the car ignoring him with gritted teeth. It was over something silly that I cant even remember. Took ages for him to get into his car seat then lasted all the way home and for 40 mins at home.

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