Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

A quick survey, please: How do you deal with tantrums/meltdown in your 3yr old? Because I thought I knew how to but they are getting WORSE so I need some inspiration!

(15 Posts)
notnowbernard Wed 30-Sep-09 19:17:57

DD2 is 3.2

Her behaviour - at times - is, to be frank, a complete nightmare and seems to be deteriorating

I am wondering what different strategies people use once the meltdown is underway

Feels a bit like Groundhog Day atm...

cornsilk Wed 30-Sep-09 19:19:01

Avoid? Is there anything that triggers them? Tiredness etc.

cornsilk Wed 30-Sep-09 19:20:07

Oh just read properly ... once meltdown is underway. Make sure she is safe and try not to give too much attention for the tantrum itself. Potter about doing your own thing.

yama Wed 30-Sep-09 19:22:04

DD was the same. She is now almost 4 and so much easier to reason with.

I don't have any goods tips I'm afraid.

I think I just walked away and tried really hard not to shout (which was very hard).

It was the noise of the crying and whining which drove me mad.

BLEEPyouYOUbleepingBLEEP Wed 30-Sep-09 19:22:42

Just from experience, be firm but persistant. A three YO is only just learning there are boundaries and that they have some control over what they do.

It does seem a nightmare when you're in it, but it will pass and all your hard work will be worth it. Just try and concentrate on the times she's not stropping, mostly when she's asleep from what I remember lol smile

escape Wed 30-Sep-09 19:24:14

I do sympathise Op, I really do. When my youngest son starts, he can literally continue for an hour. There is NOTHING that can be done. He just writhes and screams, and he is SOOO loud.
He has a brother who is only 15 mnths older and he still tantrums also.

It is sad, we are capable, strong willed parents, but we have had to avoid certain public outings and places for the past 3 years for this very reason.

last night, at 3 am - because he woke up and wanted chips!
Not a happy mummy...

notnowbernard Wed 30-Sep-09 19:26:16

3 is the hardest age, I think

She will, atm, 'go into one' over ANYTHING

And because she's a bit older now the distraction thing doesn't work

I have always found ignoring to be the best (and as you say, Cornsilk, to make sure she's safe etc) but this just winds her up even more and she follows me around going ballistic. She is VERY loud and I am (genuinely) starting to worry what the neighbours must be thinking blush

notnowbernard Wed 30-Sep-09 19:28:38

escape - sounds SO familiar!

The other morning at 6.30am she lost it because she thought her bed was "too small"


ib Wed 30-Sep-09 19:29:51

It depends. If there's an obvious reason (tired, hungry, whatever) we are sympathetic, give him a cuddle and tell him that it's just because he's tired/hungry/whatever until he stops.

The rare occasions when he's just being willful we ask him to be quiet, and if he carries on making a noise we'll have to put him out of the room. We tell him to choose, stop crying or leave the room. Interestingly, at least half the time he chooses to go out (usually outside, where he can play with his dog).

Seems to work for us.

mummyplonk Wed 30-Sep-09 19:32:13

notnowbernard, oh I am sooo with you being pleased with only a couple of full blown ones a day from my 4yr and 3yr old Ds's. If they do them at the same time, oh my gosh, I have to have them at separate ends of the house with me in the middle grin, the only thing that seems to work is to leave them on their own until meltdown is underway crying, shouting etc, take a deep breath then come in with a variation of the following with a fixed/false smile on my face;

"Quick, you wont believe what's in the garden"
"You wont guess what I found in the Playroom"
"I've got something amazing to show you downstairs"...oh the list goes on, obviously only works if the tantrum/meltdown is because the wind is blowing the wrong way, not because they have done anything wrong but seems to snap them out of it and I am still silently churning afterwards.Kids, bless em.

notnowbernard Wed 30-Sep-09 19:35:16

I am starting to wonder if I need to be a bit more firm (vocally, IYSWIM)

BEcause I've tended to ignore/distract in the past but now that seems to be losing its effectiveness

I can be a bit shouty at times and I know that's as much use as a chocolate teapot

notnowbernard Wed 30-Sep-09 19:44:03

Mummyplonk - that strategy has worked for me in the past

If I used it now I'd probably get something lobbed at my head

mummyplonk Wed 30-Sep-09 20:47:12

ooh, ok, maybe section in room and strap on helmet. Let me know what works as am brewing up to it with my two.

MunkyNuts Thu 01-Oct-09 11:14:45

Yes, I´d say go for firm and authoritative but without shouting (says she!), also just say what you want to say only once, don´t keep repeating it and getting into an argument, then walk away, or put DD away. My DS is 3 and can lose it big time but I think the more consistent you are and don´t pander to their rants eventually, slowly, slowly they get less and less. Also big smiles and encouragement when there´s nice behaviour.

Anngeree Fri 02-Oct-09 10:38:49

I agree with ib my Ds is 6 now but when he was younger i'd give him the choice of calming down or leaving the room, usually to sit on the stairs & have time out ( I didn't use the naughty step technique!) the hallway was just a quiet, safe place where he could sit & calm down without any distraction. It would usually take him a few minutes to quieten down then i'd go and talk to him & explain that if he cried I didn't know what the problem was but if he told me I could help him. Then i'd ask are you hungry,thirsty, tired etc.

Even now the stairs is one of our favourite places for sitting & having a chat if anything is bothering him & if he's getting angry for whatever reason he'll take himself off to sit on the stairs without prompt.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now