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Is it normal to feel angry when your lo is having a tantrum?

(11 Posts)
tryingtoleave Thu 29-Oct-09 09:29:05

DS (3) has terrible meltdowns where he'll scream incredibly loudly for up to an hour. I know he isn't doing it on purpose and he wants to stop - in fact, he screams 'fix me mummy, stop me crying' and 'take me to the crying doctor', which is very sad. But lately, I've just become sick of it and it's making me feel very angry. I even imagine hitting him while he's screaming. I haven't done this - the most I've done is to tell him to go and scream in his room because I don't want to hear him. I feel bad enough about this because he looks so devastated when I send him away. Really, I'm just wondering if this is a normal emotional response or if it's some kind of problem I'm having that I need to sort out.

My ds doesn't tantrum for an hour (yet, he's 2) but I'm sure an hour of screaming is enough to make anyone angry. Obviously hitting isn't the way to go, but you know that. You're only human, getting frustrated and fed up is normal I'm sure!

I'm sure someone with more experience of older toddlers will be along shortly with some advice on how to cope/distract him out of it, but didn't want to read and run. I'm sure you're doing a great job you know, and it WILL pass!

thesockmonsterofdoom Thu 29-Oct-09 09:39:50

Yes it is normal, my 6yo dd still has horrrendous tantrums and I have actually bitten chunks out of the side of my mouth, gone to my room and hit the wall (when she couldn't see me), the anger it causes inside is a atural reaction, it is because anger is the most potent emotion, most likely to make you react, and naturally you are supposed to react quickly to a screaming child. Sometimes I have some on here and started a thread saying grrrrr or whatever, everyone understands, we have all been there.

tryingtoleave Thu 29-Oct-09 09:41:06

Thanks James - I don't think I would hit him, but it's just the fact that I'm visualising it that's upsetting me.

stakethroughtheheartofgold Thu 29-Oct-09 09:41:39

are you stressed in other ways at the moment? i feel angry when mine so much as shriek these days, let alone tantrum, but for me i know that's a symptom of an underlying depression. i have enough clarity to remember being able to brush tantrums away, ignore them or find them mildly amusing. however my dd2's tantrums aren't as extended as your ds's.

definitely putting distance between you is good when you feel like this. do you feel you've exhausted all the possibilities for helping him out of a tantrum sooner? distraction/ignoring is one way to go, but i find my dd often needs help to calm down so i'll hold her gently and that seems to help it subside. obviously this is only something you can do if they're willing to let you, i'd persist in walking away and busying myself elsewhere if it turned into any kind of struggle.

tryingtoleave Thu 29-Oct-09 09:55:49

I think I'm just worn out and kind of over parenting at the moment. I have an 11 month old dd who's up several times a night and screams every time I leave the room.

I can't distract ds - he's completely focused. Ignoring used to work, but not at the moment. Ds asks me to carry him around to make him feel better, which might work if I could do it for long enough but he's almost 20kg so I can only manage a quick circuit around the room. That's really just jealousy anyway - because he sees dd being carried around a lot. I suppose jealousy is really the root cause of a lot of his issues at the moment, but I don't see that I can do much about it.

IMoveTheStarsForNoOne Thu 29-Oct-09 10:01:10

I sympathise - sleep deprivation can do crazy things to you. I certainly cannot deal with that much screaming when i'm up several timse a night.

Have you got a lovely photo of your DS around? Always good to have a cute image to focus on when they're being little terrors.

The only way i can ever deal with this is to find something to laugh at - even if it's just a daft video on the internet works.. anything to lighten the mood IMO

stakethroughtheheartofgold Thu 29-Oct-09 10:03:54

i feel for you, really i do. i have a 4 year age gap and am utterly amazed by people who manage to cope with a toddler and a baby.

in that case i'd just be looking at what you can do to help yourself through those feelings. someone linked to an anger management leaflet the other day. i got halfway through reading it and it seemed helpful, will try to find it.

but please be reassured that it really isn't unusual, and having those thoughts doesn't mean that you will act on them.

MrsTittleMouse Thu 29-Oct-09 10:31:37

It is normal, I think. I am lovely and patient for the first few of the day, and after that I start to near the end of my rope. If we don't go out and get some fresh air and space then I am seriously frazzled by the end of the day.

Have you tried teaching him to breath through it? DD1 gets to a state where I know that she has no control over herself any more and we count and pretend to blow out birthday candles.

tryingtoleave Thu 29-Oct-09 10:43:03

Thank you everyone for you reassurance. Some good ideas too - I might try to look at a nice photo or to use some new strategies to help ds. I think maybe I had just given up on trying to distract or help him out of the tantrum. Perhaps if I try to do something I might feel more in control.

stakethroughtheheartofgold Thu 29-Oct-09 11:03:23

have searched but not managed to find the leaflet i mentioned, i did find this recommended on another thread though which is rather full on but interesting i think (it also advocates gin - or appears to - always a winner grin)

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