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Toddler Tantrums(85 Posts)
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Hi.my 2.3 yr olds tantrums are really,really getting me down,to the point where I loose my temper and scream at him to 'Stop it' 'Calm down' or 'That's ENOUGH' pretty much.Or otherwise I hold him,with me,on the sofa,forcing him to sit with me,forcing him to calm down and stop hurting himself (I can hold him for an hour before he calms)
Please don't judge me.I need kind words right now.Im really struggling and I'm embarassed that it often ends up with me screaming.I feel like a terrible mother and feel like I don't deserve him and he should be with somebody who knows what they are doing and how to deal with him.
He has what I call 'Normal' tantrums,and then he has what I call 'Mega' tantrums.The normal ones are when he throws himself around the room screaming because I used the wrong bowl or something,choose him the wrong top to wear etc,and they last maybe 10 mins.At worst he throws something (a toy) then he's fine.
It's not those I can't cope with,it's the Mega ones as they go on and on,sometimes for up to 2 hours.They generally still start with me saying No to something,but they can also happen out of nowhere.Then he just gets so upset,it's throwing himself around,hitting me,kicking me,flinging toys,my phone,anything he can get his hands on,screaming,crying,banging his head on the floor,wall,anything,pulling at the safety gate,anything.
I'm obviously doing something wrong as this has been going on for over 6 months with no improvement.I love him so much but feel like I'm failing him.Any ideas?
I am no help to you as I'm struggling with my daughter's tantrums too but just want you to know you're not alone. Someone will be along with some wise words soon. Big hugs. You are not a terrible mother.
Big hugs. You probably already tried, but giving a choice makes them feel more in control. I can never put food or drink for my 2 year old without asking which bowl or cup to use. He also always chooses his clothes, and I only interfere if they completely inadequate for the weather. Also trying to say "no" as little as possible, trying to restrict it to really important/d
/dangerous stuff. Otherwise say the same info in positive way e.g. intead of "no jumping in the sofa", say "sofa is for sitting on. Jumping is dangerous". It doesn't work everytime, but I find it more effective than saying no. And use advance warnings and explain what is going to happen, in the time frames he can understand (e.g. "we will read one book, and then start the bath"). Sorry, if all this is obvious and already tried, but this is what helps me with my 2 year old!
Thanks for the replys.Its nice to know there are others out there! Yesturday was a bad day.
I don't have friends with children so nobody to talk to in RL really.Apart from my partner but he's at a loss with what to do also.
I do try to limit saying No,it's when he starts hitting,kicking me I am absolutely at a loss,I have no idea what to do and often end up crying.When I take say 2 tshirts from the drawer,he just gets upset because he wants to go through the whole drawer,and he will go through all of it,put everything all over the floor and still won't want to wear anything,like he's looking for something that isn't there,so I end up choosing and the tantrum starts.Same with a bowl,spoon.He (obviously) has no concept of time,but he will sit there for hours trying to decide something so I sometimes feel that the choice is the problem,as I end up having to choose as he wont,and then he has a tantrum,but if I don't let him choose he has a tantrum also.We have said about getting some sort of a clock with coloured segments or something,to help him understand when something needs to be done/finished.
I spoke to 2 H/V at his 2 year check,but they didn't help.I said about him getting upset and pulling on the kitchen gate,he's pulled it off the wall a few times now so he falls backwards and it lands on top of him.All they did was start a rant about how safety gates are dangerous anyway.I tried to say I'm not one of those mums that,the minute he gets up,the gate is shut for the day,the main time it's shut is if I'm ironing in there,there's something on the hob,or I go up for a shower,because he opens the bathroom door and comes downstairs.
It's a small galley kitchen with no door.
Also when it's warm the gate and back door are open all the time as he's in and out of the garden.
It's not so much that he's desperate to get in the kitchen,which was how they saw it,I t's that he's angry and wants to bang his head,pull on something.Sometimes he slams the gate himself just so he can swing on it.Then we will have a fight over me trying to keep it open so he doesn't swing on it.
Do people know what I mean? As I felt really frustrated talking to them and didn't get across what I wanted to say.
Happiest Toddler on the Block is a great book with v effective strategies for this sort of thing. Has jeeps me a lot with ds who used to go nuclear. Now I know how to respond as me shouting used to make it worse and then I'd feel shit and guilty.
Maybe even he of having a mega tantrum be doesn't want to be hugged/enclosed? We take our toddler up to bed and say come out when you've calmed down - we sit outside the bedroom - genuinely toddler says OK! lets off steam and calms down.
Is there a parenting programme near by you could go to? Our children's centres run them and I've found the techniques really useful plus you have someone to talk to when it's not working.
He doesn't want to be held at all I know.Its just when its been going on for over an hour and he's screaming,throwing,breaking things,banging his head (he has a constant bruise on his forehead which people always notice) he knocked a glass out of my hand the other day when he threw a toy at me.Its when he's in that state that I hold him with me as I literally don't know what else to do.I hate doing it.
He needs to go in a proper bed really as he's just about to climb over the cot.I put him in his cot a few times before but he kicked and screamed for over an hour,when he eventually calmed down and was asking calmly to get out,I got him up,tried to carry on as normal but he started screaming that he wanted to go back in the cot,and the whole thing started again.I have put him in his room but he climbs on the chair,up the cot,up the drawers,ends up hurting himself and then he's crying in pain so I go in.
Superworm,I'm going to look into it.The H/V said we can have a behaviour expurt come round for an hour if things don't improve? But to be honest I'm not sure how much help they will be,and they were supposed to ring to see how things were going,and they havnt.
My partner says 'He's exhausting' after the weekend,and I say 'Your not here every day dealing with this' he is supportive,but I feel like it's me,alone dealing with this,and I'm doing it wrong.
I would call the HV back and ask about parenting programmes. Triple P works for us (google for more info) plus you get weekly support and behaviour sheets which are really helpful to look over. Most places offer a crèche facility too while the course is running.
Has your DS had his two year check? I would ask for that too if not just to make sure there is nothing else going on.
Is your DS in nursery?
Thanks,I will have a Google.Im a bit scared of asking for help really as,I suppose it's that he's my only and I think I should be able to manage,as people manage with many More!
Yes he had his check,as I said earlier I mentioned it but they really weren't any help.The length of time worries me,as at the worst,it's Two hours for a tantrum in the morning,lunch,then Two hours for a tantrum in the afternoon,then with his tea another hour or so tantrum before bed.
He is in nursery,he was going twice a week when I was working but since April he's been going once a week.I go back to work next month so it will be twice again.They never mention his behaviour apart from laughing with us about a 'Normal' tantrum a couple of times.
There isn't a huge amount you can do. If he was your second/third child it would be easier as you would know it doesn't go on forever.
Toddlers have very strong feelings, and they express them. They don't know how to manage them. They need a grown up to take those feelings away and manage them for them.
Instead of seeing it as a battle of wills, would it help you if you imagined him giving you a big bag of all his strong feelings to carry, as they are too heavy for him to carry on his own?
Its a bit hippy, but that really is what is going on. Its easier to keep calm if you can remember this.
Thanks for the reply.I do try to think of it as just an overflow of feelings and,rationally,I know that's what it is.
I'm just struggling with it as its every day there isn't a break from it,and when they last so long it's taking over the whole day.
He's pretty good at expressing himself,if he wants something and I'm not sure what he's asking for,he will take me and show me.
The kicking,hitting,I know he's testing but I say 'No' 'Stop' I turn my back on him,walk away,nothing helps.
Hi.Well its been a while since I last posted about this,and nothing has changed.I am still struggling.
Yesterday was really bad,it ended in my son screaming at the top of his lungs with every single breath,and flinging his large toy garage around the room.Before that he was biting me.I say 'No' 'Stop' I walk away,he follows and does it again.
The last few weeks we were trying a sort of time out.When he gets into a rage,taking him to his room and telling him to stay there until he was calm.He would stay for a bit,come out,say sorry and have cuddles,and it was all ok.For a while.It even got to the stage when we would say 'do you need to go to your room?' And he would say yes and take himself.But for some reason this isn't working anymore,he now comes running right back out of his room with even worse behavior.
So,I phoned the H/V in tears last night,I'm waiting for a call back.I did look at the parenting classes that were suggested before,but there aren't any near us.
Any kind suggestions today? I'm just feeling low.He is off to nursery and I'm off to work in a bit.
What works for me is asking him if he needs a cuddle, if yes, I give him one, if not, I walk out of the room and ignore him. The tantrums seem to be a lot shorter that way.
I haven't read all this thread but could have written it myself in the past. My dd2 (who is now 10) was exactly the same and I blamed myself. I thought there must be something I was doing wrong to make her this way and I watched every episode of Supernanny and read every book going but nothing seemed to help. She used to have the most major meltdowns that went on for hours. I used to worry what the neighbours thought as she was so LOUD! It was embarrassing when she did it when we were out or in front of friends and I felt like a complete failure. I really don't have any useful advice for you ...just hope! My dd2 now is the most funny, loving, clever, calm and well behaved child you could ever wish to meet. I think the majority of her tantrums were due to frustration and the inability to express herself. Most children that tantrum are very intelligent little things. My dd is still strong willed but now that's a positive thing. Hang on in there.... even if it really doesn't feel like it now it will pass and your child is not the only one who's like this and most importantly it is NOTHING to do with you as a parent. Your ds will probably grow up to be just like my dd2.
Are hugs it is really hard when they are like this my son when through a phase of bad long tantrums. And giving him choices just seemed to confuses him like he couldn't make the choice so that didn't help them we'd still end up with the huge tantrum. lucky he was my second and although worse then my first I think as if had a toddler before was confident he would grow out of it. He has mostly now.
Is he very verbal a good talker, I ask as my son was a late talker and I'm sure some of the frustration was his inability to communicate well at that age. I did baby talk signing with him as I'd done it with my daughter it wasn't as successful for him, but if there are some communication frustrations there it may help.
Also do chase the HV for help I'm sure they can help you, but sometimes I think you have to ask for it. Good luck.
Thank you so much for the replys I really appreciate it.
I feel very alone.My partners great but he's working long hours which of course I'm not complaining about as we need the money,but he only sees tiny snippits of it and then I snap at him if he says 'Why don't you try..' And I'm 'I've already tried that!'
Well my call to HV last night I imagine sounded pretty desperate and I don't even think it made sense,what I said,I was just trying not to bawl down the phone.
He won't have a cuddle at all when he is like that,he wants no contact at all.What he wants is to fling everything around and scream his heart out and if I do leave him to it he follows after me screaming,banging his head,throwing things,pulling my hair if I'm sitting down.It does go on for hours and I feel like an absolutely useless mother.
He does well with his speach and he's also really picking up empathy,like if some sad music comes on the radio he says 'Saaad'
And yes we can only give him a choice of a couple of things at a time,otherwise that causes a tantrum itself.
The one last night,I don't know what started it,but he wasnt to bad,just generally whinging,so I asked him if he wanted a toy,that we keep out of the way.He said no.I said 'Are you sure?' He says 'Sure' the minute I go into the other room he starts screaming that he wants the toy.I didn't give it to him as surely that's giving in?
I feel like I don't know what to do.I won't smack him.I (try) not to shout.Walking away doesn't help and I can't reason with him.
Sorry for the rambling just need to get it out I think
He also seems to have anxiety about going out.I work 1-3 days a week.When I'm not at work or on the weekend we always go out,we very rarely stay In all day.
So I will say 'Shall we go to the park,library,shop,meet Nanny in town' and he's 'Yay,shop,park...' All fine so far,but then he goes crazy,the screaming starts,jumping on the bed,throwing things,full on tantrum for about half an hour while we get ready.
Anyone else experience this? My partner agrees it seems to be anxiety about leaving the house.
Can you make his bedroom a really safe place. A bed (you said you were going to swap his cot), some cushions. Maybe a bean bag instead of a chair. And he can go there to vent his feelings, calm down and sleep if he needs to? I know it's hard, but get support from your health visitor and you will all get through this.
Thank you HSM.He is in the cot with a bed guard on one side now,sleep is a whole separate issue since he's been in there.He sleeps for a few hours then the rest of the night is spent running in and out of our bedroom,screaming,crying,stamping his feet,wanting to get up.This can easily go on for 3 hours.
Again I don't give in,I walk him back however many times.
We are getting him a bean bag for Xmas,he only has Teddy's in there so it is safe,its just the drawers and changing unit that have to go as he climbs them.
Most of it is at home,but he did start at my mums the other day.Leaping about,screaming and hitting me,banging his head on her unit,and she's just 'Oh,what's WRONG with him'
He's never been like that there before.I asked him if he'd like to go and sit in the spare room,he did for a minute,then came out and carried on,so I got our things and left.
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