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03/05/2013 at 09:10
I'm doubting myself about how to deal with A's tantrums, which are increasing in frequency at an alarming rate! He turns two in a few weeks.
So far I've been trying to calm the situation and comfort him but not back down from what caused the tantrum in the first place. Examples this week include;
Swimming - didn't want to put his shoes on to go to swimming, eventually put them on but he wasn't in a good mood as a result. Started a tantrum in the changing rooms which carried on and on. Once I'd eventually got his trunks on he refused to get in the pool, trying to run back to the changing rooms. I sat it out with him at the side of the pool whislt all the other children started their lesson, stayed calm and eventually he chose to put the arm bands on and go in the pool. He was very fractious once in there though, not wanting to join in with any of the activities until the free play at the end. Was absolutely fine to get dressed again and for the rest of the day until bed time (see below).
Getting dressed - 3 times this week we've had a tantrum about him getting dressed, twice into pyjamas and once into day time clothes. We let him chose his PJ's, and give him options for his daytime clothes, which sometimes works, but he just doesn't like his clothes being taken off, and because he wants the old ones back on he tries to take the new ones off. I've been trying to comfort him when he gets really upset but still get him dressed - I can't exactly not get him dressed for nursery, for example.
Food - asking for one food, i.e. green grapes, then when I give them to him a minute later he throws himself on the floor shouting 'purple grapes'. On that one I sat it out and eventually he ate the green grapes.
There are loads of others, but most are related to changes of clothes. The times I don't get a tantrum tends to be if I dress him whilst he's distracted watching cBeebies, but even that's not without a protest?
Am I making a rod for my own back by comforting him rather than just ignoring him? which is H's preferred method, but all that happens then is he comes running to me asking for a cuddle.
I do tend to choose my battles, especially when out, there's some things I can't let slide, i.e. safety related, but if he throws a tantrum asking for juice I do tend to give in.
03/05/2013 at 09:19
I don't think you are making a rod for your own back at all - it's hard at this age because as you say, some things are non-negotiable but lots of children struggle because they don't have the understanding or emotional development to fully express their feelings. Sounds to me like you are handling it well - we do similar now with Jacob at nearly 3, offer options but a limited number, usually two, and if he doesn't go for one of those then tough. I usually say to him as well that I will give him a cuddle when he is calm which often works well.
03/05/2013 at 10:03
We don't do anything differently to what you are doing I don't think. Sometimes we ignore, sometimes distract etc. now that's he is 4 the tantrums are not as frequent or as bad but he still tries himself on the floor and cycles his legs in protest at some things, I can't help but laugh which makes him angry!
03/05/2013 at 10:47
All sounds perfectly normal to me and not creating a rod, but if you want to speak to someone about dealing with tantruns I know that the Little Tewkes children centre bear me have a Saturday workshop on dealing with tantrums...can't remember the date but can see if I can find their fb post about it if you're interested? Think it was a Saturday afternoon x
03/05/2013 at 10:55
Sounds perfectly normal and how you deal with it depends on the child. Trying to comfort Zoe never worked, as that just made her "perform" for longer, so we quickly learned to just ignore. That would mean walking out of the room until she had calmed down, now she is older she is told to go to her room until she has calmed down. As for the not getting dressed, Zoe had a huge tantrum when she was around 3 over what to wear to gymnastics. I refused to give in so she went in her vest and pants, when we got there she said "mummy I've got no clothes" and happily put on what was needed (she wanted to wear a princess dress !).
03/05/2013 at 11:04
JB - I'm wondering if I'm making them last longer by comforting him, as he'll be calm then when I start to get his clothes on again he kicks off.
I've tried the just carrying on without clothes, for example coat and shoes and he normally does decide to put them on when he realises we are going out anyway, but I can't guarantee it. I could take him to nursery in his pyjamas but I think he'd honestly stay in them all day quite happily.
Coco - will look into that, thanks.
03/05/2013 at 11:09
Its Saturday 25th May 1-3 if that helps x
03/05/2013 at 11:17
That does thanks, will gibe them a call.
03/05/2013 at 11:47
With J, comforting makes him worse, as he wants attention, and he is getting it.
I now walk away, and leave him to it. He soon gets bored and snaps out of it.
03/05/2013 at 12:14
I dont comfort P. Aaron never really had tantrums so all new to me
03/05/2013 at 12:24
I just ignore J, he tends to give up after a few minutes or so and comes looking for a cuddle
03/05/2013 at 12:39
I've been going to a sure start group for two year old, the advice there is...
- pick your battle and stick to your guns. If it doesn't matter what grapes he has go with him, if he wants juice but you've said no then don't give in, changing your mind sends conflicting messages and rewards a tantrum.
- choice and consequences, do you want your red shoes or blue shoes, either means he is in shoes so you've won but he thinks he's made the choice. Also, if he is being naughty pick something he likes, but that you can change and remind him to be good or else. Eg. When you go to bed daddy reads you 3 stories but if you carry on xxx then daddy will only read 1
- time out tea towel (as its portable) for really bad behaviour like biting, hittingm etc, no second chance, sit still on it for 30 secs (and not longer as its too long)
We've tried some of these ans they do help, the book one for example gets our teeth nicely brushed at bedtime
03/05/2013 at 12:42
It really depends on the type of tantrum. With L if it's a full on snot fest tantrum I try and comfrot him. His first reaction is to often push me away but within a few seconds he's then asking for a cuddle. It it's a "can't make my mind up what I want to do type tantrum" I ignore him and walk away and pretend to be busy.
We used to use the naughty step at that age as nothing esle really worked for us. Now the threat of the naughty step is enough and we've not actually put him there in a long time. We also use the words "oh dear me" if he is being naughty, rude or unkind. It's what they say at nursery and boy does it put the shitters up him
03/05/2013 at 12:46
Ah yes Birdie we say no bedtime story etc as consequence and it does work.
03/05/2013 at 13:25
I think I do need to ignore him more, but it's just so had and impractical sometimes, like this morning I had to get him to nursery on time. I've been trying to use more rewards rather than punishments, such as, if you put your pyjamas on then I'll read you a book, but I don't think he grasps the concept of that yet, especially when he's all worked up and throwing himself around. I'll try to turn it around to 'get dressed or NO book'.
I knew lack of consistency would be my downfall as a parent :-(
I just want to go back in time a month, there were no tantrums then!
03/05/2013 at 14:30
the dressing thing, I would just continue to dress her regardless of tantrum. Things like a jacket she doesnt want on but basically it's tough luck as i need to get aaron to nursery for 9am etc
03/05/2013 at 14:37
Oh BG, I don't even negotiate on nursery days, your getting dressed crying and kicking at me or not. I just repeat in a calm voice, do not try to fight me because you will not win. TV on always helps though. Get him distracted and dress him.
03/05/2013 at 15:06
No advice as C has only just started having tantrums (she's such a bl00dy diva ) but I've already decided to choose my battles.
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