4 year old FREAKS out - XP — The Bump
Pre-School

4 year old FREAKS out - XP

I know it's the age, everyone has told me they went through it too, but it doesn't help me in my day to day with an almost 4 year old that freaks out and can't calm down.

My son will be 4 next month and he's always thrown normal tantrums, but I swear, in the last few months, he has been an entirely different child when he has a fit. He can't be reasoned with, punishments don't work, taking things away doesn't work, time out makes no difference. Something will set him off and he is out of control. Screaming, crying, yelling and will be this way for at least an hour. I've actually had to carry him (and my 16 month old) out of places because he's insane. I've never had to do that.

I feel terrible for him because I feel like maybe there's something else I should be trying that I am not thinking of. My husband is usually the one that "deals" with him when he's having these fits because he can be more stern than I can BUT I hate just how tough he is and how much he yells at DS. I don't always want to have to yell.

I'm just frustrated. And feel bad for my kid. I truly think this happens when he's super tired and I don't think he gets enough sleep at night but if he wants to lay awake on his bed from when I put him down at 8pm until like 10pm, there's not really anything I can do. Right?

Ugh. Any advice

 

Re: 4 year old FREAKS out - XP

  • Does he throw fits anywhere or are there specific places?
    My DS1 (4) and DS2 (3) both have ASD, so they have frequent freak outs when they are having sensory issues. It's been some work trying to figure out their particular triggers. We do what we can to avoid them, but tantrums still happen sometimes. What I do to try to get my DS1 (and DS2) to calm down when he's in full on tantrum and out of his mind freak out is I hold him in a hug and I calmly repeat in his ear that I love him. This has drastically reduced the length of his tantrums. Once he's finally listening we talk about why he had his tantrum and I tell him that tantrums are not okay. We talk a lot about controlling our bodies and keeping our bodies calm and how we appropriately express frustration. He gets a time out after I get him calm, reminding him that I still love him but he still needs to have a time out for his actions.
    When I get frustrated or angry with them during a tantrum, any raising of my voice or trying to talk to them about their actions before they are calm just helps feed the tantrum.
    Hopefully this is helpful to you.

  • banfrog said:
    Does he throw fits anywhere or are there specific places?
    My DS1 (4) and DS2 (3) both have ASD, so they have frequent freak outs when they are having sensory issues. It's been some work trying to figure out their particular triggers. We do what we can to avoid them, but tantrums still happen sometimes. What I do to try to get my DS1 (and DS2) to calm down when he's in full on tantrum and out of his mind freak out is I hold him in a hug and I calmly repeat in his ear that I love him. This has drastically reduced the length of his tantrums. Once he's finally listening we talk about why he had his tantrum and I tell him that tantrums are not okay. We talk a lot about controlling our bodies and keeping our bodies calm and how we appropriately express frustration. He gets a time out after I get him calm, reminding him that I still love him but he still needs to have a time out for his actions.
    When I get frustrated or angry with them during a tantrum, any raising of my voice or trying to talk to them about their actions before they are calm just helps feed the tantrum.
    Hopefully this is helpful to you.


    It happens all different places, and for different reasons. The other night when he was freaking out about getting his jammies on for bed I did sit on the floor and hugged him. He immediately calmed down and the tantrum stopped. He was perfect from then on out. I really believe it's just normal 4 year old behavior but part of me wonders if there's more I should or could be doing. Thank you for the comment.

     

  • Do you have any books about emotions for your DS? I really like the "When I'm Feeling [...]" books by Trace Moroney.
  • banfrog said:
    Do you have any books about emotions for your DS? I really like the "When I'm Feeling [...]" books by Trace Moroney.


    I don't, but he loves books so I will check those out.

    This morning when he got to school and we walked through the door, all the kids came running at him, yelling, excited to see him and he clung to me and was terrified. Maybe he was just being shy, and he will do that sometimes even if the kids don't run at him but I was still like "huh?" He also complains about things being loud. He's a very cautious child and used to cry in crowds of people, even family but maybe that's just him? Perhaps I'm searching too hard for an answer when there isn't one?

     

  • He could just be very introverted. It might be a matter of finding something introverted he likes to do to look forward to after times he's expected to be social. You could ask him what sort of things he thinks would help (that is appropriate for that given situation).
    I'm an introvert and even as an adult I still feel panicky in crowds. As a kid I was told a lot that I was shy. It was as a teenager that I realized that I wasn't shy, I just felt overwhelmed in big groups. I was withdrawing because I was struggling with a sensory overload, not because I didn't want to (or was afraid to) interact with others.
    My DS2 had a period of about 6 months after he turned 3 where he was constantly throwing some pretty epic tantrums. It took 6 months to figure out that he was overwhelmed and was purposely tantruming to get a time out. The time out was giving him the introverted time that he needed, so he figured he had to tantrum to get that break. It took about a month to curb the tantrums and get him to understand that he didn't need to throw a fit to get a break from the busy world around him.
     

     
    Bigboobsmcgee
  • banfrog said:
    He could just be very introverted. It might be a matter of finding something introverted he likes to do to look forward to after times he's expected to be social. You could ask him what sort of things he thinks would help (that is appropriate for that given situation).
    I'm an introvert and even as an adult I still feel panicky in crowds. As a kid I was told a lot that I was shy. It was as a teenager that I realized that I wasn't shy, I just felt overwhelmed in big groups. I was withdrawing because I was struggling with a sensory overload, not because I didn't want to (or was afraid to) interact with others.
    My DS2 had a period of about 6 months after he turned 3 where he was constantly throwing some pretty epic tantrums. It took 6 months to figure out that he was overwhelmed and was purposely tantruming to get a time out. The time out was giving him the introverted time that he needed, so he figured he had to tantrum to get that break. It took about a month to curb the tantrums and get him to understand that he didn't need to throw a fit to get a break from the busy world around him.
     

     

    This is great insight, and something to think about. Thank you :)

     

Sign In or Register to comment.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards