The mother of all tantrums. Anyone else? — The Bump
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The mother of all tantrums. Anyone else?

Hi ladies! My son will be 4 years old in October. He's pleasant and obedient the majority of the time. Of course, he's not perfect and will whine, cry, and yell on occasion when he doesn't get his way. This behavior normally only lasts for 2-5 minutes and we ignore these types of tantrums. In the past several months, however, he's adding a new type of tantrum to his repertoire. It's off.the.chain. Something small will set him off (last night he didn't want to put his pull up on before bedtime). His fit escalated into him throwing every single thing in his room onto the floor, stripping all the bedding off his bed, and taking off all his clothes (and the dreaded pull up) and screaming. It lasted for an HOUR. He's done this a total of about four times in the last several months. He gets so out of control that I have to eventually hold him (very tightly) against me and tell him I love him repeatedly until he calms down. Has anyone else been through this? Any advice or words of wisdom?
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Re: The mother of all tantrums. Anyone else?

  • I am in the same boat, posted below. I think you handled it more calmly than I would have. After our ordeal last might I think that it isbest you let them get it out and once they've calmed to talk about it. I would pry stay and watch and if they are going to hurt themselves or others step in for a light restraint. Now I only say this as a teacher in a behavior disorder school so I have extensive training on appropriate restraint and only do it if injury is likely. I think the key is to stop it before it escalates to a full blown tantrum, mow how to do that with my own child is a challenge!

  • IMO, I think a lot of it is just their age and learning to deal with their emotions.  I agree that unless they are a danger to themselves or others to just ignore it.  When you step in and try to calm them down they learn that the tantrum gets the desired reaction.  When you ignore it, you take that away.  Once they are calm you can talk to them about acceptable ways to express their anger, frustration, exhaustion, etc.  If DD starts throwing things and becoming a danger I usually sit criss cross and put her in my lap with my arms hugging her arms and legs so she can't get loose.  I do not soothe her or give her any type of positive reinforcement.  Once she has calmed down I let her go and we talk about it.  Again, IMO the best response is no response.
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  • Our kids are similar ages.  I have 8/05, 09/07 and 1/2010,   

    My almost 4 year old has been a hot mess too.  He just started PreK and I am chalking it up to a change in schedule, ie a transition time.  Did your son just start preschool? 


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  • imageshopgirl78:

    Our kids are similar ages.  I have 8/05, 09/07 and 1/2010,   

    My almost 4 year old has been a hot mess too.  He just started PreK and I am chalking it up to a change in schedule, ie a transition time.  Did your son just start preschool? 

    No, he didn't start preschool (we homeschool). There haven't been any major transitions in his life recently. However, my husband is deploying to Afghanistan in a few weeks and I'm concerned that will do nothing but make these tantrums escalate. Sigh.

    My blog! Our kids: Natalie 6 Colton 4 Adelyn 1 1/2 Easton Si Hu (in Korea) 1 Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • My oldest has sensory integration and unfortunately these tantrums were a way of life for us.  I think you handled it like a champ.  I would seek resources out maybe that could help you if this begins to occur more often.  Sometimes from what I hear if kids get off kilter this can happen.  Have he had any major changes or disruptions lately?  I've noticed with us that when Harm gets off-routine that is when we are most likely going to experience this sort of thing.  GL!  
    Mom to Harmon 1/17/08 and twins Rachel & Callum 8/28/09 Photobucket 29o0v13.jpg
  • imageSarah_lily:
    imageshopgirl78:

    Our kids are similar ages.  I have 8/05, 09/07 and 1/2010,   

    My almost 4 year old has been a hot mess too.  He just started PreK and I am chalking it up to a change in schedule, ie a transition time.  Did your son just start preschool? 

    No, he didn't start preschool (we homeschool). There haven't been any major transitions in his life recently. However, my husband is deploying to Afghanistan in a few weeks and I'm concerned that will do nothing but make these tantrums escalate. Sigh.

    Maybe he has just been overtired, is he still napping? Mine is in a damned if you do and damned if you don't stage with naps, either way its a meltdown for not wanting to go to bed or in the evenings b/c he is tired.

    And can he go without the pull-up?  I might have just said "you don't have to wear the pull up but if you pee in your bed, your responsible for changing your pants..."

    Sorry to hear about your H.   I'll be praying for our soldiers over there!! 


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  • DD does this when she's tired.  She seems to nap every 3rd or 4th day because she's totally exhausted.  The day or two leading up to it get rough.  Can't wait til school starts back a week from tomorrow.  She doesn't do it for anyone but me!
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