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Old 04-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
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Tantrum advice please.

So, my dd only had one (yes, one) tantrum at the age of 3 in a cvs store. I thought I was a wonderful parent.
Then, I had my ds. Every single tantrum that my dd did not have he has had and then some. From the age of almost two until now(almost 5) he has had/given multiple tantrums daily. I love him but it is embarrassing and a nightmare to even go outside in our front yard with him. I have stuck it out so long but I am a sahm and I do not get a break from it. The bigger he gets the harder he is to control. I can't just pick him up and remove him from the situation anymore. His tantrums are standing in one spot/or sitting in a grocery cart screaming. He is getting a little aggressive also if confined in a cart while giving a tantrum. He pulls my hands off the cart and will kick(I sometimes have to switch to pulling the cart because a kid kicking me when I am pushing the grocery cart hurts. Sometimes when we come home from the store he has to do a time out because of his behavior at the store. I know that this is incorrect but I am the one doing all of the shopping(he has 3-4 tantrums in a one hour period at the store) and I can't just leave him home and there isn't really anywhere to do a time out at the grocery store without being in someone elses way.
He is starting kindergarten this 2013-2014 school year and I am super worried that if I don't find a way to work with him he will be expelled from kindergarten (because his tantrums would be too much of a distraction for the other kids) when he starts going.
Does anyone have any advice that might work for us. He is not special needs or add or adhd. He doesn't drink soda at all or eat candy(unless it is a holiday). He is smart. I will tell him something and a week later he will bring up what we talked about. He is very attached to me and if I leave him home with his dad he will not leave my side the rest of the day. He thinks that saying I'm sorry after doing something bad will make everything o.k. and will get him out of standing in the corner. He is also a comforter. He loves to give hugs, say he's sorry, and tell me and his sister "I love you" many times throughout the day.
I know this is long but I feel like he should be past this stage by now. I only have this summer to find a way to stop the tantrums before he starts school. I am open to any advice.

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Old 04-06-2013, 10:35 PM   #2
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Re: Tantrum advice please.

I did time outs with both of my older children wherever we were. This included the grocery store. I told my kids I can find a corner wherever we are even if I have to make a corner for them to stand or sit in. I wouldn't wait to get home for consequences for bad behavior. Immediate discipline may be more productive. I would also use a very meant tone of voice as I very sternly told my children this was unacceptable. I imagine I sounded like the kind of mother who beat her children daily on principle. However my kids would catch the tone of voice much more quickly than anything I had to say to them.

I wouldn't worry about what others think or say either. Unless they have something helpful to contribute they have nothing worth hearing at that point in time.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:42 PM   #3
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Have you tried ignoring him? I usually do that. Its embarrassing but we have all been there. Hang in there mama
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qsefthuko
I did time outs with both of my older children wherever we were. This included the grocery store. I told my kids I can find a corner wherever we are even if I have to make a corner for them to stand or sit in. I wouldn't wait to get home for consequences for bad behavior. Immediate discipline may be more productive. I would also use a very meant tone of voice as I very sternly told my children this was unacceptable. I imagine I sounded like the kind of mother who beat her children daily on principle. However my kids would catch the tone of voice much more quickly than anything I had to say to them.

I wouldn't worry about what others think or say either. Unless they have something helpful to contribute they have nothing worth hearing at that point in time.
This. Never miss a teaching opportunity.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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Re: Tantrum advice please.

I usually say "You need to calm down" and then ignore(unless he swats at me, kicks, etc.) and then he is told to stop. I move away from him (start pulling front of grocery cart) and begin ignoring again.
The tantrums in a store are always because he is told he can't have something(toys, candy from checkout line, etc.). I tell him he can tell grandma about it and maybe for his birthday get it. Then he starts in with the "please, please, please!!!" crying and then he escalates into a full blown screaming tantrum. Tantrums at home and in the front yard are because his turn is over, he doesn't want to share, or he isn't being included(his sister has a friend over).
I have worked with him on calming down/breathing techniques for the past 2 years. But he has to be past the screaming stage of the tantrum to even hear me. He sometimes gets so worked up in a tantrum he will not be able to breathe and will sometimes get to the point of almost throwing up.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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My daughter does the exact same thing & she is bi polar!
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:15 PM   #7
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Re: Tantrum advice please.

I am pretty sure that the tantrums are only based on him not having control or not being able to control a situation.
And, if I could I would so leave the store the minute the first tantrum happens. But, I can't figure out how we would get groceries home. I am super tempted to put him in a drop off daycare just so I can get in and out in less than an hour but I know that doesn't teach him anything and is the easy way out.
I don't think he is bi polar but how do doctors even diagnose that at such a young age?
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:34 PM   #8
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Re: Tantrum advice please.

We see a psychologist for my DS. He throws with the best of them. He's ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). He was diagnosed when he was 3.

Our psychologist says walk away. Every bit of attention, even negative attention, reinforces the behavior. We are literally to leave the room, making no eye contact or warnings of any kind.

If you are still dealing with multiple tanturms a day at 5, I would consider a family/pediatric therapist. We started seeing one when DS was 2.5, and it helps a lot. It helped me feel validated, it helped us sit down and plan strategies to deal with him, and it helped DH and I get on the same page with daycare (nanny attends the sessions too). It is definitely worth the time. Eventually, DS's issues were beyond our therapist, and we moved on to a psychologist who is working under a psychiatrist so we can medicate him, and she has more experience. There still is no magic cure, and we have ups and downs. But things are better, and DH and I are doing better too. It can put a huge strain on your marriage!

As far as the grocery store---DH and I go together. That way, one of us can deal with him (or the 2 year old) at all times. We are a "family outing" kind of family, so usually we all go on Sunday afternoons.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:04 AM   #9
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Re: Tantrum advice please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvsviola View Post
Our psychologist says walk away. Every bit of attention, even negative attention, reinforces the behavior. We are literally to leave the room, making no eye contact or warnings of any kind.

If you are still dealing with multiple tanturms a day at 5, I would consider a family/pediatric therapist. We started seeing one when DS was 2.5, and it helps a lot. It helped me feel validated, it helped us sit down and plan strategies to deal with him, and it helped DH and I get on the same page with daycare (nanny attends the sessions too). It is definitely worth the time. Eventually, DS's issues were beyond our therapist, and we moved on to a psychologist who is working under a psychiatrist so we can medicate him, and she has more experience. There still is no magic cure, and we have ups and downs. But things are better, and DH and I are doing better too. It can put a huge strain on your marriage!

I agree. You need a child psychologist. He may not be special needs, but you do not have the right tools to set appropriate boundaries with this kid.

This has gone on long enough that he knows that this behavior is acceptable. He's pushed, you've relented. He's pushed more, you've relented more and now you're in this paralyzing situation.

A child psychologist is going to give you the tools you need to get you, as the parent, back in charge and the ability to set appropriate boundaries.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:47 AM   #10
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Re: Tantrum advice please.

No other advice but wanted to say, you ARE absolutely still a wonderful parent, regardless of tantrums! Good luck!
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