Tantrums!

Discussion in 'Ask a Mum!' started by Ammdaz, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    My son has just turned 4 and in the last few weeks we have really been struggling with some awful tantrums. This isn't normal for him at all, yes he can be challenging at times as all children can but not usually to this extent.

    The tantrums are normally triggered by one of a few things - not wanting to eat his meals, not wanting to help tidy up, not wanting daddy to do anything with him but always wanting me, brushing his teeth and not wanting to get ready for bed. When the tantrum starts it is literally like someone has flicked a switch and he goes from being perfectly fine to complete meltdown mode in seconds, there's no reasoning with him and he will kick and scream and has started to hit his dad (luckily not me yet). Then all of a sudden, after what seems like forever and when I finally find a way to calm him down, he'll snap out of it and within seconds he is back to my lovely sweet boy again!

    I realise there's a lot going on in his little world right now. Obviously he knows he's going to have a little sister soon and whilst he is mostly excited about it he has on a couple of occasions said he doesn't want the baby so understandably he is a little worried about it. Also he is starting school in September, again he says he's excited about it but I know he's probably pretty nervous about it too. I've no doubt that these two things are playing a part in his behaviour but I don't know how to make it better for him and how to deal with it.

    We've introduced a sticker chart, he gets a sticker every time we manage to get past one of the usual tantrum triggers without a tantrum so if he brushes his teeth nicely, if he gets ready for bed nicely, if he helps tidy up, if he lets daddy do things for him and a bonus sticker if we manage to get through the whole day without any major tantrums. He's quite interested in the chart and is really pleased when he gets a sticker but it doesn't work as a bargaining tool at all when a tantrum is brewing.

    When he does have a tantrum I try my best to keep calm (not always possible and I admit I do shout back at him sometimes although I know it's not productive). When it's over something like getting ready for bed I just do my best to continue getting him ready as quickly as possible. He would normally have a nice bath, watch his fave cartoon, a story then settled into bed but if he's tantruming he loses these privileges and it's a quick wash, the best I can do with a kicking screaming child, pyjamas on and straight into bed where I will stay with him until he calms down then give him a cuddle and talk to him about why his behaviour was unacceptable and how it made me feel and that it has resulted in him losing his cartoon and not getting his stickers. I don't know if this is the right way to deal with it or not? What more can I do? The thing that makes it really difficult is how he really hates OH doing anything with him so I'm always the one left to deal with tantrums and make things better. When OH gets involved things get 100 times worse and OH really doesn't know how to deal with him at all. If I so much as ask him to go with OH to have his teeth brushed you would think I'd asked him to go with OH to be tortured! This I really don't know how to deal with and it really worries me because when the new baby arrives, as much as I intend to give DS as much attention as possible, there are going to be times when I'm busy feeding the baby etc and DS is going to have to make do with daddy for a while!

    Argh sorry this has turned into an essay but I'm so worried and at the end of my tether with all this. I hate to think that DS is so upset by the new baby/school that its making him behave like this and I want to know how to make things better for him. I'm scared that he's going to get worse and I'm not going to be able to cope and I'm really worried about how things will be when the baby arrives. Any advice would be greatly appreciated xxx
     
  2. meggymum

    meggymum Well-Known Member

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    Hi hun. I sympathise with you. When felix was born 3 weeks ago oscar was very upset for the first few days - he is 19 months old. He wouldn't go to bed whereas before he was very good at bedtime. It was very hard seeing him so upset and I almost regretted having a second baby. But I kept him involved in looking after the baby whilst also spending time with him doing big boy things. ( he loves helping me with the washing and hoovering so I kept that as our time.) slowly over the days oscar got back to his normal smiley self and now he wont go to bed without giving his brother a kiss and cuddle. He is very protective of him now even to the point of bouncing him in his chair if he is crying! ! So even though it will be hard to start with, dont give up your boy will be fine. No advice on the tantrums though we dont have many at the moment. I hope it stays that way!

    HTH

    xxx
     
  3. Ammdaz

    Ammdaz Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, that's reassuring to know. I suppose I just need to give him a bit of time to adjust and to realise that just because he's getting a little sister doesn't mean that mummy won't still be there for him. Xxx
     

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