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my 3 year old daughter had a really bad temper. what can i do to suppress it?

She gets very angry and explodes very easily. Sometimes you have to walk on eggshells around her. She'll even act out in her sleep and start punching the pillow. I'm a little scared and want to stop this now.

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Asked by bronxcouture at 1:34 PM on Oct. 27, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • You first need to figure out what is triggering didn't just start happening...then she needs to learn constructive ways to release her anger. Maybe try talking to her about it and asking if there are any ways that she can tell you better how she is feeling...sometimes just listening will help...other times they may need a box with 'faces' that represent their emotions...they can put these on the fridge to say how they are feeling without needing to vocalize it. This helps when they can't properly tell you how they are feeling. they can show you

    Answer by Jademom07 at 1:37 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Teach her how to express herself more appropriatley. It will take a lot of patients and a lot of time but it can be done. Give her words to use that express how she might be feeling. "Wow! It looks like you are really angry. Sometimes when i feel really angry i (fill in appropriate action here)". Remember that most kids are very physical. sometimes just expressing how they feel through words is helpful, but not enough. You might suggest that she draw how she feels on paper. Or maybe stomping her feet is an acceptable action for you?
    It's okay to be angry. Let her know that. Let her know it's okay for her to tell you how she feels. But also teach her what action you believe is acceptable for when she is feeling that way.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 1:51 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • You are wise to address it now. Maybe you could get her to do more physical activities during the day to get tired and less cranky. Also, kids do what pays off, what is in it for her to act aggressively?

    Could it be neurological?

    Answer by bebita at 2:18 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Make sure you're really listening to her. Most tantrums at this age have more to do with feeling unheard than not getting their own way (which is common for 2yos.)

    When you tell her to do something or stop doing something, make sure that she understands why it is necessary --give her information so she can succeed.

    Answer by LindaClement at 2:19 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • My son has a temper too. One of the things we do(which isn't always 100% effective but nothing is) is we get him to take deep breaths and blow out as hard as he can.
    We tell him to keep doing that until he is calm enough to tell us why he's upset.
    It works a lot of the time but sometimes it doesn't. Now when he starts getting upset we say "What do you do when you feel frustrated?" and he'll blow out a deep breath really hard. Then we tell him he's doing a good job and encourage him to keep breathing big breaths.
    It works for us if we manage to get him to do it as he's getting upset but once he's already upset sometimes he refuses to do it.

    I know he likes it when he feels like he's being heard, not just listened to but understood.

    Answer by Laila-May at 5:54 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • Unfortunately this is a personality trait manifesting itself a little early. Talk to her and explain how to overcome her anger because if you don't when she hits puberty all hell is going to break loose. The breathing techniques are really good.

    Answer by older at 7:09 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • like bebita, I wonder if it might be a neurological issue. See if your pediatrician can recommend a good pediatric psychologist. If this is something neurological, it is definitely better to find out now, and seek appropriate therapies for it. If it turns out not to be, the ped. psych. might still have some good advice for you. Laila-may's suggestion of breathing to calm down, then using good communication is a great one.

    Answer by bltcahill at 8:45 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

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