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2 Bumps

4 year old threw a tantrum today that i havent seen since she was 3! sometimes i wonder if she has rage..

i know it sounds cruel for me to feel that way, wrong in a way.

but this has been an ongoing problem since she was around 2. i remember putting her in her room for 2 minutes at that age because she would literally scream and grunt when she didnt get her way.

then at 3, those kind of fits got even worse. i wondered if something was wrong with her, and was told its common in 3 year olds. i also figured she was either tired, bored or hungry and exhausted all those options before punishing her for the shrieking, kicking & hitting. ultimately i had to put her in her room and let her calm herself down for a few minutes. its the only thing that worked. when she was done, she was her normal, wonderful, loving & happy self again.

now i havent seen anything like this since she was 3. she turned 4 in october. anyway, it started because she was playing a computer game, and had to use the spacebar to make her character jump. we had just put the ingredients to a cake together and it was in the oven. my younger two were also occupied so i used this opportunity to vacuum. i heard a loud banging, and it was her smashing the spacebar out of anger.

i told her shes going to break the keyboard and she cannot play her game if shes going to get this upset over it. i went over and tried to help her and she shoved my hands away. i promptly shut the game down and removed her out of the chair. she proceeded to use her fists to slam my computer desk. well, i put her in the chair and told her she was in time-out. as i sat her down, she screamed and kicked me. i told her not to kick me, but she kept doing so so finally i smacked the back of her thigh. it got her to stop kicking but obviously the crying and screaming continued. i couldnt tolerate the screaming anymore, so i told her she can go to her room for time-out. as soon as i closed the door, she slammed the door repeatedly with her fists. so much, infact, that the doorknob is now loose. not even 5 minutes later, everything got quiet, she came out, apologized, we discussed what she did wrong, the why's, how's, etc. everything is peachy now.

am i out of my mind or is this normal behavior for a 4 year old? i really dont know what to do when she gets that way. talking to her, redirecting her, timeouts, not even spanking works. all that works is giving her time to let the rage out in her bedroom. she is generally a very happy, smart and loving little girl. but when she gets like this, shes like a force of nature and i really dont know how to handle it.


Asked by tnm786 at 5:52 PM on Feb. 11, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (9)
  • I think this could be a strong willed personality.. this sounds VERY similar to my son who turned 3 in Nov.. Everyone (CM) said not to use his bedroom as time out -and we DO have a time out bench for him but he never never calmed down in it. hits himself the floor anything he can think of - we are lovingly strict with him and don't tolerate this but he's been hard since birth in every stage and phase and I have read a lot about strong willed and this seems along the same lines I am dealing with.. I think they are also very passionate people so a typical upset for some, brings explosion in our kids.. Max is my sons name but its fitting in SO many more ways.. everything he does or feels is that way.. Good luck

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:57 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • Ps.. it can start with my son if he can't get his shoes on or the kitten is too close to his toys etc.. I hear you mama.. I have not run in to many mothers who have to deal with THIS type of extremes

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 5:58 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • Well, I was told that it's "Terrible 2's, Treacherous 3's, and F'n 4's" so maybe when 5's come around, it gets better! My son is 3 and I thought 2's were bad, not so much! He's actually getting worse so there are TONS of time outs! Hang in there, you aren't alone ;o)

    Answer by alyssamal at 6:01 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • tnm786, you are NOT alone. My daughter will be 4 in March, started her terrible 2's at 16 months and hasn't really stopped yet. She's getting better, but as recently as this morning had a total meltdown because I would not let her do what she wanted, and would not let her mouth off to me. The days where she is a great kid are increasing, the days where I just want to string her up by her toenails are getting fewer, but DEFINITELY get where you're coming from. Her brother has is own issues, but nothing like her. I love my kids to pieces, don't get wrong, but if my daughter had been born first she'd have been an only child.

    There are times where I FULLY understand why animals in the wild will occasionally eat their young.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 6:31 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • I feel your pain momma!! Unfortunately it's completely normal. I have two 4 year olds and two 2 year olds. Can you imagine what they have done to their bedroom door??! I had to replace one of the doors. I don't know what it is with their frustration, but sometimes they really just loose it. They do get spanked if they take it out on their door or anything in the house when they get sent to time out. But then they will come out a few min. later calmed down and apologize. I make them tell me what they are apologizing for before I let them go play. This is funny but works! I read a book by Dr. Dobson (i think thats his name). He suggests using a wooden spoon for spanks instead of your hand (cause toddlers like to hit), and now all I have to say is, "I'M GETTING THE SPOON" and they start running saying, NOOOO MOMMA!!! They get that warning first before I actually have to use it.

    Answer by tornadotwinsx2 at 8:14 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • Have you taken her to the doctor to see if maybe she might have bipolar disorder? She might need some medicine to take care of that or she might just need some vitamin B6 to help her to be calm. But take her to the doctor first to find out what could be wrong. It isn't normal for anyone to have such rage.

    Answer by stitchintime at 1:53 PM on Feb. 12, 2011

  • trust me i just had to deal with my 4 year old doing the exact same thing for 3 days in a was scary,but the worst part of it all was for no reason he pulled my hair,punched me in the back,kicked my leg,told me to leave.......i took all his toys away from him,and then i gave him a spanking,then i put him in time out.....he didnt like it but i had to deal with that for 3 days in a row....but after those 3 days of rage it was all back to it never happened....i guess kids do things like this when they have an underlying issue that we cant figure out......

    Answer by SMALLfry05 at 1:14 PM on Feb. 13, 2011

  • id like to add; today it was definitely not an issue of being tired, hungry or bored.

    she had previously had a 2 hour nap today, just had a snack, helped me bake a cake, and was playing her favorite computer game. it all happened because she got so angry that she couldnt get her character to jump.

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 5:54 PM on Feb. 11, 2011

  • glad to know someone can relate. i mean, it was worst when she was 3. so if your son is anything like my daughter, just know it will get better when he turns 4! it used to happen almost everyday, and over the smallest things like even if she just didnt get her way. it hasnt been this bad in a long time. i do hate to use her room as a time-out but its literally the only place she calms down. then it makes me wonder what i did wrong? where does this rage come from? stuff like that. everyone i talked to about it when she was 3 actually told me it was normal. but i dont see how such anger in such a young child can be.

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 6:02 PM on Feb. 11, 2011