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How to handle temper tantrums

My son is almost 4 (in June) and I am at my wits end with his temper tantrums. He will hit and kick me or the walls and his new tactic as of this past weekend is to bite and scratch me with his nails. I am at such a loss. It is all because he doesn't get his way. My husband blames me that I have spoiled him but though I admit I am a little guilty of that- I don't think that is the only issue. I have tried to really discipline him and be consistent but he doesn't improve at all. I don't want to spank him but I truely don't know what else to try anymore. He is so smart and at the head of his daycare class but his behavior is truely awful most of the time. I keep thinking- if only he was more like that kid, or that one. Sorry to vent a little here I guess- I just need some advice!!

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:17 PM on May. 19, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (7)
  • I know this sounds bad but my mom had to bite me, to where it left teeth marks, to make me stop biting. As for the temper tantrums in general just ignore the behavior, and praise him when he does well.

    Answer by MommyYeoman at 8:23 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • My son has autism and can have some really bad meltdowns. I have it that his room is safe. I just put him in there until he is ready to rejoin the family. I don't lock him in, but he has learned that if he can not be 'expected' (his therapist's lingo) he can not join the rest of the family until he is able to be 'expected'.

    Answer by layh41407 at 8:28 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • all i can suggest is a schedule and making sure he is in a safe place and just let him rant. Do Not give in to whatever he wants.
    The bast things, I've ever read was an example" You take your child to the grocery store. You child is thinking, by asile 7, I got candy. This week, I'm going to scram louder and kick my feet. Maybe I can get candy by asile 6 today.
    They learn that is I have a fit - I get what I want.
    My dd sat on the gound at the play=ground, in the grocery store and in our home many times. While I continue to talk to someone else, read a book, or something else. Of course, make sure, they stay in your sight and they're safe.
    Take breakables out of his room and let him rant all the wants in there.
    He'll learn that all that fussing isn't worth it..
    Good Luck

    Answer by SassySue123 at 8:34 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • When my 4 year old daughter has her meltdowns she gets sent to her room until she is ready to be part of the family again. She is one child that HATES being isolated. She started her terrible 2's at 16 months old and is now FINALLY starting to get out of them. Her tantrums are fewer and further between, and not nearly as bad as they were even a month ago.

    Consistency was the key for us. She either acted right/as expected in public or we left. That includes the grocery store, the clothes stores, restaurants, ANYWHERE public. Sometimes in the store stepping over her and totally ignoring the tantrum stopped it in mid windup. Usually leaving the public place, or sending her to her room has worked the best for us though.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 9:13 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • Look up MentorMom1 she is the best at answering questions like this seriously I go to her all the time. Her answers are supported by professional facts.

    Answer by BillieHolidae at 9:25 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • When my kids bite me I bite back. Of course I don't bite them hard enough to really hurt them - just enough to let them know how it feels and they got through their biting phase real quick. My kids doctor told me to restrain them when they get violent - by wrapping my arms around them to keep their arms at their sides and if they kick I sit down so they can't kick me anymore and I hold them that way until the tantrum is done. When the tantrum is done I explain to my children why they were restrained and how their behavior doesn't get them what they want and it worked for my kids. My cousin's peds doctor also told her to do this with her son when he was little because he had serious anger issues (and still does, he's 11 now) - when her son gets angry he'd not only strike out at whoever was near him but would also try to hurt himself.

    Answer by anon1986East at 11:49 PM on May. 19, 2011

  • I am a child psychologist and there is a technique called a "basket hold" that helps protect both you and your child during a tantrum. Sit on the floor with your legs apart. Seat the child between your legs facing outwards. Take each arm and gently but firmly fold them across his/her chest. Do not in any way hurt the child, just hold him/her firmly so he/she can't bite or hit or destroy property. It makes the child feel more secure and that you are in control. Just let them scream and struggle until they naturally calm down. I like to talk calmly to the child encouraging them to relax. Afterwards, hug and relax together. This technique tends to shorten tantrums and make them less frequent as well as preventing injury or damage. If necessary, put your legs over the child's legs (gently) to help keep them in the hold.

    Answer by blackisbetter at 6:53 AM on May. 21, 2011

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