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Please help Gmother with intense temper tantrums from 3 year old.

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I am a visiting grandmother who is frustrated when trying to interact with my 3 yr old grandson. "G" is active and smart, cute and has intense tantrums when things don't go his way. The frequency of his tantrums are 2-3 per day. He can be cheerful and warm and loving one minute and then suddenly his mood changes. He says "no" over and over, and then clenches his fists, becomes rigid, screams and will do this for a long period of time (sometimes 30 min....home or public), Frustration level is very low. He has been having these tantrum for at least 1 and 1/2 years. My daughter has 2 other older boys and their tantrums were not even near the intensity of the behavior and stubborness of this child. Usually I back off and tell him to see me when he is ready. With his mom, she cannot talk him into calmness or cooperation or do anything until he screams it out and ends it himeself. At times when she holds strong his mood will eventually change and he seems to act "sweet and cute" to get in her good graces. During this he demands to have his way and I think we tip toe around him trying not to trip the wire that fuses him. He is catered to by the entire family and of course this just doesn't seem right, but they have not found an approach that is effective with him. I know you don't give into the demands, but even that does not seem to help. I need to know what I can do to strengthen my relationship with him as a grandmother. My visits are only 3 or 4 times a year and I would love to hold him, read to him or participate with him and there have been few successes. Suppose there are just too many circumstance to relate. I am concerned and would very much like to enrich my relationship with little G but its difficult. Daughter has 1 son with ADHD.
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 7:18 AM
Replies (11-14):
geemababs3772
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:02 PM
I think I received some excellent advice. I think ignoring the tantrum, walking away and letting mom deal with it. (When I am around) .
For me when I a,m alone with him and he has his tantrum, he will not get his way but he will get plenty of hugs and I love yous afterward.
bellawomen
by Member on Oct. 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM
Sounds like everyone could benefit from behavioral therapy
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Pip88
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Dear Gma-  Did you or your daughter find anything that helped?  I have a 3.5 yr. old son and have the exact same problem.  We have no other kids, but my husband does the exact same thing...swoops him away to another room or distracts with something fun...which sometimes works but I think it goes against the ultimate issue and goal.  I am blue in the face over trying to be consistent and make time outs work- it just makes him madder and scream louder.  I'm also curious if they tried anything with his diet and found that it worked?  Someone responded to your post about it and I have heard that before- although my son already eats pretty healthy and not much processed food.  Thanks for any response.

CoeyG
by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 6:47 PM

First of all the tantrums need to be ignored, they are designed to get attnention and to control how the adults behave and if everyone is "tiptoeing" around him he has accomplished his goal.  At home I'd put him in his room with a child gate in his doorway.  In publich I would remove him from where we were at, get to the car put him in his car seat and wait out the tantrum.  Then return to whatever we were doing calmly, or take him home and find someone to watch him. 

When my daughter was small I linved in a neighborhood where close neighbors all had kids around her age and we started a mommie co op.  If we needed a couple of hours we could leave our kids with one of the moms and when she needed we would wathc her kids. 

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