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Angry 3 year old
All of a sudden


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#1 HeartMyBoys

Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:38 AM

Hi. Hoping for some advice.
My friendly, loving, calm 2 year old has turned into an angry 3 year old. If i tell him no, just once, he kicks off into a full blown tantrum. Screams, kicks, punches me, and just wont let up. I put him in his room, shut the door and tell him he can come out when hes going to behave. Then he starts kicking his bedroom wall. This happens several times a day.
My eldest was never like that, so its very new to me, and im a bit at a loss of what to do. Any advice, or techniques would be appreciated.

#2 CharliMarley

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:05 AM

Perhaps you could talk to him about his anger and frustration and give him something to punch when he feels like this. A punch-bag outside or he could punch his pillow in his room, but no kicking the walls etc. unsure.gif

#3 lizzzard

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:20 AM

We had similar issues with my now-4 year old and got some great advice from a child psychologist. One practical strategy that really worked for us was holding him tight when he was really 'out of control'. I sit on the floor with my back against a wall, sit him in front of me with my legs crossed over his and my arms crossed/wrapped over his (basically so he can't move at all). I just sit there very calmly saying "When you calm down down, mummy will let you go". That's all I say, repeating it every now and then, and not getting into any discussion. The first few times I did it, the screaming and carry-on lasted for quite a while, but lately as soon as we sit down and I say I'm going to hold him, he calms down quite quickly. Afterwards I give him a big hug and a kiss and tell him I love him etc. Generally he is very compliant after these little episodes - and I am so much calmer during the whole thing because I have a strategy that doesn't hurt him, manages the situation proactively, and keeps ME calm!

Good luck. It's a tough age original.gif

Edited by lizzzard, 17 December 2012 - 09:21 AM.


#4 HeartMyBoys

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:24 AM

QUOTE (lizzzard @ 17/12/2012, 10:20 AM)
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We had similar issues with my now-4 year old and got some great advice from a child psychologist. One practical strategy that really worked for us was holding him tight when he was really 'out of control'. I sit on the floor with my back against a wall, sit him in front of me with my legs crossed over his and my arms crossed/wrapped over his (basically so he can't move at all). I just sit there very calmly saying "When you calm down down, mummy will let you go". That's all I say, repeating it every now and then, and not getting into any discussion. The first few times I did it, the screaming and carry-on lasted for quite a while, but lately as soon as we sit down and I say I'm going to hold him, he calms down quite quickly. Afterwards I give him a big hug and a kiss and tell him I love him etc. Generally he is very compliant after these little episodes - and I am so much calmer during the whole thing because I have a strategy that doesn't hurt him, manages the situation proactively, and keeps ME calm!

Good luck. It's a tough age original.gif



Thankyou. I'll try that next time.



#5 opethmum

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:50 AM

He needs to know that kicking etc will not elicit any kind of response from you. He needs to know how to manage his behaviour and he needs to start learning that his behaviour has consequences good or bad. I don't think holding him would be not good given that you are pregnant and I would hate for you to be injured trying to manhandle him.
You need to be consistent and stay the course and be prepared to not compromise in that regard. I would do a behaviour reward chart and as soon as you notice him descending into the aggressive behaviour you need to address that. Tell him to count to ten and reward him if he stops his behaviour.
Good luck and I hope you have some peace and soon.

#6 Natttmumm

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:58 AM

I just wanted to say I found 3 the hardest age with both my girls and many of my friends have the same experience
They were difficult and had many full blown tantrums. It was very stressful.
Wes used a combo of time out and distraction. If we could distract their attention to something else when we saw a meltdown coming we did do that. If not and all hell broke loose we used time out. Not much helped really. DD1 grew out of it at 4 (although having a few rough weeks lately). DD2 is 3 now and can really turn it on.

#7 Spa Gonk

Posted 17 December 2012 - 08:58 PM

I do something similar to lizzzzard now, that gives me the best result.

My first was difficult and in hindsight it was really good to have to think outside the square and look at not only what worked, but what I was trying to achieve.  There seems to be two schools of though with tantrums - ignore, or they are so out of control and possibly scared by their emotions that they need help to settle down.  I am in the 'need help' to settle down camp.  It also did not seem right to me to ignore them when they might be kicking a door or doing something to hurt themselves.  I figure just holding them helps them to settle down and keeps them from hurting themselves or the environment.  And when mine is out of control, she is not up to any logical reasoning and reward charts mean nothing.  It is just a matter of weathering the tantrum in a way that does not encourage more.

I also thought about what I wanted from time out (other than to get them to behave!).  I did not want it to be solely punishment based, but something that would help them develop their own skills to calm down when needed.  So we use time out to remove from the immediate situation and reflect on the situation.  I don't care if they are happily playing with toys in their room at that time as it is not a punishment, but a chance to calm down and I hope they learn it is okay to seek some time out on your own when things are too much and they will eventually do it off their own back before they get into trouble.

Maybe do some reading and try a few different things that appeal to you.  And remember every child is different and what works for one won't work for another.

#8 CallMeFeral

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:42 PM

No real advice but just wanted to say both mine turned into demons towards 3 - twos were fine. Deaf demons at that!
DD now seems to be growing out of it at 4.

In DS's case holding him at the start of a tantrum (when he was angry) just made him angrier and more out of control, but at some certain point he becomes distractable and keen to get out of his anger state without losing face - at that point I can usually point out something fairly innocuous that he might be interested and he'll engage with me on it, and then after a few seconds he's ready for a hug. During the thick of the tantrum though, only ignoring works on him. I tend to every few minutes offer a distraction, and it will usually be met with anger until at some point he takes me up on it.

#9 Magenta Ambrosia

Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:54 PM

threeteen is a hard stage to go through because they have 0 - 11 when it comes to emotion and so much more ability to communicate with stubbornness.
I also found the hug until they calm down works, as well as trying to get them to laugh if I feel it's building up to a mega tanty.
I also use time out more for creating space from the situation rather than as punishment.
Hope you find what works and you make it to the much more relaxed four year old stage with your sanity in tact original.gif

#10 Tiger Lilly

Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:04 PM

I think this age is difficult as they are just learning about emotions and how the world works.

Lots of patience and using words for the emotions.

#11 Let_it_Rain

Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

I think three must just be the age for it.

DS has punched walls, slammed doors and done a lot of stomping around. I am trying to normalise the emotion and give him other ways to deal with it.

It's okay to be angry, but it is not okay to...

I understand that you are angry, do you want to go into your room and settle down etc.

He does go into his room sometimes and then yells out at me to let me know he is happy again  wub.gif

#12 Ella Minnow Pea

Posted 18 December 2012 - 05:30 PM

I have no experience and no advice, but for some reason I though of a post on offbeatfamilies.com (nee offbeatmama.com) about using music to help with a 3 year old's melt-downs. http://offbeatfamilies.com/2012/04/music-and-emotionsNot sure if it'll be the slightest bit if help, but thought I'd mention it just in case.

Edited by katem666, 18 December 2012 - 05:31 PM.





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