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Coping with overtired tantrums

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#1 neaka

Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:51 PM

Hi everyone!

Im hoping for some advice for dealing with my toddlers tantrums.

He has recently dropped his day sleep but most definitely still needs it. We've started just having quiet time on the lounge with a dvd most days when at home and that seems to work ok but the real problems arise when we have been out for the morning and he falls asleep in the car. He used to transfer to bed quiet well but now as soon as he wakes up in the car and sees we are at home its game on.
I nervously lift him out of the car and pretty much straight away it starts. He kicks, bites, screams, yells, scratches and basically turns into the devil.

So, i take him straight to his room. Ive tried sitting in the room with him but he basically attacks me, ive tried smacking him when he bites and realised pretty quickly im not a smacker, i dont think it acheived anything. I now just put him in his room and wait for him to calm down then let him out and talk about the tantrum and the hitting, he usually says sorry and we move on. But this has been happening for close to 4 months now. After todays tantrum im not sure im approaching it the right way because we just dont seem to be making any progress. He's now been in his room for an hour simply because i just dont know what to do with him and im so exhausted and upset from yet another attack that i cant look at him. I also dont want to let him out because i feel like its saying well ok here, get your own way? I cant make him sleep but he really needs it?

I also have a 6 moths old who is a horrible day sleeper at the best of times but trying to get him down while DS1 is sreaming in his room is impossible.

What strategies should i be trying to not only prevent the tantrum but also teach DS1 that this behaviour is NOT ok!

Any advice is appreciated.


#2 rainycat

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:05 PM

If he is asleep in the car can you go for a drive or park somewhere so he can have a decent snooze?
My 2 have dropped their day sleep as well, annoying isn't it.
Good luck and remember it is just a stage.

#3 Rosiebird

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:09 PM

If you have a garage, put the car in there, open all the car doors and let him finish his sleep in the carseat. Or cut short the morning activities so you are at home for the beginning on the nap.

#4 halcyondays

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

If you have to get him out of the car and he is asleep, can you wake him up with a distraction? Like "wake up, we have to go and feed the ducks/eat icecream" Whatever rocks his boat.

I don't think the tantrums are manipulative- it takes a while for children to learn to deal with their fatigue. I've seen some tired adults throw some good ones too.

I've given up pushing on a day time nap at home- we all just get exhausted. I used to set him up with a quiet activity while I had a snooze on the sofa, and when I had to settle a young baby, used TV as a babysitter too.

#5 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:17 PM

That sounds horrible.  

I'm not an expert as my son has just started the tantrum age, but could he be hungry/thirsty?  My son's worst tantrums so far have been when he's overdue for something to eat.  I just wondered whether when he sees you are home he thinks it's time to wake up and have a snack, and is frustrated because that hasn't happened.

I'd also be tempted to enforce the nap by going for a drive, if your baby will sleep then as well.

#6 willow79

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:37 PM

Both my dd have gone through this stage & dd1 did eventually stop doing it.  I just think they are just really bad at being woken up (heck I'm the same!).  If I have the time I just stay sitting in the car with them until they wake up themselves.  They usually don't sleep that long after we stop anyhow.  I feed the baby or use my phone to Facebook/eb or read a book etc.  It's my chill time lol

#7 Tesseract

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:45 PM

DD also gets distressed when woken unexpectedly. I know how she feels, I feel awful when I wake up mid-sleep-cycle.

If I have to wake her up I gently get her out and then have her wake up being held by me in a big cuddle. That seems to make her feel secure. I don't put her down until she is fully awake and happy, or she looses it. I quickly get her a drink of water or give her a breastfeed, as well as set up a distraction (oh let's check the letter box!).

#8 FeralAlpacaWarrior

Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

DD1 does a version of this, just the crying though. It's like a PP said, to do with being woken up during a sleep cycle, as she is sometimes like this when woken in the morning. She can be inconsolable, and while I like PP's idea of holding her and giving her a big cuddle, usually at these times I am also dealing with DD2 so can't hold DD1.

I generally just speak calmly and gently to her, give her a cuddle, let her know I'm happy talk to her when she calms down, then suggest she goes to her room for quiet time (books and puzzles) to calm down (not a punishment btw), or go snuggle with her fluffies (stuffed animals and teddies) in the tent in her playroom. My current mantra, from the book Buddhism for Mothers, is patient, calm and consistent.

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