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"I want MAMA" tantrum

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My almost 5 year old daughter and I are having a very rough time. At least once a day she gets upset and throws a fit about something that I usually see as being very selfish (I know it's the age, I know). She starts whining and screaming at this pitch that I swear my body is tuned to freak out when it hears (when my son throws a fit it never effects me like this). I ask her to calm down, I can usually last about 3 mins. She keeps talking about why she's mad, over and over... then she starts going, "I want MAMA, I want MAMA". This is why I loose it. I don't feel like going over to cuddle and kiss a screaming 5 year old "there there, it's OK" who's really being selfish about something is appropriate. I feel like I'm going to explode! I ask her to leave the room because she is disturbing my peace. She won't leave. Sometimes I tell her I will remove her if she doesn't leave, sometimes I end up leaving to calm myself down before freaking out.

This isn't working.

Today my husband came to see if he could help after I stormed out of the room and she FREAKED OUT! She has never been affectionate with him (from Day 1).

Suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!
post #2 of 11
Have you ever gotten really mad at your partner and then wanted him to hold you?

The thing is even at 5 if she is losing control, she may need you and only you (her safe haven and guardian angel) to bring her into a state of knowing she is loved and she can get through the terribly overwhelming and terrifying chaotic place of being out of control of all your feelings like that. A tantrum is a tantrum because it is out of their control.

I don't think going over to hold her and calm her down and comfort her down from that state she has gotten herself into in any way condones whatever selfish behavior she has comitted, it just says "It's okay, you made a bad choice or wanted to, but I still love you and I will help you get through this state of self-doubt and frustration you are feeling and come to place where you can talk rationally about it."

When she starts calling for you, I think it's a sign that she is ready to give in and calm down but just doesn't know how and really needs you.

I mean, maybe I am WAY wrong, I know when DS does this that's what it is. He realizes he should calm down but for whatever reason, his emotions have got the better of him and he just CAN'T. I hold him and soothe him and help him breathe and wipe his tears and kiss his forhead and then he comes back into his body and breathes and we can talk a little more rationally. Sometimes we have to go through it a few times in succession and I need to walk away and take a break, but if he is calling for me it's because he needs me, not because he thinks he can manipulate me into getting his way.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
I think you're right... man it's hard... we just clash so much sometimes... thanks for that note. Just cause I'm giving her a hug doesn't mean I'm going to give her what she's asking for... I need to remember that... giving her a hug isn't perpetuating the selfish act. Thank you
post #4 of 11
My 3 yo DS does this exactly. His tantrums follow an almost constant routine: rage for 1-3 minutes then "Give me hugs, mama." When I hug him, the tantrum subsides pretty quickly. It's like his emotions are too big for him to handle and, though he is angry at me or sad or whatever, he needs someone to kind of support him through it and to commiserate with his sadness. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth when I am also angry about the situation, but I know hugging him is the grounding he needs and I try not to deny him hugs whenever he asks, even if I'm mad. It's hard sometimes though.
And I totally agree that you are NOT indulging the bad behavior or "giving in" if you comfort your daughter. When it's all over, no one got away with anything they weren't supposed to and your LO knows she's loved unconditionally. it's a win/win.
Tantrums are developmentally normal, but I think these kids are onto something: knowing what they need to get through them. And we're lucky we have an easy fix for them.
post #5 of 11
also please note 5 is a v. hard age.

many adults who remember that age say that is even worse than teens,

not sure if you have seen it yet but u will see the angst by about 6. many children go thru extremely emotional sensitivity and turn into this child even they say they cannot recognise. at their very worst.

but that's when they need our greatest support. i think its a developmental hormone change that happens. i know when it happened with my dd - oh she was HORRIBLE - at that age she also started getting body odor. however i was able to keep things in perspective for me, as i knew there was a reason she was behaving that way. not coz she hated me. plus in a way i felt really honoured that she could really let lose and be comfortable enough to be her true self.

i tell you that experience brought us even closer.
post #6 of 11
My DD is almost 5 too, and though I don't have too many strategies yet, I can greatly sympathize with the behaviors! If she is whining, I do tell her "I'm sorry, but I can't understand you now. Tell me in a nice voice what you need so I can understand you." Then usually I will get at least a please. Oh yeah, and she can through some doozy fits too, and in the midst of it start with, "I want Mommy! I want Mommy!" I respond by telling her "I am here; I am not going anywhere. When you can be nice (as in not hitting me or kicking, etc.), I will give you a hug." I have noticed that sometimes it does help if I give advance warning about having to leave/not buying a toy she is looking at/whatever. I feel your pain!
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
mee mee- I find myself often thinking, "if 5 is like this, what are the teen years going to be like!" She is a sweet kid! But it does feel like she's on hormones... times like this I had no idea being a mom was going to be so hard! and wonderful of course... but it is a challenge...
post #8 of 11
A hug can work - or not. However, if I find my DD continues to cry hysterically because she can't have something even after the cuddle, I calmy but forcibly take her to her room and put her on her bed. She is not allowed to disturb the rest of the house that way so she's not allowed out of her room until she has calmed down.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by babyonmyback View Post
mee mee- I find myself often thinking, "if 5 is like this, what are the teen years going to be like!" She is a sweet kid! But it does feel like she's on hormones... times like this I had no idea being a mom was going to be so hard! and wonderful of course... but it is a challenge...
mama i wish you could speak to a few teenagers who remember being 5. i did not know the being 5 thingy until then. no one really writes about it and i havent really found any articles on this. but both mom and kids have told me the inner turmoil is worse than teens. at least by teens you are older and have some understanding.

looking back i find it is their one big emotional jump - the 'end' of childhood. it changed my dd to a great extent but in a subtle manner. she now 'understands' far more and that sweetness and innocence of being 5 was gone forever.

initially i had a really hard time. but after talking to the moms IRL and then their children i 'understood'. and after that instead of making me angry it made me really compassionate towards dd. i could see the struggle within her. and i knew the person she was showing me was not what she really was. i was reduced to tears myself when she told me 'mom i cant help what i do. i know i shouldnt do it, but someone inside me makes me do it.'
post #10 of 11
FWIW, I think tantrums are rarely about what they seem to be about. IME, tantrums are caused by being overtired, hungry, ill, or stressed out. I would try to spot the cues that she's starting to lose it, and act to head off the tantrum then. Since the fits are happening everyday, I would look at your schedule, etc... and try to see if there's something about your routine that is particularly hard on her, or if there have been any big changes in her life recently that she might be reacting to.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeldamomma View Post
FWIW, I think tantrums are rarely about what they seem to be about. IME, tantrums are caused by being overtired, hungry, ill, or stressed out. I would try to spot the cues that she's starting to lose it, and act to head off the tantrum then. Since the fits are happening everyday, I would look at your schedule, etc... and try to see if there's something about your routine that is particularly hard on her, or if there have been any big changes in her life recently that she might be reacting to.
I agree that this is also important. My DD is at her worst for tantrums when she has woken up too early in the morning or when she has had a long day with lots of stimulation.
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