Well, the title pretty much says it all. I have an almost 3 year old who is starting to have temper tantrums (for lack of a better term) more and more frequently. Sometimes he gets mad because we say no to something (like going outside in just his underwear- lol) or we have to come in for lunch, or he wants me to stay with him for rest time but I have to go attend the baby (I have an almost 7 month old too.)
Some of it is his age, some of it is having a new brother and just moving to a new state in May. Theoretically I understand this, but the screaming, the crying, hitting, lashing out, etc. is really getting to me. I start off well, sympathizing, etc., but it ends up going downnhill. He upsets his baby brother and ends up making him cry, so then I've got 2 frantically crying children to deal with. Plus it really raises my tension levels until I get to the point where I scream or yell and have even spanked. (Great model for teaching self-control right?)
Distraction doesn't work for him, I can spend 45 minutes trying to distract and he'll still end up melting down over whatever upset him in the first place. I've read Positive Discipline for Your Preschooler and I'm currently reading Discipline Without Dustress, but I'm not sure how to handle situations where he gets upset, but doesn't yet know how to control his emotions.
Both of those books and lots of posters on here suggest having the child go somewhere else until he calms down. Love the idea, but how do I put it into practice without seeming like I'm putting him in time out or that its punishment?
We created a nice space with a dinosaur blanket & pillow, some favorite books and toys in his room, but when I suggest he go there or take him there when he's upset, all he does is cry and scream "Mama" over and over like I'm abandoning him. It doesn't calm him at all. Should I just leave him there like that until he stops, even if it takes an hour or more? Not to mention, he just comes out and to the top of the stairs crying for me to come get him. I've tried walking away until I calm down, but he just follows me, screaming and crying, which only gets on my nerves more.
His feelings are valid, and I'd like to teach him how to work through him, but its really upsetting our family's equilibruim. The whole house has to stop to deal with the meltdown, which lasts forever. DS2 cries and gets no attention while I try to get DS1 to calm down, I can't get anything done around the house or the plans we have just go out the window (even if its just going outside to play or cooking dinner).
Well, this turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would. Thank you for reading this far- I can't wait to hear your ideas. I need help!