or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Time-ins with raging child?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Time-ins with raging child?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hello. I see a few other mamas asking how to handle rages and über-rudeness in their children. No solid advice that works for us so far, though. When 5yo DS has his rages, I am really struggling on how to handle it. I've lately been attempting to be closer and do time-ins. But it is very hard to accomplish with a 2yo who gets extra clingy during DS's tantrums. It's hard to even GET close to him safely to attempt a time-in, and her clingyness often will cause him to escalate. He's big for 5 and very strong. It feels so aweful to restrain him, and it doesn't help. But he is also the type to violently oppose being separated from us when he's mad. If I try to keep him in or out of a room for physical separation to let him cool down a bit, he kicks the door and throws stuff. It's a really miserable time when these bouts occur. It's been occurring quite a bit lately, and I can't seem to find a right way for us to diffuse easily. Any ideas? I just wish I could lock him outside and hide in a closet with DD sometimes. It's scary and hard for all of us. What can we do? I've tried revoking privileges along with the other stuff I mentioned, just to see if he would respond. But that also escalates. Help! I need some mama magic!
post #2 of 39

I got none, but wanted to say HUGS!!!  If you can, try and nip it now... we've gone through this off and on with my 8 year old and it definitely doesn't get any easier!!  (If I find a magic solution though...I'll come back...  at 5, i was thinking he'd just grow out of it as he matures and we just handled each one the best we could and talked after.... )

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm just now reeling from a huge episode this morning. Oh, the stress and drama!

I wonder- is it wrong or shaming to explain to him just how negatively his behavior affects all of us around him? I actually broke down crying and told him straight up "This is a problem we really need to solve. I can't handle being yelled at and hurt every day when you get mad. I want to help you learn to control your anger, but I can only help if you'll listen to me and try the things I said ( like running around outside or taking deep breaths). Everything that everyone does affects other people and things. When you act out your anger with a mean voice and body, it hurts all of us. It's not ok for you or anyone else to behave that way for any reason."

Was that a strong enough message? Too much? He's content and calm now, thankfully. I can't very well break into tears to repeat that spiel again, but I fear it wasn't a lasting effect. I want to honor his needs, but I won't let him ruin our days with all this. Clearly he has some huge feelings or needs to meet, but I can't figure out how to get him talking so I can help him.
post #4 of 39

The book Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids has  LOT of great advice on how to deal with strong emotions and rages in kids.  

 

As for what to do during a rage - first you have to figure out how to keep yourself calm.  Then you calmly stay near - just be present.  He needs to know that he won't be left alone to handle his emotions, and that he doesn't scare you away when he gets out of control.  You need to be an anchor for him, which can't happen if you're getting upset yourself.  Will the younger sibling sit on the floor with you and stay still?  

 

If it doesn't upset him further, you simply say what you see and empathize in a calm voice - "You are so mad about ______.  I can see that you are very upset.  I'm here to give you a hug whenever you are ready for it."  

 

Then after he's calmed down and you have reconnected (via cuddles, hugs, deep breaths), you can talk about what happened and how to handle it differently next time.  "You were very angry.  Getting angry is okay, we all get angry sometimes.  I love you even when you're so angry you can't hear me.  But it is not okay to kick and throw things.  Let's think of other things you can do when you feel yourself getting mad."  If he has input on the ideas (like maybe he wants to punch a pillow or jump on a trampoline instead of doing your ideas, which becomes just another directive), then he's more likely to stick to them.  Then you can remind him of your conversation when you sense a rage coming on.  

 

anyway, the book is really great for emotional coaching, I highly recommend it.  

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckiest View Post


If it doesn't upset him further, you simply say what you see and empathize in a calm voice - "You are so mad about ______.  I can see that you are very upset.  I'm here to give you a hug whenever you are ready for it."  


This I do try, and it hasn't worked very often. I do and plan to keep trying.

Then after he's calmed down and you have reconnected (via cuddles, hugs, deep breaths), you can talk about what happened and how to handle it differently next time.  "You were very angry.  Getting angry is okay, we all get angry sometimes.  I love you even when you're so angry you can't hear me.  But it is not okay to kick and throw things.  Let's think of other things you can do when you feel yourself getting mad."  If he has input on the ideas (like maybe he wants to punch a pillow or jump on a trampoline instead of doing your ideas, which becomes just another directive), then he's more likely to stick to them.  Then you can remind him of your conversation when you sense a rage coming on.  

Great suggestions! I just learned that asking if he wants to play his drums would help him. It was a sudden suggestion I blurted out in a mild disturbance. The next time he started getting edgy, he self-directed right to drums!

anyway, the book is really great for emotional coaching, I highly recommend it.  
post #6 of 39
Mama, what, if any, are his triggers?
post #7 of 39

Thank you so much for posting this. This sounds exactly like my daughter, and I have the same reaction. I also have an (almost) 2-year-old that needs attention during the meltdowns. Rages are a better way to describe it though, as is uber-rudeness! 

 

She has been a challenging child from the start, and I know that she will challenge me always. I just wish I didn't have to feel one step behind all the time. 

 

Have you read Raising Your Spirited Child? I found that really helped me in reframing how I thought about my daughter. which helped me be more patient and detached during rages. 

 

So many hugs, Mama Amie, I know how difficult it is to be in this position - wanting to parent gently, but not knowing what else to do. 

post #8 of 39
I am so going through this with my almost 4 DS. Following!!
post #9 of 39

Oh, and I wanted to add that I don't at all have anything figured out about how to deal with the rages. I feel like she terrorizes our whole house sometimes. I'm going to check out that book reccommended by a PP and stay tuned for more suggestions. Thanks all!

post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
It looks like I need to amp up my reading again. I've been reading Unconditional Parenting, Peaceful Parent, Happy Child, and How to Tslk so kids Will Listen. I also recently read Raising Your Spirited Child and Skimmed The Explosive Child.

I loved where they all come from, but we still struggle with having real workable tools in the heat of the tantrum. I've seen someone suggest re-framing our view of the child into how we would respond/react to a 2 year old. It definitely helps to remove any notion that he is in control or able to control himself once the switch is flipped. Distraction, such as asking some random unrelated question has helped him get out of the spiral a bit, and suggesting drums before it gets bad was successful. I do feel we're learning and making progress a bit. But it takes practice and vigilant mindfulness to really implement the new ideas.

IRT the question about his triggers:
Anything at all can trigger him lately- if I made a mistake with how I prepared his food, or any instance where I cannot or will not immediately do his bidding. He's real big into wanting me to do for him things he can do well himself- wipe bottom, put on shoes/clothes, buckle his seatbelt, find his missing whatever... All it takes is one unavailable moment to send him over.
post #11 of 39

Good suggestions - just wanted to add that our 4yo is prone to these rages, and we dealt with the same thing when our 7yo was younger.  For both boys, when I tried time-in's, the feeling of being restrained made them freak out even worse, with violent thrashing around, like a caged animal - the last time I tried that, I got head-butted right in the nose. Not fun. So we had to resort to sit-in's with them in a corner, talking to them soothingly and keeping them from hurting anyone or kicking the walls until they calm down enough to be rational.  On the other hand, 2yo DD seems to crave the physical contact when she goes into meltdown mode, and holding her helps, even if she fights it at first. shrug.gif

 

4yo DS had a meltdown going into preschool class last year -  they had just fired and awful assistant teacher, and Josh was having anxiety issues with school because of her. So we showed up to find the new assistant teacher there (who, for the record, is SUPER sweet, as is the lead teacher), and DS had a total freak-out when I went to leave. The new teacher tried to hold him on her lap while talking sweetly to him, and I saw him gearing up for "atomic explosion mode" because he felt restrained. So I quickly intervened, and explained his reaction while thanking her for trying. I just sat on the floor with him next to her chair, and loosely put an arm around him and rubbed his back while I tried to distract him by soothingly talking to him about which of his friends were there, what the teacher was saying about their activities for the day, etc. He gradually calmed down and I was able to say goodbye and reassure him I'd see him soon. The teacher was amazed how well my method worked - she said "Wow, you knew just what to do with him!"

 

What helped us the most was figuring out their triggers! Believe it or not, diet is a HUGE issue with our kids - meltdowns and rages happen frequently if they stray from their "clean" diet and sneak in anything with gluten, dairy, soy, foods high in salicylates, artificial additives and preservatives, etc.  (check out sites like www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info and www.salicylatesensitivity.com to see if your DS has symptoms of food intolerances that could be causing these rages.)  Sensory processing issues can also play a part - SPD is no joke! If he's craving a certain type of stimulation such as needing to bang on the drums, or getting too much sensory input that he can't handle, that can trigger meltdowns too (7yo has issues with this). Other big triggers for them are anxiety, feelings of inferiority (such as, 7yo is dyslexic and at age 5 started feeling awful about his school work), feeling hurt when they've been corrected on behavior or manners, etc. - of course, these are difficult emotions to deal with even for adults, even harder for kids, and harder still when their whole system feels unbalanced from eating foods their little bodies can't process. Once we figured this out, it became easier to head off rages before they start, reduce how frequently they occur, and lessen the severity when they do happen.

 

Hope this helps!! Good luck! :Hug

post #12 of 39
Hugging it out never really works with my 4 yo but I at least try to stay down at her level and hold her arms if she's starting to lash out. Sometimes her tantrums ebb and flow so I pretty much have to stay right there and continue to empathize and soothe her until she starts to cry. When she cries, that means the anger is subsiding and its on the downhill slope.
post #13 of 39
very interested in continuing to hear how this goes, as i am planning to unconditionally parent my child and, if they are anything like me, they will be high-needs, and tantrums are a real possibility. but i'm only interested in hearing how other unconditional parents handle it, since i am 100% convinced this is the best way to go and, as you will not be surprised to hear, i am still wondering about real-world applications to particularly hairy situations, since the book is more theory than anything else. i have a few more books to read soon, and i'm going to give the ones suggested in this thread a look, too.

so, honestly, i have been wondering to myself, does a kid parented with a very attachment & unconditional style really end up being the sort of kid who will throw tantrums? trying to believe the answer might be no, but that seems to be naive thinking, and now that i found this thread, i'm sure of it!

here's what i'm curious about: is the rage always personally aggressive? does he seem angry at the people around him? one of you in particular (like, is he mad AT YOU when you, as you mentioned, make a mistake with a food item)? or is it more like random flailing? i'm just trying to get a better mental image of what's going on so hopefully i can better learn from it.

i've dealt with my nephew's tantrums before, when he was 4 and 5, and it really seemed that he wasn't mad at ME, and as soon as i could show him the "bad guy" was some external force that he and i could rage against together (in other words, when he was convinced i was acting in solidarity), he not only calmed down, but an exceptionally tender & emotionally needy side of him would quickly surface, and it became such an apparent contrast between the monster moment and the bewildered baby moment.

so i've been setting up this mental landscape regarding tantrums, that (a) i kind of have a grasp on defusing them, and (b) my kid who will (unlike my nephew) get attachment & unconditional parenting, will most likely be "better behaved" (for lack of a better term) to begin with. again, i know i might be incredibly naive about this! kids' temperaments seem remarkably independent of their upbringing sometimes.

(edited: oops, it's "defuse", not "diffuse" ... http://grammarist.com/usage/defuse-diffuse/)
Edited by filamentary - 9/24/13 at 5:40pm
post #14 of 39

My DD has really violent tantrums. Not often, but when she does its really bad. I hug her with a blanket, if she wont stop coming at me, or destroying everything in her path. I used to lose it with her, but now I stay calm and in control until it passes. I would feel myself losing control and try to give myself a time out, so I could take a break but she would just slam into my door repeatedly. If I let her in she would punch, hit, and tell me she hates me. I have snapped and spanked her. It never helped the situation. Then I would feel terrible. Now I hug her with a blanket and tell her everything I love about her. It helps me stay in control to tell her this. It kind of annoys her, but when she reflects on it later, she will remember me telling her good things about herself. She struggles and tells me to let her out. I ask, are you ready to stopping hitting and throwing? She actually gives me an honest answer when I ask.  When she gets to the point of tears I know its over. We cuddle, we talk, and then she usually sleeps. She will grow out of this, and all I can do is keep her safe, and teach her about triggers and coping skills in the meantime. Since I started doing this, the tantrums and become few and far between.

post #15 of 39
DS has been getting angry with his sisters and it seems like we are all frustrated with each other atm. Sometimes I will try to get laughs out of him by stomping and singing "the angry song" (my sister made it up) in a monster voice. A-N-G-R-Y! Angry! Usually he smiles a little and uses a whiney voice to let me know the problem. What isnt clear to me is how to get him to share an activity with his sister before she gets frustrated and wrecks his design : / Has anyone had success with a playful approach? Maybe a bean bag angry game or go outside and stomp packaging bubbles?
post #16 of 39
i keep hearing so many people saying that their kids are saying "i hate you" and to anyone with personal experience, do you know where they learned this? i am going to be so careful with my language around my kid, of course, but fear it may be hard to shelter them entirely from negative attitudes. any thoughts?

btw, when i say no negative, i mean we are planning not to even use the word "no", and never plan to say "i don't like [xyz]" (if my wife says "here, you want some asparagus?", i won't crinkle up my nose b/c it sounds gross, i'll smile and say, "hmmm, you know what i'm really more in the mood for? some hazelnuts! yummmm!" and then we both give off a positive/affirmative energy). let's just say we think this is a worthwhile experiment at not exposing the kid to attitudes of rejection or opposition. we have no idea, having yet to try it, how it'll play out.

but i can't imagine any of you have modeled the" i hate you" stuff, right? so where does it come from? in other words, what do you recommend we not expose the little one to so they don't learn what yours unfortunately already did? or, feel free to laugh at me & say so, if you don't think it's possible! orngbiggrin.gif
Edited by filamentary - 9/19/13 at 8:04pm
post #17 of 39
I have no idea where my son learned it. Actually, he doesn't say I hate you, he just says, "I don't love you anymore!" :'-(
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by filamentary View Post

i keep hearing so many people saying that their kids are saying "i hate you" and to anyone with personal experience, do you know where they learned this? i am going to be so careful with my language around my kid, of course, but fear it may be hard to shelter them entirely from negative attitudes. any thoughts?

btw, when i say no negative, i mean we are planning not to even use the word "no", and never plan to say "i don't like [xyz]" (if my wife says "here, you want some asparagus?", i won't crinkle up my nose b/c it sounds gross, i'll smile and say, "hmmm, you know what i'm really more in the mood for? some hazelnuts). let's just say we think this is a worthwhile experiment at not exposing the kid to attitudes of rejection or opposition. we have no idea, having yet to try it, how it'll play out.

but i can't imagine any of you have modeled the" i hate you" stuff, right? so where does it come from? in other words, what do you recommend we not expose the little one to so they don't learn what yours unfortunately already did? or, feel free to laugh at me & say so, if you don't think it's possible! orngbiggrin.gif

 

Good luck!! I would find it impossible, and I am not sure how well it would prepare them for the real world, but we all have different philosophies.

 

We dont censor ourselves as much as we should. I have never told her I hate her, but I have said I hate things, like traffic, splinters, etc.

post #19 of 39
Thread Starter 
I am sure my son learned hate from hearing it in non-personal context. Certainly a few kid books have influenced, and likely some tv. We have been AP from the start, but kids pick up stuff from everywhere, no matter how sheltered they are. Naturally, he tries out the meanest and scariest things he can come up with during his bouts of rage. The rages come up from various triggers. Sometimes he wakes up grouchy, sometimes it is power struggle. Brushing teeth and respecting little sister's nap needs are most frequent triggers, though others do come up. We try to offer love and hugs and other positive ways of diffusing rage, but it is rarely simple or easy.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

I have no idea where my son learned it. Actually, he doesn't say I hate you, he just says, "I don't love you anymore!" :'-(

whoa! i'm guessing that's just as hard to hear! duly noted. :P
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Time-ins with raging child?