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Time-ins with raging child? - Page 2

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Amie View Post

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!

You've described my nine-year-old. We've got holes in walls, gashes in doors, and just this morning I had a rock hit me in the back of my head. My DS is a really sweet and loving kid except for when he's not. It's very scary and often unpredictable. The unpredictability is the hardest part.
post #22 of 39

my dd 2yo almost 3 does the same thing. Physically restraint definitely puts her more aggressive and locking her in a room terrifies her. I try to stay close until she starts throwing things. Then I tell her firmly and loudy (without yelling) that I am leaving because I don't want to get hurt. Then she usually relaxes and calms down and comes looking for me immediately afterwards. I don't get it, I don't like it, and I hope that I am doing what's right.

 

I think all we as mothers can do, is love our children. Ride the storm with them as long as no one gets hurt and be there to help pick up the pieces and talk about it later when all is calm. I am sorry you are going through this and I hope that things get better for you.

 

I wish I had something better to say.

post #23 of 39

I would HIGHLY recommend looking closely at diet. Food allergies and sensitivities really can cause crazy intense behavior. Common culprits are too much sugar and food additives especially food dye. When you've eliminated everything that has high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingreds look next at wheat, dairy, soy, corn. There are tons of great gluten free subs now easily available even at regular grocery stores. 

Blessings on your journey!

post #24 of 39

Yeah, I use to think also that we should work on tantrums BEFORE they appear, like "if you give your child a "proper" parenting, this shouldn't happen so often, right?"

 

WRONG!!

 

Kids have loooots of frustrations daily, of course the parenting type helps A LOT, by teaching how to deal with those feelings and all, but it doesn't prevent your child from having this behavior sometimes.

 

I think the main problem is that we are still thinking that "OUR" kids will be like an automatic machine that responses to what WE do, or teach. But that is wrong, they are independent beings (yes, very dependent, but I mean they are a different person), they are not our "results". We still think it is about us ("if they have this I have done something wrong", or "if they don't behave like that I have certainly done something right"), and I really think it isn't. The moment we can really detach from that thought, I think is when we can really start to helpe them without guilt, anger or pride (when they behave "exactly as I want to").

post #25 of 39

I am guessing you do not have a child yet. You may never say no to your child (highly unlikely) but other people will. Your child will experience disapproval and frowns from others.

Young children need direction and clear expectations. They need to know their parents are in charge and guiding and protecting them. It is very scary for a two year old not to have clear limits and boundaries. They need them to feel safe and secure. They need life to be predictable. Attempts to negotiate with a child under five will often fail. They do not have the cognitive ability to negotiate. Children under seven can only see things from their own perspective and are unable to put themselves in someone elses shoes.

I am an attachment parent and love my kids unconditionally. I offer high nurture and high structure.

With my first child I was a very permissive parent, and he was my unhappiest child. Soon after number three was born I became a single parent and I had to change my parenting style in order to be an effective parent. My style was still attachment, highly nurturing but I was also a very much in charge parent to meet my kids needs.

I think all my kids have told me they hate me at some point.Angry kids say hurtful things. Children learn from the world around them as well as from their parents. SO unless you are going to live in isolation from society your child will learn from other children and adults, from the media  etc.

post #26 of 39

Dealing with rages is challenging. If you understand what triggers the rages then you are better placed to deal with them appropriately.

It sounds to me like some of your child's rages are triggered by not getting his own way and are an attempt to control you. If he rages, tantrums because you do not respond to his demands immediately I suggest you calmly tell him you will only respond to polite requests and walk away from his tantrum. Completely ignore his screaming etc. Calmly tell him you will talk to him when he is calm. Suggest he goes to his calm down spot, this can be a soft chair or cushions on the floor.

Later you can talk to him about ways to express his negative feelings appropriately. Screaming at mom is not appropriate. As the mom you need to make sure his tantrum does not work by giving in to him.

You may need to explain to him the difference between needs and wants and have him practice showing some patience when you do not immediately respond to his demands.

Does he only rage in front of you or does he do this at school or with his friends. My daughter kept her rages for home. I could stop a rage very quickly by reaching for the video camera and saying I was going to show her teacher and ask her advice.

I think you have had some really good suggestions. Check his diet, give him a fish oil supplement daily..

Reduce any stress in his life. Keep it simple and minimise activities outside the home and see if it helps. Make sure he is getting plenty of sleep and exercise. After a rage tell him he needs a nap as he must be very tired after all that raging.

Restrict his screen time and be very selective about what he views.

It will pass but it is so hard to stay calm and not let a rage ruin your day.

post #27 of 39

I actually came here to post about the same thing- my DS (who will be 3 at Christmas) has raging tantrums and has generally been a high-maintenance child from birth.  It's funny, because he is an extremely happy, well-adjusted, charismatic and well-liked child in our neighborhood.  He does amazingly well out of the house and with others- at home he is a challenge.  Lately he has been pushing me to my limits- not only do we deal with the daily "I want this, I want that, I need this now, do it this way" every 2 minutes (which requires enough patience as it is), along with his high activity level and constant demands for attention, but he has become pretty noncompliant, challenges our limit-setting and has also suddenly become very "lovingly rough" with his 6 month old sister.

 

Our disciplines techniques have been a combo of time-outs and time-ins, I suppose. We've done time-outs in his high chair in the past, but usually we remove DS from the situation and take him to his room immediately when he hits or does something aggressive, or after he has been given warnings/redirected for his behavior and continues to do it. That usually triggers a rage. I know it's frustration and being thwarted from what he wants to do. We typically stay with him unless I need a time-out for myself to regain control (which is often) or his rage is so aggressive that it is better to leave the room.  However, even when we are in his room with him, he will throw his body against the door or throw his toys at the door. Restraining him makes things worse, as many said here.

 

I'm wondering, aside from the great advice posted here, how to manage my OWN emotions in these situations so that I can manage his better and take better control of the situation. We've had some transitions lately- I'm back at work FT, mother-in-law moved in to take care of kids and HOVERS over me constantly, so my patience is thin in general. I feel I need to do better at regaining control and not feeding into the trantrum b/c of my own lack of patience. DH and I have even started to yell which we've never done before. I'd love to be able to set my son up for success to avoid these rages because sometimes I think I do exacerbate them.

 

Sorry OP that I don't have advice of my own- I appreciate you bringing this topic up and need to notes.gif   so that I can start using these tactics that have worked for others.

post #28 of 39
I was thinking if maybe it would help to not see the tantrum itself as "misbehavior". Ultimately, the child is suffering from being in a very confusing time in her/his life. He/She wants independence and needs mommy at the same time. His/her body is changing and a feeling of being out of control is there, kinda like having PMS, being pregnant or going through menopause. The emotions are BIG and they come out in big ways sometimes. When I am able to think of it this way I can detach myself and not scold him for the emotion. After all, I WANT him to not be afraid/embarrassed/or humiliated by his emotions. I think you can show a child that hitting or getting physical is not okay without punishing the tantrum itself. I try to do this, but I fail a lot. I don't think that not punishing for the tantrum will mean the child always throws tantrums into adulthood. In fact, I think repressed emotion will result in more explosive behavior as adults than allowing them a safe place to express themselves in a safe way.

There was a comment above about reaching for a video camera and telling the child that you can show the teacher the tantrum. Isn't that threat of humiliation? I didn't quite understand that.

For what it's worth, I think the goal of not saying "no" is a noble goal. I think if you can do it then go for it. I believe it can be done while also setting clear boundaries and making a child feel safe. If I were more able to deal with my own reactions and emotions then perhaps I could stop saying "no" so much. I feel like that's all I say to my child sometimes.
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 
JeanetteHannah, I appreciate your perspective, but all your suggestions tend to intensify and escalate his upsets. There is no "calm down" spot that he will accept. The best I've found in that regard is asking if he will go play his drums until calm, staying home is a complete disaster most of the time. He does have days he prefers home, but this kid is very extroverted and prefers to be out in the world. He saves most of the rages for home, though he has lost it in front of his friends before. He will not be ignored. He is as tenacious as can be, especially when upset. He violently rejects any attempts to ignore his tantrum, and will kick down a door if I try to lock him away from me and his little sis. The only thing left is to stay close and wait calmly for it to pass. Sometimes I will walk outside, but if he refuses to follow, he's likely to start destroying things. He is just really intense. He seems to have mellowed a bit lately, so I suspect it was a growth spurt. I tend to forget how they can affect him. He had also been napping far less/waking earlier ( yes, he still naps in general). I do not allow unhealthy foods, but grains and wheat do get eaten. No artificial ingredients, HFCS, and very minimal sugar/honey. I tend to be very controlled about sweets, and I allow on occasion ONLY when we have plenty if space and time to run it off.
post #30 of 39
Thread Starter 
I definitely feel that my main need is in keeping my own composure during this stuff. It is very easy to push me into fight or flight with these rages, since I really do feel powerless to control it. It's a very real and abusive dynamic, but I have to remember not to take it personally or react from my feelings of frustration or hurt. I have to learn to weather the storms well, to reconnect ASAP after, and ( so important) find a way to address the scenario during calm time. It is important to me that he begin to see how that affects others around him and how it all gets worse before it gets better. I want to help him learn to go play drums or whatever calms him down BEFORE exploding, so he can use problem solving to negotiate or get needs met.
post #31 of 39
How far did you get in The Explosive Child? That's the book that worked for us.

When the tension/whining starts take a moment and ask your child what they need.
Give them a hug and try to slow things down, ask the child tell you what's wrong.

The hug, plus the focused attention usually works here. And sometimes when they talk, you do find out that they are stressed or sad about other things.

It is very hard, especially with other kids, to take that one moment in the beginning to slow things down, but I realized doing so saved us all from a 30 minute screaming jag. Try to make it your focus for a week, and see if it works?

I also really focused on the fact that my goal was to teach DD how to handle her emotions, not how to behave. That hugging and talking to her, when she was winding up into rudeness, was better parenting for her than a time out. She wasn't learning the hard work of how to control and express herself in time out.

My dd had bad tantrums from 3-6. Time outs just don't work for some personalities. I was surprized how quickly the above technique worked, and now, she is 8, and when she's upset she will just come to me for a hug, even a quick one, and she's better equipped to deal with her problem,

Food dyes and sugar are bad stuff, I'm not strict about it, but I don't buy it for home. And exercise is huge. DD is playing soccer and skateboarding and dancing now, and she's much more mellow.

Tantrums are really exhausting, so hang in there.
post #32 of 39
Thread Starter 
Yes- that preemptive prevention is great, but is so hard with a toddler in tow. Of course DS's neediest times are right when toddler DS needs milk or something. Like right this minute, dd (2) is tantruming b/c she wants me to nurse her on the couch, but if I do that, DS will rage about me leaving him alone in the room where he is getting dressed. He is afraid to be in any room alone. DD's tantrum is a bit more tolerable than DS's... For now. Sigh.
post #33 of 39

I think you need to get some professional help. Talk to your pediatrician. Be there for his tantrums but do not allow him to use them to get his own way. He needs to learn more appropriate ways to request rather than demand what he wants. When he is not raging both parents need to sit down with him and let him know angry tantrums are not appropriate to get what he wants. Sometimes he needs to wait while you nurse the baby etc. Ask him to help you solve this problem. Have him make some suggestions about how he can learn to wait a little while. He also needs to make some reparation when he tantrums and your time is spent dealing with the tantrum rather than what you need to do. Talk to him about what he can do to make amends. eg help you fold the washing or set the table.

Have some special activities/toys he can only access when you are nursing the baby etc. PIck something he is really interested in.

take care. It is not easy.

post #34 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferbocco View Post
 

Yeah, I use to think also that we should work on tantrums BEFORE they appear, like "if you give your child a "proper" parenting, this shouldn't happen so often, right?"

 

WRONG!!

 

Kids have loooots of frustrations daily, of course the parenting type helps A LOT, by teaching how to deal with those feelings and all, but it doesn't prevent your child from having this behavior sometimes.

 

I think the main problem is that we are still thinking that "OUR" kids will be like an automatic machine that responses to what WE do, or teach. But that is wrong, they are independent beings (yes, very dependent, but I mean they are a different person), they are not our "results". We still think it is about us ("if they have this I have done something wrong", or "if they don't behave like that I have certainly done something right"), and I really think it isn't. The moment we can really detach from that thought, I think is when we can really start to helpe them without guilt, anger or pride (when they behave "exactly as I want to").

Thank you! I agree 100%. I was a Psych major in college, I had done a lot of day care, I studied Child Development and I had collected all kinds of "I'll do this and this won't happen." and "I'll never say this and then I won't have to deal with this issue with my children when I have them...." and I had my first kid and ALL that rainbow and sunshine stuff got blown out the window. Children are more than just what they "hear" or "see" and parenting is a lot more than "protecting" children from NORMAL everyday events and phrases. Unless you raise them in a bubble, and that won't guarantee you won't get a rage-er.

 

I just wanted to add to your post one of my favorite sayings, "I was a perfect parent once.... then I had kids." :rotflmao  It always seems so simple when you are on the outside, childless, and looking in and perhaps judging what other parents have "done wrong and I'd NEVER do that so my children will behave properly and be happy all the time." As your post illustrated, it just isn't reality.

 

To the OP:

 

I'm sorry you are going through this. I understand why your 2 year old is so clingy during the tantrums, she's scared to death. Who wouldn't be? I found, with my oldest (a rage-er) that my concentrating on the little one, who wasn't tantruming even if we had to leave the immediate area to be somewhat helpful. Then giving attention when the rage-er was only being calm and rational. In other words. "You don't get attention by screaming and yelling and throwing things." It DOESN'T work the first time, it takes time, and often it takes professional help. There's more to it than that, but I'd definitely seek some professional help. I wish I had blamed diet and environment LESS and spent more time on treatment for my child who acted like this..... I wasted a lot of time on things that didn't work at all. Mileage may vary.

 

I'm sorry you're going through this, Mama. :Hug I've been there, I'm still there even with diet changes, AP parenting and professional help (although the one I'm talking about is an adult and the rage subsided with therapy and medication, only to return with a vengeance when she went off the meds, quit therapy and decided to "cure" herself with a diet I can't agree with. But, I'll say no more about that except that.... the diet isn't working, and by her accounts she's 100% gluten free, dairy free, dye free, preservative free, for over 2 years but also medication free and therapy free and the rage goes on..... it sucks..., badly......)  I am sorry you are going through this, but we found only professional help along with a loving home environment was helpful. Once she left those behind, it was up for grabs.


Edited by MaggieLC - 9/25/13 at 10:13am
post #35 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieLC View Post
 

Thank you! I agree 100%. I was a Psych major in college, I had done a lot of day care, I studied Child Development and I had collected all kinds of "I'll do this and this won't happen." and "I'll never say this and then I won't have to deal with this issue with my children when I have them...." and I had my first kid and ALL that rainbow and sunshine stuff got blown out the window.

 

hahaha very funny, it reminded of myself too, I am a psychologist so I know exactly what do you mean :)

 

I just wanted to add to your post one of my favorite sayings, "I was a perfect parent once.... then I had kids." :rotflmao  It always seems so simple when you are on the outside, childless, and looking in and perhaps judging what other parents have "done wrong and I'd NEVER do that so my children will behave properly and be happy all the time." As your post illustrated, it just isn't reality.

 

ohhh yes! when we have kids... all the things we thought were so sorted out, come back and bite us haha

post #36 of 39
My son has been raging for the past twenty minutes. I had to put him outside and lock the doors for everyone's safety. When he's calm, he's welcome to come in.
post #37 of 39

What does exactly he does when he is like that? Is it really dangerous for others? What about himself, isn't dangerous for hiim to be alone?

post #38 of 39
Major rage. Throwing things at people, walls, doors (we have several bashed in interior doors,) hitting, punching, etc. Right now, I have a goose egg on my forehead. I had a rock thrown at the back of my head on the weekend. A few weeks ago, he threw a remote at my mouth and one of my front teeth got damaged. Yes, it can be very dangerous for both myself and DD. When DS is raging, he really needs to be away from us but he won't do it voluntarily. He doesn't ever do anything to himself or with other people. So, yes, it is better for him to be outside and away from DD and I. For his protection, as well as ours.

75% of the time, DS is a gentle, and happy, kid. When his rages are over, they're over. For him, it's like they never happened. I wish I could say the same for DD and I. I love him more than anything, but I'm so scared for him.
post #39 of 39

Dear mom, it is really  hard when they go into that state... I have a 4 1/2 year old who is giving us some of those moments too....  It started mostly when I've got pregnant (few times before that she had some tiny tantrum), and since we have moved two times that also didn't help because she found herself in a situation of so many changes, no control over them, and lots of feelings to deal with (fear, anger, frustration, sadness).

 

So what we have been trying at home are these things:

 

1. Put in context: not focusing just on the apparent motive of the rage (ran out of favorite cookies, etc), but trying to see the big picture and find out what is really going on. For example, this week one morning before going to school she had a major tantrum apparently because she couldn't zip her coat. I think with small kids, until 2 or so, that by itself can be a reason for tantrum (with other feelings they have been going trough the day), but when they are a bit older usually it is because of something else. After almost half an hour of yelling and throwing things, she calmed down and we both realized the real reason was that she had asked me to play with her for a moment before breakfast, and as we were going to start that her 1 year old sister woke up and I had to go get her. Right after that was the coat thing, but it was really about not being able to be with me alone for a while.

 

2. Safety: we NEVER let her throw things or hurt people (or herself). She doesn't like being held (when she was little yes, she felt contained by hugging but now she really doesn't like to be touched when in the middle of a tantrum), so I let her move as long as she doesn't break things or hurt people. When she starts that, I hold her tight, talk softly but firmly that I cannot let her break things or hurt people. She really doesn't like it but I really don't give her an option, when she is so violent. Than in a few seconds I tell her I will let her go, but if she repeats the same behavior I will hold her again. So this repeats lots of times, holding and letting go, until she slows down a bit and then she really asks for a hug or more proximity. But the clear message is that it is ok to fell those things, and I will be there with her, but It is not ok to hurt things or people. Every time she keeps on raging and breaking things, but every time I stop her.

 

I remember a very dear friend, which works with kids, told us about the importance of not being afraid of our children, and not giving them the power to hurt us. She told us a situation very similar to yours, kid got really mad and parents would hide in the bathroom until it stopped. But the kid felt really alone, and more angry, and worst of all: he felt "I am really a total monster, even my parents have to hide away so I don't hurt them". So he had no hope of ever controlling himself because their parents couldn't do it also, and he was very afraid of himself too, because he saw the fear reaction in the family.

 

3. Give her a way out. Sometimes she is finishing her tantrum but she doesn't know quite well how to stop it. Sometimes she asks for a glass of water, sometimes she asks for a massage, but sometimes she is like waiting for a way out. In that moment I use some distraction, like "well, I think the storm has passed", or something to make her laugh. After a few laughs, when I fell she is back to her normal and prepared to talk, I put in words what I think happened "you wanted to play with me and in that moment your sister woke up, I imagine you felt very angry about that", or something like that, so she starts learning how to put into words too. Than I say that I will not let her hurt anyone, just the same way I don't let anyone hurt her,  and that is way I hold her in some moments.

 

Well, that is the way we are trying to deal with it and I must say she has been changing recently, she keeps having tantrums but immediately after she can put into words herself sometimes what is really bothering her, or she asks for help to deal with it another way (she can kick a pillow, or draw something, or something like that).

 

Usually my 1 year old is with us the whole time, which is a problem because it increases the jealousy of the older one, and the little one gets scared of the screaming and throwing things. But since I don't have another option, I try to talk to both of them in the end, telling each other what happened, like "I know you are scared with all this noise, your sister was upset because of something and she is learning how to deal with it, we will help her", and to the big one " your little sister gets scared when she sees you like that, maybe we can try to release our anger in another way?", so they both listen how we see the tantrum from the outside and that it can be gradually changed.

 

 I think it is very important that the house is a safe place for everyone to be, and you really have to protect yourself, other kids, and the raging kid himself, otherwise I imagine his feelings of abandon and rage will increase....

 

Hope we all can see our kids as happy as they can be!

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