I'm new here (hi everyone! :-). And I am hoping for some advice or other perspectives on this:
If he's doing aggressive things or screaming rude demands...I say "when you yell and scream it hurts my ears, so I'm going to sit over here (or go into another room) until you can talk to me in a calmer voice." Or "It's ok to be angry but not ok to hurt other people/pull on my shirt/etc., so I'm going into the bathroom and when you're able to control yourself then we can talk/cuddle." He screams "NOOO!" and holds onto my leg, pulls on my shirt, etc. and he is strong. If I am able to get myself or him into a separate room or area, he won't stay (or let me stay in there alone) unless the door is locked or I hold it shut. But it feels wrong to lock him out/in. Although, admittedly, if I do manage to separate him for a couple minutes, then he is quicker to say he's ready to calm down and actually do it after a hug (usually after 2-5 rounds of repeating this process).
So...Do I need to get better at ignoring the yelling until he uses a calm voice? Is there a better way to deal with this?
Also, we've always offered hugs to him if he's upset or having a tantrum. They used to diffuse the situation almost immediately (boy, those were the days!). Now, he does always eventually want a hug to help him calm down. But when he's in the middle of a tantrum, he will *demand* them rudely.
I usually end up giving him a hug, but I'm conflicted on this. Should I give him the hug whenever he wants it? Even is he is still screaming for it disrespectfully? Or do tell him he needs to calm down and ask me in a normal voice first? If I do ask him to control himself first, then he says "No! I need a hug to calm down! I can't/won't calm down without a hug!" So...I want to help him, but I also want him to learn how to calm himself down and know that he is capable of doing it (of course, we'd still give him a hug when it's over).
I am emotionally exhausted. I've read that 3 is a tough age, but any help (or commiseration - haha) is so appreciated!