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Why does ds throw so many tantrums about everything?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Lately, ds has been throwing multiple tantrums a day. Over nothing. It's not even 8am and he's already had one. Most of the time it seems to us that he just wants to be adverse to anything we want him to do (take a bath/shower, wear a seatbelt, hold hands in the parking lot, stop smothering his sister...). He yells at us ALOT. He's uncooperative, uncompromising and bossy most of the time. Sometimes the only way we can get him to do something is by telling him he can't do it. He'll throw a tantrum when we've pressed buttons on the microwave instead of him, wiped off the countertops instead of leaving a mess, or when his oatmeal is too hot, to name a few examples.

When he does start yelling at us, we calmly tell him that we'll listen/help him when he can change his tone/ask nicely/stop yelling. Sometimes this works, but not often. He's just pretty unpleasant to be around these days and it's exhausting us.

Do you think he's just modeling his behavior after his sister (5 mos old) who cries and screams when she needs something, thinking, "well it works for her... it should work for me too!" Or is this just normal 3 year old behavior?
post #2 of 20
The magic age of being 3. Whoever came up with the so call terrible twos didn't know about the magic 3s. I think this is the ages where all of my children really showed their independence, their ability to scream the loudest in the store and sit in the middle of the aisle, and try to see what they could get a way with.

First make sure he is not tired, hungry, frustrated, etc. Sometimes those factors can make a child react in such a way that could drive a parent nuts. If it is not that try to explain to him that yelling is not acceptable in terms that he understands.

The seatbelt issue...Well first I assuming he is still in a carseat/boosterseat. I would just explain to him that it is the LAW and the police want him to weat the seatbelt/safety harness because it keeps him safe if something happens.

(My 3 year old~almost 4 year old~will give me fits about the belts on the seat and I just explain to her that she has to wear them or we don't go anywhere. I have even thought about driving to our local police station and letting one of the police officers talk to her about wearing her seatbelt. I do live in a small town though)

I would say that you have a normal 3 year old who throws tantrums. If he is not normal than my girls have been abnormal too. And it does get better with time. Once they reach 4 1/2 those tantrums become less and quieter than the 3 year old tantrums. Hang in there!
post #3 of 20
Ditto, to previous post. These days, all of my threads are on my Toddler's Tantrumness, Whinyness, Meltdowns, etc...

I just want to get through Age 3. I hear Age 4 is one of those nicer ages.
post #4 of 20
I have a three and a half year old who is tantruming over lots of things...mostly sharing her things with younger sister.At times she is inconsolable, then I need to walk away, relax (deep breathing) and return to try to calm her with lots of reassurance...it's tough, I can only hope four is better. The thing that gets me is that sometimes she refuses to answer me or dh or friends and I just think that is rude, how are others handling this?
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
The thing that gets me is that sometimes she refuses to answer me or dh or friends and I just think that is rude, how are others handling this?
my ds does that too and it's really frustrating. for instance, yesterday we couldn't find him anywhere and we both nearly lost our minds looking for him, thinking he had been taken or something. turns out he was just playing in the corner behind the desk and didn't "feel" like answering us as we were calling him frantically.
post #6 of 20
NOw I am beginning to wonder if perhaps my dsd is a bit too old for her tantrums. But I guess a kid is a kid is a kid, right? And at 6 you really are still learning to deal with yourself and others. But sometimes I really wonder!!!
When it's just the two of us, I have no problems with her at all. I just calmly tell her what's up, usually. She listens and does what I ask, with very little commotion. But all Hell breaks loose once Daddy come home!: I have explained to my dp that if he were to not yell so much and take the time to just talk to her, she probably wouldn't react that way. He argues that she won't listen, but I pointed out to him that if he just yells, she is picking up on the anger more than the words. Any other suggestions for me?
post #7 of 20
I started reading your post and before I looked at your ds birthdate, I thought,"I bet he is three." When my dd was that age her nickname was Negatron because she was so adverse to everything we wanted to do. She still, a year later gets upset about things like not getting to push buttons on the microwave, but when she isn't tired or hungry, gets it that she needs to ask nicely if she wants to do something.
post #8 of 20
Definitely common at the age of 3. I remember thinking I wouldn't mind leaving my dh for the simple reason that then I could tell dh, "You take ds and I'll take dd" It was that bad. I thought I had a monster on my hands. I even took him to the clinic b/c I thought something must be seriously wrong w/the kid. Nope. He turned 4 and it was like something magical happened.

I think the most important thing is to somehow try to survive it w/our losing your cool. Okay, so we know that's impossible, but try. I lost my cool WAYYYY too many times. But now it's better. And I have a 4 year old who says please and thank you. Of course he still has his moments, but it's heavenly compared to a year or even 8 months ago
post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by oneotamama
He turned 4 and it was like something magical happened.

And I have a 4 year old who says please and thank you.
Thank goodness. I am counting on this Age...
post #10 of 20
My ds is almost 4 and is getting better, but still has his moments.
He fell asleep in the car at 5pm and when I tried to bring him into the house, he kept trying to go back out to the car. I explained that he couldn't stay out in the car alone, I had to make dinner, plus it was thundering and lightening and about to pour any minute. He didn't care, he stood outside the kitchen door, in that weather, screaming and crying to get back in the car. I am terrified of thunder and lightening so I stood inside the kitchen and made dinner while he stood on the other side of the door. It took him about 30 minutes to calm down and deign to come inside. At least I could keep an eye on him.

I too am hoping it gets better!!
post #11 of 20
I spent a little time w/my nephew last night. He turned 3 in February. Oh my! Classic 3 yo behavior!! My SIL said she can remember when her now 6 yo twins were 3 that she didn't know what had possessed those two either. Now they're both very polite kids who fit right into any situation.

I don't know at what point you start to worry that it's how they'll always be. Maybe around early elementary age for girls. I'd think that boys may take longer??
post #12 of 20
So relieved to have found this thread! Last night DH & I about lost our minds trying to console DS, who's 3.25 and going through what I describe as a "rough patch." He seems overwhelmed with ambivalence . . . or just overwhelmed in general. He doesn't want his dinosaur, Pete, he wants Mr. Baby, please put Pete away. So I bring him Mr. Baby and he cries for Pete. So I bring him Pete and he does't want EITHER of them. It went on like this for at least half an hour, back & forth, he wants something and as soon as he has it he doesn't want it and as soon as we take it away he wants it again . . . .

Just about daily for the past week DS has been having these meltdowns & tantrums, and nothing we do seems to help. All our old tools are useless. He even refuses to nurse when he's in the midst of one, which he's never done before.

We're both trying very hard to be patient and understand that this, too, shall pass, but it's so frustrating when we're unable to help poor DS. Any advice?
post #13 of 20
When my DS gets in this mood and just can't choose anything, I will put my foot down and give him the last chance to decide or it just goes on and on. So, something like "are you sure? This is your last chance to change your mind?" And then firmly stick with his choice because really, no choice is going to be acceptable to him at that point in time. Acknowledge that there will be a tantrum no matter what you do and don't bother trying to avoid it. Save your energy for getting through it!!
post #14 of 20
Dd1 is just over 3 1/2, and is sloooowwwllyy geting better. Tantrums have been the norm with her for well over a year. Multiple times a day, over things like my going into a room ahead of her. Or my not reading a story EXACTLY the way she wants it read. Or my not letting her push our doorbell buzzer 12 times in a row. Etc. And I'm talking major, screaming, tears flowing tantrums. I'm convinced our neighbors believe I beat her.
post #15 of 20
Thank You so much for this thread. My ds (just turned 3) had a screamng meltdown because I couldn't make a braid in his hair like his sisters. Now mind you he had his head shaved three days ago.: Maybe we could create a tantrum tribe. At least we will know we're not alone.
post #16 of 20
Thread Starter 
maybe we *should* start a tribe.

Redwine, that's JUST how my ds sounds.... must do things the way HE wants them or else it's a tantrum. there's no rationalizing with him.

I think these are the kind of kids that need "tough love" one minute, easygoing-ness on our part the next minute and tenderness the next. they're just so unpredictable and exhausting at times.
post #17 of 20
He had another one last night, over absolutely nothing, which lasted at least 30 minutes. I just held & kissed him while he wailed . . . poor kid, it was awful. I've told him many times in the past that it's good to cry sometimes, and apparently he was paying attention because he kept saying, "I just need to cry!" through his tears & hiccups.

So this morning, rather than give him options (do you want sausage or ham, cantaloupe or strawberries?) like I usually do, I just put his breakfast in front of him. Also reminded DH not to ask DS any questions. We feel like we're in a Twilight Zone episode, tiptoeing around our 3 year old so we don't set off the Monster!

I can only hope this phase passes quickly . . . it's traumatic for all of us . . . :
post #18 of 20
Ah, my DD is in the exact same stage! I keep thinking that it will get easier, but I've been told that it doesn't necessarily. While the tantrums slow down, the sophistication of the fits increases - which makes them difficult. I can't wait.
post #19 of 20
Thread Starter 
Do your 3 yo's seem to have a lot of anger? Mine does. I feel like I'm constantly saying, "ok, Arjun, let's just CALM DOWN" or "if you are picking a fight, I'm going to leave this room". He admits that he wants to fight with me!
post #20 of 20
You will frequently her ds yelling through the house. Let's fight Mama or my favorite Mama ya want a piece of me. I don't think he's angry but more likes the crashing sensation.
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