Originally Posted by riverscout
I've read on a few threads here that some mamas have found it helpful to offer the child a safe object to take out some aggression on like a specific pillow or stuffed animal. It might allow your daughter to get out whatever it is she needs to get out without hurting anyone.
I've also suggested this idea to someone who has real difficulty in finding a good way to cope with one child's tantrum while keeping everyone else safe too, and while needing to be able to offer attention to all needy ones in such a moment.
However, I suggested without ever having done it myself.
She said it would definitely not work for her child, since the anger and energy/violence of the tantrum was acted towards HER, or siblings, because that's the way for the child to get himself 'understood' in that moment. So no use to try and redirect the energy. She tried to say the violent tantrums are more like needing to feel heard (and as a last 'solution' for the child) and therefore directing him/herself TO SOMEONE, and that it so wasn't about getting energy out.
And well, I must give her right. It's the same for my DS2, and also DS1 when he has an occasional 'tantrum'. Trying to redirect the energy would likely make it worse since they would feel it as rejection to 'listen' from my side. They attack me, or each other because they want to be heard.
I still have no wonderpotion for children not getting wild/violent/hurting others during rage. But I think the best thing you can do, in the long run, is try to help them in wording their frustration verbally to the other person. And be present, even when getting attacked. And THEN maybe the 'hitting pillow' may become an additional help, for some.
Walking away from a tantruming child triggers them even more, and I don't blame them for that, it's likew being rejected when feeling VERY angry, and that is very hurtful too.
I would only walk away when I feel that I myself may be loosing it because of the loud 'tantrum' and have one myself... I do try to word that need for space to my child and hope he'll eventually get this.
But it's a very last solution for myself, too.