Hi MeltCandy, all I can say about my recommendation is that it came from my parenting concept which is that my job was to teach my daughter to be an autonomous adult, step-by-step. So every intervention, direction, correction, and encouragement I gave was to both teach and demonstrate how she can take care of herself: emotionally, physically, spiritually, socially, intellectually. How she can know herself and be motivated to find and make in life what makes her feel whole. So the whole point was that if she needed to vent, "alone" is the place for it, if she wanted to talk, words and calm demeanor are best for getting your point across.
I didn't feel that my daughter's tantrums were demonstrations of need - if the "tantrum" was actually because she was sick or sad due to having her feelings hurt and such then I didn't see that as a "tantrum" but as an age-appropriate coping mechanism and I tried to help solve whatever the problem was. What I considered tantrums were antisocial expressions. So the time alone was not just dumping her off in isolation because 1) we had already talked about and demonstrated prosocial and personally soothing constructive ways of dealing with frustration, anger, and exhaustion through lessons learned in books, talking about situations she experienced in daycare, and my reinforcements in play ("what should we draw today? draw our feelings, or our favorite things, or draw a story?") so she already had a sense of what resources were available in the room and from within to help her to redirect her feelings & behavior; 2) If she called for me and wanted a hug or wanted to talk we did, I didn't ignore her, but I would leave if she just called me to yell or hit; 3) I checked on her every 10-40 minutes depending on how upset she was, checking more often if she was really very upset and less if she was just whining-upset and I didn't hear any more crying or yelling.
Regarding overtired, she eventually (5-6 yrs) would tell me that she was going to go take a "quiet time" and would voluntarily read, play or sleep in her room (the baby-safe room); this was several times a week. Sometimes I would ask to join her and sleep or read too. So I considered this to be a step in the right direction, toward self-regulation, which was my goal.
We did learn about dealing with emotions many times a day, most effective when she wasn't emotional, of course. We used the arts and children's books a lot for this. Something I always have done is to talk about how I am feeling and draw out the family members about how they are feeling so that we are all improving skills in that area and feeling that the family is a good place to find help with this.
My daughter never tried to hurt herself and her tantrums weren't very frequent. If that had been the case then maybe I would have used a different approach.
EDIT: rereading the original post I see that the OP's child is hurting himself. I should have been more careful in reading the post before giving my experience since we didn't have incidents of self-harm during tantrums.
Last edited by pumabearclan; 07-10-2014 at 10:47 AM.