DD will be 4 in December. She's always been intense. When she was 6 months old, she would cry until she threw up(while being held and soothed), at 15 months old, she would pass out. For a while now she has had rageful temper tantrums that are like nothing I've ever seen. Screaming to the point of losing her voice, hitting me, holding onto my leg, totally out of control. Anywhere from once or twice a week to 8 in a day. Now, 15 month old DS has started tantruming also (totally normal stuff). I'm going to pull out all my hair and move to China.
Today in the mall, was possibly the worst day of my parenting life. DD was babyworn, and is now accustomed to walking, DS usually worn, but often now wanting to walk also. We seldom do a stroller. We had gone for one thing, then it turned out that the mall had something Christmas-y going on, free. So, we hung out for a bit and did that, then walked to the special thing DD likes to do while we're there. Two steps into walking back, she falls out, can't walk, MUST be carried. Screaming at the top of her lungs, holding onto my leg. Initially, when I saw it coming, I tried to defuse it, She asked to be carried, and I told her I would carry her if she would carry DS. I tried to negotiate that she walk long enough to get one of the mall strollers. nope. Then, when it became evident that it was going to be full tilt, I sat down on a bench and tried to wait it out. After about 30 minutes of her screaming and kicking me (she can go on for hours), I did end up picking her up and carrying her in one arm, while carrying DS with the other. That's a combined total of 52 lbs, from one end of the mall to the other. It was so frustrating, because I felt like the only solution was to give her what she was tantruming for, kwim? But, by that point, fun as it is to display behavior like that in public, I just wanted to get out of there. And really, couldn't think of any other way to do it. My back is done in.
I'm at my wits end. I feel like I must be doing something horribly wrong. In over 20 years of parenting, I've never experienced behavior like this. I've experienced a ton of temper tantrums, and lots of high emotions, but these are like nuclear explosions compared to a "normal" 3 year old temper tantrum. And, I'm so so tired. It's so hard to reconnect with her after something like today. I'm so worried about how DS is being affected by her behavior. I truly believe that I need to be the parent she needs, and I've grown a lot in that attempt, but I feel like I'm hitting a brick wall here....I hope some of this made sense, I'm a bit emotional at the moment :(
Have you talked to her pediatrician about this behavior? Have you tried any elimination diets? I know that in some children, things like dairy, gluten, sugar, and/or food coloring can make a big difference in behavior.
Thanks for your reply! I haven't talked to our pedi about her behavior since the passing out thing...she's great for medical advice, but we're totally 180 from each other on parenting. I'll definitely keep that in mind, though, if it continues or gets worse. An elimination diet might be a really good idea. The only thing she ingests regularly that is commonly eliminated is dairy, but that could definitely be it- we do primal plus dairy, so no processed foods, no gluten, and very little sugar. She's also coughing today, and seeming like she's coming down sick, so I'm thinking that maybe she really was just that tired. Which makes me feel awful :(
You've raised some good points to ponder, that's for sure.
Hi! Just wanted to post in sympathy: today my DS (4) had a complete rolling on the ground screaming grabbing at me falling down all out tantrum because we had walked down the sidewalk on the wrong side of the road coming home from a playdate. I had DD (1) in a carrier and a backpack, plus he's just too big at this point to carry any distance when uncooperative.... so yeah, I hear you on the joys of sitting in public while your kid makes a scene, then walking across town (ok, it's a small town) followed by screaming child. aaargh. Hope you figure something out!