Have you figured out your child's tantrum triggers? Care to share? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-19-2012, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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School is only just out for us and already I'm going crazy being home with my 5 year old DS. He is so intense and extrovert and loud and defiant. I don't get any peace for 12 hours a day other than the one hour I still enforce of rest time after lunch. I'm trying to go out as much as I can. Lots of physical activity, lots of fresh air, lots of other kids to play with, no TV. I'm also trying to stay on top of blood sugar levels and of sleep (not easy in his case). But he can be SO difficult. Everything is an argument and I feel like I'm constantly having to enforce boundaries and apply consequences. Then we have the tantrums! He can still throw mega ones. He gets so angry and upset and starts doing everything he can think of to let me know it. I'm starting to think I'm missing a trigger somewhere. He is gluten free and I've considered that there may be other food intolerances but he doesn't really show any physical signs of any. I do need to up his good oils, that might help. What else am I missing? Or maybe it's just who he is. He's always been intense and alert but it seems to be getting worse with age, not better. To add to the complications, he going through some separation anxiety so summer camps or even play dates are hard for him if I'm not there. I'm going to try a very low key, 2 hour, 3-5 year old 'camp' once a week but anything more than that is probably not going to fly. Thoughts? 

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#2 of 5 Old 06-19-2012, 08:17 PM
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My older ds is of the intense type you describe, with the extrovertedness, energy, possible food sensitivities. All the things you mention.  At 5 years old minimal camp is probably the right thing.  Plan in time each day for an activity together, real one-on-one time, and maybe with him knowing that's coming, it will lessen his current clinginess.  Maybe he really does just want you right now, and a break from school - and at the same time the lack of structure is having an effect on him?  I don't know, just can relate.  My son is 7.5 now and has gained so much independence.  Then again he also has a brother he plays with most of the day so that takes the pressure off me.  I guess I'm suggesting "fill his cup" with time with you, and plan in some structure for play dates & activities. 

Edited to add one more thing - could he be bored, and need some new activities/building sets/coloring stuff/books/toys to be set up for him at home?

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#3 of 5 Old 06-19-2012, 11:04 PM
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Boot be prepared. this might be one of your worst summers. 


Most children around the age of 5 and 6 go through hormonal changes - their first signs of puberty. it begins with moodswings. dd started hers over the summer when she was close to 6 and by 6 started body odor.


if you feel his tantrums are like pmsing then yeah its hormonal. things i heard from my dd then 'mom i'm talking to you in plain english. everyone understands but why dont you understand me. or - it seems like there is this other person making me do things. i KNOW that is wrong. I KNOW i dont want to do it, but i cant seem to stop it.' 


however the good news is - boy after that you will be shocked at the change. they come out of that stage as super independent and very mature. 


it could be that or...


... it could also be the crossover time after school. he is trying to adjust to no school and they go stark raving crazy for the first couple fo weeks or so. remember in 1 and to a lesser extent 2nd, you will see that the whole first month after school gets back too. your child will be so tired and cranky and tantrummy. its the adjustment period.


i would make sure that you are taking care of your needs too - beyond the one hour of quiet. to me that is the best way i dealt with dd's tantrums. i knew i would get frustrated because my needs were not getting met. when my needs were met i could handle dd's tantrums so much easily. 

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#4 of 5 Old 06-20-2012, 09:48 AM
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My middle son will be 5 next month and is very intense, always has been, it is just his personality.  He is stubborn as all get out and I have found the best way to minimize his tantrums is to gve him control, or have him think he has it :)  Something as simple as picking out what color plate he wants for his meal will avoid a tantrum.  Very simple things like that, that really do not matter, is what really helps us.  My oldest is very easy going and was happy all the time, so it took a lot of adjustment for me to realize what my middle kid really needed.  I fought him a lot so I could hold onto some control and he didn't think he was the boss, but really, he just needs to feel in control and me giving it to him does not make him the boss :)

Cassie, mom to Alex(7), Aidan(5), Andrew(4)

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#5 of 5 Old 06-22-2012, 01:36 AM
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Tantrum triggers at our house are usually

1. hunger (my kids are grazers-they probably eat about 6-8 small meals a day)

2. boredom (sometimes they feel "lost" and complain they "have nothing to do") Never mind the countless toys/games and pool we have. I can usually nip this in the bud by assigning some sort of chores and they the remember all the fun stuff they can do.  

3. being tired (sometimes when they are all crabby we go and lay down and read books and take a mandatory nap)

4. feeling left out or vice versa needing some alone time (either with each other or with me) I try to make sure everyone gets attention. It is hard with the three. I usually assign "jobs" such as helping with dinner/garden/baby or letting them go to their rooms and play/read.

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