7 yr old throwing temper tantrums, help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-16-2008, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
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For the most part my dd is very well behaved and wants to please. She's happy, loved, smart, healthy. She's never really thrown tantrums when she was younger. But this summer she's bursting with them. She says she cant help it. Could this be a sign of something?? How do I handle them? Any advice please!
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#2 of 4 Old 08-17-2008, 02:58 PM
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My 7 year old girl threw a huge tantrum recently too. It was very violent and pretty scary!! I read somewhere that, aside from toddlerhood, tantruming can peak again at age seven. It really didn't give an explanation as to why, however, I know that 7 is a big transitional age for many. They are shifting in their consciousness and recognizing themselves as part of the world vs. the center of the world. Puts a lot of pressure on some as they compare themselves to others, see the unjustice of the world around them, feel less important, etc.

So handling tantrums with an older child is similar to how you handle them with a toddler. Safety is priority #1. I actually restrained my dd until I was sure that she wasn't going to come at me or otherwise inflict harm. Also, it is very important to NOT engage emotionally. It is really helpful to remember that people in that heightened of an emotional place can generally not reason through it. This is the hardest one for me to do. Remain present if she seems to need that (at some point I could tell that my presence was keeping her going s0 i left her to deflat). Don't allow the tantruming to dictate your choice (i.e. don't give in).

Then, later, when she is completely calm and removed from the tantrum you could gently discuss temper management. Give her some ideas how to recognise and deal with her anger before it blows into a trantrum. My daughter really recognized how absurd her behavior was and was even embarrassed by it. It didn't ridicule it though. She obviously needed a big release and was really content when it was all over. I "get this" from personal experience. I myself tantrum sometimes. They of coarse are more refined, (usually swear words under my breath or something similar).:

Best of luck, it's not easy!
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#3 of 4 Old 08-19-2008, 05:11 PM
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When dd was 6 we went through an experimental 'choose your own bedtime' phase. I was hoping that dd would listen to her own sleep cues and go to bed when she really needed to vs. us telling her to. Well, it didn't work, and the lack of sleep manifested itself in the form of temper tantrums. We went back to a bedtime, and the temper tantrums stopped.

I always think about diet in these cases too, but in dd's case the culprit was definitely positively sleep-related.

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#4 of 4 Old 08-19-2008, 05:38 PM
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My 7 yo has an occasional outburst/tantrum. I usually just let it run its course as long as she is in a safe place. I will ask her to go let off steam in her room or somewhere else where the rest of us don't have to watch/listen because it really freaks out her little sisters. When she is done, we talk about it. It is usually because she is really frustrated. She is transitioning from being a little kid to a bigger kid. Her little sisters bug her a lot and really make her mad so we try to give her time each day where she can pretty much hide in her room without having to share or put up with her sisters or us. She is trying to define herself as a person separate from Mom and Dad while still very much needing us. One of the things that I told her is that it is perfectly okay to be mad and frustrated but it is not okay to act so crazy because it really scares the rest of us. I try to let her know that she doesn't need to scream or throw a tantrum. If she is feeling the need to let off steam, she needs to excuse herself from the situation or let us know so that we can help her express her feelings in a more appropriate manner. It's perfectly normal to have those kinds of extreme feelings, we just have to find a way to express them.
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