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Ok. Soem of you may know I have a 6 yo DD and 2 yo DS. DD was the most easygoing child on this earth, a tantrum was a rarity, never a "no" stage, etc. DS, is the OPPOSITE!!!!!!!!!!!!

To get to the point, he can always one up her as it is. HE has few limits in his mind. He is my lil risk taker, pain means nothing (ie/ he wants to learn to skateboard and falling and getting injurred does not phase him as it may an average child his age). So when he gets frustrated or angry, he goes off! HE hits, occasionally bites, and will launch whatever he sees at you. If he gets really angry, he will purpposely look for something he knows we will freak out if he throws!! (He is a super intelligent 2yo in mnay ways I must say).

I am at a loss on how to handle this. Today we were in a musuem/house and he freaked, Ileft quickly imagining broken artifacts (none are secured) all over the place. (Although, a worker said what I thought "He may have felt the spirits/ghosts in there". Whole nother thread but he was yelling "No House, want to leave NOW! No house!!!!) Anyway, Nothing seems to phase him, I try calm talking, but he ATTACKS. I tried ignoring (to a degree) and he goes for what he knows is dangerous (Forks, hammer, glass, etc.) Diversion works RARELY, but does sometime work. I mean, he just freaks, and he has seen much less violence than DD did. I think it is natural instinct but how to I change this behavior before he or one of us gets really hurt?!?!
 

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I think you need to hold him when he gets like this. If you sit down and face him away from yourself he won't be able to hurt anyone. He might actually *need* you to be in control on his behalf, KWIM? It must be scary for him to "loose it" like that. I would sit down (anywhere) and hold him, and speak gently in his ear. "You are mad. You are so mad. I know that you are mad. Its okay to be mad, but its not okay to hit/throw/bite/etc..." Just repeat these things, and don't *let* him hit/throw/bite etc. He will learn that you will not let him get to that point anymore.

How verbal is he? Can you practise giving him words to use? Can you teach him to yell, "I'm angry!" My boys were older (3-4 yo) but this is what worked for them. They needed to be able to express their anger and know that it was being heard.

Good luck. Sounds scary!
 

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i agree with mamaduck. i also think that boys are differnt than girls alot of times ( with exceptions of course and i can never really generalise) in that boys seem like they need to be so much more physically expressive for some reason. more tactile. i cant really describe it . my ds isnt throwing as huge of fits but he throws them, and its the same thing, nothing works. however, i have been giving him words for his felings and that helps but doesnt always stop the tantrum. i feel for you . especially in public , where the pressure is on you to get your child to "behave"

but it is true that when i get my wits about me in the midts of the power struggle and say " youre mad that you cant play in the sink" or " you want the water, dont you, and you are sad and crying" he does a double take as if he is thinking " you mean you understand what i am feeling?" and he calms alot faster, which gives me a chance to start explaining that he cant hit if he is mad, but he can tell me "mad!" . he is only 20 mos, so has little language skills yet. soemtimes i also hold him in my arms while he is mad, it seems to make him feel less out of control. other times i leave him on the floor to finish freaking out before i try to talk to him.

in NON tantrum times i try to teach him about "mad" and "crying" in creative ways, like in less "big deal" situations where there is no tantrum but i can see he is frusterated. and then there is the usual advice about showing them somethign they CAN hit, like a pillow, or the couch, or soemthign like that, but it sounds like your ds isnt responding to any of that stuff. i hope this passes , and quickly! i hope someone posts somethign you havent tried yet and it works!
 

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Sorry, I don't have any specific suggestions (or maybe now that I've written this, I do). I just wanted to say that I took a parenting course from a woman who has a son with MAJOR anger issues. She said that she tried holding him, but it only made it worse. If that happens in your case, don't force it. I'm not sure exactly what she did, since that wasn't an issue for us, but I think the suggestions about giving him words to use are good & also give him something he CAN throw or hit - pillows, punching bag, mattress. Keep a pillow handy to give to him when he gets in a mood & he might start to look for it himself one day.
I think there's also something about giving him plenty of attention & praise when he is behaving nicely & not too much attention when he's freaking out. If at all possible, stay calm
: .

Quote:
he will purpposely look for something he knows we will freak out if he throws!!
If you don't freak out, it defeats the purpose & maybe he'll learn that it doesn't work.
HTH
 

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i have 3 questions for you.

when he loses it and throws a fit

1. does he have low blood sugar?

2. is he tired?

3. does he need to poop?

sorry to be so graphic, but tis is my experience with my fit thrower.

it seems more physical than anything.

there is a great little paperback called, TANTRUMS, that was really helpful. i found it at the library.

try eliminating refined carbs (whites) and replacing them with whole grains, carrots and other veggies--and make sure that each snack has some protein. (not the chees in goldfish crackers)

carrots dipped in hummous is an easy favorite here.

does he get enough water?

does he still get regular times to nurse and be still wit you?

that breatmilk has all the right fats for neurological development, which is what he needs. this may be an important season for breastfeeding for him.

rrr
 

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I dont have alot of advise, just want to say I faced the same thing with my ds, who is now 26. From the time he was 18mos to about 30mos, he used to throw tantrums like the ones you described. I would remove him from the situation, but didnt really know what else to do,except talk to him and try to calm him.

I think diet might have alot to do with it, and for my son, learning to be more verbal was definetly an issue. He didnt speak well until almost 3. I attributed alot of his behavior to the loss of his father at age 2. But between 3 and 4, everything changed. It was almost overnight, the tantrums were at a minimum and not anything like they were.

I remember how hard it was on me and I had no resources to find out how to handle this. So i totally sympathize and hope you find something that works. Teaching him how to use his words will definetly help down the road when he is a teen, another difficult time which for us was very much like the toddler years!
 

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My dd was BIG into violent rages until about a month ago (a stage that lasted maybe 3 months?). She is not completely over it yet...but at least it is not her first choice of behavior when frustrated anymore
: .
What I did: I would get her out of the situation. Overstimulation and fatigue were her big triggers, and just getting her to a quiet spot would help if done early enough. Once she was in full-on meltdown, I would still remove her--although it didn't seem to end things any sooner.
Next, I would protect myself. Stay near, but at arms length to prevent her from slashing me with her nails. I also kept her nails cut short, as they were her choice weapon. When she rushed me in rage, I would turn her around and move her away from me, and kept repeating "I won't let you hurt me". We also talked a lot about feelings of anger, and what to do and say when angry.
I have also learned to think ahead....if I see her behavior declining at dinner, the first thing I do is remove the potential weapons (forks, glasses). You learn the signs, kwim?
Holding my dd *really made things worse. She would get SO violent if restrained in any way. But the most important thing is that is was mostly a phase. She still gets this way maybe 1-2 times a week, but it was 1-2 times a day for a while :/
I know that it is SO frustrating, because we try so hard to protect them from violence and model non-violence...and here we are attacked by our own children. But they can and will learn better ways to deal with frustration. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well *DUH* on my end, I forgot to share some important factors. I know WHY his issueshave gotten worse, handling them is the issue. IT has been a rough month or so. I began working FULL TIME days the same week DS and DH were hit by a tractor trailer while riding in my van (DS was unhurt and pretty unphased, while DH has some lower back damage which causes pain, can't really drive yet). The weeks prior DD and I had serious strep throat, causing us to be in the house more. Since DH can't drive DS no longerhas alone time with me following work (we would nurse cuddle, etc.) , instead we get in the ruck and take DH to the Chiropractor and/or school, wait at Grandma's/Granpa's (Where most fits happen of course) while DH is at school anf get hope btwn 8-9pm! ROUGH!!!!!!!! He showed this behavior in the past but not so severe...

But my question was how to deal with it. Suggestions have been good. Holding doesn't work, he will find a way out and bite to the bone if that is it. We don't freak but when Grandma's antique lamp is about to be launched, ya kinda get upset. HE freaks over silly things we may say "no" to or if weask him to do something he feels he doesn't want to at tha tmoment. Oh and verbally? HE has words, trust me. I know he is frustrated, oh and I forgot to mention he has been fighting a cold for a few weeks. Poor boy!!!!!!!!!!!!

So the issues causing most tantrums are known, but Ican't change many factors. I give him my time , trust me. We still cuddle at night and befoere work. We play at Grandma's etc. Ugh...
 

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My ds (2.5) is always....ummm....passionate about his feelings and often agressive/violent as well. If he has ANY sugar it gets much, much worse. What works is prevention, but when that is not possible I need to quickly move him away from the situation and just let him melt down. I let him know that I am there for him and intervene if he is in danger of hurting himself or me, but otherwise let him be. I talk soft and slow and take long deep breaths while sitting next to him, my calmness seems to influence him. I also empathize with him when it seems like the appropriate moment. I offer to hold him when he has hit a lull, then let him go again when he picks up steam again. His emotions are so intense, and he is so strong that I could not hold him while he is in a rage if I wanted to. He really needs to get the negative emotions out or he will be on the brink of meltdown all day. We go through times when we have no problems at all and others when is is episode after episode. It often depends on what he has eaten, how often he eats, and how tired he is.

Laurie
 

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I'm not an expert but I do have some experience with a willful 2 yo.

I read the book, "raising your spirited child" by Mary Kurcinka. It has lots of great hands on advice even if you don't think your child is spirited. It has some really good ideas in there. The title of chapter six is "Intensity: diffusing the strong reactions"

What worked well for my ds was #1 preparing him for transition (since you went back to work, and dh got injured, etc, sounds like a lot of stuff is going on in your home life and your ds may feel out of control)

#2 Putting ds to bed earlier every night that I would have thought (I.e. 7:30 pm) Going to bed earlier somehow made him sleep longer (ie 10-11 hours a night rather than going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 6 or 7 am for 7-8 hours a night)

Can I second what rrr said?

Is he hungry
Is he tired
Does he need to poop?

These are all triggers for my ds too. You wouldn't believe it but pooping is a major major event every day that involves a lot of screaming and whatnot.
 

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pumpkinseed,

this tantrum paperback (i think it was published by parenting mag.) had a lot of poop on poop!

they described easy, regular poopers as easy going and irregular, poop is an issue poopers as tantrum prone.

truer words were never spoken.

my 7 yr. daughter has fewer fits now, but today's was right up there.

i give her half a calcium and half a magnesium with a full glass of water at bedtime and that seems to help. the magnesium helps you not to be constipated.

who knew?

rrr
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Poop is not the issue. HE bluntly states he does not want to go out. HE wants time home w/ Mama. The transition started out well-I went from nights to p/t days, spending time w/ him as soon as Igot home. But as Isaid the same week I switched to f/t, the yhad the accident. Which also meant no more park in the daytime too.

I try not to come in if we mus thurry, honking and coming to the car works better for him. I f I go in the house, he takes his shoes of and cries for "night night". Yells, "no car, no chiropractor!!"

I haven't seen any food trigers. HE prefers fruit but we limit little as of late-did I mention we haven't hada working stove for over a month? So our diet has suffered but his has stayed ok, asI don't push it and he still eats much fruit. (Getting propane next week and we can cook again-yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I will continue to be gentle. Nowhere to run tonight, woohoo!
 

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rrr, thanks, I am going to have to find that book. Very interesting poop sagas going on over here.

Bebesho2- transitions can be so difficult for little ones, and not just the major ones, i.e. you going back to work. Sometimes, it's the day to day, task to task transitions that can really set a little on off.

take care
 

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My ds went through some simmilar behaviors (not so angry/violent, but definately off the scale stuff for his personality)when I began teaching 5 1/2 days a week this August. We figured that he was expressing both sadness at not seeing me all the time, and frustration at not being in control of my schedule. So, we worked on giving him as many choices as possible, so he felt somewhat in control of his life, and we drew a simple calendar wth pictures of who his primary caretaker would be. We put this calendar on the fridge where he could reach it and moved a magnet to each spot with him each morning. It made most sense to break our days into am/pm, but you could configure a calendar any way, as long as it is simple enough for him to figure out. This really helped, because not only did it make everything seem less random, he could tell when he would see me next, and having him move the magnet made him feel in control. We used this for a few weeks until he got bored with it, but by then his behavior had really setlled down as well, so we let it slide, t hough the calendar is still there.
 

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here is a great movie for fit throwers:

the miracle worker, disney, 2001

boy, are my kids fascinated with that! helen keller marches up and down the breakfast table through plates of egg.

they understand that she is frustrated by her inability to communicate and see a little of how that can help them.

a wonderful true story, too. there are also older versions.

rrr
 
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