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Throwing herself on the floor and/or making screeching noises seems to be a thought-out response for my dd now. We were at a wedding reception tonight and she asked me for more mints -- some lovely, well-meaning woman put a cereal bowl full of M&Ms and mints down in front of my children (and I'm not being sarcastic; I think she really wanted to make their day!) before dinner, and I tried limiting the amount of candy consumed before dinner.<br><br>
Anyway, I told my dd no more, and she promptly threw herself off of her chair and went part-way under the table and started making noises. I fished her up - thank God it was noisy and loud in there anyway - and asked her why she did that, that she knew we were having dinner and I had already told her no fairly nicely about three times.<br><br>
She replied (verbatim): "Because I don't like when people tell me I can't have things that I want." ...and calmly started drinking her juice.<br><br><br><br>
I was appalled. She's exactly 3.5 years old this month, and I sometimes feel that if she can put a coherent sentence like that together with what seems like pretty rational thought, then she should be able to get this tantruming thing behind her and Use Her Words and all.<br><br>
Help.<br><br>
I need to bounce this off you wise mamas. I've been doing serious lurking in the GD forum lately -- my dh is out of town for several weeks, and it's all me/all the time now, and I'm trying to stay rational and calm and gentle...<br><br>
Is this normal?? How would you handle this?
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> OMG. That's sooo funny from outside the situation. But so very frustrating in the moment.<br><br>
I'm kind of jealous that she responded so calmly afterwards. Remember how at 20 months the screaming would've just turned into sobbing and hitting? Gosh it's nice to know that things get a bit more sane by 3.5.<br><br>
Maybe work on inside vs. outside voices? Ways to handle frustration in public? No idea how you do that. Looking forward to <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes right-handed">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hopefulfaith</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15386278"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was appalled. She's exactly 3.5 years old this month, and I sometimes feel that if she can put a coherent sentence like that together with what seems like pretty rational thought, then she should be able to get this tantruming thing behind her and Use Her Words and all.<br></div>
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Nope. That's the problem. Very verbal children have the problem of too high expectations. My MIL warned us about this . . .said she made that mistake with her 1st DD, who I think is profoundly gifted. She said she expected too much of her because she expressed herself so well. Our children are also very verbal, so my MIL said we really needed to remind ourselves of their true age, not their abilities.<br><br>
The best thing to do is to not say no. Don't make an issue out of anything. Distract, redirect and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, pick your battles. You could say, "Pick 5 more pieces out of candy, and then we're going to hit the dance floor." I find this works MUCH better than saying, "No more candy!"
 

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I had similar issues with my DD1 (who is now 4.5)- she is/was extremely verbal and excellent at abstract thinking... but extremely average at many other things which led to frustration on her part and mistaken expectations (that she would always act/reason like she did at her best) on my part. I agree with the pp who suggested picking battles. at that age, 3.5, I'd have probably (before a tantrum-- the first time she asked for candy and i'd decided she'd had enough) told he she could have one more of each color and then moved the candy away from her line of sight or even off the table. if that didn't appease the situation, at 3.5 i'd have reminded her that more candy could be a part of her dessert after dinner, but that if she chose to have a tantrum about it, then there wouldn't be any more at all. i'd have expected her to understand that. i also agree that distraction would help and would have tried to get her up and dancing or something similar.
 

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High verbal ability and the ability to use more self control than is typical for your age do not go hand in hand. I think it is great that she could tell you how she felt and you should focus on being happy about what she can do and support her as she grows in ability. My dd has always had a wonderful vocabulary and I also made the mistake of expecting a lot more from my dd at three than she could live up to based on that. My too high expectations made that year a horrible year. I really recommend being careful to not raise your expectations above what your child shows she is capable of.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh, gosh - thank you. I really, truly never thought about that --- about expectations of highly verbal children. Wow. I am so glad I came here to talk this out -- thank you.<br><br>
She is just barely 3.5, and I need to keep remembering that -- it's hard, because she is just as competent as her brother (4.5) at language/alphabet and such, and her syntax/sentence structure is amazing. However, people outside our family don't really know that because all they see is tantrum after tantrum. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> She is the child on the floor in the grocery store because she has just been told we have enough raisins at home -- she is the child on the floor in the bank because they don't have any red suckers -- she is the child on the floor in the post office because she prefers flower stamps to Liberty Bell stamps...and so on and so forth. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
Thank you so, so, so much for your words of wisdom and a good reality check. Really, I hadn't thought about it like this before --- and I appreciate your help. My relationship with my dd thanks you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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A great article about tantrums in public!<br><br><a href="http://www.handinhandparenting.org/news/43/64/Handling-Children-s-Feelings-in-Public-Places" target="_blank">Handling Children's Feelings in Public</a>
 

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Thank you so much for that. I just shared it on facebook. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> What a great article.
 
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