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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I have a problem, My 3 yo ds has reverted to throwing temper tantrums. we dealt with them before by just walking away until he was calmed down somewhat, then going back to talk to him. I found that worked because it showed him that it was okay to express his emotions, but that temper tantrums were not an acceptable way to get attention, but he was welcome to throw them in private to let off steam. Well, this worked beautifully for a while, then came my MIL....... She likes to take Jarod for overnight visits every few weeks, and she brings him back with the worst attitude. It usually takes a weeks or so to reprogram him, but lately, it is taking longer. Now, rather than a simple temper tantrum, he throws things and strikes out. i know that MIL condones this behavior by imitating it and egging it on when he is with her (I have watched her provoke him to argue, then throw herself in the floor screaming and pitching a fit until he joins her. She finds this amusing.). We have a new rule, if he throws a toy, it gets taken away and put on top of the refridgerator for a couple of days where he can see it but can't play with it, and I still walk away. He has become quite beliggerent since the last visit with MIL, and I do not know how to deal with it. I need some advice. Anyone? What else can I try? Am I handling this the right way?
 

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You know what? Temper tantrums are so specific to each child that I think it's difficult for someone to say whether you are doing it "right" or "wrong". If YOU feel it is working for you, than it is "right" for you. I happen to have a child who becomes more enraged if you try to hold her or talk to her so even if someone were to tell me, "you should be holding her to soothe her through it", this would not work for my situation. I think that it's great to have other suggestions that you might try out but I don't think anyone could tell you that you are not handling it the right way.<br><br>
One of the things that has worked for me is to really try to help my DD develop a higher patience level. When she is not in the throes of a tantrum, we talk about frustration and how we can work through it by doing three things: "stop", "breathe" and "think" (I use hand signals for these things). It has taken a long time but my DD is actually proud of herself when she works through a problem ("mommy, I didn't get fustrated!"). In the throes of a tantrum, I have no choice but to leave the room because my presence (and God forbid, my touch), makes her much more enraged.<br><br>
Of course, you should try to avoid the triggers: overtired, hungry, overstimulated, bored, etc. Those can bring on tantrums.<br><br>
I personally think that it's a bit harsh to take a toy away for a few days but again, I may be too much of a softie. I would take it away for a few minutes, maybe a half hour and talk about the proper way to take care of it. I think by removing it for days the child really can't learn a good lesson from it because it becomes so unimportant to them in such a long stretch of time.<br><br>
And the MIL, well, that's a whole other thread! I would tell her that I expect her to handle tantrums in "X" fashion.<br><br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've tried just removing the toys for a shorter time, but it has no effect whatsoever. Keeping the toys in view has given us the chance to discuss why he can't play with them. I have been trying to discuss frustration and how to deal with it without pitching a tantrum. It has helped, but the problem arises that Daddy does not deal with frustration well and has his own sort of tantrums, so I have been trying to discuss this with him as well. It's frustrating for me to deal with.<br><br>
My son has the same reaction to my presence during his tantrums. If I speak to him or hold him, it gets worse. It is better for me to let him vent for a few minutes, then return when he has gotten himself under control somewhat and talk it through calmly.<br><br>
I am running out of ideas though, and just could use some experiences from others. Thanks for your response.
 

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Well first and foremost you need to think about removing the cause, that is MIL. I wouldnt' allow anymore unsupervised visits until you feel she'll respect your wishes about EVERYTHING regarding your child.<br><br><br>
-Heather
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Heather,<br>
I think I just needed to hear someone else say that. Ugh, I guess it is time to face the inevitable. I just need to make dh back me up rather than being so passive-aggressive with her. Thanks, dear.
 

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Catherine,<br><br>
Interesting (and a little disturbing) situation with MIL. Indeed, I'm thinking you may need to articulate to her that while she thinks it's amusing, you do not. Add to that, she is actually undermining your parenting which is totally unacceptable.<br><br>
I can relate to your DS coming home different then when he left, and I sympathize completely. When we leave DS with my DH's folks, he's punchy and feisty for days. DH's stepmom is really physical--affectionate but often times over the top with it; poking, tickles and wrestling about constantly. DS loves it at first, but in the long run, it affects him negatively. In addition, his folks are very much "NO NO!" people. Lots of NOs, and rarely an explanation or alternative. I find it strange that I often notice them expressing frustration about not being able to get DS to go to sleep, but not bothering to take into account their own actions in the matter... no one else who cares for him has this problem. *shrug* Hm, could you be revving him up just a tad??? Anyway, sorrry to go on, but suffice to say I understand.<br><br>
As to the tantrums, Lovebeads mentioned that it's different for every child and you have to do what works for your family. ITA! DS actually just started throwing tantrums (he's 2 1/2), and I've found that while he doesn't want to necessary embrace, he does appreciate when I stick close by. I usually just help him give his emotions words, and tell him it's ok to feel those emotions. I'm hoping one day he'll choose words over tantrums, but admittedly even at 36, there are days when the words just don't cut it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Usually when the tantrum subsides, he runs over for a hug...<br><br>
Best of luck to you!
 
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