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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You know it's bad when my DH says "maybe you can post on that mothering board you read - someone's got to have some ideas"!<br><br>
Our DD, 32 months, has been having some major angry meltdowns lately. It's never predictable what will set her off. This morning, she wanted frozen blueberries, and I offered her the remainder of the bag DH used for his smoothie. She LOST IT. Threw the bag, threw herself on the floor, crying, angry because she wanted a WHOLE bag of frozen blueberries. We both tried explaining that if she finished what was in the bag, we'd open another and she could have as much as she wanted. Forget it. Hysteria.<br><br>
So, after we consulted and decided we'd open a bag (because she'd dumped the remainder of the other bag on the floor), put it in a bowl, and she could eat what she wanted, we did that and she calmed down. Then she wanted a pancake - we keep a stash pre-made in the freezer - so I warmed one up and cut it up on a plate. I put it in front of her, and again, FREAKING. She threw all the bits of pancake on the floor, and sobbed and cried.<br><br>
It's not always about food - this is just the most recent example. Food is doubly charged, though, because I don't want to make it a hot-button topic. DH and I really try to do everything "right" - when she gets wigged out, we get down to her level, talk calmly, try to comfort her and figure out what's wrong. I will admit that my patience is thin right now - I'm pregnant and feeling really rough. The throwing things makes me insane, and it becomes a big power struggle because I want her to pick up the things she's thrown. I try to let it go as much as possible, but I was not thrilled about frozen blueberries rolling all over the floor this morning.<br><br>
My feeling is that she's angry at being weaned about six weeks ago. It needed to happen for my physical and mental health, so please don't scold me on that - it was a hard enough decision to make. My DH agrees that that might be the issue, but he thinks something else is going on. She's pretty verbal, which is great, and verrrrrry strong, which is sometimes not so great. She doesn't have these tantrums (for want of a better word) at the pre-school she attends a few days a week, or at friends' houses. Pretty much only at home with mom and dad.<br><br>
We really want to help her, but we just don't know how. Any suggestions would be more than welcome.
 

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Don't have any advice to offer but wanted to offer some <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">s I hope it's just a stage.
 

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If she's angry about being weaned, trying to solve whatever seems to be upsetting her at the moment is not going to work. She may just need to cry and get all her anger and frustration out. When dd was having tantrums for no reason, I would try to stay near her and wait until she was done (it seemed like forever) and then suddenly she was fine and happy again. Sometimes giving her a bath would calm her down too. It's hard to listen to your little one scream. Hope it gets better for you soon.
 

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About helping to pick up the blueberries - this is a big thing with me, I really hate having to clean up after other people. IMO, if you made a mess, you need to clean it up. (I am always happy to help.) If DS threw his blueberries on the floor, he'd have to pick them up before he got any more.<br><br>
It sounds like there is a lot going on in her world right now, and even besides that, almost-3 is a tough age. She'll probably smooth out again in a few months. You say you are doing everything "right", and it sounds like you are. Just keep on being empathetic and patient with her and she'll get through this transition just fine. When it's over she'll know she can count on you in hard times. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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You might try the book "The Explosive Child" if things don't get better and it looks to you that this is part of her temperment and not a result of weaning.<br><br>
Some children have an extremely difficult time when the picture they had in their head of what they wanted doesn't match what they get (the full bag of blueberries vs. the opened bag, for example). They get extremely angry and upset, and can't control their reaction.<br><br>
Its also typical of these children that they can usually hold it together in other settings, as long as the other settings don't last too long, or become as safe and comfortable as home is. The reason why these children explode at home is because they feel safe and secure there, and the more time they spend in other settings, the more they need the release of exploding at home. It doesn't mean you are doing something wrong at home (it means you are doing something right, actually).<br><br>
The child can't help her rages and is usually, on some level, very terrified of being out of control.<br><br>
Maybe this isn't your child and maybe she's having a temporary reaction to being weaned, but its something you might keep in mind if it continues.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Lady Madonna</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You know it's bad when my DH says "maybe you can post on that mothering board you read - someone's got to have some ideas"!.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
*Sigh* the only advice I can give you (cause I know what you are going through) is my daily mantra:<br><br>
This too shall pass, This too shall pass, This too shall pass, This too shall pass etc....
 

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This too shall pass, This too shall pass, This too shall pass, This too shall pass etc....[/QUOTE]<br><br>
Great mantra...for all of us!
 

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I recommend the same as robinkate. Crying will help her with frustration and stress, just support her through that and stay close or hold her. She does it only at home because she knows that it is safe to do with mom and dad. Don't go out of your way to accommodate her wishes, just do what is reasonable, otherwise you just delay the tantrum that is wanting to come out.<br><br>
Also -- books by Aletha Solter have helped us, esp. Tears and tantrums and the Aware baby. You could start out by looking at her website <a href="http://www.awareparenting.com/" target="_blank">http://www.awareparenting.com/</a>. I don't buy everything she says but I do believe she has great insight into crying and tantruming. She lives here in Santa Barbara and I've been to her workshops and she's great, a very kind and gentle person.
 

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DD has just started doing the extreme tantrums to and I have had to totally change how I deal with them. Before I would hold her and explain things and she would calm down, but now she doesn't even want to be touched, she just freaks out. I find that letting her have her space but letting her know that I will be here for her when she is ready and then getting something to read or turning on the radio and not responding to the tantrum until she asks for me is the best response for her. If I give any response it will escalate things, especially if I am not giving in to her request once she starts the tantrum. I also get very fed up very quickly if I begin to respond and she screams in my face, so disengaging from the tantrum but being available helps me to accept the dissappointment and anger that she is working through without trying to force her to stop her rage (which doesn't work in any case).
 

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First, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> . I can totally relate & sympahtize! DS is 34 months and has been having total, raging meltdowns almost daily for the past week & a half or so . . . only we haven't stopped nursing or had any other major changes in routine, so I'm assuming it's just a phase and praying it will end soon. DS escalates on his own, with or without input from DH & I, and nothing we do/don't do seems to help him. If we leave him alone he follows us, so we try to stay with him, which also seems to make things worse . . . it's very frustrating. And we never know what the meltdown is going to be about -- last week it was over his bath, M & T it was about who he wanted to change him, this morning it was about sharing a toy. He seems to be going through a highly ambivalent period right now, which we can see frustrates him . . . and us, too!<br><br>
Obviously I have no good advice . . . but know you & your babe are not alone, Mama.<br><br>
I'm gonna go check out the Solter webite . . .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you, mamas, for all your thoughtfulness and advice.<br><br>
I talked to one of her pre-school teachers yesterday, and it seems that almost all the children are having issues right now. It might be the weather changing, or the almost-threes kicking in, or some big developmental step they're all hitting. That made me feel a little better - I haven't broken my kid, she's pretty normal.<br><br>
I did add The Explosive Child to my library list, though I don't think this is a permanent part of her temperment; but it can't hurt to check it out for some coping mechanisms, right? I'm sure we're probably NOT doing everything right, but we're trying really hard. It's frustrating and confusing, though, because she is usually a pretty even-tempered kiddo, very loving. I'll also look at the Solter stuff; more resources are never a bad idea.<br><br>
Thank you again; this has helped a great deal.
 

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Flower Remedies and Homeopathy (and sometimes Diet changes) can help a lot. My DD is very emotional and spirited and flower essences have really helped calm her down and keep her in balance.<br><br>
I have used for Anger Holly, Cherry Plum, Chamomile flower essence and Chamomilla homeopathic - but also other remedies specific to her given my me and also her ND when needed mostly for other issues than the anger though.<br><br>
Aletha Solter have helped us too esp. Tears and tantrums and also The Explosive Child was interesting too. But really the flower essences and homeopathics have helped more than anything.
 

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I think you were at my house last night - I could have written this original post verbatim! Seriously, it has been somewhat scary to watch my formerly gentle, kind, loving daughter turn into a frenzied, angry being. Luckily, at least for us, it isn't constant (though there are times when it is longer stretches than my nerves can handle). But the point there is that I know she is still her same self, just going through a rough time.<br><br>
We also weaned recently - about 2 months ago, though I'm not sure that's what started this phase with my dd. I think they are just really going through an awareness phase, learning lots of new things and most of all - starting to have definate opinions without the ability to completely express their desires.<br><br>
I have tried to get through this by a mix of understanding, giving space, and sometimes (though not as often) enforcing consequences. For example, I also have learned, like a pp said, that sometimes she needs to melt down and have space. She will often get mad and storm out of the room. Now I wait a few seconds, walk to where she is and say "can we talk about it?" Usually the first answer is no. I wait about a minute and try again - you get the picture. Usually at some point she says yes, we hug, we talk, and she gets ok. I've also found the "cave man talk" very effective with her. I think this is an Alfie Kohn thing, but not sure. Basically, you try to put their feelings into very simple phrases "Livi is very upset. very mad. you wanted a whole bag of blueberries. you didn't want the open bag." The amazing thing is that I don't actually have to offer an explanation of solution - just repeating her feelings (if I can figure them out) works wonders.<br><br>
I've also had to try really hard to get her to explain to me what she wants. Sometimes this means I have to open the cabinet or freezer and let her point to what she wants (if I can't figure it out) and sometimes its me doing a guessing game til I get it right. And the phrase "use your words" comes out of my mouth a lot (my dd loves to just scream when she gets frustrated).<br><br>
Lastly, I've really tried to be as understanding as possible (my MIL would refer to this in a different way - "letting dd get away with everything"), but there are some times that I feel it is important to draw the line with clear consequences. One of those is when she lashes out by hitting. If she hits me or dh, we immediately say "hitting is unacceptable, and we will not stay her and allow you to hurt us" and then we walk out of the room. This makes her completely mad/distraught, of course, but I think it is really important that she learn that hitting or physical violence in response to anger is never acceptable. We give her a minute, come back in the room and say "can we work through this together now?" or something like that. She usually wants to hug after this, so we cuddle a little and then try to work through it.<br><br>
Sorry for all the rambling, but I know how frustrating this can be, and these are some things that have worked for us. The biggest thing is to realize that its a phase, and that she is learning so much from your response even if it doesn't seem like it at the time. Good luck!
 

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sounds like my son. He isn't a toddler but was and IS STILL quite dramatic. We are done w/ explaining, etc. situations like the one you speak of. If he had done the blueberry thing we would have said- sorry kiddo, looks like no blueberries for you and left it at that (and left him alone to freak out).
 

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I was thinking about posting here about this very same problem!!!<br><br>
My DS is 27 months and we're having these same issues. He just snaps like a pretzel stick!!<br><br>
I think part of my solution is to learn when to leave him alone. He's always trying to fit stuff into the back of his cozy coupe and ride around with it, and sometimes things don't fit and he will start screaming at it (not crying like he did at a younger age, but just making really frustrated screaming noises).<br><br>
I have learned that if he doesn't seem to want help, it might be better to just leave him alone. If I do that, sometimes he comes to me and seems to want help, but frequently he will also scream a few times in rage, then try to do whatever it is again, figure it out, or if not, scream again, then he'll give up or whatever. It's a whole cycle.<br><br>
He is very articulate and is completely capable (from a physical ability standpoint) of communicating what he wants sometimes. So, I have concluded maybe he just has a lot of feelings of powerlessness in his life right now, and doesn't want to have to ASK three times if he can get something out of the fridge, for instance.<br><br>
I guess I'm thinking maybe as adults we forget how frustrating it is not to be able to do anything for yourself, have to ask for EVERYTHING, not be able to get objects to do what you want, etc.<br><br>
Hopefully this phase ends SOON!!!!!!!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>edamommy</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">sounds like my son. He isn't a toddler but was and IS STILL quite dramatic. We are done w/ explaining, etc. situations like the one you speak of. If he had done the blueberry thing we would have said- sorry kiddo, looks like no blueberries for you and left it at that (and left him alone to freak out).</div>
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I am so glad you posted this. I was already thinking I was the only person evil enough to let him live with the choices he made rather than find ways to apeace him.
 
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