Almost 3 and temper tantrums are killing me

Chastity - posted on 02/28/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My daughter will be 3 in less then a month. She was a very laid back little girl until recently (the last few months). She is having temper tantrums now, she sasses back and she is hitting and spitting. She fights with me at bed time until she finally gets exausted and passes out. I also have a son who is 18 months old. When they play good together, it's lovely but when it's bad... OMG! Hair pulling, pushing and hitting. Any suggestions?

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Kate CP - posted on 02/28/2009

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Sounds like she needs more defined boundaries. When children get physical it's usually because they can't vocalize their emotions. When she does become physical it should be an immediate time out. When I say "time out" I mean she needs to go to a place and cool off (and so do you!). Set a timer for no more than 3 minutes and put her in her room or if she'll stay in a chair or her time out area and let her cool off. It won't sound like she's cooling off because she'll be screaming and fighting but it's her way of dealing with that frustration. When the timer rings is when it's time to talk about what just happened: "Do you know why I put you in a time out? Use your words to tell me something." The temper tantrums are also her way of communicating because she can't otherwise. When my daughter starts a fit all I have to say is "I can't understand you when you scream and cry. Take a deep breath and use your words. What's wrong?" and she'll calm down and talk to me. Just knowing that you're trying to understand them will help them a lot. I only have one child, but I did grow up with a little sister. My mother found out that the best way to stop the fights between us was to force us to different rooms-we hated being away from each other that much. I don't know if it will work for you, but it's worth a shot! Don't be afraid to give yourself a time out, too. Even Mommies need a chance to cool down. :)

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Chastity - posted on 02/28/2009

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I've been trying to be extra encouraging lately for good behavior with her. She responds to that really well. I just have to take it one step at a time I guess. It's always something different that sets her off.

Kate CP - posted on 02/28/2009

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Try showing her how to appropriately show emotions-punching a pillow or even screaming into a pillow. Kids need that physical release more than adults do. Sometimes getting the older kids to teach the younger ones a new skill helps with rivalry.

Chastity - posted on 02/28/2009

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Thanks Kate. We do time outs and try very hard to be consistant. It gets hard with 2 little ones running around. When she hits and I ask her why she did it, she'll tell me something like I'm so upset or I'm frusterated. Communication isn't so much the issue. She's acting out sine her brother is older and more active. I don't know what to make of it. It gets trying.

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