5 year old temper tantrums...

Shannon - posted on 01/02/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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My 5 1/2 year old daughter has been having the worst temper tantrums of her life when something doesn't go her way. The good thing is it only happens at home. Jumping up and down screaming won't stay in her room for a time out screams even louder if we take a toy away (we still do it, along with tv). As a last resort, I will spank her once on her bottom but that only makes it worse. I try to tell her to use her words because sometimes I don't even know why she is upset until way after she finally calms down. What I need is to get her to stay in her room until she calms down, but how? By the way, when she is calm her time outs consist of counting to 100 and sometimes she goes right ahead and does it. I don't get it......

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Marie - posted on 01/05/2010

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My son would throw these tantrums to get his way. I had tryed everything to stop them. Then one day, I deceided to pick him up and put him in a cold shower (clothes and all). I told him that if he was going to through a temper tantrum that he could cold down hisself or I would do it for him in a shower. It did not take long for him to stop. I think I put him in the shower twice. Good Luck!

Raquel - posted on 12/18/2012

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Im sorry to right again, but this is the first time I got in to this , somehow I was connected to this page, My dear Lord it really hurts to see so many kids in the same problem, and to remember that I was in this same position , I really feel your pain, My little girl loves princess movies and when she use to behave like that I would play one of those Cinderella movies or so and I would go and ask her? Have u ever seeing the princess acting like this? Well its sounds crazy , but this small trick grows really big in our lives , Even her teacher told me that sometimes she would repeat this to her friends that would be mean to her, Now instead of me getting mad with her messy room, I walk around and say how bad its to stay in her room because of all the mess , and i usually ask her in a nice way, lets fix this room like princess room, Sometimes comparing nice things that she see it works , and for the things that she wouldn't wanna do or get angry I explain first and if she wont listen I act like Im very happy , when she gets mad, I put music laud or started to sing , I know its sounds crazy, but the moment you get mad, that's it, the enemy that's playing tricks in her mind gets in to you, and aggravation takes place and she get's worst . I believe in spending much time with our kids and connect with them in any way its possible, we need our moments and space too, and you can tell them that u need 10 15 or 20 minutes of time out, they will be very intrigue by that, you can also try yoga time for kids on the free channels, kids love that, or a simple tea outside and connect them with nature, last and for most believe in God and she is a pure vessel for you to have light.
All the best!

Tammy - posted on 01/02/2010

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Well, scolding her when she does this is giving her some form of attention, and when she's got something to complain about, she's figured out that one way or another she's going to get your attention. Sometime when she's calm I would sit her down and explain to her that she's a big girl now and you expect her to act like one, and that means when she's upset there are no more tantrums. Explain to her your expectations for her communicating those hurt feelings. (i.e. "it's ok to talk to mommy about your hurt, angry, or sad feelings, but it's not ok to throw a fit.") Then, if she does have another meltdown, completely ignore her - don't say or do anything to her, pretend not to notice until she calms down.Then when she's calm go to her and say "I see you were upset, do you want to talk about it now?" or something like that. Obviously during these fits, if she's in any danger, remove the danger but continue to ignore. This process takes time, but eventually she'll come to understand that big girls talk about their feelings, they don't throw fits!

Maria - posted on 01/09/2010

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My mother use to calm me down with a wooden spoon. She found that after a few good beatings my behavior would change. I tried not to piss her off too much due to the fact that I did not want to deal with my father when he came home. I don't remember them that much any more, but I leared to respect my elders. The problem these days is too many people want to tell you how to bring your kids up. If you look at these kids from the last 20 years who have been getting time outs, you can see that they have developed different problems. One of them is having a total disrespect for authority. Guess where this comes from. Children need to know who the boss is, and by letting them have there own way is showing you who the boss is. Rule with a firm hand.........

Sharon - posted on 01/08/2010

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Please read the book "Raising your Spirited Child"! Your daughter sounds a lot like my 4 year old daughter, and this book saved me! Spirited children don't react to the tried and true discipline methods that work on my other daughter and most other children. The term "spirited" is used to describe kids that are more sensitive (physically and emotionally), perceptive, energetic, etc. than other children. I can only imagine the hours of tantrum that would result in putting my already raging daughter in a cold shower, there are other ways to help your child understand and learn to control their emotions. And it's not about giving in, the goal is to help your child manage their emotions and learn to use their own personality traits to become the best people they can be. Life would be more difficult for my daughter if she does not learn to effectively communicate and find ways to cope with the external stimuli that are bothering her. This might sound a bit kooky (my natural leanings are toward an autocratic parenting syle) but it works for us and my daughter rarely has tantrums now. She's learning to communicate what is bothering her and this helps her not get frustrated so easily. Our relationship is so much healthier now. Good luck!

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Rachel - posted on 01/18/2014

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I have a the same issue, but a boy! He is also 5 1/2 with the temper tantrums. If he doesn't get his way he will scream at the top of his lungs if he doesn't get his way. My issue is I can't stand the screaming, I react immediately because loud noises irritate me badly. I had a stroke at the age of 29, so any loud noises especially screaming drives me insane. Me and my husband have tried everything, cold showers, sitting him behind us taking his arms and holding him tight to relax him, doesn't work! He screams so loud he makes himself have a bloody nose. We have tried taking toys away, one at a time, doesn't work. He went a whole month without any toys in his toy room, it didn't seem to faze him. We tried the naughty bench, let him sit on it according to his age, didn't work! This is my nephew he lives with us most of the time because his dad is in a wheelchair and can't get around very much, no real mom in the picture! I am the only mom he has! My mother helps out some times as grandmother even though she is not biologically related to him, his real grandmother(Nana) puts her boyfriends first instead of her own family.We have taken him to his doctor and he doesn't seem to think anything is wrong with him mentally at this time, but to watch for any signs of ADHD or Autistic issues.

Raquel - posted on 12/18/2012

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I use to have the same problem with my girl, she is 5 and very strong personality , Im not trying to tell u what to do, but only when I change my self and the way my schedule would affect her, she started a huge change, I know its very difficult and challenge , but kids can sense all your feelings , u have to remember that they dont know how to express them self and the more time you ground yourself and connect with them the better they will be. Don't forget the most important the soul is connected to you and most of the time its the power of your inner communication that works better.God bless your family

Rabia - posted on 01/11/2010

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hi,i hav a daughter of 4 yrs n 5 months old.she too throws tantrums occationally.earlier it was usually at home.but now its in the parties or when some guests com at home.its very embarising 2 c her screaming n crying in front of all the people.it all starts when shes playing with other kids,when they dont play according 2 her or dont listen 2 her.usually in my cousins place ,kids her either younger 2 her or older.younger 2 her dont understand her n play with her,older ones do play 4 sometime but they want 2 play other games on computer which she doesnt understand.she gets upset n starts throwing tantrums.i hav tried time outs,locking her in her room.she used 2 get calm.but that used 2 happen at home.now the problem is public place.sometimes she gets upset n wont com inside the house.any advice.i,ll try video tapping.hope it helps.

Karen - posted on 01/10/2010

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My 6 1/2 year old still occasionally throws tantrums (I find myself having to yell sometimes just to break the cycle and get her focus off of the tantrum). She also gets 10-12 hours of sleep per night but we discovered that until she started 1st Grade naps were essential each day and she still needs 1 nap per week (usually Saturday afternoons). Do you notice the tantrums getting worse at the end of a week? It could be that she needs just that little bit of extra sleep to dial things back from crisis mode. The last time she had a fit was Friday evening because she didn't want a play date to end. I told her that whether she went on another one was her decision - tantrum, no more, no tantrum, play dates - the decision as to how things happened after that was totally up to her. Is there a food tie in to the fits? Maybe track what she eats and determine if there is something that she is consistently eating just before she throws a fit. That could be heightening her emotions and not allowing her to think clearly. It sounds like there are a lot of factors at work here. The one question I do ask my DD is "do you do this at school / with Grandma / at Church?" When she says "no" I say "then why is it acceptable to do this at home?" That usually stops the behaviour.

Amy - posted on 01/10/2010

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To add to my previous post (as if it weren't long enough as it is), with my 9 year old, if he is throwing a tantrum and I ask what is wrong, if he won't calm down I simply tell him that his problem must not be important enough to him if he isn't willing to calm down and tell me what is wrong so I can help. I also tell him that I can't help if I don't know what is bothering him.

Amy - posted on 01/10/2010

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My first advice, ask her to calm down and tell you what is bothering her, if you don't already know the problem. If she doesn't calm down, ignore her. Keep ignoring her until she calms down, unless she starts to be destructive. You need to have absolutely no contact with her when she has a tantrum. No talking to, looking at, or touching her. That is attention and that's what she wants. Negative or not. I have 5 kids and with the first 4 I tried everything. Loss of toys, privileges, spanking, yelling, talking nicely, time outs, etc. Nothing worked for discipline. My youngest who is 2 1/2 years now is the only one timeout works/ worked for. That is until I was at a restaurant one night talking to the waiter, he was Vietnamese/American. He told me that for time outs I should make them sit on their knees on a hard floor with their arms raised in the air, and every time their arms start to drop smack them with a flyswatter( not one you used on flies) and let them sit there until they say they are ready to follow the rules. Now, I use to use time outs as one minute per year of age they are and it never worked. my kids were always willing to sit for the amount of time they needed to and then go back to the same behavior. So, not more than an hour after I got home, 2 of my kids had to go to time out, so I tried new time out way (without the flyswatter). Instead of using the flyswatter I just watched and if their arms started to drop I would just say HANDS, and they would raise them back up. Now one of the kids decided after about 8 minutes that he was ready to follow the rules. The other one ended up staying there for 30 minutes ( he knew he couldn't come out until he was sure he was ready to follow the rules). I can truly say that they have not had to go to timeout since that first time. If they are acting up, all I have to say is, if you do it again or if you don't stop you are going to timeout. You might try this way of time out, but clearly explain the rules of it and that she WILL stay there until she decides she is ready to behave. Like I said I didn't use the flyswatter because I thought it was a bit cruel, but the rest worked. Especially knowing that they are choosing how long they have to sit like that by making the decision to follow rules. Hope this helps, and sorry it was so long.

Tina - posted on 01/09/2010

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i agree with tammy vega big time...i do this i too have a almost 6 year old she does the same thing. i told her just recently that if she doesn't stop i will not talk to her...she was puzzled didn't get it and then when the tantrum started i told her i do not want to talk to you until you calm down and talk to me like a big girl. so far so good she really does try to calm herself down i always tell her what would lets say dora do or just someone she looks at as an equal or even admires. the more you get mad the more you should leave it alone trust me i have tried the spanking things, warnings, taking toys and tv away grrrr its frustrating. but so far nothing has worked for me by doing that bc like tammy said it still is giving her attention its a really strange thing but when your daughter hears you don't want to talk to her bc she is acting this way and it is either hurting mommy or making you upset it is amazing how they turn around...hope i helped... :)
tina marie

Shekelia - posted on 01/08/2010

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Video tape it and when your kid is calm play if back for her and show her how not to act, i did it to mines and she never did it again, she said she did not like the way she was acting

Jennifer - posted on 01/08/2010

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I had that issue with my 5 year old and all you can do is walk a way. Let her do a thing. when she calms down then talk to her. when she she that your not listening to her and and trying to get her stop she may stop.

Christine - posted on 01/05/2010

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oh, and it's important that you can see them during the time out, so you know if they get up or play or do something else that distracts them from what the time out is all about.

Christine - posted on 01/05/2010

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A time out needs to be in a quiet place (not her room), where she has no distractions (nothing to play with/do). My now 6 1/2 year old daughter went through a phase of bad tantrums. I took a Super Nanny tip, and made up a list of house rules, which we put on a big pink posterboard. We talked about them, including one for me (no yelling). We put them up where we can all see them. Her time out spot is a chair in the living room. The TV goes off, no radio, etc. When she broke a rule, she got one, very specific about the behaviour, warning. Next time, right into the "reflection" spot. Explained which rule she broke. Set the timer on the stove. No talking or responding to her, nothing. When the buzzer went off, went back, explained it, got an apology and hug. Now that she's 6, and knows the rules very well, we instituted the 1-2-3. Talked about the fact that it was the same as a warning - she gets to the slow count of 3 to stop the behaviour, doesn't stop by 3, time out. And she hates them! Now, I rarely get past 1.

Shannon - posted on 01/05/2010

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Thanks again. Here's another example: She got walkie talkies for Christmas and we were playing with them in the house. She kept telling me how she wanted to play with them and I would do what she wanted, because this was her 'game'. I don't know what I was doing wrong, but she got irate! I told her that screaming wasn't going to fix anything, and that she just needed to tell me what I did wrong so I could fix it and we could keep playing. This escalated to me carrying her upstairs to her room, because she refused to go, and telling her that when she was ready to talk then she could come out. I then get jumping up and down screaming as loud as she can. I put her back in her room and repeated myself. Now, this is going on for like 40 minutes now. Finally, I sit in the hallway and ignore her. I wanted her to know that I was still there but I wasn't going to acknoweledge her until she calmed down. That took like 20 minutes and I thought I was going to lose my mind! Then I was so upset it was very difficult to hold it together,,,,,,, The TV went off for the rest of the day and the walkie talkies went up in my closet. I told her when she apologized, she could have them back. That sparked another fit....then my husband came home and I locked myself in my room. The talkies are still in my closet, 3 days later.

You know, Marie...I just may try that. How old was he when this took place?

Amber - posted on 01/04/2010

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From the example you gave it sounds like she gets frustrated when she can't do things and doesn't know how to explain her feelings. I think a lot of the time older kids throw tantrums because not only do they not feel happy, but they can't explain how they feel to anyone else, which gets them even more upset. At that point, all they can do is freak out to relieve the pressure.

Still, giving into her demands is probably not a good thing. Sitting with her when she is in time out is only giving her attention when she's at her worst, and it isn't teaching her how to cope with her feelings. What I would suggest is when the tantrum starts, say to her "I can't hear you when you yell at me. Mommies only hear nice voices." And don't listen. Go about what you were doing and pretend that she's not even there, even leave the room and go start dinner or something. Just let her know that you are 100% not interested in hearing her scream.

Don't bother with the time outs, since they aren't working. She sees them as a way to get more of your attention. Instead, let her freak out where she stands.

Once she is finally calm, and I mean past the tears and whimpers, say to her, "Are you ready to talk about it now?" If she comes to you, then lead the conversation. Say, "were you upset because the game was hard for you?" because remember she might not have the words to tell you how she feels. Once you root out the problem, tell her, "Okay, next time a better way to handle that would be to..." and give her advice on how to express herself. In the case of the game, you could say, "Next time you should just say that it is hard for you and that you need a break." I found that a lot of the time my daughter just needed to walk away from things for a few minutes in order to get her mind straight and handle what's going on. If you teach her how to handle her feelings, then before you know it, the tantrums will be a thing of the past.

Laura - posted on 01/04/2010

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From the Supernanny show you are starting the right way but the time-out routine is not working. You need to keep putting her in her room and not say anything. It may take many, many, many times but eventually she will stay there and complete the time out. It has take over an hour on the show for a very strong willed child. Once the time out is complete, then you talk about it and expect an apology and hug from her.

Jessie - posted on 01/04/2010

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sounds like you are on track, except for spanking. I think it is ok to sit with her, my son is not very good at calming down by himself. Sitting in his room but not talking to him, is what I did , and now he will go to his room by himself. Be clear this is not behavior for the rest of the house.

Shannon - posted on 01/03/2010

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Thank you everyone. She does have a set bedtime routine and gets on average 12 hrs of sleep a night. I am calm at first, telling her why she needs to do what she needs to do. If she still doesn't do it, that is when she gets her time out. If she doesn't go the first time I ask and count to 100, she then has to count twice. If she still doesn't go, she gets carried to her room and that is when the tantrums start. It doesn't matter how calm I am she still won't stay in her room. IF I resort to spanking, it is well into the situation and I have tried everything else. I do now realize that it only makes things worse.....up until the past few months she may have been spanked 5 times at most in her life. Now it has turned into at least a once a week thing. I don't believe she has a psych disorder. She is very bright, and her teachers say she is very attentive. She also is able to play soccer and basketball without any problems with following directions and being a team player. Here is an example of a situation that happened today: We were playing a new game that she got for Christmas called 'In The Money' learning how to count money. I explained her the directions and we started playing. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, she starts wimpering and moving the playing pieces around flipping cards over etc. I tried asking her what was wrong, what was making her upset and she just sat there pouting. I told her that we couldn't keep playing unless she tells me what's wrong, and she got even more mad. I then preceded to put the game away, after some time, and she starts the stomping and screaming. I carried her to her room and told her it was ok to be upset and that she needed to stay in there until she calms down. Didn't work and she kept running out after I set her on her bed, during which I was only saying that she needed to stay in her room until she calmed down. And kept repeating it over and over everytime I put her in her room. It didn't stop until I sat down with her on her bed, not saying anything until she calmed down and then consoled her. I tell her that she is a big girl and that big girls use their words to tell their mommys and daddys about their feelings about what makes them happy or sad or upset. And I do this everytime the tantrum comes, only when it is at it's worst did I spank her. I rarely raise my voice out of anger, only so she can hear what I say while she is screaming. I appreciate all of your help. Any other thoughts?

Rebecca - posted on 01/03/2010

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My son used to lash out at punitive punishments eg time outs, taking things away, spanking.

We did a course called Positive Parenting with redirection and he know goes to his self calming place until he can follow house rules. eg no yelling, screaming, hitting etc. He also helped define his own consequences for negative behaviour we wanted him to break. He went from 4 -5 tantrums a day to less than 1 a day within a few weeks.
He felt that life was unfair and that he would get in trouble no matter what he did so why be good. When he starts lashing out again I re-evaluate how we are doing and make changes where needed so that we are still in control and he doesn't feel defeated.
Good luck.

Joyce - posted on 01/03/2010

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hi shannon , i have the exact same situation with my 5 and a 1\2 year old son. it sounds crazy but i got so upset and didnt know where to turn i took him to a psychiatrist thinking he has ADD or ADHD turns out neither of those are the case. The srink taught us ways ( my husband and I ) how to deal with it when it happens and idetify the triggers so that we can make the fits not happen. basically in a nutshell the hitting only shows our child hitting is ok and it will escelate to your child hitting and for us it got so bad as to where our son was punching us and hitting to where we couldnt take it anymore.i would suggest not hitting and lets saying your daughter doesnt want to clean up be like well if you dont clean up then your room will be a mess and then your favorite toy will be lost then what do we do ? the srhink says sometimes children needs a reason for everything i order to understand. to make a long store short 6 mths later my son is just coming around its a long road but well worth it good luck and please writeback i KNOW what you are going through

Marie - posted on 01/03/2010

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First off what is her sleep schedule? Does she have a set bedtime? I often notice that my son's tantrums usually are a result of when he does not get enough sleep. It may have to do with your child's sleep cycle as she may not be able to express her crabbiness in the best way.

Secondly, I usually handle temper tantrums with a punishment that I can follow through with immediately. Pick her up and put her back in the room. Don't negotiate. Don't interact, just let her scream in her room. Dont go in to calm her down. Let her work out her frustrations. I don't call it a time out. I just tell im he has lost the right to stay out with the big kids. When my kid is done screaming, I explain to them that it isn't acceptable behavior for a big boy. I will tell him why and if he has earned a punishment such as no TV, I will explain it.

Jessie - posted on 01/02/2010

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I would try to figure out the triggers and when the triggers are coming, begin to have a plan to calm her to help her handle the situation differently. i believe kids are asking for help or over stimulated when they tantrum. keep setting limits and tell her the behavior is not appropriate except in her room.

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