How to curb temper tantrums in older children

Sara - posted on 07/31/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )




My daughter is 6 years old and is still throwing temper tantrums like a 2 year old. She can throw a fit over the smallest things. Looking at her behavior it is not normal for a 6 year old. She whines, screams, cries.. and is sometimes even violent. She kicks walls, throws things and on occasion is violent towards me. I work full time, have another 1 year old that demands alot of my attention and I am in school. I originally thought that she may just be desperate for my attention, so I started doing more things with her and giving her the attention I thought she needed. But it seems like the more attention I give her, the worse the tantrums get. I've tried ignoring her, putting her in time out, and even spanking, but nothing seems to work. I've seen these tantrums last upwards of an hour. Sometimes, when I put her in time out she will sit there and talk to herself about what a bad parent I am, and how I don't love her (she uses the words my mommy.. not you, so she's not really talking TO me, she's talking about me) I just don't want her talking herself into the fact that she has awful parents, plus it hurts!! There have also been times where she just gets out of control and I have to restrain her ie. I lay her on her stomach and hold her down until she calms down, but there are times where she is so violent and fighting me so hard that I'm afraid she'll get hurt. I'm at my whit's end and not sure what to do. ANY advice would be appreciated...


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Shauna - posted on 08/01/2012




As the mum of 9 kids, I have had to deal with this many times... the key for us was to ignore the tantrums; if the child isn't getting the attention (and yes, it is always for attention... YOUR attention!)... as soon as the child stopped whining, screaming, etc, I would immediately pay attention to him/ her & with a smile on my face, I look into the child's eyes and calmly ask what he/ she needed.

Whining is something I simply do not put up with; my now 18 yr old was a pro when it came to whining but she stopped when I said, "I don't understand you when you whine, you have to talk to me in a normal voice." Whining becomes a habit so they don't usually realize they are whining; sometimes they just need a prompt so that they can recognize that they are doing it & they will stop.

I also want to recommend "1-2-3 Magic"... seriously, it was a God-send for us!

Good luck! (((HUGS)))

Shauna Nilsson
Layton, Utah

Laurie - posted on 08/01/2012




You might also consider diet if you have not already. I have no personal experience with this but have read in several of the posts that some children are - for instance - very sensitive to red dye #2 (I think it was) that is added to food. The mothers found that when they eliminated all foods that had that particular additive in it that their children's behaviour was so much better that it was amazing. You might try watching (and keeping a record as memory is often unreliable/inaccurate) what she eats/how often she sleeps/other clues versus her behaviour for the day to see if you can find a pattern - what tends to make it worse. Alternatively if you need to take her to the doctor (may be chemical imbalances in her system that are making it much worse that diet alone can't help) you will have a record of what she has been doing vs behaviour and maybe s/he will see a pattern where you don't. You may also notice a pattern that tends to trigger when she has good days - i.e. perhaps more exercise/a nap/a slow day. Good luck - it sounds very hard to deal with but hopefully you or someone will come up with an idea that helps with your daughter.

Jennifer - posted on 07/31/2012




You may also want to check out "Raising Your Spirited Child" and "Magic 1-2-3". They have been great for us.
Does she get overwhelmed easily? Does she have sensitivities? Sometimes, these are called "spillover" trantrums. Their emotions get the best of them and they CAN'T stop. It's very scary to them.
My daughter has the same kinds of things going on with her. These books give us support and LOTS of information. That doesn't mean it "fixes" everything, but it sure helps to at least understand and maybe be able to stop following them into what they call the "red zone" and find another approach. I'm still working on it every day.
I, too, have had to physically restrain my child. It's so very hard, but you don't want them to hurt themselves, you, or the house. You may want to seek help in how to do it properly if you have to do it. Children have been injured and worse when it was done wrong or for too long. You sound like a good Mom. Hang in there and know you are NOT alone!

Wendy - posted on 07/31/2012




my now 7 year old daughter was like this i tried everything to stop her like you then i tried making her the adult and it worked i made her do as much as a 6 year old could do ie set the table help pick out her bedding even brought her her own little baby to look after she did a complete flip around she still has temper tantrums but not as much also try a reward chart every time she is good let her put the sticker/ stamp on it if she fills it up she gets to pick what you do for the day-- give her ideas you can afford ie movie night in with just you and her make pop corn or a day at the park etc every time she is bad make her cross off the sticker/stamp

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