My 4 year old is having melt downs

Halli - posted on 07/22/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )




My 4 year old son is normally very well behaived and as sweet as could be. We went camping this past week end and he had his very first "melt down tantrum". I figured it was because he was just overly tired from all of the stimulation and activites we were doing. After an hour of trying to make him lay down and quit kicking and screaming he fell asleep. I brushed it off as a one time deal. Today he did it again. We had a very typical day, nothing out of the ordinary and he just threw himself on the floor and is screaming, kicking, and making himself gag he is so worked up. This is freaking me out. I put him in his room and closed the door. Advice?


Iridescent - posted on 07/22/2010




It sounds like he's hit a stage where he's not able to deal with frustration appropriately. It happens with a lot of kids (and adults). Be firm and consistent. When this happens, and it's not a typical tantrum, hold him in your lap, put your leg over both his, close your arms around his arms and hold his hands. Be firm and hold him until he's able to calm down, and do not talk to him at all until he is calm. It might take 2 minutes, it might take 15, but it will happen. Once he calms down, tell him you love him very much, and you're sorry he is so frustrated, but reacting like this will not change your decision. Ask if he's ready to get out of your lap, and when he is let go and hug him and ask him to go play or whatever.


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Laura - posted on 05/15/2015




My son does this too. It is driving me crazy. It is making for very long days with him and when my husband gets home I am not a very happy person. I need help!

JuLeah - posted on 07/22/2010




I would only add to Amy's post with this 1) watch your head. When holding a little one like this, they can slam their head back in anger - it hurts
2) give him language - the fits are likely happening becuase it is the only langauge he has to express his feelings - help him find words and encourgae him to use his words

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