3 year old still having trantrums

Julie - posted on 02/16/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Can anyone give me some advice as what to do with my 3 year old daughter who daily has terrible tantrums!!! I hate waking up in the morning dreading the day ahead!!! She goes to pre school every afternoon and is no trouble there,also she is a perfect little angel for my family and friends who think it must be me!!! Has anyone got any good suggestions to try with her or is anyone else struggling with there child??? Please help!!

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Julie - posted on 02/20/2010

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like most of the mums i agree that a child should not be allowed to scream and carry on in front of you.... my daughter threw tantrums any where i was in a shop at home or in friends houses. i used to put her in the hall and tell her that it is not acceptable to do that and that i did nbot want to look at her or talk to her untill she learned to behave. the first time i threw her out it took 20 minutes for her to calm down after that it got quicker untill eventualy i only had to open the door and she shut up. girls are the worst for tantrums when they are little but my daughter turned into a helpful happy polite young woman.

Becky - posted on 02/19/2010

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It's frustrating, but her behavior is worst with you because she is the most secure with you. She knows you love her, so she is free to vent her frustrations and anger with you, where she is not free to do that with other people, because she doesn't know how they are going to respond.

The mistake many parents make is trying to deal with a tantrum during the tantrum. This is pointless. The child is highly emotional and is responding at a very basic, instinctive level. They aren't capable of more logical reasoning during a tantrum. So the best thing to do is to have a safe space for her to calm down and when she starts into a tantrum, don't try to stop the tantrum or talk to her, just calmly and quietly send or take her to that place until she calms down. Don't present it as a punishment though, present it as a place for her to work out her emotions and calm herself. Then, when she is calm, you can address the cause of the tantrum and do some teaching with her around ways to deal with frustration and anger. Teach her how to recognize when she is getting upset and some more appropriate ways for dealing with that anger than throwing a tantrum. At 3, many children still lack the verbal skills to really express what they're feeling, and that's why they throw tantrums. So, unless you feel that your daughter does have these verbal skills, maybe teach her some more acceptable physical ways of dealing with anger - hitting her pillow, squeezing a stuffed animal really tight, taking deep breaths, counting to 10, even going outside or in her room or downstairs and yelling really loudly. Teach and practice these things when she's calm. Make it fun for her. Then, when you start seeing signs that she's getting upset and headed for a tantrum, remind her of the coping strategies you've taught her.

Hope this helps!

Natalie - posted on 02/19/2010

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agreed that the 3's are the worst. what are your discipline methods? i would tell my daughter that grandpa was coming or that we were going to call him. he never hit or anything, but was actually quite opposite with her. she was his angel, i think she would get scared because she didnt like him to see her like that. my friend taught us the count to 3. she would use it on my daughter so we adapted it and it has always worked great for us. My cousin puts her kids in time out. she will count and if they are really bad, she will tell them they are going to bad timeout (put there nose on the wall) they change there attitudes quick. but mostly i just had to have patience through her terrible "3's".

Ilja - posted on 02/17/2010

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Hiya Julie!

I feel your pain haha. My son is now 3,5 and it does get better with the tantrums. But man, can they be a test of your patience and sanity sometimes.
What helped me was try to tell myself that this was just another thing that a parent needs to teach their child, how to express emotions correctly. Its just the same as us teaching them how to walk, talk etc, well that and an occasional glass of red wine helped a lot to :-)

Dawn - posted on 02/17/2010

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Julie, I would LOVE to say it all gets better....it just gets different. Different struggles, fights, joys, laughter and learning. When my youngest was a toddler and in Elementary school I felt at the end of my rope. Tantrums, her comprehension was that of only which I could understand. I felt like I was the only one who understood her, and I was the only one who could talk to her in a way that she understood. She was dubbed "Velcro Baby" by my father for her clingy ways. At 10 she was diagnosed with Asperger's and so much was understood then after I learned about the syndrome - high functioning autism. But I never 'lost' it with her, I always had sympathy and empathy for my children during their fits or frustrations. And that has bred very understanding kids and young adults. patience patience patience and I love my kids I love my kids has been my mantra their whole lives...lol

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Julie - posted on 02/21/2010

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Oh thank the lord!!!!! Thankgoodness someone else has been through the same thing and come out smiling at the other end!!!! It has made my day 2day!!!! My eldest daughter Hollie who is a little treat has also had enough i think!!! So thankyou Julie for your words of encouragement!!! Time will tell!!! She is sat on the time out step as I write!!!!!

Thanxs julie xxx

Julie - posted on 02/20/2010

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Once again thanxs for everyones comments,my patience is at a extremley low level,but do practise the time out step when feelin strong!! We are staring to have some good days so maybe by the end of this year we might have moved forward and the behaviour might have improved!!! My sanity might not be in tact though lol!!!! Thanxs again though everyone!! julie x

User - posted on 02/19/2010

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My oldest would throw herself on the floor and kick and scream it was awful. At home, stores, restraunts etc. When we were in public I would pick her up not say a word and leave. At home I would ignore her when she behaved that way. Within a month it stopped. Then she became a teenager and the tantrums started again LOL

Julie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Also Tracy i wish she would play in her room!!!! She has a lovely little room with toys,books and jigsaws,she just follows me around the house!!! I cant even got to the toilet with out her asking me where i am going!!! Its smothering!!!!!
I am hoping as she gets older she will play on her own at times!!!

Julie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Thanxs for the replies,it helps to think that im not the only one!!! She used to be such a lovely little thing and i hate to feel such dislike towards her!!! I do the time out step and also send her to her room when ive just had enough!! Please tell me that when they go to school it gets better!!!!!! JULIE X

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Children save the tantrums for the ones they are comfortable with. If you are consistent then it isn't you. She will grow out of it.

Dawn - posted on 02/16/2010

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Terribles 2's don't exist in my opinion...the 3's were the worst with both my daughters. Now, I am an unconventional mother, compared to family and friends. If my daughters seemed on the verge of a fit, I'd stop what I was doing...phone...shopping...whatever and get down on her level and hold her hands, eye to eye and get through it. Most mom's just grab their kids hand and yank them on their way to whereever and I hate seeing that. My girls are teenagers now, and that communication I did very early on has helped them develop into very articulate young women.

Janelle - posted on 02/16/2010

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You have to be consistent. That being said, my four year old still throws occassional temper tantrums. I think it's completely normal, but I try very hard not to give her much attention or speak to her when she's throwing a fit. I also try to repeat the same thing as my response. I will talk to you in four minutes, when you're calm.

Tracy - posted on 02/16/2010

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My daughter loves her room and her bed! She will spend lots of time in there playing on her own, of her own free will. It's a place that's hers alone.

Kristi - posted on 02/16/2010

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I agree with Tracy to a degree...putting a child in her bedroom to "scream it out" may be a solution,but I have noticed that children who have their bedrooms used as a place of discipline start not wanting to go bed at night.They think every time they go in there,they are being punished,even when they are behaving.My sister in law has experienced a similar problem with her children behaving for others,but not for her. She tells me of her kids biting,name calling,and saying "I don't have to" to her,but never to anyone else.What seems to have helped with them is if someone sees them doing it,they step up and say something.If your friends or family witness her tantrum,and within boundaries and with your consent,they should say "that is not nice to mommy to yell at her" for example.When you are alone with her and there are no witnesses,let her know the behavior is unacceptable,and start the use of the naughty spot.It takes some practice sometimes,but eventually a child will realize that she is not going to get her way from you.Set her in a neutral place,away from TV and toys,and tell her "you have 3 minutes in the naughty spot for....whatever she has done(hitting,biting,screaming),if she gets up,the second time,you say sternly,"you get up when your 3 minutes is over,not before";if there is a third time,say NOTHING,she already knows,just keep putting her back until she "serves her time".She will give up the "control" she feels when you cave to her tantrums or demands and will stop with time.Being the mom of 3 and the aunt of 16,I have used this method for years before Supernanny,and it does work with persistence.Hope I can help,let me know if you have any questions! :)

Tracy - posted on 02/16/2010

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The 3s are worse than the 2s, I swear! What I do with my 3 yr old girl is send her to her room. She can scream and cry all she wants, and when she's ready to talk or over her fit, she can come out. She's so used to it that she'll send herself to her room! The tantrums WILL get better

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