I have a very strong willed 3 1/2 year old. He throws a tantrum over everything. What do you other moms do about tantrums?

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Annah - posted on 09/09/2011

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Thanks for all the advise!!!!! I am doing all those things, and still having tantrums most of the day. I just took him out of daycare for the first time since he was 6 weeks old. Do you all think it could be from not enough stimulation? He's 3 1/2 and and his IQ is at a 5-6 years. I have tried doing some "school work" with him but he's not interested. Do you think if I have a more of a structured day that he might stop throwing as many tantrums?

Lisa - posted on 09/08/2011

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My kids have to go sit and wail on their beds. They know (2 1/2 and 4 1/2) that they cannot come off their beds until they calm down.

Jennifer - posted on 09/08/2011

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I have a very strong willed 3 1/2 year old as well. I usually can ward off most fits by simply trying to hear him out when upset. I've been working on getting him to explain his troubles in words and not by a fit. When he does have a fit, I send him to his room and explain to him that when he is calm and ready to use his words, instead of screaming and kicking, I will be right there ready to listen.

Michelle - posted on 09/08/2011

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I ignore them when they are having a tantrum, walk away and don't talk to them. A lot of the times a tantrum is a way of getting attention so when they realise it won't work they will try something else.

On the other hand you do need to reward good behaviour. Tell them they are doing a good job helping or even eating all their dinner. They will soon see that if they do things you want them to do they will get attention instead of throwing a tantrum to get it.

It doesn't matter if they are getting good or bad attention, they have you interacting with them. That's why the good behaviour needs to be reinforced.

Jodi - posted on 09/08/2011

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Obviously I don't know your child, but just for a different point of view...my child is also strong willed, but I notice her tantrums really only occur when she needs my attention. 99% of the time, if I just sit with her in my lap and talk (not necessarily about whatever it is she wants), read her a story, or offer to play dolls or house or play-do with her, the meltdown is instantly gone. She uses tantrums to get my attention, not necessarily to get whatever it is the tantrum is superficially about. When I make it a point to get her involved in what I'm doing (dishes, lunch, cleaning) and play with her, tantrums are few and far between!

Good luck! When all else fails, I completely ignore them!

Tamara - posted on 09/08/2011

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When they have a tantrum they don't get anything. they can sit there scream all they want, I won't talk to them try to calm them or anything of that nature, I figure it makes it last longer and more stressful. I wait until they are calm simply explain the rules again and move forward with the day. One thing I learned long ago is it Pick battles, and to not give in when they cry for it.

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That's a tough one only because most kids throw and have tantrums. But like Katherine said I would just keep it simple and just try to explain that tantrums doesn't help get your way and there's always a better way to act and when you do so there's a great prize that you may get in return!!

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