Temper tantrums and the 4 1/2 year old!

Judie - posted on 07/23/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )




PLEASE HELP... My 4 1/2 year old throws the most awful tantrums! He will scream and cry so loud I'm surprised my neighbors haven't thought I was beating him! He is my youngest of 4 kids and my other kids were not like this. I try cuddling...No luck... Time out... Nothing... Just telling him I love him and offering to just love him... Nothing! I don't know what else to do.


Kathleen - posted on 07/14/2013




My grandchildren have been removed for their parents' home and placed in my custody. My 4 1/2 year old grandson...continuously has tantrums when I tell him: time to go to bed, or we have had enough pool time, etc. I think part of it is "missing mom and dad" (they have no visitation at present) but I know I shouldn't give in to it...however, he can go on and on and on (crying, sometimes a scream and occasional kicking legs). I never had this problem (more than 50 years ago!) with my own son so I am finding it hard to deal with...

Stephanie - posted on 07/23/2009




Hey there, I have 6 kids ranging from 4-14. My best advice is this....When your child throws a tantrum, whether there in a store or at home...turn and walk away. Now hear me out.What's the reason for the behavior? To get attention. To exert authority over you. And if throwing tantrums has worked in the past, your child will continue to throw them in the future. 4 year olds will throw tantrums, and those tantrums need to be addressed. My suggestion is to step over the child, totally ignore the behavior and move on with whatever else you were doing. If it happens at the store, just ignore him and move on ahead. Without an audience there, there's really no need for the temper tantrum to continue. If you worried, I can guarantee you that any 4 year old that see's his mommy walking away into a crowd, will stop the fit he's throwing and run to follow her. He won't be out of your sight because he's not that confident..The trick is, #1 Say it once #2 Turn your back #3 Walk away. This method requires consistancy, follow-through and no looking back to see if the child is following. Otherwise he get's clued in: "Hey, Mom is nervous about this. She's checking to see if it works. Aha! That means she doesn't want me to be out of her sight. So she'll come back. I'll just continue this fit thing a little longer." Later on when he asks for something that he wants...Say "no." and walk away. He'll follow you asking why? This gives you the oppurtunity to tell him that you didn't appreciate his tantrum, and so no he can not have __________. Let him apologize (on his own). After he apologizes, he will ask for that thing he wants again. Tell him "no". When he asks why, tell him the same thing you said previously. Hold firm. The next time he wants to throw a fit, he'll think twice. Hope that helps!

[deleted account]

This trick works sometimes too, especially in public. Say "Sorry I can't understand you, I can only hear big boy voices."

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/14/2013




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Jodi - posted on 07/23/2009




Judie, my son used to throw really bad tantrums when he was about the same age. He was fine when we went anywhere, but when we were at home he was shocking. I abolutely agree with those telling you to ignore him. I actually got to a point where I used to either lock my son in the backyard and I'd go to a room at the front so I couldn't hear him, or I'd lock myself outside, just to get away from him, because he'd follow me wherever I went. Or, if I go desperate, I used to lock myself in the bathroom and run the shower, LOL.

It didn't take too long before he finally realised that he needed to use his words rather than throw a tantrum.

Judie - posted on 07/23/2009




Thanks everyone! I love the thought of just walking away until he is done! I will try it! I've always been afraid to let it continue for too long, because as I have mentioned, I'm always afraid someone will think I'm beating the kid! But I need to try something!

Betty - posted on 07/23/2009




I have been working with children for a long time now and have a 4 year old Step daughter. When she throws a tantram I just say, "I'm sorry but I just can't understand you" if it continues (and is normally dose) I just go into another area of the house that's a little more quiet untill it stops. When I'm in public I react quickly to any type of conflict that would be tantram worthy before it gets out of hand by saying, "what do you need me to do?". If she sees that she has my attention than she calms back down asks for help like a big girl.

User - posted on 07/23/2009




Just walk away. If it is at home then go and lock yourself in the bathroom so you are not tempted to go back and try and solve the problem then once the noise has subsided go back and tell him you are happy to listen to him now if he can talk to you properly. If that doesn't work you can try this, as soon as he starts throw your self on the floor and thrash around yelling like a twit do this until he stops and looks at you then jump up say oh that feels so much better, should we go and get a drink now:)

Sharon - posted on 07/23/2009




Ignore them. My middle child had tantrums. REALLY dramatic too, a howl, a scream and falling toddler body smacks the floor where fists and feet proceed to pummel the floor. Eventually he figured that hurt so he started running to the dirty laundry and flinging himself on the pile there.

I completely ignored him. When he was done - I didn't ask "feel better?" either. After he was all calmed down though - I tried to figure out what set him off. Sometimes it was being unable to communicate and others were just over tired and/or frustrated.

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