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(64 Posts)
Ingrid45 Fri 22-Feb-13 15:35:58

My 3 1/2 year old grandson has the most awful tantrums at every request.' I dont want my jammies on - not ever!' 'I dont want my jammies off - not ever!' etc from the minute he gets up. I usually have him 2 days a week but last night I told my daughter I cant cope with it any more. I think she imagines I will relent but I honestly cant stand it any longer. Any advice?

Galen Fri 22-Feb-13 16:03:12

Perhaps she'll take him in hand?

Mishap Fri 22-Feb-13 16:16:19

Well the rule with tantrums (as I am sure you know) is ignoring them wherever possible. Are they ignored at home?

I can understand that you feel you cannot cope any more - it sounds dire!

You need to have your rules in your house or when you are in charge. It is so difficult if his own family respond differently as you will have a battle on your hands. Maybe taking a stand as you have will make your DD realise that she needs to take this problem in hand and deal with it.

Good luck!

JessM Fri 22-Feb-13 16:18:52

Yes 3.5 is quite old to be having tantrums. You sound at the end of your tether.
Ignoring is the very much the best thing. If he gets his own way by having tantrums he will carry on having tantrums.

nanaej Fri 22-Feb-13 17:01:40

My DGC are still prone to an occasional tantrum (7,4,4)..they have never got what they wanted! However now we all dutifully ignore and carry on regardless!

little girl at DGDs school arrived one morning in her nightclothes because she had refused to get dressed..mum carried on regardless , leaving the house etc and her daughter had to trot along behind in her PJs! She has been in uniform since then!

Ana Fri 22-Feb-13 17:02:41

Brave woman! grin

soop Fri 22-Feb-13 17:11:13

grin Brilliant!

LullyDully Fri 22-Feb-13 17:30:50

Ignoring is the best approach, but has to be done through gritted teeth. Also apply the impossible choice technique. Give them two choices that suit you which they do not like. They are forced to choose one! Works every time if you are firm. Either take off your pyjamas or go to school in them.... your choice. Do not get emotionally dragged in ot they win.

JessM Fri 22-Feb-13 18:27:12

and threats dont work. You have to follow through or they suss out your weakness.

dorsetpennt Sat 23-Feb-13 09:53:13

The woman who lives next to my DS and wife has a difficult 3 year old - he refused to get into his clothes for nursery so she took him in his p.j.'s ! I don't think he's done it again.
Ignoring it at home is fine but what about a public tantrum ? I has seen kids scream with rage all around our large supermarket to the distress of other shoppers. Perhaps leave the shopping and leave the shop, or shop on a day when the child is elsewhere could be the solution. Though this is not always possible. Often the rage seems to stem from the fact that the word 'no' has been used. I've seen children munching down on crisps and sweets just because mum can't be bothered to set ground rules.I used to give a mini-lecture to mine before any shopping - you are rewarded for good behaviour not bad.
My DD used to throw herself on the floor with rage, so we used to walk away, she then followed us and more rage - we moved again, eventually she got fed up

grannyactivist Sat 23-Feb-13 10:01:56

I'm afraid if my children had tantrums in public then I used to ignore the onlookers and deal with the child in the same way as if we were at home. I sometimes think of tantrums as a child's experiment to test the boundaries, especially in public. 'Giving in' was never an option for me, but I've seen many a mother driven to doing just that by worrying about what 'people' are thinking. A tantrum isn't nice to watch and listen to, but it's infinitely worse if you're the harassed mum trying to deal with a toddler tantrum in a public place.

JessM Sat 23-Feb-13 10:03:13

I guess if they are too small to pick up, walking away and standing by the door might be work (as long as there is a single entrance)
It's like dogs - if they think they are engaged in a battle to be leader of the pack they are not happy. If they know someone else is in charge, they can relax.

Movedalot Sat 23-Feb-13 10:18:53

I don't think it makes any sense to worry about what people think as most of them will be parents and understand what is going on. When I have seen such behaviour in the supermarket I have taken more notice of the way the parent deals with it than the behaviour of the child.

I think at 3 1/2 a child is old enough to understand that different rules apply in different places so Ingrid just enforce your own rules in your own house, and be consistent, that is the most important thing a child needs. Good luck

annodomini Sat 23-Feb-13 10:50:49

My DS2 had a tantrum all the way round Asda once when he was about 2 and a half. I think I tried to ignore him, but how can you ignore a toddler in the trolley seat, bawling in your face? The good news is that he outgrew it and as far as I know doesn't have tantrums any more - he is 40 after all - though he can be a moody b****r at times!

Anne09 Sat 23-Feb-13 15:02:17

I think it really hard when children have a full blown outburst. Me being a younger gran feel so sorry for the parent the stares odd whispers from the older generation is I say loudly enough for all to hear I say you can't switch them off . Then I carry on trying to snap my grandchild out of it. There is a no win situation with children I agree with them I hate shopping as well but we still have to do it.

Deedaa Sat 23-Feb-13 15:03:55

I remember carrying my daughter round Tesco, dangling from her harness like a bag of shopping while she SCREAMED. Now she's nearly 40 she's not quite so bad once she's had a coffee grin My mother used to say that you should be ready to hug a child having a tantrum because they get frightened by the strength of their fury. Not sure if it worked on me?

soop Sat 23-Feb-13 15:05:34


glassortwo Sat 23-Feb-13 16:24:20

The first day of the summer holidays my DGD then just over 4 decided in the small shopping in the next village, to throw the biggest tantrum I have ever seen..
she rolled all over the path outside the green grocers while I stood and looked to see what I wanted, it went on for 10 minutes she was deafening, it was not something she had done before, passerby's looked on in horror.
Then one the teaching assistant's from school walked up to me and we had a conversation while ignoring DGD, as she went on her way she said she hoped I had a good holiday with a wink.
I felt like handing in the towel with DD, the thought of putting up with 6 weeks of tantrums filled me with dread, funnily enough it never happen again grin

positivepam Sat 23-Feb-13 17:43:22

Hello, well I have to disagree, I don't think that 3.5yrs is too old for a tantrum. I have seen many children of this age performing such an act and I think it is just a stage that many children go through. It is when they are starting to realise they are separate from their mums and it is when ground rules are or should be set. My grandchildren have tried it out and my two daughters deal with it in different ways. I think and I don't know if anyone agrees, that a lot of kids seem to rule the roost now? Parents give too many options and let them make a lot of decisions, such as, "what shall we have for tea?" With my children I said we are having this for tea and that was that. I am a great believer in either ignoring or changing the subject. Does anybody think that there is a lack of discipline nowadays as well? And I do not mean smacking. My one DD uses the naughty step from Supernanny for tantrums and other DD ignores or leaves the shop if need be and totally ignores.
Just thought, what are actually defining a "tantrum"to be, never quite sure what the difference is between that and just being downright naughty? Oops, rambling on again, sorry GNers. grin

JessM Sat 23-Feb-13 18:07:31

I meant that most children do the tantrum thing during their 3rd year and after 3rd birthday they should be turning the corner. If a 3.5 year old is still having them, odds are they have been going on for a while.
Most children in this area start school part time at 3.

positivepam Sat 23-Feb-13 18:21:15

Yes I understand what you mean JessM, I sometimes wonder if that doesn't help, my grandson has started one morning and two full days since DD went back to work after mat leave after having another DGS and behaviour has got worse. Hmm could be new baby, mummy back to work and nursery, so many buttons to press as they say. DD can occasionally throw a tantrum and she is 31 ha ha, wonder if the naughty step would work? wink

NannaAnna Sat 23-Feb-13 21:12:10

I can honestly say that my children very rarely had tantrums. My belief is that tantrums are the result of children not being listened to, or not being understood, or not having their needs met.
For instance, why would a small child be happy stuck in a shopping trolley going round a huge supermarket?
When mine were very little, I did a big weekly shop of an evening, while their dad put them to bed. Far more civilised for everyone! When they were each a little older, and I felt they could interact with the shopping experience I would write a few items of shopping on a separate list, and it was their responsibility to chose them. (Obviously items within their reach and safe to get. Something like 4 apples also added practice with counting.)
Mine also knew that when I said 'No' I meant 'No', and they would get a rational (brief) explanation as to why. It would, if at all possible, be qualified with a promise to meet their request at a later, more appropriate, time.
On the odd occasion that a tantrum was thrown I usually found it very amusing, and laughter soon took the wind out of the tantrum-throwers sails wink

granjura Sat 23-Feb-13 21:18:22

Well good on you NannaAnna - must be nice to be the perfect mother with the perfect children, and now perfect grand-mother with perfect grand-children - hurrah grin


Mishap Sat 23-Feb-13 21:26:04

Tantrums happen whatever - not always avoidable. It is not just because they are not listened too - it is because they are testing the boundaries.

Children need to be free to show a bit of spirit - we do not want to breed automatons.

I remember my youngest screaming blue murder one holiday as she did not want to join the walk we were going on - it was a one-off unmissable experience, so her protestations (which she could not be reasoned out of) had to be simply ignored. She kept it up for a very long time; but she realised that it would not achieve the desired result as we just kept on going. Notle. our finest hour I must say.

We have all been there - sometimes we realise it is our fault, and we wish we had done things differently; and other times it is unavoidable. So no guilt trips chapettes - we can only do our best.

whenim64 Sat 23-Feb-13 21:56:09

Good-enough mums and supermums all have children who have tantrums! It's boundary-testing, uncontrolled emotions and an attempt to exercise the little power they have. In fact, it's the job of a toddler/under-five year old to test out what they can achieve by using charm, resistance and kick-offs, before they learn to reason and negotiate. Some children are overwhelmed by the strength of these feelings, whilst others learn that they can suppress or control them.

I would SOOOO love to be able to have a tantrum in Tesco's. just lie on the floor and scream until the manager comes running to put me at the front of the checkout queue! grin