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(65 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?

NfkDumpling Sat 23-Feb-13 21:57:32

I remember a shop assistant in BHS helped me stop my daughter's tantrums. DD was throwing a spectacular heeling kicking flat on the floor screaming tantrum over goodness knows what. The assistant told me to leave her and move out of sight around the counter while she kept an eye on her. No risk of DD being kidnapped! When DD ran out of breath and realised she was, she thought, alone the tantrum switched off, I walked back, picked her up and carried on as if nothing had happened.

JessM Sat 23-Feb-13 22:14:33

I wanted to have a tantrum in Walsall M and S where they have the food section crammed into a tiny area, cramped checkouts, and the last bloody straw are scouts offering to pack your bag. Instead I filled in the "tell us what you think" questionnaire which takes about 15 minutes and asks you bloody daft questions like "were you inspired by the window display" For flip sake. I have never been inspired by a window display so how likely am I to start with the one in Walsall M and S? (which i did not notice at all)
So I wanted to have another tantrum then, about bloody stupid questionnaires!
(why, you may ask, did i go there, again...? because MIL lives on M and S ready meals that's why)

nanapug Sat 23-Feb-13 22:29:23

Don't know if it is any help but my DD has a great way of preventing tantrums. She believes it is a power thing, that they want to be in charge; so what she does is instead of saying "please take your PJs off" (or put them on), she will say "Do you want to take your PJ top or your trousers off first?" i.e. she always gives them a choice but within her boundaries. It takes a bit of thinking about at first but it truly works. At bed time she says "Would you like to have your story before you clean your teeth or after" for another example. They are still cleaning their teeth but they feel in control. Good luck xx

annodomini Sat 23-Feb-13 22:46:36

Feeling thwarted was usually the trigger for a tantrum in my experience. I remember my younger GD having a stupendous one at the age of 5. There was nothing anyone could do about it as she simply could not have what she wanted but no explanation or reasoning would placate her. DS just picked her up and took her back to the caravan where we were spending a cold half term, must be five years ago this week! Even now she can go off on one, but not for long! Is an explosion better than a prolonged sulk?

harrigran Sat 23-Feb-13 23:53:20

I am sure my 7 year old GD has tantrums at home but she has never had one at my house, possibly because I have more time to listen to her. I can honestly say I have never seen the 3 year old have one, she is a very placid child.
They do have time wasting tactics, at bedtime, which drives me nuts.

NfkDumpling Sun 24-Feb-13 08:06:27

Have passed on your daughter's method Nanapug. Excellent!

Anne58 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:36:54

Have a look at this, classic example of the attention getting tantrum and what happens when it's ignored!

Galen Sun 24-Feb-13 21:00:00

Wonderful. I wonder if the mumsnet people have seen it?

Mishap Sun 24-Feb-13 21:07:48

Video makes the point very well - that tantrums are fueled by attention.

But still I cannot help feeling uncomfortable about the making of the vid - it seems disturbing to almost mock the child like that - it was a bit confusing for him/her as the adult came and went. Can't say I would want anyone doing that to a child of mine. Perhaps I am over-squeamish.

My DD operates very much like nanpug's - wish I had been as wise.

NannaAnna Sun 24-Feb-13 23:42:31

That's spot on nanapug.
It's also the approach that's central to the Montessori teaching method, so I suppose I instinctively carried it into parenting, having been a Montessori teacher in one of my many previous roles: To give children choices within clearly defined boundaries. They feel in control, so it avoids frustration.

Anne58 Mon 25-Feb-13 09:50:49

The choices thing within boundaries works well (in a job I had before the last one I used it on clients blush.

Mishap I don't think the adult in the video (or the dog for that matter) was actually coming and going. It looked to me as if they were going from the living room into the kitchen and back, so presuming that was the childs home, that sort of coming and going would be quite normal?

Under non tantrum circumstances that would happen quite a bit, e.g. child playing in living room, mother goes into the kitchen to make a coffee etc?

constance Mon 25-Feb-13 10:19:06

Different children seem to arrive with different personalities. My youngest has just grown out of tantrums and she is nearly 14. Biggest problem with the public ones is the overwhelming urge to thrash the living daylights out of them for embarrassing you in front of people.

My grandsons are identical twins, but only one of them has done the pyjamas to nursery school thing, which seems the most practical response to refusal to change out of superman pyjamas before leaving the house. But if they want to wear pjs all day, then why not? Or maybe buy more comfortable day clothes?

A lot of the time the tantrums seem to happen when you don't have time or inclination to do what they want, usually because you have to get on with what you want to do, and you're in a hurry, so you don't handle things so well.

Ana Mon 25-Feb-13 10:25:38

I think my GDs' school would have a bit of an issue with the pyjamas thing, tantrum or not. They're very hot on school uniform!

olliesgran Mon 25-Feb-13 10:46:01

nanej, i did this with one of my 3 prone to tantrums and refusals. Going to school without a coat when the temperature was freezing, she didn't do it twice. I think it is a case of picking your battles also. If they want to do something that isn't a danger to themselves, let them do it. They will soon learn that being in their PJs in the supermarket isn't that cool!
My grand son nearly 3 had a few weeks of demands and tantrums behavior, and my son, his uncle, who has no experience of young children found the perfect way to handle it: showing sympathy and agreeing.
I don't want to put my shoes on says GS
No, I know, it's a right pain says son, I don't like it either
and by the time he finished talking, the shoes were on!
Don't know if it would work for everyone, but I saw this approach of my son working when none of us could do anything with GS and were at our wits end !

harrigran Mon 25-Feb-13 10:47:49

I think most schools would raise an eyebrow if children turned up in pyjamas. Children have to learn that life isn't always fair and sometimes you have to do things just because you must.

Snoozy Mon 25-Feb-13 13:46:31

Our toddler grandson could be quite challenging and someone recommended that we read the book "Divas and Dictators". One suggestion from the book was to give at least 6 bits of praise for every bit of criticism. That really worked for us. We gave lots and lots of praise for good behaviour (no matter how trivial!) and he did seem to respond to it. We felt better too and enjoyed looking after him more.

whenim64 Mon 25-Feb-13 13:50:19

I gave that book to my daughter and SiL Snoozy. It's funny as well as helpful smile

nanapug Mon 25-Feb-13 13:52:15

I really like the phrase "picking your battles" too olliesgran. My DD has to remind her OH to do that frequently as he goes in to nag mode and nags at everything.

Anne58 Mon 25-Feb-13 14:05:37

Of course some people take a lot longer to grow out of it, such as this little darling confused

Anne58 Mon 25-Feb-13 14:10:04

But did her trantrum work?

Some parents.......................

gillybob Mon 25-Feb-13 14:23:07

With my GS (just gone 3) its not tantrums but huffs ! Anything he doesn't like the arm comes up and he covers his eyes and lets out huge sighs. If there is a wall anywhere near he will lean against it too. He eventually comes around but can be awkward depending on where you are. I have taken photos of him in one of his huffs and when I show them to him he even says grandma that is me in my huff confused

harrigran Mon 25-Feb-13 17:39:05

That video clip is vile, I would be ashamed to have a child/grandchild so spoilt.

nanaej Mon 25-Feb-13 18:15:27

Now that DGD1 has seen her sister in a tantrum it has stopped hers!

Deedaa Mon 25-Feb-13 20:44:31

A piece of advice that I have always remembered from one of Penelope Leach's books was to think very carefully before saying "No". If you say no about something that doesn't really matter you are much more likely to give in faced with the convoluted arguments culminating in a full blown tantrum. Limiting the use of No underlines its importance when you do use it and, hopefully, you will not be worn down by days of endless arguments and so more able to enforce it.

TerriS Tue 26-Feb-13 04:43:03

My eldest has never really got the hang of throwing tantrums - it's not her nature, either now at 27 yrs old, or when she threw one at the age of 3. What stopped the 3 yr old attempt to rebel against having a bath was to tell her that the bathroom window was open and all her friends were outside and listening. It was the equivalent of turning off the radio - we didn't see much in the way of rebellion ever again!