Could someone tell me how to stop a 3 year old from throwing fits?!

Discussion in 'Gentle guidance' started by ksmama, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. ksmama

    ksmama New Member

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    Kaylene wakes up whinning and whines through out the day. I can't understand her quite a bit of the time b/c of her whinning. I tell her this and sometimes she will talk normally then, but it usually takes me telling her, I can't understand what she is saying, 3 times.
    Then when it is nap time, the fits really start. I don't know how to calm her down and sometimes she really gets going into a terrible screaming fit. Yesterday she actually was kicking and pushing toys around with her feet! It hurts me to see her that way, but I don't know how to get her to stop.
    Dh and I really feel like she has little to no respect for us and what we say. She acts like she should run the roost around here. And that causes more tension around here. HELP!
    Katie
  2. lilma98

    lilma98 Living in heaven on earth

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    May seem cruel to some, but usually, when Amber would do that, I'd just ignore her. She wanted the attention so she'd keep it up. Ignoring her, but being aware of what she was doing/saying, stopped her quickly. Now, instead, she'll come up to me and tell me what she wants or what is wrong.
  3. elfmaker

    elfmaker mama to boys

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    you may want to read the book "Tears and Tantrums" by Aleta Solter. it really speaks about why kids throw fits and how to help them work through their frustration. i have not read the entire book but when my son was in a screaming stage i read quite a bit.

    the screaming and crying is stress. you will never know where exactly it came from. anyhting can set them off--as in the needle that broke the camels back--then the fit/screaming starts. she suggests that you hold them tight (of course not to hurt them) so they feel safe and snugin your arms. do this until their screams/fits turn to real good crying. and gently tell then that you udnerstand how sad/frustrated/angry/upset they are. validate their feelings and allow them to cry. once they get a good cry out they may nap, play quietly or resume other activities. my son would take a good long nap and then be absolutely lovely for days, until he needed a good cry again.

    i think, as a society, we don't do a tremendous job of teaching our kids how to express anger, stress, and frustration. yet we all feel these at times.

    Luna
  4. 2xlechemom

    2xlechemom New Member

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    Not really.. my 8 yrs still has them. Talk about embarrassing! But, my LLL recommended Kids, Parents, and Power StrugglesKids, Parents, and Power Struggles. I haven't finished it yet, but some of it is helping.
  5. Mama2miracles

    Mama2miracles Active Member

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    I think you're doing the right thing with the whining by just consistanty telling her that you can't understand whining and she'll have you use her normal voice.

    As for naps - she seems WAY to old for naps to me. My kids usually give up naps by age 2. My oldest gave up naps around 15 months. Maybe that's part of the problem. I would be mad too if someone tried to get me to sleep if I wasn't tired. (of course I would give ANYTHING for a nap these days!) Have you tried eliminating the naps?

    Oh and I agree about ignoring the tantrums. Also if toys are thrown or kicked. They go away - for a very long time!
  6. lilma98

    lilma98 Living in heaven on earth

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    Thank you! I was beginning to think everyone thought I was a bad mama :( So, guess IF I am, so are you LOL It's just something that has worked for us.

    The toys, nope, ours don't go away for a long time, they go to other kids who will take care of & appreciate them.

    Amber just got a new Barbie Shop With Me Cash Register(saved up her own money I might add) and was told, IF you misbehave, it's GONE! No IF AND OR BUTS!
  7. Mama2miracles

    Mama2miracles Active Member

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    Sorry lima98 - I called you Amber and that's your daugher - I guess we both must be mean bad moms then!

    I've wanted to implement giving away toys that get thrown but I've got three kids and another on the way and I like to save age appropriate toys for younger ones. I may to do that when they all are old enough to understand cause/effect and consequences though.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2003
  8. sweet~potato

    sweet~potato Active Member

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    My ds is 3 also and sounds a lot like your dd with the whining. It starts as soon as he wakes up. Ugh! I basically do the same thing - tell him that I can't understand what he is saying and please say it in a nice voice. It doesn't always work, but I'm hoping it will sink in sooner or later. If he is in a really bad he will say something to me such as "Say 'What's wrong sweetie?'". He wants me to ask him what is wrong, so I do and he will usually say that he is sad or tired. And I try to help solve his problem from there.

    I agree with Cheryl that she may be too old for naps now. My ds hasn't napped in over a year (unless it's just a few minutes in the car). Back when he was still taking them, he would fight me on taking one, so I just gave up and let him stay up until bedtime. The big plus there was that he went to bed a lot earlier. :D
  9. ksmama

    ksmama New Member

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    Well we do without naps every once in awhile, but she ends up falling asleep in the livingroom around 5 and then won't go to sleep till late. If we try to wake her up...WATCH OUT!!!!! She will be hell on wheels then. Talk about fiesty!

    I really had thought that the bad fits were mainly b/c of being tired. In fact today she was throwing quite a loud fit and I picked her up, put her in her bed and told her to rest so she could calm down. About 5 minutes later she was sound asleep. So that one was definately triggered by sleepiness.

    What about bedtimes? What are your children's schedules like. Maybe going to bed earlier or changing something else might help. That way if she goes to bed earlier she won't need a nap. I don't know I feel a bit lost in all of this and I hate to see her so upset and stressed.

    Thanks you all,
    Katie
  10. Grandmommy

    Grandmommy New Member

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    Katie

    You might try letting her sleep no more than 5 minutes and then waking her before she gets really sound asleep. That worked with one (and only one) of mine when she was in that transition stage from nap to no nap.
  11. sweet~potato

    sweet~potato Active Member

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    Ds wakes usually around 6:30 and goes to sleep usually by 7:30 or 8:00. If he has fallen asleep in the car during the day, even for 5 minutes, it is a real struggle to get him to sleep by 9.

    I remember when ds was giving up his naps he would sometimes want to sleep around 4 or 5 and that was definitely NOT what I wanted, so I did whatever I could to keep him awake. Things like taking him out to the sandbox or running around the yard, no reading books at that time of day. ;) If I noticed him getting a sleepy look on his face, I would distract him and get him involved in some activity. After he ate dinner he would perk back up for a while until bedtime. It was a challenge for 2 or 3 weeks, but the earlier bedtime was a huge reward for me. I hope things get better for you. :)
  12. ksmama

    ksmama New Member

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    Oh those sound like good ideas too. We didn't have a fit today and it was so nice. I really enjoy our peaceful time together. I am going for the no nap try tomorrow!!! Wish us luck.
    Katie
  13. MGray

    MGray Active Member

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    3 is a very difficult age! And I don't think it is too old for naps. My 4 yr old needs a nap almost every day. Heck, my 7 yr old naps about every other day. DH and I nap whenever we can!

    My kids are up about 7 am and we are very active people (riding bikes, running around outside all day). I try and have my 3 older ones take a rest every day that we are at home between sometime between 12 and 2. (not the whole time). Now, I don't really let them sleep for more than about 20 minutes or so. My older 3 go to bed at 8:30. Yes, sometimes they take awhile to fall asleep - they listen to stories on tape at night and they enjoy that. But they don't give us any problems at bedtime.

    How is your DDs diet? I need my kids to eat good if they are going to be cheerful. My 4 yr old especially has trouble eating a good breakfast and it makes her whinny. I've worked hard at coming up with stuff that she likes that is high in protein. I often let them have a carnation instant breakfast shake with breakfast and that helps keep the whines away.

    Also, a high protein snack before bed helps too.

    Other than that - I tell mine mamma can't understand whinny voices. If it is really bad, I often send them back to their rooms till they are more sociable. Not meanly - just a "I see you are in a bad mood, go be alone till you feel like being around people" This helps my DD a lot.

    HTH - Melinda
  14. Robin

    Robin Jesus Follower

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    Melinda great ideas!

    We send both our boys to their rooms if they throw fits. They can come out when they are ready to be around everyone else. We tell them we don't care if they are throwing a fit but that they will not make everyone miserable. Alot of the time just having a few minutes alone will straighten them up.

    ALso toys go away here to storage when they are an issue (either mistreated or fought over). Since we have two and one of the way we don't give them away but they go out to the garage.

    I also don't think 3 is too old for a nap, we all nap around here, but the boys do have a later bedtime (9 pm). I don't tell my almost 4 yr old that he has to take a nap but he does have to go to room time every afternoon for a time of quiet play and he usually naps while he is there.
  15. MGray

    MGray Active Member

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    I also ment to say that rest time is supervised.

    Everyone has a spot to go to (since the kids share their rooms, they can't all rest in their bedrooms - otherwise they would just all go to bed). I usually play quiet music or some stories on tape. Or maybe they get a stack of books.

    I lay down with my 4 yr old, or sit on her bed and read a book. This keeps her laying down and trying to rest. The boys are much better about staying in their spot.

    After about 30 - 45 minutes, anyone not sleeping is allowed up to go outside and play. If anyone falls asleep, they usually sleep for about 30 to 45 minutes.

    This keeps any mess making, toy destroying, tantrum throwing under control.
    Melinda
  16. ksmama

    ksmama New Member

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    Well actually Kaylene doesn't have the best diet..Dh and I were just discussing tonight the fact that we don't really encourage her to eat her veggies. But anyways, I wrote down Carnation Instant Brkfst on my grocery list for tomorrow. Maybe that would help and I will sure give it a try. Great ideas, thanks so much!
    Katie
  17. aprilincali

    aprilincali Guest

    i really need help with this one

    I have a 3 year old daughter who is usually very good. I recently split with her dad and moved back to california leaving her dad in texas and for the last few weeks my 3 year old has been throwing alot of tantrums mostly at night. nighttime is horrible. its to the point that im gonna have to change my work schedual because noone can handle her. she screams for hours about everything and anything even if im there. she throws major fits and i just dont know how to stop them. i have tried just about everything, spanking, leaving her in the room by herself, ignoring her, turning off tv and lights, reading to her, putting on music etc... what else is there to do???? im just so frustrated its to tthe point that i lay her down about 8 or 9 and she screams till 2 or 3 in the morning, my neighbors are starting to complain and they probably think im abusing her or something....ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEAS!!!
  18. tikva18

    tikva18 busy building blocks

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    That sounds really rough for you and her :hug: . I think that the transition to living only with Mommy must be really hard for your dd to get used to. I would probably show her pictures of her daddy and tell her how much he loves her, but he just can't be with her right now. Do you have enough of a relationship that she could speak with him say before bed every day? I would also try winding down her routine a little earlier and keeping a set bedtime schedule. She probably isn't too sure if things will be consistent or not and that will hopefully help. When my big kids were little then I'd give a bath before bed, put on their pajamas and then read stories and sing songs. I don't think there's anything wrong with staying with her while she's going to sleep - it will reinforce that mommy isn't going away. For a while I played lullaby music in my kids' room at bedtime, so they had something pleasant to listen to while going to sleep. At the very least I'd leave her door open and let her know that she can call out and you'll be there for her.
    If I were in your shoes, I'd bring a book along for me to read and would plan on sitting in her room while she went to sleep. I'd also tell her that it's okay to cry and that you know how much she misses Texas/daddy/old house/whatever and that you are there for her and will hold her.

    I definitely would not ignore her. She doens't have the vocabulary to express how she's feeliing and cryiing/tantrums is the means of explaining how awful she feels.

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