OH! the tantrums!


What a horrible 12 hours it has been with the never ending screaming tantrums. Hubby and I are out of ideas on how to deal with this.

Yesterday evening was the first time in 4 days that Hubby and Honeybear saw each other. Hubby was very tired after 4 15 hour work days and the last one he only had 3 hours of sleep. So we decided we would all go to bed at Honeybear’s bedtime.

Dinner was a fight, shower was a fight, we get him into the bed, and there are issues about who he would like to sleep next to. We give up on trying to read anything and turn off the light and the screaming starts. Screaming and crying and fussing and snotty noses. It went on for two hours with us trying everything we could think of. Eventually I think Honeybear fell asleep because he was tired. I picked him up, took him to the bathroom to wash his face and the two of us spooned tight and he fell asleep in less than 5 minutes.

This morning we decided to wake an hour later so we do not get into a fight with Honeybear and he can wake on his own. It was not to be. He screamed and fussed and cried every minute since he woke.

I eventually had to carry him under my arm and force him into his car seat. He was still screaming.

He did not want to pee, not brush teeth, does not want to dress, does not want to go out the house. We were on the point of being late for work, which is when I tucked him under my arm and forced him into his car seat. Then I jumped into my car and left.

I called hubby later to find that he screamed the whole way in the car, removed his shoes and socks in the car and threw them at Hubby. He screamed all the way into the school. Hubby says his teacher came and took him and said not to worry. All the kids do this every so often and she would calm him down. Hubby says he left and went to work.

I tried to call the school but no one was available just now.

I feel like such a failure as a parent. I have not worked since last Friday and after the weekend things were better with Honeybear, but yesterday it was like we were back at square one. It was all well, for part of the afternoon. I left work early to fetch him and then e had some time to ourselves, playing and watching the grass fires. Hubby got home and it seemed like all hell broke loose.

My stomach is in knots, I feel hot a feverish just thinking about having to go through all of that again. I know that kind of stress reaction in myself is going to set Honeybear off.

We have planned to go fishing for the weekend, which we all enjoy, and I think some time out of our house, doing some camping might be what we all need. I am hoping it will be what we need to reconnect as a family.

I do not know if it has been a combination of me working evenings and weekends and Hubby working his long hours, that Honeybear is feeling neglected and just looking for negative attention. I am not working at home anymore, because I can see my baby is not happy. I am really hoping the camping and fishing and some fresh outdoor air is what we all need.

I just want to know how to make my child feel better.


22 responses »

  1. Ohhh no Mamacat – how awful and I know that it can upset your whole day and you’ll be lambasting yourself about everything and anything.

    I don’t really know how to give advise. i know we always said to Zoe when she started to cry that Jesus gave her words and she should rather use words than crying. It worked for Zoe but not at all for my brother’s girls – I suppose it depends on the personalities.

    Enjoy the camping!

    • I think that is part of the problem….at almost three, he still does not speak properly yet. He still finds it difficult to make himself understood. I am the best at understanding him, and once the crying starts it gets difficult to know what he needs. I try to tell him to stop and speak so I can help him…but that weird mix of English and Afrikaans that he has going is so difficult.
      I really am looking forward to the camping.

  2. Oh no man, it sounds like you are having a really rough time. At first I thought “perhaps HB isn’t feeling well”, but then it could also be not seeing Dad for a while. Just the smallest change in routine can really upset our little ones.
    I remember last year Liam and I were really butting heads. I decided to take the day off and go to the beach with him. I know you spend plenty of one on one time with HB
    If there was a secret to making our children feel better we wouldn’t have any problems.
    What did everyone tell us when we were tired, breastfeeding mums – This too shall pass.
    I hope thing cheer up soon.

    • I actually have considered taking him for a general check-up. Maybe something is hurting which is making him so upset.
      I actually am not confident this is going to pass….I have seen my older nephews, and they still have meltdowns.
      I think I need to calm down myself.

      • I’m sure it will pass, they all go through that phase. Liam still has meltdowns when he doesn’t get his own way. I’m hopeful HB will be better in a few days. Perhaps he’s just overtired. Shame man, please post about this again to let us know how you are getting on

  3. The one piece of advice I was given was that you can NEVER give a toddler enough attention, and I have noticed, even when we have all had a good day, with lots of loves, Tpants starts to act up the minute she sees she is being ‘ignored’ – we’re cooking supper, reading the newspaper, talking on the phone…
    I don’t know the answers, but it will pass, and hopefully with the work stuff improving, getting a nanny, he will settle down soon. At least I hope it does, we’re in a similar boat!

    • I am a believer in the Dr Sears “you cannot spoil a child with love and attention” and I think you may have a point.
      I am hoping for a miracle and that we have a light bulb moment and it all falls into place. He has always been a crier and I used to do baby wearing which worked wonders, but at almost three, that is no longer feasible.
      If you find the answer….you know who wants to know! 🙂

  4. I feel you! I can deal with the fall on the floor tantrums but these outbursts is something different!
    They say its mostly because the littles cant express themselves. But sometimes I think its more than that. Guess they have all our emotions too – they just need to channel it! Saw a youtube video once, a little girl also going a lekr tantrum, then the dad asks distracting questions, like what sound does a cow make etc.. and he keeps asking, at first she answers in between tears etc and eventually she just stops and play along. Ask anything – just to distract them.
    I tried it with Jessica sometimes it works other days not. But they also need to understand its not the way to behave.
    actually just this morning we had a tuff, we needed to leave and Jessica was taking her sweet time to get into the car. Told her twice “get in, or I put you in” and when I did she gooi-ed a tantrum, because she wanted to do so herself. I left her, she cried about 5min, asked her if she was done, then she spit and scream some more (that tong bbrrr thing) told her, well no sweets, no presents/ ‘verrassings/ surprises’ /wathcing her favorite DVD… When she was done, she told me ‘Ok ek is nou klaar’. Had a quick chat telling/asking her if she understood what she was doing was wrong, and it makes mommy sad.
    Maybe if he continues tonight – try telling him about the fishing. And that the fishes wont like crying and screaming like that – they will just run away! 🙂 Or simple things like that – I dont know how you feel about telling ‘fibs’ to kids, but sometimes it can be a saviour!

    • I also still believe in distraction. but then I become a nag about it when all he wants to do is cry. The other day to distract Liam from a toy shop we were walking passed, I said “Quick, lets race and see who gets to the top of the hill” It worked twice, on the way back to the car passed the same shop

      • Mostly it works! It lets them focus on something else other than the issue at hand.
        Jessica also getting the “Im first/ Ek gaan jou wen” concept – helps a lot! 🙂

    • This thing was so far gone, nothing seemed to work, except fatigue. I do not thing, by then even he knew what he was so upset about. We calling”worked himself up into a state. “Well last night he actually slept through and there was no fight about anything!

    • I think you are right. I did eventually just wash his face and hold him tight against me…and he fell asleep.
      I did read up on sensory issues long before I even thought about kids, maybe another read is in order. Thanks cat.

  5. Oh gosh. Tantrums can wear a parent down, and fast. I am sure they use crying/whiny kids as a form of torture somewhere in the world. Jokes. Firstly, get him checked out to rule out any illness, sickness, etc. Check with his teachers how his behaviour is at school to rule out if anything is going on there. If you are sure there are no other issues, then I’d start enforcing some sort of discipline. Hear me out, before you gasp! At almost three, they are old enough to listen, understand and agree/disagree that certain behaviour is not acceptable. Do not withhold love and attention, absolutely not, but I believe in setting firm boundaries and making the child understand that if those boundaries are crossed, there will be consequences. And you set those consequences out clearly for him to understand. It takes time and it takes extreme consistency, every time he acts out, you follow through with whatever the two of you have decided will be the consequence for that kind of behaviour. You know as a mom, when your kid is acting out and when he is seriously upset/hurt/scared or whatever, so obviously you’ll act appropriately depending on the situation. But consistency is key. He’ll get the picture eventually. I said it to you before, tantrums are normal and every child will have one or one thousand in their little lives (haha).. but for your own sanity, you want to get over them as quickly as possible. Good luck, it isn’t easy, I know! But I can promise you that it doesn’t last forever!

    • Oh Robyn, I am so terrible at enforcing discipline and being consistent. It’s my downfall. I know exactly what to do but I can’t implement it. Kind of like our government, haha

      • Hahaha! I am like that too, some days I am actually too tired, too annoyed and just cannot be bothered to follow through.. we’re moms, not machines…lol! It is easier said, than done, but I know when the boundaries and limits are set, they are better behaved (age appropriate behaviour, I am not trying to stifle their little personalities here), they are happier and I am happier. So I do try to stick to the “iron fist” parenting. lol, don’t think that will go down with the liberalist parents out here!

      • LOL at the “iron fist” DH believes in the “wooden spoon” Although he has never smacked Liam with it, Liam knows of its power and runs for the hills (or bedroom)

    • I had crying session with his teacher this morning when I went to speak to her. She said he is actually one of the better behaved children and he is very polite.
      She said that she does not think we have anything t worry because in her experience it is perfectly normal and all the kids do it (one was doing it when I walked int he gate)
      So I do feel a little better, but it is horrible in the moment.
      I am big on following through…whether it is rewards or discipline, if we have promised something, it will happen…which is why we are very careful about what we promise.
      Thank you for the comment.

  6. Ai so sorry you are struggling with him,it is tough when their routine is disrupted,kids do feel when things are different.Sometimes is quality over quantity with time,a few minutes of undivided attention for a small child could feel like hours to them.Try be creative with spending a bit of special time with him.Hope you figure something out so you all feel better.

  7. Huge hugs MC! I do hope this stage passes soon. I don’t really have anything to add … I agree with Robyn about the boundaries and consequences … and really like Deblet’s take on things as well.

    Munchkin was never a tantrum thrower but Sweetpea has had some doozies (and still occasionally does) and they really make me feel helpless …. because she cries as if her whole heart is breaking … and then she doesn’t want me to touch her but she doesn’t want me to leave her alone, etc etc. I don’t really think she even knows what she wants by this time.

    Hope you find a way that works for you …

I want to read your thoughts....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s