Tantrums

We are at our wits’ end and we just don’t know what to do, or how to handle it anymore.

I’m speaking, of course, about V and his behaviour.

I just don’t know how to handle his tantrums anymore.  They spring from nowhere – usually when he doesn’t get his way – and there’s just no reasoning with him, even though I KNOW he understands what I’m saying.

For instance, this afternoon…

It was lunch time.  His meal was something that he enjoys eating (and asked for).  As his lunch was put in front of him, he stood up, walked over to his cabinet and opened it.  This is where all his snacks are kept.  He decided that he wanted a cookie.

I told him that was no problem and that he could have a cookie after he ate his lunch.

The tears started.  This was soon followed by foot stamping and throwing himself around the room.

I told him he could take one cookie out of the packet and keep it next to him, but that he could eat it after his lunch.  This appeased him.  For about two minutes.  Because then he decided he wanted it right away.

I told him again that he could have the cookie after lunch.  This isn’t unreasonable, is it?  And it’s not difficult for him to understand?  I think he just wanted it his way!

After another ten or fifteen minutes more of crying, I told him that if he didn’t want to eat his lunch, that was fine.  But he would not be having that cookie.

Oh.  My.  God.

I held my ground.

But then started feeling a little guilty that he wasn’t eating his lunch.

I gave him alternatives.  He chose one.  And all was forgotten!

He had lunch and then he had his cookie.

I think his rewards and sanctions have to be immediate – otherwise they probably won’t make sense to him.  Right?

But how do I do that when he won’t listen to reason?

Yesterday he asked me to download new games onto the iPad.  I told him I would not do that because he’d made such a fuss to go in the bath (It took forty minutes to get him in).  He looked at me and said, ‘No I didn’t make a fuss.’  I know he couldn’t have forgotten about the tantrum he’d had.  It had only been fifteen minutes since he was screaming like he was being tortured!

I’ve thought about the ‘Calm Down Corner’, ‘Naughty Chair’ and ‘Naughty Step’.  But I just don’t feel they would work.  He wouldn’t sit there, I’m sure of it.  He thrashed about so much, I worry that he’s going to bang his head against the wall or a door or something.

Someone suggested just holding him while he was tantruming – apparently that’s meant to calm some children down?  Not mine.  He hates being held while in the middle of a tantrum!

Plus he knows exactly how to play us all off each other – me, LagosDad and the nanny.

I tried a smiley face chart – I explained it all to him many times.  He understood it.  He knew what it all meant.  But he didn’t care.  After the first day, he didn’t bat an eyelid when he got a sad face.  In fact, he stopped me getting a pen so that he could choose which colour the sad face would be!

Yesterday I realised, as I mentioned earlier, that his rewards and/or sanctions need to be immediate.

But what do I do?  And how do I implement it?

Yes, the twos were terrible.  But the threes…?  There are no words!