my 3 year olds tantrums, i\I dont know what to do - FamilyEducation
my 3 year olds tantrums, i\I dont know what to do
03/04/2010 at 07:07 AM

I have twin boys age 3 Paul and Gabriel paul is pretty much a good boy and Gabriel is a handful my wife and I are going crazy and screaming and blaming each other for his actions our marriage is in jeopardy . We don’t usually argue in front of them but its getting out of hand. Everyday we are dealing with him hitting us and his brother, he hits hard to hurt he slaps his brother in the back, in the face and me and my wife. I do take some blame because I do spank him and I know its obviously not working I think he has my temper im working on that. I am not hitting him anymore. If we tell him he cant have something he will slap our hand and say ‘stop it’ or try to strike us anywhere he can. He also bites his brother . He even tried to bite me. What can we do to stop him from hitting, he thinks its ok to hit. ive been trying to show him that its not ok by pretending to cry and saying “ouch that hurt, why did you hit me” and he will caress where he hit and say “are you O.K.” but the next second he will go and hit again for some other reason. Sometimes I think he is sleep walking. When you look into his eyes when he is having a tantrum it looks like he is not focused like I said its like he is sleeping and you cant wake him up. Its scary. He has his fits out of the blue, he just goes into his fit dimension and gets lost. I.e. earlier today my wife and I left the gym after getting the boys out of the gym daycare and they were fine till we got to the truck. Paul got into his car seat with no problem as usual then Gabe just started to scream and would not sit, so I literally had to use all my strength to buckle his seatbelt this happens 8 times out of 10 and I am so stressed out. Also he screams at the top of his lungs and now complains his ears hurt, I think he is hurting his ear drums My wife and I don’t know what to do is something wrong with him, should we get tests done? What cant we do to make him stop hitting HEEEEEEEEEELP!

Have you asked his pediatrician for ideas or advice? I think that's the best place to start, especially if you suspect that his tantrums are beyond what is normal for a child his age... I can't really speak to that. I hope someone here can help you. On a somewhat related note, you and your wife should try to work something out where you each have alone time (or the two of you together alone time) to de-stress and relax. Even if it's just a few hours a week. This is good both for your personal well-beings, and because I think children tend to pick up on stress/negative energy and react to it. Good luck.

We have told the pediatrician and she says “he is 3 its normal and he will grow out of it” but I don’t agree with her and we are thinking of changing doctors. This morning we got ready and went out for breakfast and he has been good but ill tell you what, we were so nervous because we thought he would have a tantrum when we had to leave because he usually makes a scene. When he got his mickey mouse pancakes all he ate was the whip cream and I offered to cut the pancakes for him but he refused and I said ok and left it alone because I know he wants to be independent, which is good so I let it be. Turns out he didn’t eat any of it so we took it to go. He ate it later. I know if I were to cut them he would have freaked out and the terror would begin. I am learning. Then I was worried about the car seat situation and I let him sit on his own by saying whenever your ready to go to grandmas just sit down and we will go O.K. it took a couple minuets but he sat on his own thank god cause it is hard to buckle him in. I am glad I found this web site cause I am learning thank you all.

Sounds like it could be Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Have your son evaluated.

I agree with 2xstepmom, it couldn't hurt to have him evaluated. Your pediatrician could be right, but you never know. I have a brother who is 11 years younger than me... I remember him throwing tantrums like your son. He'd get overly fixated on things, and if something didn't go the way he thought it should he would want to literally "re-do" it. He had the same problem with getting into the carseat. He'd bang his head on the floor. And we couldn't distract him from these fits after a while, like you can with most kids. They would go on for hours and hours, and sometimes we weren't even sure what caused it. My parents never got this evaluated, and who knows, maybe it would still have been considered "normal." He has some issues now though. It's all speculation, but I can't help wondering, maybe there really was something wrong when he was little. If anything, and evaluation would put your mind at ease.

it is good that you have tried different ways of discipline, and when it didn't work you stopped. That is very commendable. I believe that you should get him evaluated by a behavoral specialist as soon as possible. I know it must be scarey but in the mean time, we will be hoping for you and your family.

One infant boy is reacting to the stress within the household. Also a lot of rivalry between the two must be normal, possibly just more visible in the louder personality of the two. Also, say he has a tantrum, father reacts by getting stressed as well (normal), child reacts further worse to increased stress atmosphere in the situation. One making the other worse and into a cycle. Try petting your panicked toddler and any other soothing things you can think of. Anything but aggression or fear based method. Try to think of him as being the individual who is mirroring the stress in the marriage/home, with that in mind, take the child outdoors to break atmosphere. Go to another room. The atmosphere can be changed by an adult. Change tone of voice, body language, to be caring and concerned and calm! Children are helpless in that way. Often adults are too. I hope this is some help. Treasure every individual. Treat everyone the same. Regardless of different behaviours.

I recently have been reintroduced to 3yr old tantrums, not that i missed them. Unfortunatley there is no easy fix, and what works one day will not work the next. the most sucessful thing so far is just sitting with him no matter where we are, middle store, yard, wherever and try and talk to him as calmly as possible which is easier said thatn dne sometimes, when he starts hitting or kicking, i just hold his arms or legs down and pray it will stop soon. a little inconvienient sometimes, but it seems to stop them faster if i stay calm, when i loose it he gets worse.