Tantrums - Dacula,GA

Updated on January 29, 2013
L.P. asks from Dacula, GA
9 answers

My daughter is almost 6 years old and still throws temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way. I have done everything I possibly can and I feel like I am at the end of my rope. She is enrolled in speech therapy and I have taken her to a therapist and the therapist said she is immature for her age but doesn't feel that anything is wrong with her. She did show signs of speech delay in pre-K which is when I started her on the speech therapy. I also enrolled her in dance classes but enough never seems to be enough for her. She asks to take one toy to school and I said yes and she shows up with 8 and when I tell her only one she throws a tantrum (ps I made her choose one - she did not take all 8). I don't give in to her, but these daily battles are wearing me out !!! Is there anything I am missing? any advice is soooo appreciated !!!!

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answers from Augusta on

No means , No , it does not mean you negotiate.
When she threw the tantrum , over wanting to take 8 you take all 8 away and she can't take any.
she's 6 this isn't about communication it's about getting what she wants.

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answers from Dallas on

The one way my kids insured that they would NEVER get what they wanted was to throw a fit. That sealed the deal. If on had taken 8 toys and then pitched a fit, NONE would have went with her to school. (none would have went anyway, it's no place for toys)

You have to decide this behavior is unacceptable. I know you are troubled by it. I know you wish it would stop. But is she potty trained? That's because you felt it was unacceptable for her and you that she be wareing a diaper. Right now you are ambivalent about the tantrums.

Let me push you a bit. It's not ok. It's not pretty behavior. It spoils your relationship by introducing a power struggle.

You have been given good advice here about getting her to communicate better and getting down on her level. Talk to her about it when both of you are calm. Tell her how her behavior makes her seem much younger than she is and how that's going to change. Make a feelings chart. Make a tantrum chart. If this behavior occurs=this consequence.

When you take control both of you will feel better.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I agree with those who say that when a tantrum occurs, negotiations are over. The answer is NO.

You tell her ________. She either accepts your terms or gets nothing. Give her THAT choice; what you say or nothing. Don't get into arguments with her. "DD, you choose. 1 toy or NO toys." As soon as the tantrum starts, negotiations are over. The answer is NO toys, and SHE chose no toys when she started to tantrum.

I don't always agree with those who say that she can't communicate well, so she tantrums. No...that's a good reason when a child is 1 or 2. Now she tantrums because it's a negotiating tool and she's using that tool to get her way because it's worked on SOME level for her before.

Give her a choice, but don't let her use a tantrum as a negotiating tool. Stay in control of the situation and don't let frustration allow you to give in.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

What do you mean by everything? It's hard to suggest things without knowing what you've already been doing. Have you ALWAYS given her an extremely serious consequence for beginning a tantrum after ONE WARNING since age 18 months? Or have you allowed fits by ignoring them and "not giving in", but yet not disciplining the behavior firmly? There is a lot of gray area between the two extremes too, so it's hard to know what you should do without knowing what you've done. If you do not allow fits, as in, you discipline them firmly from the very onset EVERY TIME, kids don't have them. There are books along these lines if you are interested. I have three kids of very different temperaments-including one born rager, and they all stopped fits by age 2 1/2 with varying degrees of consistency (rager took the most by far, but she's really well behaved now with excellent self control at 3 1/2).

If you allow fits at all by ignoring, then six is not uncommon for still throwing fits. My daughter (6) has two peers we see at many events who are constantly throwing fits when they don't get their way. We're talking crying, stomping, the whole thing. If my daughter tried that, she would receive a very firm consequence every time until she realized she's be better off deciding against the outburst. Try your most effective discipline every time. She is old enough to connect discipline after the fact if you need to wait until you get home to enforce. If you enforce firmly at home, you can then warn her before your next outing what will happen if she does it again, and repeat as necessary. It could take lots of repetition since she's an older child and very set in the habit, or it may take very little if you choose something effective since she has her impulse control well in check by age 6.

Also, keep your own demeanor logical, positive and calm. Do not get riled. Give a calm warning right away, and then take action non-angrily right away. This will emphasize that SHE is the one acting out (not you) and SHE is the one choosing the outcome, it's not a result of you flipping out or getting mad. This keeps things from escalating when kids need to make a quick effective choice. If you can't enforce in the moment in public or something, just let her know what will happen at home calmly and leave it at that. But FOLLOW THROUGH AT HOME so she believes you the next time or all is lost.

Also, at her age, you should have a sit down with her in a time of calm, woman to woman, and let her know you love her so much that there is a new regime where she is no longer allowed to act that way, it's time to become a mature young lady. Spell out EXACTLY what will happen the very first time she tries that. This will make it click when you warn her when the time comes. She'll still try it to test your resolve, but the more clear warnings you follow through on, the clearer it is and will prevent future episodes.

This is all for medically normal kids of course, if she has a disorder which makes her incapable of self control then seek professional help. A good book for her age including for fits is "Back to Basics Discipline" by Janet Campbell Matson.

***It's no fun to enforce things firmly, but the reward comes when the child is so much happier with right behavior and the praise and fun activities that naturally come with that. Nip it!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Take a look at this article and see if it speaks to you. I read it after it came out and thought it was very interesting.

Tantrum Tamer: New Ways Parents Can Stop Bad Behavior

Added - hmmm... it cuts off the end of the link so that you can't see it all. Try adding the following after article/ (copy and paste it.)


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answers from Miami on

My daughter is 4 1/2 and has the same kind of tantrums. I find ignoring it really helps. As long as we aren't somewhere were it would bother other people, I just go about my business and don't even acknowledge the tantrum. If we are in a public place and it's possible, I take her outside and let her be ridiculous. When she has calmed herself we'll talk about it calmly if she wants to or just leave it. I've found that being consistent with ignoring her has cut down on the recurring tantrums (things she cries about regularly).

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answers from St. Louis on

not sure if this will apply, but it's such a great discipline method that it's my go-to choice. I live by "1-2-3 Magic"....& it truly saved my life. It teaches you how to be the parent without the drama.

next thought: I have used two other ways of stopping the tantrums. They're not pretty, but they both work. Hand your daughter a mirror & let her see what she looks like while she's having a tantrum. While keeping yourself calm, show her a smile & a happy face on yourself. Compare faces, show her the differences, & ask her what choice should she be making.

The 2nd option is to calmly tell her that since she's throwing a tantrum.... you will too. Throw a doozy, then ask her if it's better to be happy. Tell her you like to feel happy so much more than crabby!

With both of these methods, I used a reward chart to draw the child's attention to making good choices. I know it sounds nuts, but it does work. For me, the important aspect was that I remained calm & logical thru the process. Tried to keep a happy mood....so I could model the behavior I expected. Good Luck.

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answers from Fargo on

When my 7 year old was 4, she started throwing tantrums. I realized she didn't have the words to use to express her feelings. So I got one of those feelings charts with the different faces and we talked about each feeling and what we appropriate response is to each. When she would start to tantrum, id get down on her level and either pull out the chart or ask her what she was feeling and then ask hee how we respond to that feeling. Worked great. Even now at 7, she will start to lose her temper, and I'll ask her what she is feeling and it seems to neutralize the situation. Her biggest feeling that causes a temper is frustration or not feeling heard/understood. And she gets punished for inappropriate behavior as she needs to control her emotions and learn to work through it.... she can't spend her life flying off the handle saying mean things over literally nothing (trait she inherited from my ex that no one taught him to deal with). I have had her in counseling for her anger and this is the plan of attack.

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answers from Charleston on

I've been there! No fun. The way we worked through it was not giving in (which it sounds like you are on top of), but also bringing everything to a halt or removing the child from the situation, or both if the tantrums were frequent or totally out of line (or both). These can be volatile moments (leaving the cart right where it was at Target, turning the car around, carrying child up to her room and leaving her there to pull it together, and not letting her out until she was ready to engage calmly in whatever the issue is (note - her room should not be romper room on steroids)). To basically make clear that you have no interest in interacting with her when she is like this and that no one else wants to either. I am always happy to listen and talk with my kids when they are being rational, but I will not talk with them when they are having a fit out of proportion to the situation. At 6, she is old enough to understand what her behavior should be like and right now she is making you the audience and holding you hostage. The good news with her being 6 is that she can be rational and you can explain that you expect a certain level of a behavior from her and that ABC will happen if she keeps throwing fits. This gets her buy-in from the get go.

Also, you can have key things that she likes that get taken away (watching a certain show, dessert, whatever). Visual cues help (magnets or a chart to show her what she "lost" or gained through her behavior). The key is to be consistent with how you treat these situations and be prepared for it to disrupt your life for a couple of weeks. If it makes you feel better, my soon to be three year old is about to end up on this plan... Good luck!

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