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Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 10:36 pm
My almost-4-yr-old DS started throwing tantrums /meltdowns. Daily. Or twice daily. Anything can set him off, from his spoon falling down to a quarter of an inch less juice in his cup then he expected.
He did just lose his spot as the youngest, 3 months ago. And is in a new school. So I get that he is having a rough adjustment and I'm trying my best to smooth it out. But these fullblown, frequent meltdowns are so hard to handle.
Tips on how to minimize them?
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pesek zman


Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 10:45 pm
I find when they're giving you a hard time it's because they're having a hard time. As you said, he is facing a bit adjustment. I read something about "time in", when you sit with them and just BE. I try to hold my 3 year old on my lap, and soothe her. Sometimes I sing or rock. When she calms down we try to talk about what's going on
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Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 10:47 pm
I have no magic solutions to offer; only suggestions from my bank of 'tried' and 'true'. As you probably know, each child is different.

I used a sticker-based reward chart when I wanted to modify behaviour. After X number of stickers for good behaviour, they got a (not food based) treat, such as special mommy time with me, a video to watch, bake special shabbos treat (ok fine, some food based treats... hey... I'm not perfect). One particular DD used to cry every time she didn't get her way, if her bed wasn't just SO, if a sibling looked at her for too long. The reward chart worked so well that she used to come up to me and say 'Ima, I could've cried for X, y, or Z but I didn't. I get a sticker". This works from a young age.

This was the first thing that came to mind. I'll try to think of others but I'm pretty congested.... grrrrr. Caught my first cold of the season.

Edited for clarity and grammatical errors fuelled by congestion.
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Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 10:53 pm
Following. I use bribes when I need immediate cooperation. Maybe notgreat chinuch but it works
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Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 11:02 pm
Try to avoid the tantrum in first place if you can.
Leave the room when he tantrums or pretend you’re busy.
When he calms down discuss what happened in a loving way and discuss what he could’ve done instead.
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Post  Wed, Oct 10 2018, 11:18 pm
If the tantrums are taking place AFTER he comes home from school it can just be that he is tired. My mother had that with me. She said I tantrumed daily from when I got off the school bus until I conked out from crying. Then once I woke up from that nap I was perfectly fine.
But you DS definitely can be acting this way because his life changed so much recently and it takes a toll .
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Post  Thu, Oct 11 2018, 5:02 am
So we have been doing sticker charts for a lot of things over the last 6 months
We also have instant reward system - a "no crying treat" for going to school without crying or staying with a babysitter without crying. I do use food rewards with this kid - he loves loves loves candy. Another favorite reward for him is a trip to the candy store.
We also tried the button candy chart where he has a sheet of 9 on the top of the fridge where he can see them and every time he misbehaves over the day, I take one off. At bedtime he gets to eat whatever is left.
He gets a lot of time with me without his older siblings as he gets home first but the new baby is always there, possibly sleeping. When baby sleeps he often sits on my lap and we read books.
I've been trying to ignore/walk out when he is having total meltdown because as I tell him, 1. I can't understand what he wants when he is screaming so much and not using his words and I have no clue what he actually wants me to do, and 2. If I get close, try to hold him, he is kicking and hitting me and it ain't pleasant, and 3. It is so emotionally draining so I try to keep calm and not get super frustrated.
Tantrums can occur at any time of day, with no warning.
Today's tantrums were for:
- going to school
- deciding Mommy and only Mommy has to sit on the floor while he pulls up his pants after the bathroom.
Yesterday was spoon fell down and then at bedtime, I'm still not sure what he wanted (something about the covers) but he eventually cried himself to sleep.
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Post  Thu, Oct 11 2018, 8:37 am
I’m in a similar boat with DD4. It’s really difficult! It’s gotten a little better but still frequent daily meltdowns, and she’s not one of those kids who can be distracted with a fun game or mitzva note.

Here are a few things we do:

1) After the tantrums she is very verbal and aware so we often discuss what happened, why she was sad, how we could have helped, what a good solution could have been, how we can relax when stressed, etc. Once in a while we would discuss a related consequence if it was warranted. E.g. after having meltdowns when leaving friends house multiple times in a row, later we discussed how we weren’t ready for play dates for X days. When not tantruming she understands and it even makes sense to her.

2) don’t engage while she’s tantruming unless she’s hurting self or others. Sometimes leave the to the next room.

3) compliment good behavior/reactions to her stressful situations. E.g. she wants a certain dress but it’s in the dirty laundry basket, if she manages to be sad but not have a full on meltdown we tell her how proud we are.

4) encourage her to use her words in general, not just scream and cry. This area she’s made the most progress in bH. Now that we we know why she’s upset we can address it (either then or later, depending on how deep in it she is!)

5) if there is a specific trend we notice, we will create a chart for that specific skill/behavior (as opposed to a general good behavior chart). E.g. if she consistently tantrumed over cleaning up her bath toys at the end of the bath, we would make a chart for that specific behavior with a new bath toy as a reward.

I’m sure there is more but this is what’s coming into my head now!

Good luck!!
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Post  Thu, Oct 11 2018, 10:08 am
If mine has a tantrum he's warned and then put into a time out super nanny style and my toddler has only had a handful of tantrums ever so I guess it works.
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