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Thread: Christy's De-Brief..positive update

  1. #1

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    Default Christy's De-Brief..positive update

    Well... I'm scared but someone has to do the first post



    I just want to start out my thread by letting people know I do appreciate constructive criticism, but I also have heard so much negative if you haven't gone through what I am, please don't feel the need to tell me how to do it better. However, like I said I do appreciate if anyone does have things that may help...

    Today's de-brief is on tantrum behaviour.

    I will first define what my husband and I call a full-on tantrum. For us this is uncontrollable behaviour. When she holds her breath until she passes out, when she throws her body around without worrying about where it lands. She often runs with her eyes shut into anything, or throws her body backwards without regard as to what is behind her. When she does physical damage to herself and is unable to stop. I repeat UNABLE to stop.

    Comments people in our life have made regarding this behaviour:
    - What have you done to her?
    - She feels insecure.
    - Maybe she doesn't feel loved
    - If she gets a slap, maybe it will stop her
    - Why don't you stop her?
    - What are you doing about it?
    - She's full-on, I've never seen a child ever do anything like this before
    - I'm sure my children never had tantrums like this
    - what did you eat when you were pregnant?
    - It is only going to get worse

    Oh I could go on, but I won't.... my biggest beef is that people feel the need to comment on it. I would much rather someone say "Christy, go outside. I will make sure she does not get hurt, have a break for a few minutes" So I can recharge & come back in to help Matilda... rather than stress about what the person is saying about Matilda or me.

    I have answers to every comment made. 1. I have NOT done anything to her to "make" her behave this way. 2. I love Matilda with everything I have and would do anything to stop her loosing control like this. BUT I recognise 3. tantrums are a developmental phase which toddlers go through in order to learn how to control their emotions. 4. Not every child has this degree of tantrums. 5. Personality does come to play, and I can do nothing to change her personality only to help her shape it and turn things into positives.

    Every tantrum is accompanied by a "cool down" where we cuddle & I let her know I love her and try and describe what she is feeling so she learns to acknowledge feeling frustrated & tired, or scared or hungry or whatever...

    So.... why do people feel the need to comment? Most of the people are not even here throughout major tantrums, most people don't see how I handle the situation, most people think that I am doing something wrong...

    DH & I are working on "plans" for different situations, we have behaviour charts where we fill in tantrums and all the particulars like when, where, why, what was going on before, what is our normal "routine" for that time, etc etc so that we can try and pinpoint reasons for the out of control tantrums.

    I'm not even talking about the mini tanties where she chucks one to see what we will do, or because she's done something naughty, or because we've said "no" to something in particular. Those don't get out of control normally. She loves to test the waters & make sure its still NOT okay today to pull the dogs tails where as she remembers that yesterday it was not okay...And sometimes she's okay with being told "no" or having some time away from the situation and sometimes she's not okay, but these are minor. They occur multiple times a day but they are minor.

    I always expected tantrums. I was a nanny for a while and babysat for around 6 years... so I understand tantrums. I just never expected them to be so full on. AND I never expected everyone else to have an opinion about my child's tantrums....

    whew... this feels good getting this off my chest.

  2. #2

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    Well... that is a bit disjointed but I had to get it out while it was in my head LOL. Two elaborations:

    1. When she holds her breath I blow in her face & if that doesn't help I have been known to use the "naughty puppy" water pistol. It has worked everytime. She takes a giant breath & starts screaming.

    2. DH & I are seriously working on plans for this behaviour. We are having an appointment soon to see a triple P independant consultant on an individual basis to help us manage & cope with different behaviours.

  3. #3

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    Hey Christy, All i am going to say is :hugs: :hugs: :hugs:

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    Christy {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}

    I'm sorry to hear that you feel so unsupported by friends/family over Matilda's out-of-control tantrums. She's a delightful little girl and so very intelligent; you could never have done anything to encourage or 'cause' these behavioural actions.

    You are a fantastic Mum and honestly; I feel blown away by the steps that you have & are taking to try and proactively deal with the situation. I wish I could have been there at times with you to give you that 'go outside and take a breath, Christy' moment.

    People always seem so ready to hand out suggestions during one of these moments; yet it would be nice if for once they could hold their tongues with regards to their opinions and just simply ask 'what can I do to help you?'.

    Glad that this forum has been such a fantastic opportunity for you to debrief!

  5. #5
    Sal Guest

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    Christy, funny how people think all children's behaviour stems from how they are treated by their parents, as if!

    ...sounds like you are doing your best to cope with the tantrums; as long as you're stopping her hurting herself and you're keeping yourself sane you are doing a great job.

    As you are pg, you couldn't try this, but could your DH try and hold her tightly to him when she starts a tanty, to stop her flinging herself around? It wouldn't be easy but it might offer her some comfort whilst she's having her tantrum. Just a thought

  6. #6

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    Some people just don't think before they open their mouths. Can i ask how long has she been doing this for Christy? and what triggers her into doing it, especially if there is a difference between these uncontrollable tantrums and the other mini tantrums?

    It is not anything you or DH have done as parents, and I do believe that personality has a lot to do with how we show our emotions. But I do know the feeling where you just don't know what to do anymore.

    I applaud you for being able to put this here and that you are trying to do the best you can to help Matilda deal with her emotions and her control over them, because it is not an easy job being a parent and we will all have our challenges along the way.

  7. #7

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    Thank you all, I appreciate it.

    Sherie... as for mini tantrums, she's having them atm LOL... she is throwing things around the house & crying and screaming. She's just had arvo tea (1/2apple& 2 slices of cheese) and we've been playing with playdough and then the phone rang. Ever since I answered the phone she has been doing things to get my attention via negative behaviour. I sat down with her to try and read a story or get some one on one time & she threw herself down on the ground and screamed...so I got up and walked away. She got up & followed me & continued to throw herself down everytime I stopped or sat down (bit like that funniest home video). When she finished I stopped & gave her a cuddle, turned on play school and sat with her for a few minutes and then she got up & left so I came on here....so I'm okay with this sort of tantrum because it ends okay ykwim?

    The major tantrums tend to happen either early in the morning around 7am when we are making breakfast and around 4.30-5.30pm. Everyone has been either time, sometimes both. Both times I am usually preparing food. Most times I give her something like a sao to snack on while I am preparing food just in case she is hungry. We have tried to prepare her meals earlier and its never avoided a tantrum, its only made them happen in the high chair...so I am at a bit of a loss over that one

  8. #8

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    Christy, do you think it would make a difference if she helped you prepare food? (if you haven't already tried this) I know I cringe at the thought of Paige wanting to help cook (and there is only 2 weeks between Matilda and Paige), but I think Matilida is a very independent little girl and maybe she feels left out of the cooking perhaps? When Paige want's to help, I just let her stand on a chair and she's happy.

    I suppose with the little tantrums, you also know how to deal with those and what works in making her settle down, but you just can't ignore a child when she is hurting herself.

  9. #9

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    Yeah I find I walk away from the mini ones because even they upset me, the big ones I can't ignore.

    I have tried to give her a chopping board & a carrot & a butter knife before, but I haven't done that in a while... I will try that one tonight! LOL

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    maybe try zucchini or celery for her to chop.... my kids still can't manage chopping carrot and it just frustrates them.

    I don't have any answers for you Christy. I read a great book a while ago called, "Grace-based parenting" and it had some tanty-tips in it if I recall. I'll have to hunt it down and have a look for you. From memory though, I think you've probably covered everything it suggested.

  11. #11
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    Christy I just want to applaud you and tell you that I think you are doing such a marvelous job. Sounds to me you are doing all the right things in getting the tanties kicked out the door.

    Maybe when you're preparing food she could have a wooden spoon and a pot that she can drum on or stir and pretend that she's cooking too, just another suggestion to throw into the mix

  12. #12

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    I didn't prepare dinner tonight LMAO... just decided I would wait & you know what, no tantrum... well a mini one but no one got worked up & we were all here.

  13. #13
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    Oh that's great! You're doing so well, Jonah is just starting to tanty when something doesn't go his way, so thank you for sharing your story too

  14. #14

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    Christy sweets, you are doing it tough, but handling it SO well.

    One thing that did strike me in your original post, which probably you are doing already, but, when you say:

    I would much rather someone say "Christy, go outside. I will make sure she does not get hurt, have a break for a few minutes"
    Have you explained this to people? (I am sure you have....but JIC?)

    I have a GF who has a 2 year old who is VERY similar in behaviour to Matilda, and I certainly never commented on the out of control tanties, but equally, I never offered what you suggest either. I guess I was afraid my GF would think that I was being "bossy" or trying to imply I could sort it where she couldn't?

    Anyway, I discussed this with my GF today, & she laughed and said "Lucy, that is EXACTLY what I need.....even a 2 minute breather helps"

    SO thank you Christy, for helping me help another Mummy, and needless to say, if I was ever in Qld, I would send you off for a long coffee whilst I made sure Miss Matilda was OK.........xxxxxxxxxxx

  15. #15
    Melinda Guest

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    Christy, I just wanted to second what Lucy said, in that if I was in QLD, I'd happily offer to send you out for a break whilst I kept an eye on Matilda. My only hope would be that one day you'd reciprocate LOL!!!

    As you know, Jacob has also been going through some very difficult times with tantrums and I've also experienced the full barrage of comments, just like you have. It's a horrid feeling that people are passing judgement on you and your parenting skills. As if you don't feel 'responsible' enough already, without having other people point the finger at you also.

    So all in all, I just wanted to reassure you that you really are NOT alone - I may be in Tassie which is a long way from where you are, but we too have been in a similar boat. Obviously both our kids are different and do different things tantrum-wise, have different triggers etc, but they have been extreme and non-relenting at times and we both find it difficult to cope whilst under the watchful eye of everyone around us who seem to be saying "thank god my child never did that" which isn't at all helpful or constructive in the least bit.

    I also wanted to let you know, that in the past couple of weeks, Jacob seems to have really turned a corner. It quite literally happened overnight. It's been a very long six months for us ..... tantrums have been evident for a very long time, but the past six months have been the worst ever from that POV. So I really believe, that Matilda too will turn a corner and her tantrums will ease. Jacob still has them, but they are over things I would expect IYKWIM, and they are not full-on ones where he hits himself and hurts himself etc and they are reasonably short-lived.......

  16. #16

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    Lucy I'm so glad that this helped open up things with your friend! YAY! & you know I am often most quiet around some people who tend to comment most, so next time I promise I will say, "I appreciate your opinion, but right now the help I need is ....."

    Mel, thanks. Our two really seem to take turns in this! When Matilda is going well, Jacob isn't & vice versa LMAO! I must remind myself to see the light at the end of the tunnel

  17. #17
    Melinda Guest

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    LOL yeah they do seem to take turns don't they!! Cheeky devils!

  18. #18

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    Christy, I just had a thought that it might be related to Matilda asserting her independence because of the baby IYKWIM? or does she not really understand about the baby yet?

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