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Mia will be 4 yrs in September and I am really struggling with her constant outburts of anger/frustration/temper atm.  I hate the word tantrums as I know she is expressing her emotions. But, it starts literally the moment she wakes up, she screams and shouts and throws things over tiny things like not wanting to wait for her toast to cook or Tarka having a book she wants. She throws things, hits Tarka, hits out at us occasinally and generally makes everybody feel like running away!

She's also just started completely ignoring me whenever I ask her to do something (just about anythign actually) even if we're out walking and I need her to hold my hand by the road or keep close to me in a shop as it's busy.  She never used to be like this, and as Tarka is really impulsive and busy when we're out, it's almost impossible for me to leave the house with them some days. 

Mia is also refusing to get dressed,brush her hair, get ready leave the house without a huge scene, even though she screaming because she wants to go at the same time as screaming about not getting dressed etc  :-\  I haven't even tried to dress her this morning and T has been dressed since 7am!  I'm not planning on going out with them today as our trip to the library yesterday afternoon was a nightmare,as they were both running around madly and knocked a little girl over and still Mia completely ignored m, refused to either stop running and shouting or put her shoes and leave so that we could run outside by the river instead.  If Dp hadn't been meeting us there after work, |I'm not sure how I would have mamaged to actually leave the library as they were both completely ignoring me…

we are attachment parenting and I wouldn't ever think of using punishments or rewards and I'm sure a lot of it down to my tiredness and snappinees and frustrated beahviour with her   :-\  I try to never 'manhandle' her but occasionally, I have the lift her up against her will.  I feel as though I'm not sure what is appropriate , as in how long do I stand there validating her feelings when we absolutely have to get home for a reason, or is it ok, to insist we leave as long as I am gentle with her and allow her to express her upset fully???

i also know that I am naturally quite short-tempered and impatient and while I'm working on it  ::), It must be part of the problem  :-\

Sorry if this is a ramble & excuse typing errors, I'm sooo tired lol….. I'd be gratfeul for any thoughts on this…
Thanks Gina xxx


Reading your post sounds just like my life, only I've just got the one to deal with.  My little girl is 3 in August and we're going through the same phase as your little girl.  She has massive tantrums, screams that she wants something, then she doesn't, then she wants it again. I might as well be talking to the wall for all the notice she takes of me when I tell her not to do something.

She's also getting really clingy and the other night, she was settling down to sleep and would scream if I left the room.  It ended up at 1am with my DH coming in to try and settle her as I was just in tears.  There are plenty of days when I feel like just walking out and not coming back.  Her first few months were a nightmare, colic, breastfeeding didn't go well (we sorted it out and she still BFeeds now) and sleeping was awful.  I dreaded nights and this is the main reason I'm not having anymore kids, I just couldn't got through it again.

I can't offer much practical help but it sounds like you're doing the right things. My parents say DD is just like me as a kid and that it's a phase that won't last too long.  Hopefully you're daughter will calm down soon.

Michellle  smile

Hi Gina,

I found 4 a much more difficult age than the supposed "terrible twos", just because they are able to give a reasoned explanantion as to why they shouldn't do something!!  I find giving them a choice of two things can be helpful, even if you manipulate it so that one choice is something that they wouldn't like to do, and the other is the thing that you need them to do! A bit sneaky but is worked for me.  Also, how about reverse psychology?  It works with some children, ie I don't think you could ever put your shoes on, and they go and do it just to prove you wrong!  

I do however think that there has to be boudaries, and it certainly sounds like she is pushing all the boundaries at the moment (I'm going through a similar thing with DS1 at the moment (9 approaching teenage years I think!), and he has no respect for my decisions at the moment, and reasoning is no longer working, so I am on the cusp of having to send him to his room.  At the end of the day your family have to work together as a team, and if one is being particularly selfish it has repercussions on everyone else.  It is tough when you are heavily pregnant as any will-power is lacking (well it is in my situation anyway!) but I don't think it does children any harm for them to see you upset as a repercussion of their behaviour, infact I think it is important for them to realise the effects of their actions.  At 4 (or nearly 4) your daughter should be old enough to understand that it is simply not acceptable to behave like that, and that it does have repercussions.  

I can remember times with DS1 when I was scared to be on my own with him, as I was unsure how he would make me react (it got that bad!) but it did pass.  I can sympathise totally with you (and I have got to the point before now when I have marched out of the town centre with him under my arm)

I'm not sure my parenting style would be classed as attatchment parenting (I will reward good behaviour, and explain why certain behaviours are not appropriate) but will always be there for them whenever they need me to be, but perhaps at the moment she needs just a little nudge in the right direction of working as part of a whole and not just as an individual.

I am most definitely rambling now, and I'm not sure if any of this will be anything you would consider, but I have certainy been there, and have found the above to help in my situation.



Is she worried about the impending arrival maybe? I know from my DD (who is rather more explosive and less flexible than most) that the least tiny thing that upsets her equilibrium causes these outbursts. KNowing what a good mum you are, I'm sure that you've sat down and talked about what will happen when the baby comes, but she may be worried about it in ways she's not able to articulate.

Otherwise, this is what I do with my DD: is she tired? This is the number one cause of explosive outbursts with my DD. Is she hungry or thirsty? This is number two. If she's tired, I make sure we have a 'lazy day' where we don;t try and get anything done or even leave the house, and I make sure I spend a lot of the day 'down on the floor' with them. I try to anticipate hunger and thirst by always ahving water, rice cakes, oat cakes and fruit snacks with us. If she starts getting snappy I give her food and water. Then, the immediate environment: is it too loud, too crowded, too hot, too cold - too crowded, loud and hot are big triggers for my DD. I lay out exactly what our plans are before we go anywhere: where we are going, how long for, how we're getting there, what we'll do there, how we're coming back etc… my DD cannot cope with thing varying from how she expects them to be. The problem can be when she has unconscious expectations that we didn;t know about!
If these methods fail and you feel an outburst brewing, try distraction - once I managed to avert a huge meltdown because it had just started snowing and I pointed it out!
Also, I'm not entirely sure that it is a good thing for children to have a meltdown - I know people say that you should support them in expressing their emotions, and I'm all for helping them deal with sadness, anger etc, but I know that with my DD, expressing this frustration doesn't help her, in fact, it exhausts and scares her, and actually it's much better for her to try and curtail it, distract it or avoid it. So don;t necessarily think you have to stand back until she's finished, she coulod actually be feeling very scared at feeling so out of control and be needing you to step in and firmly stop it.
I'm sure your DD isn;t anything like as challenging as mine in her behaviour, but some of these same methods may ring a bell with you and something may help you. If you want to chat about it, feel free to pm me.

Liz grin x

Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.

Thanks very much for your replies, it is good to know I'm not alone on this one  smile

Julysea - You are right, that soending time playing with her makes a huge difference and I do seem to have slipped into always putting off playing and getting on with housework instead.  When I asked what would make her day nicer and what she wanted me to do she just said 'Play with me' .  So I do know that as always the answers are already there, I just have to focus on the present moment and 'really' conciously be there for them. You're also right that Tiredness/hunger/ thirst also make the problems much worse, so I am going to spend then next few days not rushing about anywhere and taking the time tomeet their needs first and foremost and just play with them and enjoy their company smile

Had lots more to write but I'm far too tired to be coherent lol.
Gina xxx

Be kind to yourself too GIna, after all you're 31 weeks pregnant and already ahve 2 little 'love hoovers' so you're bound to be somehwat stretched right now. It's easy to forget when you're heavily pregnant just how much more energy you ahve when you're not pregnant, even when you ahve a newborn. Just hang on in therte, it will be better soon. You're doing really well.

Liz grin x

Druid, boat-dwelling, home educating mum of DD1 (11), Aspie DS (9) and baby DD2 (2), & part-time step-mum to 2 stepdaughters, 9 and 7.

Yes, it does sound as if you're doing really well.

My DD is nearly three and very similar to yours. I've only got the one but as you know, have
other challenges to my own energy levels.

Just a few things to try:
Try checking little ones blood sugar levels as often as you can. Mine has porridge every morning
and if she doesn't get it asap when she wakes up, things will often escalate - she has a 'tantrum'
and gets into a tiz and can't eat her breakfast for ages. So I've started giving her a little snack in
bed straight away (someting with carbs in…i.e. a banana) and she has the porridge later.

Also, things with potatoes in seem to calm her down, and basically making sure she is never at risk
from getting hungry. (which you probably do anyway, but we all sometimes forget).

I've found this helps, pushing boundaries sounds about right to me, it is really difficult when you need
or want to get somewhere (that is, getting yourself out of the house, or getting everyone out into
the open air). Giving LO some choice about some things may help, I have a bag of soft animal toys, and
she knows she can choose one whenever she  goes anywhere (or goes to bed) so she has the choice
of choosing that.

Good luck, it is really tricky, I think back and feel a small baby is sometimes a walk in the park compared to a
toddler. Although I realise others might have different experiences.



Didn't make myself clear, I meant offering something to eat the split second she sits up in bed.
Sounds daft, but seems to prevent things escalating, you know a banana or similar.

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