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Old 06-03-2009, 10:13 AM
 
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What are the causes for the tantrums? Not having his way? Low frustration tolerance? Feeling wronged? Low self-confidence about a particular activity? Trying to get out of a particular activity or situation?

What I did was to find the things my son likes or dislikes the most -- he likes TV and video games. He does not like being deprived of these things, and he doesn't like being isolated. So when he starts going, I warn him that he's getting out of control, he needs to control himself. That's warning one. I give him warning two. At three, he gets the consequence. A certain amount of TV time taken away depending on the severity of the act. If he can't get it together, he does to his room to calm down. Many times, I don't have to fully vocalize the request to calm down. I start counting or sometimes hold up a finger (meaning first warning).

This has been effective, moreso now. It gives him time to work on getting himself under control. It is a variation of Magic 1-2-3.

I also read "The Explosive Child." This collaborative approach to behavior management is good, but the child has to be "available" to buy-in to the collaboration. Mine is getting there but not there yet.

I'll be honest. When I got really bad (flinging things in his room, putting a hole in the wall, screaming threats), I'd spank. This had limited effectiveness. When I tried to swat his butt and my hand landed weird and I jammed my thumb, I thought about the old saying, "this is going to hurt you more than me." I started praying for me to not resort to spanking and for my son to improve his behavior. That has happened; I very seldom spank now because it's not worth it in the long haul for my son. Other things (see above) are more effective. His father feels differently.

Good luck. Hope there's something here that will helpful to you.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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^^ditto what bowian said.

The Explosive Child is helpful.

Figuring out triggers is difficult but helpful. Remember, with a normal preschool aged child, the triggers are relatively easy to figure out because you get from A to B quickly. With an older child, it could be a buildup of triggering situations until one tiny thing sets them off.

Does your child have sensory issues? Earplugs, special headphones, perhaps even an mp3 player and some time to chill would help. I knew someone who had a premie and he had sensory overload issues as a grade schooler, related to the neurological bombardment he experienced in the NICU. She gave him an mp3 player and lots and lots of time to go chill out in his room (his cocoon).

I have two with sensory issues - one that gets overloaded easily (that is the tantrum throwing one) and one that seeks out a ton of sensory input (the one who may end up with an ADHD dx but currently is getting OT at school for SPD). They both responded well to weighted blankets. I think for the overload child it helped him feel more secure.

Frequent breaks into a low sensory input place may be helpful for your child.

At school, the interventions have ranged from simply keeping him in at recess to do his own thing (make up work, play computer games) to supervision on the playground to a reward for staying out of trouble (playing chess with a teacher).

We are teaching him progressive muscle relaxation in the hopes that he will lower his tension level to help prevent going "over the edge".

I don't have the answers as I am mired in a similar situation. Good luck to you.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:00 PM
 
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When my youngest (She is growing up as an only child because of the years between.) was about 8 she and I started having some major problems. She would push me until I went over the edge, then not understand why I was upset. I yelled a lot and she pushed a lot.

After a while, about a year, I was in a rant and suddenly got calm and just started a conversation. It worked. The calmer I remained when she pushed, the less likely I would go off on a rant and she wouldn't have anything to get going on. We practice that still from time to time.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:06 PM
 
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I third the recommendation to read "the explosive child".

Have you looked at diet? I know that some people find that certain foods can trigger outbursts and other behavior problems.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yodi View Post

Have you looked at diet? I know that some people find that certain foods can trigger outbursts and other behavior problems.
Good suggestion. I have a friend who went GFCF and its helping her daughter who has autism. That is an extreme dietary change so I would suggest something like Feingold first, or even just no dyes.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:21 PM
 
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It sounds like you have an extreme situation that may require you to get counseling on how to help deal with your childs condition. I don't know if you have talked to a professional but maybe they could help give you tricks/tools to deal with this situation. The violent tantrums sound scary.

This is way too simplistic for your situation but I will tell you what has worked for me in case there are others out there that are looking for ideas for kids with less severe situations......My child was having fits (whinning and such) that were becoming habitual. Nothing like what the OP is dealing with. I had tried all the obvious things to help curtail them without luck. One day when he started in, I told him that I was going to get my video camara and start taping him so that he could view how silly he looked. He immediately stopped. I was stunned. That is what I tell him now if he starts going down that path and it has really helped.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:29 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
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okay are we all kidding ? let me tell you how my mom and dad handled temper tantrums . They applied their hand to my bottom turning it cherry red untill I learned that negative behavior begat negative reaction . I did the same thing to my boys and guess what ? not one of us ever have been in jail or in trouble with the law or in therapy or any of the so called typical problems of the me generation are having now . My boys are now grown and responsible young men . a good ole fashioned spanking works wonders .
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:48 PM
 
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^^Do you or your kids have autism?

Have you stopped to think these kids in question may have been spanked/spooned/belted/grounded for years with little to ZERO behavior change?

These kids are not your average kids. They have a neurological disorder. Be thankful "good old fashioned" discipline worked. It works with 3 of my 4 kids.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phonelady61 View Post
okay are we all kidding ? let me tell you how my mom and dad handled temper tantrums . They applied their hand to my bottom turning it cherry red untill I learned that negative behavior begat negative reaction . I did the same thing to my boys and guess what ? not one of us ever have been in jail or in trouble with the law or in therapy or any of the so called typical problems of the me generation are having now . My boys are now grown and responsible young men . a good ole fashioned spanking works wonders .
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisdol View Post
^^Do you or your kids have autism?

Have you stopped to think these kids in question may have been spanked/spooned/belted/grounded for years with little to ZERO behavior change?

These kids are not your average kids. They have a neurological disorder. Be thankful "good old fashioned" discipline worked. It works with 3 of my 4 kids.
Exactly, spanking and beating the crap out of em isn't an option, nor am I about to make my son learn to fear me. He's a nice boy usually and very loving when he's himself. He's got enough issues and needs to know he can at least find peace at home and know that someone on this planet likes him. As it is he feels everyone hates him and doesn't care what he has to say (and that may be true if he's rambling about something too long). I'm his one outlet and I'm not about to destroy that bond I have with him even if he is driving me nuts sometimes, I still love him. I won't hit my kids unless it was self defense and I had no choice, and hopefully it never comes to that.

Dad smacked me in the butt as a kid. Didn't work on me so why would I try something that I know for a fact doesn't work in my family. If it works for YOU...great, but that's not my thing. Like Lis said, these kids have mental issues. They aren't doing it on purpose. They aren't trying to be bad kids. In fact they absolutly HATE it, which actually adds to the anxiety because they are afraid of losing control.

Last edited by MrMom2; 06-03-2009 at 03:21 PM..
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrMom2 View Post
They aren't doing it on purpose. They aren't trying to be bad kids. In fact they absolutly HATE it, which actually adds to the anxiety because they are afraid of losing control.
Yes. I don't think my 10yr old was proud of himself this morning when he started crying (tears were flying everywhere) when we got to summer rec and he thought he missed breakfast because the serving lady had stepped away from the line for a minute to do something in the back room. He hates himself for reacting like that, is really embarrassed, and wishes he could control himself.
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