My 5 year old son (will be six in 2 months) has always been a delightful child. For the past 5 years, I've told him if all kids were like him, I'd have 100 kids. He's just a joy, or was until about 6 weeks ago. For the past 6 weeks, a couple times a week, he's been having complete and total breakdowns - temper tantrums that go for hours and I don't know what to do. I've tried everything - trying to hold him and soothe him, leaving him in his room, reasoning with him, punishing him by taking things away, etc... NOTHING WORKS, except perhaps ignoring him, just letting him go crazy but even that can last an hour or two. That said, it's not always possible to just let him go crazy as there are places we need to be or we're in public. I don't know what is causing my perfect child to suddenly be so out of control. It's about all different kinds of things too - nothing particular, except maybe consistently wanting his own way.
Here's my biggest problem - he's refusing to go to school, and so out of control that it's dangerous to even try to take him there. Once he's there, he calms down pretty quickly and has a great day. He tried to open the car door when it was moving, after unbuckling himself so he's a danger to himself when tantrumming. Once we get there, he continues to be out of control - but once we get him in the class and I run out, he stops crying and screaming within about 10 minutes and has a GREAT day at school. He comes home and is happy, and tells us about is good day at school. He's in Kindergarten but went to this same school last year, full day for Pre-K - and never got in trouble once so I don't think it's the teacher or school.
I don't know what to do! I just don't seem to have the skills to deal with him and am at my wit's end. I love him more than anything but I don't know what to do. I want to help him through this but nothing seems to work. HELP!
Check out the school anyway even though you say 'you dont think it is the school' has anything changed there do the children get enough supervision, the way he doesnt want to go could mean there are times when all is not well, You say this started 6 weeks ago did anything new or differant happen around that time?Family ,Friends, New Babys ?What happens prior to the "Breakdowns" exactly, have you told him to do something he doesnt want to do ,what triggers them?Do you overreact when he does start to blow off steam that could escalate into the breakdowns,.When he does start to throw a Tantrum have you tried the time out method of sitting him on a chair and telling him to stay there and taking him back, over and over when he gets off, you do it quietly, no yelling from you.,allow him off when he is quiet.It does read as if you and him have a Parent /child interaction problem.
He's only been in school since Thursday, the temper tantrums have been going on for about 6 weeks. Nothing new happened 6 weeks ago, other than maybe he didn't get his way.
I try not to overreact. Not to say there aren't times when I have. I have done the time out thing and it's gone on for hours.
I agree we are having an interaction problem but I don't know what to do and need some help. There is no escalation - it's I say we have to do something, he says he doesn't want to do it and starts tantrumming.
As the previous poster said, I too wonder if "school" is the problem. Six weeks ago your son would probably have been aware that summer would soon be over and that he would be attending school soon. Anxiety in going to school often results in huge tantrums and extreme frustration levels (yes, at the level you are describing - some even more). Are there any other problems as eating, sleeping, or toileting issues? By the way, it does seems as if ignoring your child is working - a friend of mine who daughter had extreme tantrums every day when she returned home from school just sent her to her room until she had regained control of her body and mind. Now, this child did suffer from severe anxiety, but it seemed to be the only method which had any effect. She just needed "down time" alone.
I might suggest you google the term "easing school jitters" or "school refusal" or similar phrases to see if any of this information might be of help. But, anxiety can also result from other sources (usually anxiety is an inherited trait) as bullying. I'm wondering - did something happen over the summer or at the end of the school year to cause such fear/anxiety in your child? Hope this helps ...
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