Emily's temper tantrums

I would love to do a post about how great our weekend was. but the truth is...
it wasn't that great.
You see, I've got this little girl who, at the age of 7, still throws regular tantrums, strops, gets angry over tiny little things that shouldn't matter and just drives me crazy at times.
I've been going back and forth between writing this. In doing so I hope it will help me put things in perspective, come up with solutions and maybe even get in touch with other mums who are at their wit's end.
I mean, there must be others no, surely I am not the only one with a child past the age of two with temper tantrums?!
I always thought she would have been past this by now.
She has always been extremely stubborn, strong minded and opinionated, even as a tiny toddler. Then she reached 18 months and all of a sudden the BIG tantrums started. Me and my husband were prepared, we had dealt with Dylan when he was going through his "terrible two's", and we had learnt that ignoring these outbursts was the best thing to do. Dylan soon got the message and got over them quite quickly. Emily however did not get the message, at all.
When she was younger she used to have this ear piercing scream (she's still loud now but at least it doesn't hurt our ears anymore) and whenever she didn't get her own way she just went into melt down mode. Along with the scream came the rolling on the floor and kicking legs....and it didn't matter where we were, at home or out and  about, Emily did not care.
I used to hate it when people came up to me with advice or gave me "the look".
I think one of her worst tantrums will be etched in my mind forever.
We had just moved back to England after living in Gibraltar for nearly three years, Emily was two and a half. I didn't have any friends, didn't know my neighbours, had no family around and my husband was away on a deployment with the Royal Navy. On top of that I had a demonic toddler.
She went into tantrum mode with her super sonic scream and rolled around on the floor and this lasted for OVER AN HOUR!! I'm sure my neighbours at the time must have thought I was murdering her or something.  It was so exhausting for me and I just didn't know what to do or how to handle her. I remember walking out of the room and I just broke down crying.
Along with the tantrums came the stubbornness. What Emily wanted to happen, had to happen.
We've all been there right, when you are walking somewhere but your toddler wants to go another way? What would you do...just continue on right, she'll follow after all.
Wrong. She has never EVER done that! I could go behind a corner and she would just stand there, it was sooooo frustrating. I tried making the walks fun, or having a race, or distracting her...nothing helped.
Anyway, I always thought that by the age of three these tantrums would come to an end.
They continued.
Then she started preschool, oh the talks I had with her key person about her strops and always made me so sad.
Then she hit the age of four, surely by now they would end....wrong again.
At the age of five she started school and I just hoped she would get more sensible.
Well, she's in year two now and she still has them regularly and gets angry so often. It's as if she can't be happy if there's no drama.
This weekend was just a hard one. Emily had more temper tantrums and the thing is that once she goes into one of these there is just no reasoning with her. she'll scream, stomp her feet, run upstairs and slam her door. These tantrums are usually about such small things, I don't know why they seem so big to her. It could be me asking her to wear her coat, put her socks on, saying that it's Dylan's turn to watch his program on the TV, her not finding the right pencil to draw with, her drawing not coming out the way she wants it or one of the big strop causers at the moment, going to the shops. Yesterday's one happened when I asked her to wear leggings instead of a skirt (we were going to go to the park and I was thinking leggings would be better to go down the big slide with).
 Complete meltdown.
Thing is yesterday I didn't handle it so well either.
Call me human.
I try to be patient, use a calm voice and work things out  and most of my friends will say I am beyond patient with her.
But yes, sometimes I loose it too and I shout and it makes me feel so bad.
I wish I knew how to handle her better, wish I knew what to do when the signs of a tantrum are there...if I get signs that is, sometimes the outbursts are just so sudden. We have tried so many different techniques, time outs, taking toys away, etc......nothing seems to faze her.
After she's calmed down she always writes me a card to say sorry, I know she feels bad about her behaviour, just wish she would realise this before her outbursts.
I feel so judged by some people and everyone seems to have an opinion about how we should handle her and how we should raise her. Truth is, they are not with her all the time, they don't know what goes on half of the time. I don't judge their kids, so why should they judge mine!
I hate that she's labelled as a "bad child".
She's a lovely, sweet, extremely bright, kind seven year old girl...with a little temper and a lot of drama.
But she's mine, and I love her just the way she is.
Life would be dull without her.


Evelien said...

I'm sorry to say I've no advice, whatsoever on this topic... I have a sister that's seemingly still in her puberty. Only she's turning 21 this year. 21!! She still dresses, acts and lives on drama like she's still a 14year old. I've learned not to judge parents for their child's outbursts because I see how helpless my parents are haha :)
I pray your daughter gets over this tantrum-stage soon!

Unknown said...

You know, I really have no advice either. I have 5 year old son and he has temper tantrums. He is more a cryer and is extremely loud and will get violent sometimes. I have found that each year the behavior increases. Everyone judges and I hate that too. I always say you don't take care of my child financially or any other way so mind your business. Handling it the way you are seems to be all one can do. I do not know what causes the outbursts to be so extreme and how to settle it down some. I wish you luck and can only say do what you are doing and hope it decreases sooner than later.

Unknown said...

Gosh, you poor thing... I hate how people automatically judge the parents. It sounds as though you're doing an amazing job though and it is most likely a side of her character which will develop into a positive trait as she matures. I imagine she'll be a very passionate person and probably a big achiever given that she hates it when her drawing doesn't turn out the way she wants. xx

Life-As-Mum said...

Aww hun!
My nearly 4 year old has terrible tantrums! I hope they don't last. They're so bad she has lashed out her youngest sister who is 19 months old.. thrown tablets, chairs and toys at me. slaps, bites and spits at me. I get so wound up when people call her a bad child too! Like you said they're not with them all day every day no hun!

Hope she will grow out of it soon ?
Good luck hun

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