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My now almost 3 year old daughter has been having some trouble in the last few weeks of needing help for things she usually does for herself. This includes things like getting into highchair/booster seat, changing clothes, getting down off her bed.

This is coincided with some of her tantrums becoming more frequent(at least several times a week) along with becoming a bit longer. The occasional one will go beyond 10 mins. Just the other day she threw a massive tantrum/meltdown that lasted about 20 mins with an intermission in between because she could not get unstuck from the action she wanted to do. She is an otherwise healthy child who is very verbal, developing along all the milestones but does have an anxious side to her.

Has this occurred to other families, and if so how were you able to assist your little one through that time?

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  • Have you tried considering that your daughter may have legitimate grievances, potentially unrelated to the immediate triggers of her "tantrums"? For example, has there been a recent change in her life that reduces her agency and subjects her to force? Feb 6 at 20:35
  • The trouble she has doing things she could do earlier, is that really trouble doing it (as in, she honestly tries to do it, but fails), or is it more along the lines of wanting you to help her? In the latter case, there might be an element of trying to take control over her life in it. Feb 19 at 10:48

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Yes, my daughter is throwing really strong tantrums, throwing herself back sometimes and hitting the floor.

She does it at the nursery too. I therefore spoke with the staff, so we can have the same approach to her, at the nursery and at home. Usually tantrums are caused by things that are not my daughters way.

What we decided to do and it worked is - she is being ignored (except when she can hurt herself). We started ignoring her tantrums for 1 minute when she was little, and now extended a bit. After a minute or so, I would go to her and ask what was it she wanted, and help her do it, if she wants to. If she continues to throw tantrums I just say “I am ready when you are”, and go about to do my stuff. She comes around with Max 5 minutes. I noticed that the more attention I give her during tantrums or if I am watching her, and she knows it, it can last forever :)

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  • -1 First of all, calling it a "tantrum" serves to undermine any legitimacy of your daughter's frustration. Second of all, ignoring her distress, as part of your dog-training method or otherwise, is cruel and negligent. Feb 6 at 20:31
  • I know that letting a child have their tantrum for a certain amount of time is a recommended tactic for handling outbursts - but I think your answer could be improved with some cited sources. Might I recommend kidshealth.org/en/parents/tantrums.html and childmind.org/article/how-to-handle-tantrums-and-meltdowns as two sources that back up your suggested methods.
    – Zibbobz
    Feb 19 at 18:59
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Simple.... don't allow them. Our 3yo never had tantrums until he went to preschool and saw other kids having them. We explained to him that tantrums are something "other kids do, but we don't do them" and explained that the penalty would be a spanking. We've not actually had to spank for it. Just setting the cost of a tantrum was enough to mitigate it.

Now, when he gets upset and starts to hint at one, we say "stop it... we're not having any tantrums around here" and he'll stop. He might still cry and have tears because he's upset about whatever, but there's no screaming or acting out. Then we casually talk about what's wrong and how we can fix it. We also explain that sometimes the answer is "no" and we don't cry just because we don't get what we want.

Be the parent. Set the rules. Enforce them. Kids are often smarter than we give them credit for and at 3 years old they can understand actions and consequences. But, if there are no consequences, you can expect the actions to continue.

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  • Threatening physical punishment and playing mind games is immoral and disgusting, not to mention illegal in many jurisdictions. Please stop threatening your child. Feb 6 at 21:07
  • Nevermind that physical punishment (and threats therof) are abusive and should never have a place in a home, your child will also learn to ignore your threats because you never follow through. Physical abuse in children gets worse as they age because the parent feels the need to hit harder to be taken more seriously (bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/…). This is an extremely dangerous and abusive tactic. You need to use better, more respectful ways to parent your children.
    – stan
    Mar 11 at 11:52
  • Spanking is not "physical abuse". It's a form of discipline. It is not a method of being taken more seriously and it should never be done when angry. There should be no yelling, jerking, shaking, etc. Spanking should not be an emotional in-the-moment hostile "reaction" by the parent. It's a consequence for specific behavior... not for every time the child misbehaves. When spanking is warranted, you explain to the child why they are getting a spanking. Spankings should not cause any physical injury, but rather temporary discomfort. It works well when done correctly, not abusively.
    – mikem
    Mar 11 at 19:10

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