Will the tantrums ever stop?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, May 31, 2013.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Or will J still be "making a lot of fuss over nothing", as I'm afraid my default English perspective calls it, at the age of 18?

    Here's what happened last night. I picked him up at 6.30 from the after-school care and he had slit his trousers all the way up one leg - apparently because, in one version, he already had a hole in them and it was bothering him and, in another, his classmate was poking him in the leg all the time (J invents things on the spur of the moment, a really vivid imagination, and you just can't tell what is true and what is not). He had also picked off the scabs on his nose from a bad fall he had on his bike Saturday, meaning he will be left with scars...

    Anyway, he immediately started on about one of his little friends' dad having asked him to come over that evening. I said no, mainly because it was pouring with heavy rain, as it had been all day. He immediately went into meltdown mode, rushing inside the house to change his trousers, saying he was going anyway. I ended up physically restraining him at the door (in front of an incredulous oddjobsman from the village who was doing some repairs there - a sign of my progress is that I didn't let his attitude affect my behaviour or response: I know people in the village don't understand and never will) - while J raged at me calling me such things as "maggot" and "stupid"... Finally, after the man had gone and seeing the thing was just going to escalate, I said we would drive in the car to the friend's house where we could arrange for him to come another day. J then calmed down, started being nice, saying "Sorry, Mum", etc. He also started on about having not been able to play or run that day because of the rain... I wondered whether this was a trigger?

    Based on your experience, am I going to have to go through this, and he, every time he doesn't get what he wants?
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Can't make any promises, but it is likely tantrums will get fewer in few years to become more common during puberty and after that going way down. But being spirited lad he is, he is likely to 'feel big' also when he grows up. But also handle it better than now. Of course, if in some point you have a possibility to have him in therapy with skilled therapist to work on things like how to handle yourself when frustrated etc. that wouldn't be bad at all.

    He is getting older and will soon to be able to be subject of many different therapeutic approaches so it will be easier to find something that could work.

    And not being able to run and play being a trigger? Definitely. Imagine if you would be made to crouch in the dark small cabinet full of ants all day. Wouldn't you be a bit grumpy when the evening came too? And for the active boy in J's age, that is how it feels, when they can't run in whole day. If you would be staying in France or in other rainier region, I would strongly advise you to buy ain clothes and keep him outside jumping in water puddles an hour or two after rainy school days.

    EDIT: Let's add that my easy child, who turns 17 in few weeks, is still very tantrum prone and in bad mood, if he has had to sit inside all day. And he is a easy child. And to be honest. I'm tantrum prone, if I have been sitting inside all day. And it may be that at time or two I may have been spotted doing jumping jacks in lady's room, if I have been forced to situations there I have been expected to sit still all day long (like some seminars etc.) Can't handle those days otherwise.
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sonic's tantrums stopped completely. You never know :) It depends on the person.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    My experience? it does get better.
    J is doing extremely well at being able to evaluate himself after the fact. At his age, this is HUGE. Lots of "our" kids take way more years to be able to "reflect" accurately. As he matures, he will begin to develop the control to avoid going the meltdowns before they happen, at least some of the time.
  5. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the others that usually these trantrums/rages lessen over time. Some of this is attributed to maturity - the ability to use words to describe emotions like disappointment and frustration - although this is something that needs to fostered and taught to our difficult children. Some of the lessening can also be attributed to our difficult children learning how to deal with their struggles and live with their challenges - also something that needs to be taught.

    Much of the lessening as they age can also be attributed to, at least in my difficult child's case, his need to be seen "as just one of the rest" at school. He didn't want to be defined by his behaviors, he didn't want the other students to see that he was "different" in that way (although he is very different from his classmates).

    In our case, medication, talk therapy, good Special Education services at school, and behavior modification for both parent and difficult child at home contributed to his ability to leave the physical reaction to disappointment and frustration behind.
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    The fact that he can reflect so well is good. Now you'll have to train to look for signs that he's heading for that meltdown before it happens. And you won't always know - but sometimes you will, and when you see those little signs (they vary, might be he talks faster, different pitch, antsy movements, you get the idea), you can go ahead and start a conversation about what is bothering him so he can discuss things and maybe prevent the meltdown, because now he's not as angry and better able to handle yet one more disappointment in an already bothersome day. Or since you know it's been a nasty day, you can take him for a special treat to cheer him up because he didn't have a meltdown on you.