Tantrums: Behind the Facade

Chippie has, obviously, reached that Age Of Tantrums.

Some call it the Terrible Twos. He started this a few months back. He’s not two for another few weeks.

I think “Terrible Twos” lulls you into a false sense of security.

They’re not “terrible” when they are two. I guess there’s just no other word that adequately describes just how horrible this “phase” can be. And let’s not mention three.

His tantrums are bad. They can go for hours, literally hours. He bangs his head on floors and walls. He smacks. He throws things. He won’t use his words. He is indecisive, demanding something, screaming about it, then screaming because he gets it. He can’t/won’t be cuddled and any attempts to calm him with hugs, caresses, stroking his back are futile. And result in pain.

I have no idea what he wants, so I can’t either give it to him, or stand my ground on why he’s not having it.

The pain I get isn’t just physical from the smack in the head with a train, either. The pain is much deeper.

How can I fulfill my maternal obligations when I have no idea what he wants?

It feel so completely frustrating and I feel completely useless, unable to comfort him when he’s so distressed, to watch him hurt himself (is he really hurting himself?), that I “should” know what to do and feeling so out of control.

I find myself cringing at around 2pm, around the time he wakes from his afternoon sleep. In cycles:

  • calmly working
  • glance at clock
  • shoulders creep up around ears and I physically- and emotionally –

6 Replies to “Tantrums: Behind the Facade”

  1. Both my boys threw some doozies! The best thing I could do is put the offender in the cot (they both stayed in the cot until they were 3! – not all the time, of course!), put as many closed doors between me and them and breathe…. Eventually they’d settle down, we’d have a cuddle, and maybe a cry… What got to me, was not that I could not stop the tantrums, but that I could not control myself – with the first one I lost my temper so often, it scared me! So putting him away in his cot was the safest thing I could do, for both of us…

    Some days are just hell…! But at least I has wine…

  2. This post made me cry. It’s been a while since I’ve had a 2 year old, but my 6yo can still chuck a pretty impressive tantrum. Those feelings of guilt, failure, and generally feeling useless are very familiar. I hope one day I will learn to think before my mouth opens and I say something hurtful to my kids when i feel like this. I usually just end up chucking a tanty back at him/them. Mind you, now that they’re older and have developed some semblance of empathy, my tears will usually shorten or even stop their ranting and raving. Which is lovely, but then I feel guilty for the emotional manipulation, Does it ever end???

  3. Hugs, Sim & Dorothy.

    Dorothy – yep, I hear ya. Wonder why the “experts” never put htings in those terms. It’s always all about the kids … they rarely, if ever, talk about the other dangers they are in.

    WOnder why not?

    Sim, I’ve done the odd tanty too – some out of rage and frustration, some deliberately to detract and in fun…

  4. Hugs hun. I’m past this stage but remember it sucks without ever having the extreme that you endure.
    It’s not that you are not suited to being a mum – maybe Chippie is not suited to being nearly 2???? Lets hope more words & a small amount of reasoning enter his world soon.

  5. Mad Cow, thank you. The way some mothers I know talk, you’d think their children never throw tantrums (surely that can’t be true?) Glad to know there is at least one other mother out there who feels like me. And thanks to your readers for their comments above 🙂

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