Tuesday, January 15, 2013

5 year old has tantrums when refused what she wants

Hi firstly i would like to say that i absolutely love your fb page I follow u daily and u bring me such Inspiration.
Right now I’m having major trouble with my 5 year old daughter she having the most amazing tantrums that if she can’t have something there and then she will scream and shout until she gets what she wants and i can’t seem to get it through to her that she can’t always have what she wants when she wants. Other to this she is well connected and an absolute beautiful and joy to be a part of her life. I’m at wits end as how i can approach this as I’ve tried everything to try and help her get through this. I would love to hear your thoughts on this

The age 5, like 3 was before, is such a difficult age to be. At that age we have all these opinions, all of these discoveries and questions and yet somewhere along the line people start to look at us differently. Whereas a toddler can be excused anything because they’re a toddler, and a 3 year old starts to get asked to do things but can still be “cute” and make people smile, getting away with things with a bit of charm, a 5-6 year old is suddenly facing the issue of growing up. It’s an age of awakening and it can be scary, unsettling and send a child into a hectic frenzy to make sense of it all. On top of all of that at 5 a child is usually starting school and there they are often a number, having to stick to a routine and follow the rules. There’s not a lot of space in a 5 year old’s life now to express their thoughts, their opinions, or even catch up to their own life story.
If your daughter is flipping out every time she can’t get her own way, it suggests that she doesn’t feel heard, that it is a battle to get what she wants and cute tricks aren’t going to work so she wants to force it. We all feel this way sometimes, let’s admit it. Many an adult has wanted to scream and shout when things aren’t going the way that we feel would suit us best.
I have a few suggestions.
First, try not to say no to her unless you have a good reason to say no. Often we say no and have to come up with an excuse to back up the no in the first place. Children sense this and it rings out as injustice. Allow conversations to build and take the time to hear her reasoning out. Often our children have good reasons for what they want, and even if its little things like needing extra time before bed to finish a game, when we give it to them they sense the fairness of the house. They then, in turn, understand why they need to be fair, so the system works. By shifting to a dialogue system of fair living, rather than her feeling like she’s always told what to do, and when to do it, she will feel free to start talking about her wants, rather than having to scream them to be heard.
When you talk about her tantrums do it when she’s not in one. You can do so in round about ways like if you see someone on tv screaming, or see a small child having a tantrum at the store. You can open up the conversation about how you never want to give things to people who scream at you, you never really hear them. Point out how you love it when she talks lovely and how nice it is to talk with her. If you feel like the direct approach is more you, do so with understanding at a time when you are having some downtime and when it feels right. You can ask her how she was feeling when it was going on, and tell her how it made you feel helpless and didn’t know what to do. Try not to imply that She MADE you feel bad, rather tell her your reasons for saying no and then say you felt trapped because you love to give her what she wants, but it felt wrong to do so. Ask her to talk to you about things she wants and make a deal to work as a team, where you are both fairly treated by each other.
If, even if you’ve given your reasons for saying no, and you’ve talked about things openly and fairly, she continues to have tantrums you can start passing on the golden rule. Ask her if you scream and shout at her when you want her to do something? Does she want you to? What sort of house would it be? (Are her friends shouting for what they want?) Tell her that you are ready to listen when she wants to talk, tell her you love her and you are there for her. If she’s open for a hug then give one, as her disconnection must be paining her, if she’s not ready for a hug sit quietly and wait for her to come to you, breathing deeply, focusing on love and compassion within yourself and changing the energy of the room for her. Often when our children create a negative scene it fills the house up with so much frustration we react to it. When we refocus the feeling space of the home it can breathe again and our children can connect again and work things out with us. If she asks what you are doing be honest and tell her.
Since this is the age of awakening, when she flips out and feels bad for not getting something simple, you can always ask her if she really wants to feel bad over a thing? I find that when I empower my children to see how they feel as a choice they can take a step back and choose. I usually go through thoughts that could help them feel better, such as appreciating the things they already have, or thinking about things they love to do or play.
Lastly, in this hectic time of your daughter’s life as she grapples with new ideas and expectations take some time and just play with her. Give her some time to be little again, with cuddles at night, or a good pillow fight. Try some calming activities together, such as yoga (there’s great books or YOGA PRETZEL activity cards on amazon), coloring, or taking walks. Start her noticing how she feels inside by offering contrasting situations. Playing frantically followed by sitting quietly with candles, fast kids shows on tv to peaceful music. Start taking some quiet time together before bed to connect and feel a different vibration than the frantic day to day activities.
I hope this helps and I would love to hear how it progresses. Your daughter sounds like a strong minded young woman, with strong ideas and an independent spirit. She just needs to know how to direct her power and to use it to feel good. She’s just the age to start learning.

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