To ask if this is normal in a 6 year old

(61 Posts)
Thepowerof3 Tue 06-Aug-13 09:56:16

My 6 year old still has tantrums, screaming and crying (not usually in public) she is my eldest so am I BU to ask if other six year olds do this as I would've thought she would've grown out of it by now but obviously she hasn't and I'm driven to distraction

Davsmum Fri 09-Aug-13 17:13:38

LingDiLong,.. Yes I get your point and I think personality can play a part in the likelihood of a child being a tantrum child so awareness of triggers is even more important.
Of course, there is no cast iron way of preventing all tantrums and I think many children grow out of them whether you handle them right or wrong!

Being over tired will also make a tantrum more likely - but usually thes tantrums are different,.. more of a distress type of tantrum than an anger or frustration one.

As for adults having tantrums as a few people have mentioned; this is definitely a personality issue which has persisted because it has not been dealt with properly in childhood.
I know adults who have tantrums - but they only have them with people who allow them. People are often afraid of other adults tantrums and give in to them. Its totally manipulative and immature but its amazing how quickly they stop it if someone won't put up with it.

AaDB Thu 08-Aug-13 20:55:21

6 is still little. Old enough to deal with consequences but still to Little to be expected to behave without incident. I'm strict because I worry if I'm not, he will be a nightmare as a teenager.

Thepowerof3 Thu 08-Aug-13 20:11:21

So glad to know she's not the only one!

AaDB Thu 08-Aug-13 20:06:49

Ds doesn't tantrum by screaming but instead does grumpy storming. As he can control himself at school, he can do so at home or face the consequences. I send him to his room, not for time out but to calm down. He had a sticker reward chat and he had to take one off. It tests my patience to the limit.

We both get hungry + angry=hangry. That is something his Dad/my DH had to live with. wink

JerseySpud Thu 08-Aug-13 19:48:53

I have a 6 year old dd

The world is ending on a regular basis.

Tantruming at 6 is totally normal.

LingDiLong Thu 08-Aug-13 19:15:21

Davsmum, with the greatest of respect, none of that is rocket science. I would argue that, in fact, lots of people DO link all that to tantrums! Seriously, if there was a cast iron way of preventing them and stopping all children from having any tantrums ever, then someone would have written a book by now and made a million.

These are some of the reasons my DS has tantrums; if one of his sisters talks over him - even if I am there to say 'wait please, DS is talking let him finish', there are times (usually when he's tired) that this sends him loopy. If when he says 'thank you' it isn't acknowledged with a 'you're welcome' or 'that's ok'. If he can't do something that he feels he should be able to do i.e. he had a massive tantrum/meltdown at our local leisure centre because he was allowed to go on a slide but he was too scared to go on it. He felt he HAD to go on it because it was suitable for his age but he was frightened - he couldn't compute this situation at all!

I KNOW the reasons, I do try and prevent them but they aren't always preventable.

Tubemole1 Thu 08-Aug-13 18:44:10

My 6 nearly seven year old has these tantrums.

It usually happens if she's tired, hungry or doesn't get her own way. She also does it if she's bored. She likes to shake her tail feathers and list all the ways we have failed her hmm . She pushes boundaries especially in front of GPs. My ILS give it the contempt it deserves, but my df laughs at her, making it worse angry .

At school she's an angel.

We say, let it all out dear, cos there's no reasoning with her. Then when she's calm, we ask, really? What was that about? She whinges about what is wrong which is often different from the original reason so its hard to keep up sometimes.

We haven't mastered the recognition of triggers. Dh, bless him, tries to reason with her but that gets nowhere. Now, I try and keep her belly full, her interest engaged and get her to bed on time, but sometimes it can be something totally different. Sometimes, she can't hit the ball with a bat. Sometimes, she comes second in a race. Sometimes, I don't listen. Sometimes, her confidence is zero.
We are totally winging this parenting lark. Very badly, on occasion sad .

valiumredhead Thu 08-Aug-13 18:02:20

Actually thinking back 'mummy's secret chocolate' helped diffuse a lot of tantrums toowink

Thepowerof3 Thu 08-Aug-13 17:54:21

That's exactly what I thought Valium, I have 3 DCs and parent them in the same way but only one is tantrum prone

valiumredhead Thu 08-Aug-13 17:50:16

Some kids are prone to tantrums, just as adults are, it's their personalities. Regardless of how you parent them. Over tiredness and hunger definitely play a part. A combination of ignoring, although sometimes that makes it worse and distraction definitely used to help.

Thepowerof3 Thu 08-Aug-13 17:35:32

That's not the kind of parent I am Davsmum but thanks anyway. Her most recent massive tantrum was about a rice cake if that gives you some perspective

WhoreOfTheWorlds Thu 08-Aug-13 17:05:19

I agree with you Davsmum. I believe my friend's child tantrums because he's very highly strung and nervous, and he doesn't feel very safe in the world.

His Mum's approach is quite a wooly and she isn't always consistent in what she says or does and I think this actually makes him feel quite afraid. So his tantrum begins and then her hesitant approach to his distress only makes him feel more scared and that no one is in control of the situation.

My Mum can remember being a very little girl and throwing huge tantrums and what made her tantrums 100 times worse was the knowledge that her Mum didn't know how to cope with the tantrum and just went to pieces, and that made my Mum feel terrified. My Mum would describe herself as a very anxious and highly strung child.

valiumredhead Thu 08-Aug-13 16:01:24

Ds had only just stopped and he's 12.

Davsmum Thu 08-Aug-13 14:34:07

Its not just how you handle a tantrum while its happening - its how you handle a child in general because the way you do can lead to tantrums!

If you are not consistent or you don't listen to a child when they need you to listen or you say No before you have given a request any thought and then give in and say yes because they kick off and you didn't really mean no in the first place then it can all lead to frustrations and tantrums.
So can not preparing them for what is going to happen - like just removing them from whatever activity they are doing without any notice or warning.

Its surprising how many people probably do not link any of that to a child's tantrums.
Something causes a tantrum. Children don't just suddenly have them for no reasons.

TheSmallPrint Thu 08-Aug-13 11:06:54

Yes, I have an almost 6yo DS who is great at throwing tantrums. He also has a naturally deep and loud voice so there is no ignoring him. I have found distracting followed by cuddling to be the most effective way of calming.

I had always assumed tiredness was then main cause but actually I wonder if hunger makes a difference, he is a big lad (98th centile height wise) so maybe he needs more food!

WhoreOfTheWorlds Thu 08-Aug-13 11:01:14

Thank you for that link Corrine, reading that it's very clear that my friend's 4 yr old is definitely tantruming and not having a meltdown.

I have witnessed them pulling the same style of tantrum at all times of the day, in very different situations and in their own home. So I don't think it's caused by hunger, tiredness or being out of routine.

I think they tantrum because they are very highly strung and they are allowed to, and because they then get their Mum's undivided attention while doing so.

PatriciaHolm Wed 07-Aug-13 21:57:04

DS still has tantrums (not meltdowns, that link is really good thanks Corrine as it has passed through my mind before) at 7.5. His are, these days, largely when he's hungry; he CANNOT deal with hunger at all well, but then neither can his 43 year old father, so I know how to deal most of the time. He doesn't do it for anyone but his parents either.

I also have almost 9 yr old DD who is having pre-teen strops all the time. It's just fun fun fun in this house atm -reaches for wine glass- wine

Thepowerof3 Wed 07-Aug-13 21:53:52

That's so true LingDiLong, my DD wants to stay up like her friends but just can't seem to cope

CorrineFoxworth Wed 07-Aug-13 21:47:43

I'm glad that link was useful as I would hate to be accused of internet-diagnosis!

Thepowerof3 Wed 07-Aug-13 21:47:37

She goes to bed by 7 but we are more flexible in the holidays, thanks ghostsgowooh that makes me feel a bit better

Goldenbear Wed 07-Aug-13 21:41:24

My DS is 6 and still has 'tantrums' in private but he is copying his sister who is 2. Often it starts off as a 'joke' and will escalate into something more real but I have to say they were worse after school 6 months ago. They are definitely lessening as I just talk to him now.

WhoreOfTheWorlds Wed 07-Aug-13 20:59:02

Davsmum, what you say is very interesting?

I noted that the child was far more likely to tantrum infront of their Mum because she felt the correct response was to try and calm the child down and reason with them, or try and distract them. I very much got the impression that the child thoroughly enjoyed Mum's undivided attention during that time.

Obviously the child knew there was zero point tantruming to me or to their Dad who was highly annoyed by the tantruming and would just leave the room.

LingDiLong Wed 07-Aug-13 20:57:55

Ooh, thanks for that Corrine. I'd say my DS has 'meltdowns' then definitely. It's nothing to do with attention or wanting something, they come from nowhere and seem to completely overwhelm him.

CorrineFoxworth Wed 07-Aug-13 20:56:09

Might be worth looking at tantrums v meltdowns

My 11 year old dd1 used to have proper screaming jump and down tantrums between the ages of 5 and 9. Ignored and sent to room till calm but it was stressful. Shes brill now but is still stroppy but that's hormones. It will pass!

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