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camd2000, Parent Coach/Therapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 13
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Child and Family Therapist, Parent Educator and Mother.
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Hi My toddler is turing 3 in May and I cannot seem to have

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Hi My toddler is turing 3 in May and I cannot seem to have control over him. He would scream for no reason and has temper tantrums and can cry for half an hour throwing himself on the floor. Both my husband and I work highly pressurised jobs and we really never get the peace and quiet in the house. He is at the moment still learning how to talk so it is rather frustrating for both me and the child as we cannot seem to understand each other. We have a nanny and my toddler is best behaved without me in the house, the nanny says there is just an automatic change in behavior when I come back from work he becomes this uncontrollable child. Please help as I am fatigued and frustrated I really feel embarrassed of this and I feel guilty as I feel as though I am failing as a parent. We live in a quiet housing estate and all our neighbours have kids in the same age group but my house has the loudest screams coming out of it. Evene when we go to public places my son would just scream with no reason. He hits all of us and throws and bangs things around, almost smashed the tv this weekend. I really find myself crying as I have no control over him and ask myself what other partents are doing right that I am failing on that results in my child behaving in this manner. My husband even suggested we send my son away to his grandparents who live 600km away as I am not coping. I really cant picture my son living so far away from me and at the same time I do not have the tool to keep the peace in the house. Please help, frustrated parent

earthsister :

Hello, I would like to help with your parenting question.

earthsister :

As a mother of twins, soon to be 2 years old in 5 days, I can relate to the tantrums and the frustration of not understanding your child because he is still learning language. It is interesting that you mention he behaves when you are not around. When you are around, does he have your attention, or are you generally busy with other things? It definitely sounds that he's acting out for attention; and since the tantrums seem to occur when you are around, I would think that he is seeking more or a different kind of attention from you. I see that you mention your high pressure job, as well as that of your husband. I am sure that this also means that you spend a lot of time away from him. How does he respond with your husband?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.



When I am around I try my best to give him as much attention as I can like we read a book together or play together although running a household also demands me to do other things like cooking, cleaning laundry etc. My husband and I leave at 6.30am and are back before 5pm. Sometimes my toddler would wake up at night and start crying and it would take him 2hours to sleep again. My husband has been working out of town for an assignment and was home this this weekend and my toddlers behaviour was temper tantrums filled. Can you perhaps give suggestions or a solution, practical things that I need to do to keep the sanity. I even thought maybe it is because he is not going to daycare and does not interact enough with other children and he gets frustrated being the only child in the house.


I am sorry you are having such a difficult time. It is normal for children to be good with others and let it out when their parent comes home. Your son feels most comfortable with you so he releases his feelings when he is with you. It is the tough part of being a parent. Also, part of your child's acting out and frustration might be his difficulty verbalizing his needs, wants and emotions. As he develops more language he will probably be less frustrated. But, in the meantime there are some things I can suggest to help a bit. It sounds like you are doing a good job of trying to give your son attention when you are home. But, you are right - you can't do that 100% of the time. Perhaps you can try to include him in some of your tasks so that he is spending time with you and feels important as you fold the laundry (although the downside is sometimes it takes longer :). So, here are some concrete ideas:
1. Take some time for yourself to recharge. I am sure this seems impossible, but it sounds like things are at a breaking point and you could use some time. Perhaps your in-laws could take your son for a night to give you a quick break.
2. Try and create a set routine (if you don't already have one), where you play with your son for 5-15 minutes in the morning and at least 15 minutes in the evening so he is getting some one-on-one time (you may already be doing this, just make sure it is predictable and routine).
3. When play time is over, suggest that your son play near you while you are cooking, doing the laundry and put on some music he likes and sing together or tell him stories while you are doing the task.
4. Try and anticipate tantrums as much as possible by avoiding triggering situations, making sure he is well-fed and well-rested.
5. When calm teach him some ways to calm himself when he is getting upset. Taking deep breaths, reaching out for a hug, holding a favorite toy or blankie.
6. When he does tantrum, take some deep breaths yourself, acknowledge his feelings of frustration, and offer some ways to calm down. Gently remind him of what you expect of him (in order to stay at the restaurant you need to speak quietly and calm down). Sometimes you will need to remove him from a situation if he is tantruming.
Most of all be kind to yourself. You are NOT failing as a parent. You are just experiencing what many parents experience - managing the tough behaviors of the toddler years - while working at a high pressure job. Please let me know if you are satisfied with this answer. I hope it helps. If you are interested, I have some handouts I have created for parents I work with on discipline and connecting with children through play. If you would like to see them please let me know and I will attach them. I wish you the best.
camd2000, Parent Coach/Therapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 13
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Child and Family Therapist, Parent Educator and Mother.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.



You really have been of great assistance. I feel like a load has been taken off my shoulders. Thank you for sharing such practical, relevant and achievable steps with me. I am reading your response at work and I am looking foward to going back home later this afternoon and start applying what you have shared with me. I cannot thank you enough. Please do attach the pamphlets I am very keen on them ;-)

Attachment: 2013-03-05_153611_discipline_1.docx

Attachment: 2013-03-05_153647_power_of_play_guide2.docx

I am so glad that my answer was helpful. I have attached the handouts, please let me know if you are able to access them ok. I think they will be useful. Another thing you can do is ask your son if he wants a hug when you notice he is becoming irritable (before the screaming or tantruming starts). Often children need assistance regulating their emotions and a hug can be one way to do it. Parents I work with say it works and it works with my son too! I wish you the best!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I went straight home after work yesterday and started to undividedly engage with my child for a good 15minutes before doing anything else. Its amaizing the response I got from him to know that it is just us engaging and reading a story book. There were no tears or agitation yesterday whatsoever until bed time. He went and got his favourite blankie after story telling and just sat next to me on the couch, kept on looking up to me with a smile. I made sure I communicate my movements with him so that he is aware of what I am busy with. I cannot thank you enough for your valuable advice. I have printed the attachments you have sent and I am looking foward to undividedly engaging with my child on a routine basis. You must have a lovely day and God bless you for doing such a wonderful job!

I am so happy to hear that my tips worked and that you had a good evening with your son! Keep up the good work. I wish you all the best! And, if you have the option to rate me again please do so. It was a pleasure working with you!