I’ve often joked about Dylan’s epic temper tantrums—remember the dog hair?—but I guess I never thought he was particularly out of the ordinary in this regard. Some kids are prone to tantrums, some aren’t, right? But probably most are. That’s why they call it terrible twos, after all.

Yesterday, however, when JB picked him up from school and Dylan was in the midst of some angry tirade about god knows what, his teacher confessed that no one in class tantrumed quite like Dylan. She said it lovingly and with a rueful shaking head, but still. You don’t like to hear that it’s your kid who’s the very best at being very bad, you know?

He get so furious, so upset about the stupidest toddler-sized things, and I know that’s par for the course. 2-year-olds go all Naomi Campbell at the drop of a hat because that’s how they’re wired: with a jumble of frayed, sparking electronics half-submerged in water.

They may lose their shit when faced with the terrible injustice of having to wear shoes, but they’ll go equally ballistic with joy over spotting a squirrel outside. Toddlers are binary creatures and they pretty much either suck or are awesome, with few in-betweens. I know this.

Ah, but still. I feel this creeping sense of failure. Why is it my kid who’s top of the class in shit-losing? What are we doing wrong that he can’t be calmed out of a tantrum, that we’re at his mercy until he’s goddamned well decided to be done?

We try distractions, soothing. We lose our own tempers and yell. We send him to his room. In the end, nothing really helps but time.

Afterwards he wants to be hugged, he buries his little wet face in our necks. It’s like we forget he isn’t in control, in those maddening minutes. We can’t seem to help him get control.

Meanwhile, I worry about my boy Riley, whose reactions to getting hurt are equally epic in sheer energy expenditure. The screaming, the flailing, his crazymaking refusal to allow comfort. Later, the giant damp eyes, the quiet, and my fearful wonder of whether or not we made the situation worse with our own frustration and impatience.

Different issues, same loss of control. Same inability to cope. Same parental bumbling—what do I do, what do I do, what do I do. Ultimately, the parents end up in the same place as the children: operating by emotion, filled with regret afterwards.

And how ridiculous it is, how stupid and painful to admit that I have this hope or expectation that they can learn to control themselves better—when I can’t seem to do it myself.

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Cara
13 years ago

My mother was flat out amazing and raised two fully functioning, healthy adults who never got in to any serious trouble, etc etc. And we both were highly emotional kids who had out of control tantrums until our brains developed enough to allow for some self-control. If it happened in public, she’d take us in to the bathroom (at the start, when she could still safely pick us up and move us) and sit on the counter waiting for it to be over. There was no calming us down until we wound down… Just to let you know you’re not alone in this.

Lori
Lori
13 years ago

I really don’t think you are doing anything wrong. But I seem to have a two-year-old who is better at throwing temper tantrums than any other two-year-old, too. So maybe I’m just lying to myself.

God I hope not.

I think we’re at the peak of the terrible two’s. That is if we get any higher, I’m jumping. And please don’t tell me about THREE. Fingers in ears. La la la.

samantha jo campen
13 years ago

It’s something isn’t it? I just think of it this way: how am I when I’m at the very HEIGHT of PMSing? I know how that feels–wanting to throw a coffee mug at someone’s face because they asked me how my weekend was. And I don’t, but I’d love to.

I imagine toddlers feel the exact same way as us but can’t reign it in. And if I WERE able to go balls to the wall with rage I’d feel so much better. Much like a good cry. So when it comes to Theo and his fits, we let him go to town as long as he’s not hurting himself or others. Because I imagine that’s what I’d want. Sometimes I DON’T want anyone to try to make me feel better dammit–I’M ANGRY RAWR! And afterwards? We’re all good dude.

At least he wants hugs afterwards you know? That’s a good sign in my opinion and it’s not like I know what I’m talking about.

Toddlers. Little walking ids.

Melospiza
13 years ago

I think that two-year-old behavior, especially on the losing-it, out-of-control end of the spectrum, has much less to do with parenting and much more to do with innate personality. I.e., Dylan’s passionate, not (at all!!) badly parented.

Valerie
Valerie
13 years ago

I will print this out and put it on my fride to remind myslef to try – try being the key word – to control myself in those instances.

Katherine
Katherine
13 years ago

I am convinced that my sister, six years younger than me, was possibly the worst fit-thrower ever. She did it everywhere, all the time – dramatic, body-flopping fits where she would slide down the nearest wall and hide her face in her hair shrieking out loud. I can still remember my terror that was watching her make herself vomit in a Luby’s lobby on a Sunday as all the 60 year old Presbyterians filed past us and onto their post-church lunch. I could have died. She was so sensitive and so emotional that the wrong looks could set her off.

You would never know that to look at her today. She is quite possibly the easiest person you have ever met. She is also a lovely, sensitive, and capable adult.

I keep reminding myself of this on days like today, where I feel like I am failing in some HUGE way because – seriously – my daughter gets set off by the most trivial things. She does this thing where she covers her mouth and backs away from me, weeping, until she runs into the wall (just causing more crying and wailing).

I think it is easy for parents to feel like failures because the job is so damn important, and the product is constantly changing, and every, single time you master one challenge it is onto the next.

kim
kim
13 years ago

I agree with the above comments – and that while good parenting is important -likey your boys respond they way they do because it’s their personality. The older they get the more in control they will be (of themselves). My oldest (who is now 10) used to have similar fits – to the point I wondered if at some point she would be in some kind of juvenile anger management program. Now she still gets frustrated, she just expresses it more maturely. It’s not easy right now, but over time they will get better. Not just the angry tantrums, but the overly sensitive reactions as well.

kim
kim
13 years ago

(what I mean is that I think you are a good parent – and that it is who they are – but not to say parenting has no impact, obviously it makes a huge difference – but at a certain point, you just have to wait it out…and eat a brownie while you wait)

Janet
Janet
13 years ago

I wish that I could tell you that it gets better but (in my family) it hasn’t. As they get older, it changes but the tantrums are still there all the way though the teen years. Soon enough the flailing, body-flopping etc. will turn in to door slamming and cursing.

I implore you not to think that their sensitive personalities mean that you guys are not good parents. It’s clear that you and JB are the best parents that you can be and it’s abundantly clear that you love your boys with all of your heart…and really, that is all you can do.

Pete
Pete
13 years ago

I’ve used the same method for each of my four kids. If we were out in public and they pulled a fit they got one warning and they were told if they continue of do it again I would take their pants down and spank them there in public. Each of them tried it once, got spanked and never tried it again. The first sign of a fit at home and they went to their room. They could act out in their room if they wanted but without someone to watch them they gave up quickly. Of course both of my wife’s disagreed with my method and I look forward to your letters.

Valarie
Valarie
13 years ago

My son Bennett, now six, has also been an epic tantrummer, regularly losing his shit with no regard for where we were, how loud he was, etc. Our pediatrician recommended the book “Parenting The Defiant Child” and it has been a godsend. It is by Dr. Alan Kazdin (director of The Yale Parenting Institute), and his method is based on research and scientific evidence of what works, not anecdotal accounts of what worked for him or a handful of people. We feel like we finally have the tools we need, a plan to get him and us through this intact and happy.

Shana
Shana
13 years ago

Most gifted kids are like that. I would wonder less about your parenting and figure out better ways to handle the situation, in a positive way. My kids would probably blow most kids away with their tantrums, but there are ways to help them cope.

agirlandaboy
13 years ago

“Toddlers are binary creatures.” Did you just think that up? because DAMN.

Amanda
Amanda
13 years ago

My daughter’s tantrums were panic attacks. Like Dylan does with lawn mowers. What would set her off was unpredictable, and then so unpredictable it was a little predictable. (If that makes sense.) She’s outgrown the 2 year old version, and is a pretty easy going 3 year old. We consulted a child psychologist at the recommendation of her ped. He was great. I recommend seeing one highly, just to get a professional opinion that you are doing everything you could as a parent. Along with a few tips that were really helpful. Anyway, he told us that we would probably see this in waves, peaking at around 6, and then backing off. Some kids are just more like this.

Quiana
13 years ago

I used to literally pull my own hair. And sometimes pull it out. I just grew out of it, and I am pretty mellow now by all accounts.

My mother didn’t have particularly stellar parenting skills. I assume that if you mostly ignore him, Dylan will realize that eating dog hair is less defiant and more unpleasant for him; just like I discovered that pulling my own hair hurts.

Dana
13 years ago

This post could be about my children and about me today. Their epic, unexplained tantrums. My own in response. You’re not alone. I don’t think we’ve failed.

KateB
KateB
13 years ago

“And how ridiculous it is, how stupid and painful to admit that I have this hope or expectation that they can learn to control themselves better—when I can’t seem to do it myself.”

And, this is why I love you. Your ability to put my daily emotional baggage into words astounds me. Sorry I have no advice for the tantrum ending, but thanks again for sharing your life so we can all feel like we are in this together.

MichelleH
MichelleH
13 years ago

I have a two-year-old myself and this post describes my daily struggle perfectly. Am I being too lenient? Not tough enough? Not understanding enough? Not giving enough guidance on how to cope? and on and on and on….

At the risk of finger pointing here, I can’t help but wonder what the purpose of the teacher’s comment was. If she really thinks this is an actual problem, she could mention it in a more formal capacity with some possible solutions. But it sounds like venting, in which case she could save it til she gets home and tell it to her spouse or cat and leave you out of it. I just say this because this would be exactly the kind of thing to send me down the old analysis paralysis rabbit hole of parenting, when in reality it sounds like Dylan is simply a normal toddler. If she thinks otherwise, addressing it in a passive aggressive way solves nothing. Perhaps I am overprotective of you because I know if I were in your position I would lose a lot of sleep over the comment, that is, if I were getting any to begin with. ;)

I think your last paragraph is the answer, really. Both of your boys are still little. They haven’t been at this a very long time. They are trying things out, just like we are. Please don’t consider yourself a failure as a parent-I go through that cycle all the time and know it sucks, SO MUCH.

Lora
Lora
13 years ago

It is what it is. Don’t blame your parenting skills or own behavior. You could be a marshmallow and still have the same kids. I am NOT going to say “it’s just a phase” lol.. That teacher should not have said what she said.. she probably peeled the wallpaper off the walls with her shrieks when she was a toddler.. and nobody remembers because it was such a short period in her life.

Faith
Faith
13 years ago

I don’t know how possible it is to teach someone else how to cope. I think all you can do is show them that it’s possible to get through whatever it is they’re dealing with. Maybe they both just need you to stay calm and ride it out with them. Maybe praise them for getting it together when they finally do? And then hope that they get better at it with practice. I’m sure they will.

Rachel
Rachel
13 years ago

I was my cousin’s primary parent until he was 5 and his father decided to grow a pair (bio-mom still a deadbeat). As I am only 14 years older than he is, you can imagine that, while I did the best I could, I was somewhat lacking in parental skillsets and was certainly overindulgent and inadequate when it came to discipline. He was mostly a really mellow kid, but when his abandonment issues clashed with that epic toddler defiance…hoo boy. When he was 2 and a half, his preschool informed me that in the throes of a tantrum he pulled down his pants and defecated on the floor of his classroom (and he was, at that point, fully potty trained). He had a scream that could leave the house, fill out a CPS form all by itself and pick up that candy bar he wanted on its way back. Luckily the neighbors were hippies, uninclined to call the cops. Then he turned 4 and all was well. Still had issues up the yin-yang (“this is my mommy who is my cousin,” yeah…) but we were tantrum free.

Amanda
13 years ago

Dude, you’re a great mom. You’re doing an amazing job.

No asskissery here- just… Sometimes it helps to hear it. I’m saying it a lot today.

Your boys are AWESOME, and everyone has the same issues you do, so it’s nothing you’ve done or not done to or for them.

Maybe they’re so epic with the tantrumming because they’re passionate, smart kids, and they’re feeling something that’s just a little to big for their wee bodies at the moment. Smart as they are, they’re still tiny, and they don’t know what to do about what’s going on in their heads. So they flip out.

They’ll deal better when they can. They’re doing exactly what they should be doing now: seeing what FEELING feels like, pushing themselves and others, and losing their ever loving minds. Kids, man. What’re you gonna do.

Melissa
13 years ago

Well clearly they’re not getting enough pasties :) I’m going through the same type of thing with my two year old…He seems to have forgotten all his words except grunts, screems, and tantrums.

I like to tell myself “he’s going through a growth sprut” or “he’s about to make a new developmental breaktrhough” or for my husband the gamer “he’s about to level up”. But really, he’s just a pain in the ass huggy kissy 2 year old.

My newest trick is all organic food and no high sugar fruits or veggies before nap time…I’ll let you know if it works…if I can manage to remember not to cave and give him the Scooby snacks (hey, starting stuff is fun, it’s the follow through that I have trouble with).

I’m already preparing for the “we think your child has ADD” speech I think we’ll get from his school teacher…which I know is too young to diagnose in a 2 year old, but I am pretty darn sure my son doesn’t have it. He’ll sit and play with something he’s not supposed to have nice and quietly for a good hour or more.

Next time, just smile politely at the teacher and say “Gosh, we don’t have any problems with his tantrums at home…What coping techniques are you using?”

melanie
melanie
13 years ago

I don’t know how well his verbal skills are but my son had EPIC temper tantrums until he was at least 2 1/2 (when he was finally able to verbalize WELL what he wanted and needed)…. for awhile I was worried he was mildly autistic due to the horrible nature of these meltdowns, but once he hit that milestone where he knew what to say and how to say it, the meltdowns disappeared.

Crystal
Crystal
13 years ago

When he has a tantrum he loses his shit.

When he loses his shit, you lose your temper and lash out at him.

Children learn what they live. You cant control him, but you can control the way you deal with him and they way you relate to him.

Try changing the way you deal with him. Get all Zen on his ass and see what happens.

I say this as a mother of a 2 1/2 year that would freak out so badly at the stupidest thing he would throw up on his teachers. Oh yes. I was the parent to THAT child.

Once I changed up the way I dealt with him, and modeled a healthier way to deal with frustrations, he really made a turn around.

He’ll be 6 next week, and he is such a calm and happy kid, now.

Good Luck, Linda.

Stacy
13 years ago

I don’t have anything to offer of the insight nature but I totally share the feeling of ineptitude that you describe. Parenting is so full of head-slaps it isn’t even funny. I wish I had more to offer but I don’t like to offer assvice when I can’t even control my own kids.

Aimee
13 years ago

ugh. Yes. I SOOOOO FEEL YOUR PAIN. I hate when I lose my shit and I feel like I have to apologize to my 4 year old for the way I acted in response to his behavior. It sucks. Infact there has been many a day I even cried WITH him.
I wish I could force myself into time out when I am losing my cool.

Ann
Ann
13 years ago

One of our four kids was problematic about tantrums. It tried our patience, ad infinitum.

Today? All four kids are college grads, and the tantrum-thrower is successful and paying her own way, to the salary tune of which she can support herself and her aging parents.

So…grin and bear it.
All I have to say.

Nhalia
Nhalia
13 years ago

I think its just in his personality. My daughter is just about to hit 2, and can throw temper tantrums the like of which some have never seen before.

Have you ever looked up the description of a ‘spirited child’ and how to raise them? He may not completely fit into that category (mine does), but there are always some tips on how to deal with their ‘quirks’

sooboo
sooboo
13 years ago

One word for the day care worker. Amateur. As long as he isn’t clawing off his own face then what’s the problem? Then again I don’t have kids so feel free to take my opinion with a salt of grain.

April G.
April G.
13 years ago

I have absolutely no advice for you, but can I offer you a laugh?

http://wedinator.com/2010/07/30/viral-ring-modern-claddagh-ring-aka-the-goatse-ring/

Karl
Karl
13 years ago

First, it’s not about you. You want to really believe that, because it’s true. Your parenting has very little to do with how your kids act, especially at a toddler age. Learning comes later, what they are doing now is largely hard-wired.

So, now what? You have a couple kids and one in particular who is wired with just an on-off switch. OK, it’s a pisser, you thought this was going to be easy? hahaha! What you DON’T want to do is descend into wimpy mumblings about it being your fault. Nor do you want to get all fascist on his ass, simply because it won’t work yet, he’s too young. So what you do is hang in there, discourage the worst of the tantrums. Have a good laugh at the spectacle (that helped at least one of my 4 come out of it, she didn’t like being laughed at!) Encourage the good and discourage the bad. Follow your instincts, at least most of ’em, because (outside of the self-blaming ones) they are mostly good.

I’ll be reading about how Dylan is going to be a vet (or I dunno, maybe an airline pilot!) but I wouldn’t worry about him becoming a street thug just yet.

Karl
Karl
13 years ago

I meant to add: you or JB might see personality elements in the boys that you don’t like, maybe elements you strive against yourselves. That would hardly be surprising. Now is not the time to stress out over it, though. Take note, and as they get older (maybe 6 and up, but everyone’s different) you can work with them on it. I was too reluctant to try new things as a kid and I worked with my 3rd who was me on it. She’s still cautious about a lot of things but she has taken chances and done things that I never would have.

So yes, you can help them, and no, you can’t change them. Does that make sense?

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

The way you wrote that, I have the impression tantrums are part of Dylan’s charm. Which is awesome. Somehow, even when you’re writing about something that frustrates you, you manage to inject love and affection. I admire that.

Meltdowns must be a release for children but a kid who can have one regularly is also showing he knows he’s loved for who he is.

I have no idea what the solution is…let them ride it out as long as they don’t hurt themselves.

Ness at Drovers Run
13 years ago

Oh wow, we’re totally in the same place kid wise. My 2yr old has tantrums that can shatter crystal. Honestly the only thing that works for us, is total IGNORING. LIke as in, leave the room, or just mindlessly flick throughthe channels while pointedly NOT noticing the noise. After the first five tantrums of doing this, he would calm down in matter of minutes. Now we rarely see a tantrum. Not so easy to figure out is to get my older one to calm down when he gets upset by the tiniest thing, he’s 5 next week…parenting…the drama continues…

Christy
Christy
13 years ago

My youngest has had the worst tantrums of my three kids. Crazy loud, red-faced, in public tantrums. And honestly, I’ve probably been a calmer, “better” parent with her than with my first two. So, I have to think it’s just in them. Just as you can’t really take the credit when they are sweet, you can’t take the blame when they lose it.

NancyJ
13 years ago

I feel your pain! Toddler meltdowns were the worst!

I agree with Crystal at 6:25pm – change your reaction to his meltdown and see what happens. He has an audience right now. Be calm, cool and just make sure he doesn’t injure himself in some way. They do grow out of him but maybe this will help him grow out of it faster.

If it’s any consolation, my niece was the same way as both your boys. Super sensitive and prone to just nuclear meltdowns. She’s now majoring in Food Science at a top university with offers of paid internships and attending post grad workshops as a sophomore.

Bren
13 years ago

Our three year old has the HUGE tantrums and we have tried everything we can think of as well. What sucks is that each tantrum has it’s own “turn off switch” – and it never seems to be the same thing two times in a row. It is so frustrating because we TRY to help her find her way out of it, find her way to NOT be in trouble (since her tantrums include throwing and kicking etc.). I just hope this will translate into a strong adult personality that doesn’t take any crap from anyone!!!

Mel Dennis
13 years ago

The more language they get, the better they can potentially do– but some people are just “wired” for tantrums– I have this terrible temper, and if I’m not careful it can still go off and I’m like a two year old again.

You’re already doing a great job, with distractions and soothing– the more he can talk and understand you, the better you’ll be able to guide your child through the emotions he’s feeling and find constructive ways to deal with the anger/frustration.

These things take years to master/learn, and your son is lucky he has you to love him and teach him these things.

And sending him to his room is acceptable discipline for this kind of thing- we won’t hang out with you if you’re acting like this, go take some time and calm down, and then we’ll hang out with you.

Mel Dennis
13 years ago

Another thing that can work sometimes is music- if there’s a special CD you can play to help him remember a calm feeling (like a naptime or classical soothing CD), you can go all Pavlovian on him.

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

My older daughter who just turned 5 is a “sensitive” child, and has been prone toward epic tantrums since she was around 2. Lucky for me (but not her teachers) there was a boy in her class who had similar “issues” so I didn’t feel so alone. Mostly it’s gone away, but we still have one every few months. We had a tantrum a few months ago because her sister got some Mickey Mouse panties and she did not – screaming all the way home from Target about how she wanted Mickey Mouse panties. We also had one last week that on the surface appeared to be about a missing pen lid, but underneath was about her emotions about starting Kindergarten last week. I’m so happy to read the comments about other kids who have similar tantrums.

I understand the feelings of failure, because it seems that once they get going on these tantrums, there is no stopping them until they wind down on their own. We’ve tried everything, but nothing really works.

Jenny
Jenny
13 years ago

When our daughter was 2, I often found myself saying “Get some coping skills, for the love of Jesus!” Now she’s almost 4 and while the flailing tantrums are minimal, the dramatic streak definitely continues. I’m reasonably sure she’s going to be the dictator of a small island nation when she grows up. Maybe Dylan could be her second in command?

Anyway, I feel like a failure all the time, but I think we’re doing the best we can. Maybe. I hope…

Christina
13 years ago

Same boat. Feel your pain and express the same internal worries about myself and my kids. SO not alone, trust me. Hang in there, hang on to the good moments.

JennB
JennB
13 years ago

From day one with our daughter (who is now five and a half) we’ve said that she’s binary – she’s either on and awesome, or she’s off and horrendous. It doesn’t help that she has curly hair (“there was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead; when she was good she was very very good, when she was bad she was horrid”).

Then our son came along, and he is a temper-tantrum power ranger MASTER. Now that he’s two, there are a lot of power struggles, screaming and crying fits, throwing of things, hitting, etc. It’s a smidge trying, for sure.

We’ve said, and will continue to say, that we hope that they learn to use their power and independence and intelligence for good instead of EEEEEEvil when they get older – I don’t know that they’re gifted, per se, but just very determined little people. That will serve them well when they are older and know how to direct their power.

And sometimes, as a parent, you just have to walk away (provided the environment is safe for them) until they can calm themselves down. That’s how they’re going to learn that they need to take care of their own tempers and inclinations.

I do my own share of SHUT UP!!!! SHUT UP NOW! I SAID BE QUIET then I feel bad about it.

Not only are we our children’s teachers, we are also their students. They can teach us what they need and what they can handle on their own.

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
13 years ago

I have two words for you:

Sunshyn
Sunshyn
13 years ago

Oops, it would help if I would post the two words, huh? 1) redhead. 2) ignore.

Miss Virginia
Miss Virginia
13 years ago

I haven’t read the other comments, so I apologize if this a repeat. I, too, have an uncontrollable, tantrum throwing child. She has been that way since the day she was born. (she is now ELEVEN!!!) She was the baby that people would say, “I can calm ANY baby down, but I can’t calm HER.”

It’s like that poem, “There once was a girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead, and when she was good, she was REALLY, REALLY good and when she was bad she was HORRID!

FINALLY, in 2nd grade, we ended up talking to the most wonderful child pych to see what we could do to help her because we had tried EVERYTHING and nothing would work to stop her crazy tantrums. Turns out she gave us fantastic advice that we had never thought of and it actually really worked.

(BTW…I have 2 younger children who do NOT have these same tantrums, so I can totally relate with you!)

MY VERY LONG STORY SHORT…each child is different and should be handled in different ways, sometimes “out of the box” ways. I’m happy to tell you what she told me to do, but that was for my daughter and who knows if it would help Dylan. It may be worth talking to a professional for specific suggestions and ideas of what to do to help him deal with these tantrums.

Hadey
Hadey
13 years ago

I am going through the same thing with my 3 year old daughter. For the most part she is the sweetest, happiest, funniest kid I know, but then the simplest thing will set her off, and I’m left standing there wondering what happened. (I like to refer to it as her Jekyll & Hyde moment.) We have also tried everything; hugging, screaming, comforting, time-outs, distractions, and unfortunately the same thing doesn’t work every time.

One thing that has worked, however is making her go to her room until she’s done screaming. I tell her nobody else wants to hear it, but if it makes her feel better she can scream as loud as she wants, as long as she does it in her own room with the door shut. This keeps me from yelling at her, and gives her a chance to get it out of her system. Sometimes it takes 2 minutes, sometimes 20, but in the end she always comes out when she’s done, wipes her tears, tells me she feels better then we hug & kiss and tell each other “I love you.” I’m not sure if the same approach would work for a little boy, but it’s worth a shot!

Hang in there! We are all doing the best we can. All you can do is keep loving your little man as hard as you can.

Melanie
13 years ago

We have the same thing at my house – my son goes into these fits of tears over tiny things, just completely out of control… The odd part is, he is 8, and back when he was 2 or 3, we could reason with him better, he would “use his words” to explain his problems – and now it seems like he’s regressing. The big big worry is that his father and I both have mental illnesses that make it hard for us to emotionally regulate (bipolar and possible borderline personality) and so I get terrified, thinking something is so awfully wrong, what can I do, etc. etc. But, really, I guess we are all just people and we all do the best we can and we keep pulling out different tools and hoping that someday somthing will work. For me, now, I am using a type of cognitive therapy that involves changing pretty much how you think about and experience the world – like I’m rewiring my brain – and I’m hoping that being able to regulate myself will rub off on the kid some, that I can pass some of what I’m learning on to him. And I just struggle along and hope that things keep getting better and that something will finally work.
Good luck to you, I know how awfully hard and scary it is – but don’t blame yourself, okay? We all have problems and it’s not always our parents’ faults!!

J
J
13 years ago

OK, questions for you parents. The other week, my husband and I walked by a girl, who was throwing the most horrific tantrum I’ve ever seen. This was throw yourself on the floor, kick your heels, hit your head, scream at the top your voice tantrum. I put her age at about fourish. So, I was telling a friend about this, and he asked what we’d do if she were our child. I said I might take a few steps away from her–you know, distance myself a little from her, or if we were home, go to another room until she finished. He acted like this would be a horrible thing to do. Is it? What does one do in that situation? She definitely was too big to carry out or handle (I told my husband that anyone who’s big enough to wear big-girl underwear is too big for that kind of behavior). So, what would you all do?