Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Jojo | 2010-04-14


Tantrums and strong willed child

My son is 2 1/2. He''s going through the VERY TERRIBLE TWO''S and I''m at my wits end. I can handle the tantrums during the day, (Mostly by distracting him) but at night he wakes up about 1am and starts. Either he wants to play with some toy or I need play with him.

Last night for example he demanded to go play either in the lounge and then in my elder son''s room as he wanted to build ''castles'' (tents). I refused and told him it was late and time for sleeping and bedtime. He then threw a major tantrum and screamed the house down.
I then put him in my room on my bed and insisted he lay down (after a few smacks) and still he carried on insisting he wanted the blanket to build a castle. This screaming went on for over an hour, to which I totally ignored him until he calmed down. Then he eventually asked for something to drink ( he was hoarse) and settled down to sleep - holding my hand and snuggling up to me,.

This night time battle is really getting me down as I am exhausted, but can understand some moms who damage their children. His will is just so strong and nothing I can do or say will calm him down.
I try holding him to calm down - he kicks and screams even louder.
I try walking away, he goes beserk
I try staying - he tells me to leave his room.
I ignore, he screams.

Then the tide subsides and he eventually calms down &  goes to sleep, but by then the entire household is awake and angry.

My husband tells me to just put him in his room and shut the door, but I''ve tried that and he goes absolutely beserk. Kicking &  hitting the door and screaming hysterically. He wants to be with us, but then plays ME up most of the time.

What else can I do to conquer these tantrums. I''m really at my wits end!
Help please!

Expert's Reply



Your son is definitely a star in the terrible twos team.He now has the entire household as an audience and you are really at the end of your tether,even talking about understanding mothers who batter their children. This is dangerous territory and you need to sort out this problem ASAP.Letting your son into your bed is exactly where he wants to be so you need to be very firm from now on. If he has tantrums during the day he must be put in his room and the door closed. He must remain there until he is quiet even if it takes an hour or longer. He only comes out when he has stopped performing. At night you will need to do the controlled crying method starting with 5 minutes before going to him and gradually adding a minute each time. This is hard on the nerves and may take at least two nights but he will settle down if he sees that you mean business. Do not plead or beg him to stop crying always speak firmly but kindly when you want him to listen to you.His dad must help you with this.

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user comments


Posted by: Shelby | 2010-04-15

Hi Jojo,

I feel for you. My son is 3 and I have tried to have special time with him as he is at creche and I thought we could bond on outings. I took him to Exclusive Books in our local mall and he pulled the books from the shelves and slapped me in the face so hard, that I bleed in my mouth. He screamed and jumped up and down, I just grabbed his hand and tried to calmly walk out. I have vowed NEVER to take him out again as he ruins every single outing we have been on.

He woke last night and demanded a bottle and screamed the house down. I feel like handing him over for adoption. I am also at the end of my tether and after I have screamed and smacked him, my husband just asks " do you feel better" ..... AAGGHHH!!

I have been told it is just a phase, well I hope this phase passes quickly, for my sanity. I asked him not to fight with me and this seemed to have helped slightly.

Good luck, take some time out for yourself, treat yourself and perhaps you will feel better.

Reply to Shelby
Posted by: R | 2010-04-15

I have also found when hubby and I have a disagreement, my son will take advantage of this, and his tantrums get worse. Now we try to talk things out away from him.
Other than that, one or two days of absolute firmness will put him in his place. Keep reminding yourself this is discipline at its worst, but things will get better. If you do become angry, just walk away. Sometimes we do lose control, but this only fuels the tantrums. You are in control, you are the adult. You and his dad must always agree with the discipline method in front of him, he will realise you are serious.
My son is also 2.5, and he understands everything and is talking very well, but he is also clever and tries his luck. But I''ve come to introduce humour in some things and firm discipline where needed and we understand each other, but he will always try. Good luck.

Reply to R

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