Wife frustrated by 5 year old’s temper tantrums

Amazon 1700zulu
Dec 22, 2018 120 Comments

I have a 5 year old girl and we’ve already tried all the obvious and tried-and-true suggestions to get her to stop throwing tantrums. Nothing has worked. We discovered this week that she *likes* to scream. She will just spin herself up over little stuff to get attention.

We’ve tried ignoring her, letting her cry it out, punishments, rewards, diaries—you name it. She doesn’t want to take any responsibility for her emotions (such as being mad at someone for not entertaining her, because it’s our fault she’s bored). Yes, she’s 5, but the screaming is just getting to us. And if we I’ve into it even a little (trying to keep er not bored) the instant that isn’t met, she spins herself up. I’m at a loss for what to do. I didn’t have sisters growing up, but my mom has this personality type and I have difficulty dealing with her and she’s an adult.

All of my female friends and colleagues are extremely level-headed and have been sympathetic, but haven’t yielded any options that work.

Women of blind, if you were a diva at that age (or have had similar problems) any ideas? Anyone who has kids with this personality quirk have any ideas? My wife is extremely frustrated right now.

I think acting classes might help her channel some of this behavior, but that’s the only new idea I’ve got.

TC: not something to scream about.

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TOP 120 Comments
  • Flagged by the community.

    • Uber niceAss
      Shut up moron!
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Microsoft IMRE74
      Tc please
      Dec 23, 2018
  • Uber itvftly
    Put her on PIP
    Dec 22, 2018 1
  • Facebook zsasz
    Bring out the belt. It does wonders
    Dec 22, 2018 18
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      My wife does very little. Maybe 30 minutes a day total for email and texting. I spend a lot of time in front of a screen though, being an engineer and such: email, finances, podcasts, work, etc adds up.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon Jеff Bezоs
      I think they were asking about the kid and not you or your wife.
      Dec 24, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      I answered that earlier. The poster before me wrote this on the last line:

      > How much time do you and your wife spend "on screen"?
      Dec 24, 2018
    • Microsoft pock
      To everyone recommending beating the child, morality aside, isn't it illegal?
      Jan 3
    • Oracle Kirby123
      To everyone intentionally confusing beating and spanking, claiming to have a moral high ground because they refuse to spank their children etc:

      Wait until we see the results of your novel approach to parenting before you claim any sort of moral high ground. You departed from millennia of tradition and claimed victory before even seeing the actual effects.

      From what we can see so far, modern parenting techniques are producing people unable to cope with realities of life, emotional and spiritual wrecks screaming and throwing tantrums in their 30s.

      Great job!
      Jan 4
  • Cisco 30DDs Girl
    Buy her fortnite
    Dec 22, 2018 3
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      She’s 5. Will that be age appropriate for her?
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Cisco 30DDs Girl
      Let her scream toxic words to be people online
      Dec 22, 2018
    • New / Eng Pepe.Frog
      This
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Microsoft 505am
    Don't leave her to "cry it out", please don't. It just leaves kids with childhood trauma and gives them anxiety for the rest of their life.
    Seek for professional help from a psychologist. It's not that they're going to put your kid on meds or something. They will help you to understand the reasoning behind her behaviour, how to predict, avoid, and manage it. They usually work with kids in a game format: draw with them, play games, read, so your daughter might even like going there.
    Dec 22, 2018 4
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      My wife has a PhD in psychology. As I mentioned in the initial post, we’ve done most of the obvious and tried and true things. She just loves her tantrums and we are trying to figure out why so we can stop it.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • SpaceX uevh5
      No offense but you need a second unbiased opinion just because you are her parents. It could be anything - the screaming could be her way to soothe herself or a sensory processing disorder for all I know.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Microsoft 505am
      +1 to uevh5.
      It would also help you and your wife to get some relief, so that your husband-wife relationship don't get impacted so much. Think of it as going to a restaurant. Yes, you both can cook, but it gives you some free time to relax and have a break from accumulated frustration.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      It’s a good point you make about objectivity. Her background is on cognitive science and not child development, so an impartial psychologist would probably be a good idea.
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Amazon 1700zulu
    OP
    OP here. Those of you who said something was wrong—gold star to you. But it wasn’t what you would think.

    Wife wasn’t feeling well a few weeks ago, went to the doctor, and discovered she was pregnant. Doc put the conception date about 3 weeks before the really bad behavior started. My 5 year old must have picked up on something that was going on with my wife (who stays home with the kids) and she acted out for the attention. We shall see if her behavior gets better or worse once we tell both kids next week...

    So... all’s well that ends well...
    Jan 17 3
    • Oath / Eng fat
      Congratulations! ❤️
      Jan 17
    • Apple Gg56fh
      Congratulations. Did the tantrums subside?
      Jan 19
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      Thanks :) We told the kids today. We shall see how things go tantrum-wise.
      Jan 26
  • Apple G218d245
    You’d seldom find Indian kids pulling that sh*t and getting away with it. Ever wondered why? 😉
    Dec 22, 2018 3
    • New / Product freemason
      They do the needful or else?
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Apple G218d245
      They ask their kids to behave or else revert back with 👋
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon Jеff Bezоs
      The belt that does wonders?
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Cruise Automation / Eng ⬆️
    What happens when you just put her in her room until she stops screaming?
    Dec 22, 2018 7
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      That was one of the first things we tried. She comes out of it after about an hour and then finds something new to scream about.

      It’s like a high severity production issue - we calmed the alarm and got paged an hour later.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Google iogear
      How can she come out? Seems like you forgot to lock the door.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      It’s unsafe to lock someone—anyone, let alone a child—into a room.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon brig
      Not if you have a baby cam in the room. She's continuing this behavior because she knows youre soft. If your consistent in your punishments she will sooner or later learn that what she's doing doesn't help
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      We are pretty consistent with punishment and consequences. She just likes spinning herself up a lot. She likes the emotion of it. Kind of like an actor getting into the role. It’s one reason I am suggesting to my wife the acting classes—as an outlet.
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng Pen Island
    You need to find something that she is afraid of losing. Then you have the bargaining power.

    Apparently she found that you guys are scared of screaming.

    Hoe about record of screaming sound and then repeatedly play it in her room during her time-out?
    Dec 22, 2018 5
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      Hmmm. Return to sender. That might work. My wife is a quiet person and I almost never raise my voice to anyone, so maybe she realizes that and needs to see what it’s like on the other side. But that could be really scary at 5. I’ll give it some thought though. Thanks.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • New / Eng Pepe.Frog
      Repeatedly playing it in her room sounds like some MKUltra technique. Just don’t sensory depravate her and blast her screaming into her ears. That will literally wipe her brain.

      What about record her freaking out on video and then play it back to her when she’s freaking out?
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      Pepe that’s a good idea. It isn’t inflicting any pain on her but showing her what she looks like to others.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • New / Product
      dangnabbit

      New Product

      PRE
      Microsoft
      dangnabbitmore
      A version of this that works really well with both my nephews at that age is to start throwing a tantrum right with them. It’s hilarious and takes two secs for them to realize how ridiculous it is. Obviously not for a child in real distress, but throwing a temper tantrum because they can’t have something or are bored.

      Rather than to take her tantrums so seriously perhaps it’s time to make fun of/with them.
      Dec 24, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      Hmmm. That could be interesting. But she may be more interested in her screaming to notice. Thanks for the suggestion.
      Dec 24, 2018
  • New / Product freemason
    The good news is she'll probably end up being a great backend engineer
    Dec 22, 2018 0
  • LinkedIn TaFP35
    Hey, you work in tech with entitled mid-twenty year old grown adults. You mean to tell me you can manage a temper tantrum at home? How do you cope at work?
    Dec 22, 2018 1
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      Adults have a theory of mind and other ways to talk things out. She’s 5. She’s a person but not fully developed, so what works on an entitled millennial brat won’t work on her.
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Microsoft 4655434b
    Sounds like she’s bored & doesn’t know how to handle this. Try involving her in activities that allow to her to mentally stimulate herself, like drawing, puzzles, etc. it’s actually an interesting phenomenon that is become more of an issue nowadays since many kids never have a chance to be bored (tv, ipad, etc)... being bored forces you to learn to cope, typically by using your imagination. This is how the humans evolved to deal w boredom... when you drive w her, what does she do? See if you can get her involved in spotting cars of certain colors, or looking for clouds in shape of a pony... point being, get her to learn to how to deal with boredom, this will go a long way as she grows up
    Dec 22, 2018 7
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      She can do these things but loses interest. She can read books to herself but gets lonely and wants us to read to her. I think what she craves is the social interaction rather than the activity itself. Maybe she’s an extreme extrovert in a family of introverts.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Microsoft 4655434b
      Because it’s more fun... and its more fun because you enable it 😀
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      I enable the tantrums? How so?
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Yahoo k_
      By being introverts. Take her to a nearby park and let her interact with kids . You should get out of your introvert zone for your kids sake.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Microsoft 4655434b
      You enable her to being entertained by you instead of an activity
      Dec 22, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Apple Okidoki
      Oh. My. God. Hope your kid will be functional enough to afford the therapy. That’s from someone who was spanked by well intentioned parents.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Microsoft 4655434b
      And now we all know why so many women w daddy issues like to be spanked...
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Microsoft
      🐙M🐙

      Microsoft

      BIO
      🐙
      🐙M🐙more
      Pls stop abusing your child
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Cruise Automation TheDJT
      I guess it was always a part of Uber’s culture...
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Oracle / Design MiPI85
    My daughter does the same! The only thing that makes her stop is giving her hugs and love words. We talk calmly about the behavior. Doesn’t work like magic, overnight, but she improved a lot after we start doing that instead of any punishment or ignoring her.
    Dec 22, 2018 0
  • New daring
    Looks like she is afflicted by some daemons. They are very mischievous and affect young and old differently. As she grows up she will be fine, just let her live her childhood.
    Dec 22, 2018 1
    • New / Product freemason
      Yes she probably has multiple background processes running on her linux environment. Try rebooting her.
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Cisco 30DDs Girl
    Put her in sports
    Dec 22, 2018 4
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      She does dance right now and loves it. But as soon as the activities stop, she gets spun up again. Constant activities won’t work well (my wife and other daughter are both introverts and can only take so much social stimulation).

      However since she does like more physical activities maybe something more physically exerting will help her settle down. Thanks for the idea.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Cisco 30DDs Girl
      Being Introverted is a meme. Put her in soccer or lacrosse
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      Lacrosse at 5? I don’t think they have the coordination for that. Soccer is probably going to be easier.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Microsoft / Eng Whatsupp
      Soccer Gymnastic tennis any thing that involves burning of energy, is a good idea. No harm in doing it every day so that she gets tired and good sleep. It will also teach her discipline.
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Oath / Eng fat
    Try this.

    When it happens, lock her and yourself in a room. You need to be inside the room with her. Make sure the room is clear of anything that she can use to hurt herself. Lots of cute stuffed animals helps. Then close your eyes and meditate. Don’t give in to any demand until she calms down.

    Take a week off from work if you need to. I think the core issue is that you need to spend more time with her, in both happy and sad times.

    Your daughters behavior aside. You need to look into your relationship with your wife. If there is a lack of passion, children can sense that and sometimes throw tantrums to get parents to stop fighting with each other.
    Dec 22, 2018 2
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      My relationship with my wife is fantastic. It has almost always been good (we had one or two rough patches in the beginning but that was over 8 years ago), but over the past 2-3 years we really clicked on all cylinders: more physically and emotionally compatible, and we almost never argue let alone fight.

      But you did give me an idea about how to maybe help her channel there energy some. Maybe a pillow fight or something to get out the aggression and whatever else is going on, and she’ll settle down.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Oath / Eng fat
      If you really have no other way, I recommend hiring professional help, aka family therapists.

      Yes, they’re not just for fighting couples on the brink of divorce. They’re also for fixing children’s behavior as a family.
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Intuit Instapip
    Remove them from the situation, show empathy... “I understand that you are frustrated...”, and stay with them until they calm down. There are lots of write ups on this approach and it really works. I used this on my son and tantrums came to a complete stop.
    Dec 22, 2018 0
  • Expedia Sharknado
    Talk to a professional. It’s your child and you’re responsible for her health, that includes her mental health. It’s not an issue that blind should be solving for you and it’s not just your wife’s problem(aka wife is frustrated)
    Dec 22, 2018 3
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      That’s probably what we are going to do. First part though is determining what’s normal kid behavior and what wasn’t. Sometimes talking it out helps reach that conclusion.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Expedia Sharknado
      Even if it’s normal behavior, a good child psychology pro would help you find the right ways to control that behavior. You also have no idea where it came from - it could be something that happens at daycare too. Staff is sometimes stupid and makes idiotic comments or talks between themselves and children overhear things that cause them to fear abandonment.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      My wife stays home with the kids, so it’s definitely not the daycare. My wife is great with them and is just starting to lose patience after many months of this going on.
      Dec 22, 2018
  • Sirius XM HfIbQ65
    My kid doesn’t throw tantrums like that, but for repeated bad behavior of certain types, we have a reward/punishment paradigm... don’t do this for a whole day (or a week, depending on what it is and their progress with it), earn this thing you want” which is often small and cheap yet still exciting for them. The punishment side of it is:
    First time they screw up, “well, sorry, I guess you won’t be able to earn X.”
    Second time, “ok, time for time out...”
    Third: “ok, more time out and you lost privileges for [insert thing they really like here] until you’re good for an entire day...”
    Fourth: repeat step 3. I’ve never had to repeat it more than once.

    Having real consequences that you enforce and incentives for positive behavior seems to work well and we normally have things in good shape in a day or two or at most a week.
    Dec 22, 2018 2
    • Amazon 1700zulu
      OP
      We’ve been doing this for about 3 years now and it helped get through the terrible 2s/3s. This is something different, probably like what other suggested about her self expression. Thanks though. Real consequences have had an effect on behaviors but not on how she takes responsibility for her emotions.
      Dec 22, 2018
    • Sirius XM HfIbQ65
      Every kid is different. I hope you find something that works.
      Dec 22, 2018