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Monday, 18 January 2021
Temper Tantrums Print
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Although many small children have temper tantrums, children with attachment issues may demonstrate tantrums that are over-the-top in frequency, duration, and/or intensity.

Frequency: the child may have temper tantrums over and over again throughout the day. Small things may send the child into a full-blown rage.

Duration: the tantrums may last for a long period of time. Perhaps an hour or more.

Intensity: the child may rage over something very small. The tantrum may also escalate into the physical: tantruming until the child passes out, beating his head against the floor, lashing out against his parent with fists.
My son is healing from an anxious attachment. When his anxiety escalated he would throw a series of tantrums or fall into a rage. The tantrums were one indication that he was not feeling safe. He would try to control things around him in an effort to make himself feel safe, but as we learned in therapy, a child who is in control is not safe.

At one point he used food to feel in control and refused to eat anything other than chicken nuggets. Because we were so desperate for him to eat, we sadly gave into him and gave him chicken nuggets for all meals. We were just so grateful that he was eating. One night we made the decision that chicken nuggets were no longer on the menu and he would eat what we did. This was after working with a feeding therapist, an attachment therapist, and an international pediatric specialist. We knew that we could not let his control over food continue.

That night we offered him chicken and a vegetable but not chicken nuggets. He refused to eat and immediately pointed to the toaster where I normally made his nuggets and began the tantrum. We kept offering the chicken and vegetable. For three hours we endured screaming, crying, and throwing himself around tantrums. He did not stop for a second...three hours. It was the longest three hours of our lives! (a. 6mo, FC)
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