Belfast Telegraph

Son’s tantrums are driving me crazy

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona Hurley answers your problems

Dear Fiona, My son has reached the ‘terrible twos’ and we’re at our wits’ end because he’s throwing the worst tantrums possible.

We consider ourselves to be good parents so we don’t understand why he’s behaving so badly.

He bit my husband the other day and he constantly smacks me in the face.

It’s embarrassing in front of other people and I’m sure they’re looking at us as if we should have more control over him.

Are we doing it all wrong?

Concerned Parents,

Portadown

Dear Concerned Parents,

All children go through this stage which indicates that it’s a phase of the developmental process rather than anything you’ve done.

At around two years, the child interacts more with the world and tries exerting his or her independence.

Up until then, their every basic need has been catered to and they develop a level of narcissism and omnipotence, or a belief that the world revolves around them.

So in the child’s eyes, it’s not them behaving badly but the world around them not playing ball and no longer granting their every wish as soon as they want it.

Small children can’t communicate their frustration effectively, so they lash out. You shouldn’t automatically assume that people are being critical because it’s possible they’re being sympathetic or just curious. Try not to be so hard on yourselves.

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