I'm looking for some constructive advice. I have a 3 year old and an 18 month old. The 3 year old and I have a very intense relationship. He seems to need to be physically close to me. When he was a baby he often wouldn't go to anyone else, had difficulty getting to sleep and he seemed generally fussy. He had reflux so I spent hours with him in a baby sling when he was little! Now he's 3 he still seems to need a lot of physical contact, whether it's climbing on me, wrestling or just sitting on my lap. Before he as born I used to joke I needed a lot of personal space, so it's been a tough adjustment to have someone with me so much.
Now here's my issue. Now when he was tantrums he lashes out at me. Kicking, hitting, throwing himself at me and screaming in my face when I try to get on his level to talk to him. Sometimes I find myself getting so frustrated with him that I have been physical with him. By that I mean restraining his arms or legs and trying to pin him down. Definitely no hitting! But by then I'm so flustered and angry I often yell back at him. It's not what I want to do, and I know it's only escalating the tantrum. I'm trying so hard to be calm when he starts up. I don't want this to continue as he gets older. I don't want this to be how we interact. I need some constructive advice about what I can do to break this pattern of physical behaviour. How do I manage my temper when he's having a tantrum?