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Endless tantrums :(
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 9:05 pm
Literally endless. I think we're all pulling our hair out, at best. And losing our hearing. 5 years old and still at it. I'm out of ideas.

No diagnosis and school counselor doesn't have anything to say because this doesn't happen at school.

Crying
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anonymrs




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 9:17 pm
Can you describe a bit about how and when this behavior began?
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amother




Yellow
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 9:21 pm
amother wrote:
Literally endless. I think we're all pulling our hair out, at best. And losing our hearing. 5 years old and still at it. I'm out of ideas.

No diagnosis and school counselor doesn't have anything to say because this doesn't happen at school.

Crying

I’m usually not a big spanking fan, but in this case a few good spankings may just do the trick.. Only make sure it’s done calmly and not out of anger..
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:15 pm
It's been going on to some degree or another for her whole life. It's the kind of thing you call "the terrible twos" and then suddenly they so far over 2 that it doesn't make sense anymore.

I don't think spanking would help because the whole problem is that she doesn't know how to calm herself down and that would only get her more upset. I already feel abusive because sometimes I have to physically interact and she reacts very negatively to that. But sometimes I just need to remove her from a situation and there's no choice.

She's about 90% of the time a lovely child but sometimes she just goes crazy when she doesn't get what she wants. I'm not going to just give her everything she wants and raise a spoiled brat, and even when I do tend to try to avoid conflict sometimes there really isn't an option in my control. But the way she carries on it almost seems like it's not worth it! She never learns and it never gets any better. Letting her cry it out 20 times for an hour each doesn't seem to teach her any lesson about not always getting what you want. It still happens the exact same way with the same intensity the next time.

Making the whole thing so much worse is that there is a sibling close in age and a little older who really suffers from this Sad That's how half of the physical conflicts get started - I am either removing her from the bedroom so older sibling can try to get some sleep (we only have one bedroom) or trying to keep her in the room because older sibling has left to try to find some quiet in a different room. Older sibling is getting traumatized that I can't seem to figure out how to manage little sibling's behavior Sad
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amother




Cerulean
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:19 pm
Do you ever punish her?
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:28 pm
Occasionally but the message gets lost within the tantrum.

Like I said she is mostly a very sweet kid so there isn't much to punish. But even normal consequences that are not punishments - You chose A so that rules out B - lead to these hour-long screamfests.
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amother




Yellow
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:29 pm
So if spanking/punishing is not working did you ever try something positive? Like making a weekly no-tantrum chart and she gets a prize/reward if she makes it?
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:34 pm
That's worth a try. I don't know if it will help because it seems that she just can't wrap her head around the possibility of accepting that something isn't the way she wants. I've tried a thousand ways of teaching skills of calming down and acceptance and being happy with what you have - which made inroads with my other child who had similar difficulties but not quite this intense. But nothing seems to work for this one. But it's worth a try just to see what happens.
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amother




Salmon
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:36 pm
Just wanna say HUGS to you!! I have a very difficult 3 year old and I often feel abusing the way I need to interact with him to get him dressed, put jacket and hat on, get him undressed, into pjs, into car seat etc. we have to physically hold him down or he’ll tantrum bloody murder for these things (yet when other people try to help him with this kinda stuff he’s totally fine). I have to use so much force to get him into pjs if neighbors saw me I don’t know what they’d think. And every night I apologize when he’s calm ahd in bed and talk to him about what happened and suggest that maybe tomorrow he could be a little easier on Mommy...doesn’t happen Sad
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amother




Cerulean
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:42 pm
amother wrote:
lead to these hour-long screamfests.
what do you do with her when this is going on? Does it disrupt the running of the household? Does it give her an element of control and power? Make sure she doesn’t get anything out of it, not even attention. I would pick her up and put her in a room / basement / etc. and close the door and leave her to scream on her own until she tires herself out. If she tries to run out, hold the door closed from the outside and don’t talk to her at all. I would not engage in conversation or reasoning with her during a tantrum. She needs to learn to convey her feeling appropriately if she wants to get anywhere with you.
If you know any Yiddish, the term is “don’t shteltzu”
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amother




Coffee
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:47 pm
OP, I suggest you read "The Explosive Child" and implement the techniques, especially the collaborative problem solving prior to incidents exploding.
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creditcards




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:51 pm
amother wrote:
what do you do with her when this is going on? Does it disrupt the running of the household? Does it give her an element of control and power? Make sure she doesn’t get anything out of it, not even attention. I would pick her up and put her in a room / basement / etc. and close the door and leave her to scream on her own until she tires herself out. If she tries to run out, hold the door closed from the outside and don’t talk to her at all. I would not engage in conversation or reasoning with her during a tantrum. She needs to learn to convey her feeling appropriately if she wants to get anywhere with you.
If you know any Yiddish, the term is “don’t shteltzu”

Not a basement, that's scary. And not any other place that can be scary for her.
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amother




Cyan
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 10:58 pm
Op, this is so hard! Major hugs!
My kid is 4.5. Has sensory issues and I strongly suspect adhd(pi). (Runs in the family).

Firstly, this behaviour is not age appropriate, have her evaluated. Something is keeping her back from calming down.

Have you noticed a pattern? A trigger?
I'm not in your home but there are a few things that can make a difference.
Does she get enough sleep?
Is there too much noise going on?
Is she tantruming before or after meals?
What kinds of things set her own?
Is she sensory? Does she show signs of other processing disorders?
Is she impulsive?
Are her teeth ok (yups teeth. My sil had a crazy story with her son that all tied back to his bad teeth. The dentist said it isn't the first time he sees that)
Have you had her vision and hearing tested at her yearly?

For my kid, when she gets into a tantrum, hugging her real tight and talking to her soothingly works wonders.
Letting a 5 year old, that has a hard time calming down, to her own devices when she's having a meltdown, won't teach her how to self soothe. She'll just keep crying. She obviously doesn't have the tools to calm down herself.
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 11:02 pm
amother wrote:
what do you do with her when this is going on? Does it disrupt the running of the household? Does it give her an element of control and power? Make sure she doesn’t get anything out of it, not even attention. I would pick her up and put her in a room / basement / etc. and close the door and leave her to scream on her own until she tires herself out. If she tries to run out, hold the door closed from the outside and don’t talk to her at all. I would not engage in conversation or reasoning with her during a tantrum. She needs to learn to convey her feeling appropriately if she wants to get anywhere with you.
If you know any Yiddish, the term is “don’t shteltzu”

It disrupts the household because it is so LOUD. She is VERY VERY loud and we have a very small home.
Picking her up and putting her anywhere is a huge trigger. Turns a meltdown into a war. There aren't that many rooms but if I do try to close her into a room, she just keeps pulling at the door hysterically. Because it seems she genuinely has an impossibly hard time calming herself, I'm worried that these kinds of distancing tactics are only more traumatizing for her.

And about leaving her until she tires herself out - that's what this whole thread is about. She pretty much never gets to that point. It could literally be an hour. Could you stand at a door for an hour holding it against your screaming howling pulling kicking hysterical child and literally do nothing else but hold the door and listen to that for an hour? Because that's how long tonight's meltdown was. An hour. On a real live clock. No exaggeration. Might have been more than an hour because I'm not exactly sure when it started, I just know that it was at least an hour later that it ended. How did it end? I don't know, maybe she did tire herself out, in stages. At one point I had her really calming down watching a meditation for kids video from youtube (after originally refusing it, and later asking for it) but then she started going back to the original tantrum again. But maybe she was on a better track toward recovery then. Still a totally traumatic evening for the whole family, and not the first, and now I'm way behind on everything I need to do after the kids get to sleep because bedtime took two hours later because of this and then I needed to calm myself down too!
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creditcards




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 11:16 pm
amother wrote:
It disrupts the household because it is so LOUD. She is VERY VERY loud and we have a very small home.
Picking her up and putting her anywhere is a huge trigger. Turns a meltdown into a war. There aren't that many rooms but if I do try to close her into a room, she just keeps pulling at the door hysterically. Because it seems she genuinely has an impossibly hard time calming herself, I'm worried that these kinds of distancing tactics are only more traumatizing for her.

And about leaving her until she tires herself out - that's what this whole thread is about. She pretty much never gets to that point. It could literally be an hour. Could you stand at a door for an hour holding it against your screaming howling pulling kicking hysterical child and literally do nothing else but hold the door and listen to that for an hour? Because that's how long tonight's meltdown was. An hour. On a real live clock. No exaggeration. Might have been more than an hour because I'm not exactly sure when it started, I just know that it was at least an hour later that it ended. How did it end? I don't know, maybe she did tire herself out, in stages. At one point I had her really calming down watching a meditation for kids video from youtube (after originally refusing it, and later asking for it) but then she started going back to the original tantrum again. But maybe she was on a better track toward recovery then. Still a totally traumatic evening for the whole family, and not the first, and now I'm way behind on everything I need to do after the kids get to sleep because bedtime took two hours later because of this and then I needed to calm myself down too!

Take her on your lap. Hold her real tight. She might kick and scream. And try to get off you. Don't let her. Just hold her tight. At some point she will use up all her energy trying to get off you or kick and scream and she will start laughing. This worked with someone I know. She used up lots of energy trying to get out of mothers arms. So took faster. And didn't feel like a punishment. When she was a too tired to continue she would just sit like limp on mothers lap.
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 11:21 pm
amother wrote:
Op, this is so hard! Major hugs!
My kid is 4.5. Has sensory issues and I strongly suspect adhd(pi). (Runs in the family).

Firstly, this behaviour is not age appropriate, have her evaluated. Something is keeping her back from calming down.

Have you noticed a pattern? A trigger?
Not really. When she doesn't get what she wants (but not always because she is flexible sometimes) and when she has to experience the consequences of her choice (either punishment - which is rare because she is well behaved - or just that she chose A and not B and therefore is not getting B)
I'm not in your home but there are a few things that can make a difference.
Does she get enough sleep?
I think so, generally. Definitely this was happening more over Chanukah when we were off schedule, and she probably isn't getting enough sleep those times when she is tantruming close to bedtime and then going to sleep later, but she generally sleeps very well and wakes up naturally.
Is there too much noise going on?
Nope
Is she tantruming before or after meals?
Either/both
What kinds of things set her own?
Is she sensory? Does she show signs of other processing disorders?
Not really. Maybe a drop at most.
Is she impulsive?
Not at all.
Are her teeth ok (yups teeth. My sil had a crazy story with her son that all tied back to his bad teeth. The dentist said it isn't the first time he sees that)
Just had dentist a short time ago, said her teeth are perfect but with some signs of grinding Confused I hadn't noticed any grinding before but during tonight's tantrum I think I heard some gnashing while I held her crying
Have you had her vision and hearing tested at her yearly?
Just whatever screening the pediatrician does. Never had any signs of concern.

For my kid, when she gets into a tantrum, hugging her real tight and talking to her soothingly works wonders.
Not this one, mostly she'll fight it off. Sometimes she'll take the snuggles while continuing to cry for what she wants, sometimes she'll hang on me desperately as she begs for what she wants, and sometimes she'll just push me away - usually after there's been some fighting like the type where I have to drag her into/out of the room for the sake of the family's health.
Letting a 5 year old, that has a hard time calming down, to her own devices when she's having a meltdown, won't teach her how to self soothe. She'll just keep crying. She obviously doesn't have the tools to calm down herself.
Yes, exactly! Only I've tried every way I can to teach her to self soothe, and actually some of it worked back when she was 3ish, but it seems to have worn off or something and now can't get through to her at all!
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 11:23 pm
creditcards wrote:
Take her on your lap. Hold her real tight. She might kick and scream. And try to get off you. Don't let her. Just hold her tight. At some point she will use up all her energy trying to get off you or kick and scream and she will start laughing. This worked with someone I know. She used up lots of energy trying to get out of mothers arms. So took faster. And didn't feel like a punishment. When she was a too tired to continue she would just sit like limp on mothers lap.

I don't think I have that kind of strength! And I just can't fight her like that! Also, she's strong. And these tantrums go on so long because she doesn't run out of steam. She'd wipe me out first and then keep going.
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creditcards




 
 
 
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 11:39 pm
amother wrote:
I don't think I have that kind of strength! And I just can't fight her like that! Also, she's strong. And these tantrums go on so long because she doesn't run out of steam. She'd wipe me out first and then keep going.

Try it once and see how it works. The one I know that did this also doesn't have lots of energy. Also eventually the child will give up faster because she will know she is not going anywhere just staying in your arms.

Also having her evaluated for ADHD or autism wouldn't hurt.

When my kids have tantrums I feed them. Sometimes hunger can cause them to have terrible tantrums.
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amother




Gray
 

Post  Tue, Jan 02 2018, 11:52 pm
Forgot to mention she was evaluated by a developmental pediatrician when she was about 3, who said that her stubbornness was just a personality thing and not part of any disorder (the doctor is well known in the autism field but also diagnoses other conditions) and more recently had her evaluated by the dept of ed hoping to maybe get her some OT and counseling through there (another child of mine had similar-but-a-little-different difficulties and gained a lot from that) but they practically laughed me out of the office after evaluating her for hours and seeing only perfectly normal behavior and above-average achievement/intelligence.

Her rigidity and meltdowns seem similar to kids with autism but the developmental doc said (and I agree) that her communication and social skills are way too good to even compare with autism. She's not very sensory either. Her attention is fine, she can focus great. She sometimes seems slow to process things, but as I said she performed above average at the dept of ed testing so I don't know what that is. Her teachers love her, she loves school, she has friends, and she has been in nursery or school since she was 2 years old including summers and I don't think she's ever had a single tantrum there. She's generally cheerful and easygoing. I feel like these meltdowns are tragically getting in the way of having a healthy parent relationship with a delicious lovable child. Crying
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creditcards




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Jan 03 2018, 12:25 am
amother wrote:
Forgot to mention she was evaluated by a developmental pediatrician when she was about 3, who said that her stubbornness was just a personality thing and not part of any disorder (the doctor is well known in the autism field but also diagnoses other conditions) and more recently had her evaluated by the dept of ed hoping to maybe get her some OT and counseling through there (another child of mine had similar-but-a-little-different difficulties and gained a lot from that) but they practically laughed me out of the office after evaluating her for hours and seeing only perfectly normal behavior and above-average achievement/intelligence.

Her rigidity and meltdowns seem similar to kids with autism but the developmental doc said (and I agree) that her communication and social skills are way too good to even compare with autism. She's not very sensory either. Her attention is fine, she can focus great. She sometimes seems slow to process things, but as I said she performed above average at the dept of ed testing so I don't know what that is. Her teachers love her, she loves school, she has friends, and she has been in nursery or school since she was 2 years old including summers and I don't think she's ever had a single tantrum there. She's generally cheerful and easygoing. I feel like these meltdowns are tragically getting in the way of having a healthy parent relationship with a delicious lovable child. Crying

Just wonder if how accurate the dept of ed testing is. Does she get distracted when you tell her to do something? (Like "go put on pajamas") Does she forget what you told her to do or spaces out?
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