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I am tired of my 6 yr. old dd's fits every.stinking.day.


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#1 mama2cntrykids

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:58 PM

It's seriously wearing me OUT. Everyday she throws these screetching, crying, whining FITS. I remember my boys being kind of like this, but nothing this extreme.

I'm really at a loss as what I should be doing here? I send her to her room, but it's more shrieking, crying, "I hate it here! I hate my room!" Etc, etc, etc.

What do I do? Nothing is helping...timeouts, no. Spanking, no (I hate spanking and it's NOT helping...just causing MORE crying). Threatening to take away priveleges, no. She.just.keeps.crying! With every new threat, it's WORSE.

It's hard trying to teach a child like this, as you can imagine:glare:. Sigh.

Gentle help, please???

#2 1bassoon

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:07 PM

I'm so sorry. . . .it can be incredibly wearing, can't it? :grouphug:

You've got a 12-year old, a 9-year old, this sweet one, and a baby (1 yr), right?

Gentle recommendation. Take a step back. Love, love, love on her. Remind yourself of the GOOD in her. Focus on tying your heart strings to her.

I had a child like this (dd #4 in my siggie). We went through a very, very rough period, where I thought I could just punish the naughtiness out of her. We got in a very bad cycle, where nothing she ever did was right. Especially when I was dealing with the stresses of a newborn/infant/toddler baby sister.

Be loving, but firm. Give her grace, and give yourself lots of grace. Spend some time making memories with her, and filling her love tank.

I don't know you well enough to say that this will work, but it worked for my dd. Lots of prayer, lots of love. Long road, but at 11 she is a lovely, delightful child.

There is hope.

#3 JessReplanted

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:07 PM

It's seriously wearing me OUT. Everyday she throws these screetching, crying, whining FITS. I remember my boys being kind of like this, but nothing this extreme.

I'm really at a loss as what I should be doing here? I send her to her room, but it's more shrieking, crying, "I hate it here! I hate my room!" Etc, etc, etc.

What do I do? Nothing is helping...timeouts, no. Spanking, no (I hate spanking and it's NOT helping...just causing MORE crying). Threatening to take away priveleges, no. She.just.keeps.crying! With every new threat, it's WORSE.

It's hard trying to teach a child like this, as you can imagine:glare:. Sigh.

Gentle help, please???


Are you following through with the threats? If her behavior is as bad as you describe it, I would take everything away (besides her bed, blankets, pillow, & maybe 1 book), and then let her 'earn' everything back.

#4 Chris in VA

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:10 PM

Oh, you poor thing! That's both to you and your dd.:grouphug::grouphug:

Do you notice any pattern in when she starts having her fits? Have you looked at things like food dyes/low blood sugar/artificial sweetners? Is she a perfectionist? Does she transition to new activities well, or does she have trouble "changing sets?"

I'm sure you've done some investigating--what sorts of things do you think trigger her?

Maybe we can brainstorm some ideas for you.

#5 KatherineTheGreat

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:11 PM

Funny you should ask... I just picked up the book The Kazdin Method for parenting the defiant child from the library -I saw it recommended it here, somewhere. I've been reading through it - and the cliff notes are to set up a point system and reward desired behavior and "punish" bad behavior with an undesired chore and a loss of points. Points are used to "buy" something the child wants - ice cream, a doll, alone time with parents, etc. He asserts that spanking and other negative punishments usually stop working and you have to escalate in order for them to keep working.

I am still processing what he has to say and how we could apply it. But it did ring true for me about what he terms as negative punishments and how it doesn't work.

#6 *Jessica*

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:14 PM

My 7-year-old son acts like that if he has artificial dye. I highly recommend cutting all dye from her diet and seeing if it makes a difference!

#7 musicianmom

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:16 PM

I went through about 1 1/2 years of horrible times with my oldest dd. Punishments didn't work, taking everything away didn't work, bribes didn't work.

A full psychoeducational evaluation revealed giftedness, ADHD, and probable sensory processing disorder. An occupational therapist confirmed the SPD, and dd has been in OT for nearly 6 months. The changes have been enormous. No more fits, no more physically fighting me, no more screaming that she hates me, no more aggression toward her siblings. She's still a bit on the dramatic side, but from what my friends with 7-year-old girls tell me, it's within the normal range.

The OT also gives me really good parent coaching. We're about to be discharged from OT, but I'm going to get regular chiropractic treatments for dd because that also helps to settle her emotionally. You may want to try that as well. My chiropractor worked on dd for 30 minutes and she was like a happy little limp noodle for 24 hours afterward.

#8 cin

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

My 7-year-old son acts like that if he has artificial dye. I highly recommend cutting all dye from her diet and seeing if it makes a difference!


:iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree::iagree:

Red 40 and yellow sends our daughter into rages. Omega oils also help.

#9 Chris in VA

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

Wanted to add--since you have an Aspie, could that be a possibility? Could be presenting with differences--each Aspie is different.
Mine didn't have fits until he was absolutely spent. Once he had a hand-flapping (unusual for him), crying, total breakdown at Kindergarten, because he was so anxious about trying the square dancing they were doing. He absolutely could not handle being forced to do something he felt anxious about. (In the end, he did it, and did it just fine, but not.that.day.)

#10 WishboneDawn

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 08:54 PM

You should try a 180 on your approach. I'm guessing that she starts the fit and you react to it, get stern, angry, etc. and then start giving out the punishments. But all of that just feeds the drama and lets her ramp up the situation.

Try working on making it a non-event. Keep your temper even when she starts. Try to stay calm and not change your energy level and whatever the issue is just calmly repeat your response (ex. "Put away your toys") whatever she throws at you. If it escalates then take or send her to her room and tell her something like, "I can't help you while you're behaving like this. When you feel calm, come on out and we'll talk." When she finally comes out, give her a hug and talk about how she could have handled the situation better. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It gets worse before it gets better but it worked wonders for my son. It gave him the space to learn how to control and calm himself.

#11 mama2cntrykids

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:01 PM

Good things to think about on my end. As for the following through with consequences; I've tried telling her to stay in her room until she calms down, but she crys and hollers and comes to the top of the stairs every minute crying, "I'll stooop mama! I'll stooop! Pleeeease!" I tell her she's NOT calm and to go back to her room. She'll come again a minute later with the same thing. It.just.gets.crazy.annoying!

The dyes. I will see about cutting them. It couldn't hurt anything anyways ;).

Triggers...hmmm. With school, it's frustration. Especially since she's struggleing with blending. I think that's a huge deal there. Another trigger that I just thought of is being tired (especially when she says she's NOT). Maybe hunger too...not so sure about that one.

About the aspergers; she really doesn't have the other "signs" that ppl generally talk about. I don't see adhd either.

She also flys off the handle at her brothers easily and hits/spits at them. So aggravating! I've been very ademant about no hitting and no spitting and it's gotten better.

I just had a flash back to posting on an on-line board (maybe it was here, who knows lol) about my now 9 yr. old ds. I remember typing about HIM standing at the top of the stairs crying/screaming too. It was probably about this age. It seems SO TOUGH. Maybe it's because they're not babies anymore, but they're not big kids either? Idk.

I appreciate the insights and hugs. I really need them!

#12 mama2cntrykids

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:05 PM

Heather and Dawn...Just wanted to say, what both of you posted makes a lot of sense to me. I will try going this route too. Maybe I'm going in the wrong direction. I admit that I have a pretty quick temper on me. Its nothing that I'm proud of, but I'm working on it.

#13 musicianmom

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:06 PM

Good things to think about on my end. As for the following through with consequences; I've tried telling her to stay in her room until she calms down, but she crys and hollers and comes to the top of the stairs every minute crying, "I'll stooop mama! I'll stooop! Pleeeease!" I tell her she's NOT calm and to go back to her room. She'll come again a minute later with the same thing. It.just.gets.crazy.annoying!


Oh yeah. Been there!

#14 1bassoon

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:07 PM

I know - it's so hard, isn't it? When you're frazzled, stressed, and nothing seems to work.

Give yourself grace, and your kids too. Dawn's advice, about keeping calm, is good, too.

Make sure you're taking care of yourself. I haven't - for years, now - and it has taken its toll.

#15 WishboneDawn

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:09 PM

Good things to think about on my end. As for the following through with consequences; I've tried telling her to stay in her room until she calms down, but she crys and hollers and comes to the top of the stairs every minute crying, "I'll stooop mama! I'll stooop! Pleeeease!" I tell her she's NOT calm and to go back to her room. She'll come again a minute later with the same thing. It.just.gets.crazy.annoying!


Yeah, I remember.:D But you you just have to resign yourself to it, stay absolutely calm and give her the same response you gave when you sent her to her room. I wouldn't tell her she's not calm though. That's arguing and it feeds into the whole episode. Just say the same thing over and over, be as boring as possible and only really engage her when she comes out calm. It's hard work.

#16 deacongirl

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:09 PM

Try the book Transforming the Difficult Child.

#17 DianeW88

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:11 PM

I hate age six. They all cry. It's the worse age ever...second only to 3 1/2. Things will get better, but not overnight. It is fairly typical six year old behavior, however.

#18 WishboneDawn

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:11 PM

Heather and Dawn...Just wanted to say, what both of you posted makes a lot of sense to me. I will try going this route too. Maybe I'm going in the wrong direction. I admit that I have a pretty quick temper on me. Its nothing that I'm proud of, but I'm working on it.


I have a temper too and that routine for dealing with tantrums was really tough but very rewarding. It helps your child get control of herself but it's also a great way to help yourself learn control too.

#19 oneddmanybooks

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:19 PM

I have recently discovered Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller's books. I don't know their stance on everything, but they do share a lot of great, practical advice.

#20 blondeviolin

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:24 PM

I have one like this. The key, most days, feels counterintuitive. Rather than a stern voice, he responds best to a soft command. If I can keep my wits and patience (and some days I don't!), it makes all the difference.

#21 cin

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 09:56 PM

Noticing that you have an aspie, mine has PDD-NOS, which is on the spectrum but not really aspie. But along with that, she has some sensory processing issues, movement/coordination issues (she's clumsy) and fine motor skills.

Over the past 2 years, we've been able to diagnose some of the things that trigger frustration for her and then work on those things and coping skills, things improved quite a bit.

She's also on prozac for anxiety and depression, but that's a whole 'nuther can of worms. :glare:

#22 fraidycat

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 10:17 PM

If all medical possibilities have been ruled out, then I don't know if this will help you, but when my kids tried to throw fits, I pretended they were not in the room. At. All. I would walk past them and go about my day as if they did not even exist. It wasn't easy but I only had to do it a few times because neither of mine tried more than one or two times before they got the hint. After they calmed down and started acting like humans, I would pretend like the fit didn't happen then continue talking with them or whatever we were doing before the meltdown started.

#23 Cricket

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 12:28 AM

Has she always been rather whiny and now it is getting worse or is this something new? My youngest is 6 and she's always been a little whiny but the past few months it has gotten much worse. Some of it could be the age. I've finally figured out that with my dd it was simply a matter of not eating enough (she's extremely picky) and not getting enough sleep.

I hope you figure something out. It is exhausting dealing with that much drama. Who knew such a tiny person could have so much explosive energy? :grouphug:

#24 NASDAQ

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:52 AM

I don't know, but I also find my six-year-old girl really, really hard. Oh man, the whining. It needs to stop. Everything is a Big Deal.

#25 ondreeuh

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 01:56 AM

You should try a 180 on your approach. I'm guessing that she starts the fit and you react to it, get stern, angry, etc. and then start giving out the punishments. But all of that just feeds the drama and lets her ramp up the situation.

Try working on making it a non-event. Keep your temper even when she starts. Try to stay calm and not change your energy level and whatever the issue is just calmly repeat your response (ex. "Put away your toys") whatever she throws at you. If it escalates then take or send her to her room and tell her something like, "I can't help you while you're behaving like this. When you feel calm, come on out and we'll talk." When she finally comes out, give her a hug and talk about how she could have handled the situation better. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It gets worse before it gets better but it worked wonders for my son. It gave him the space to learn how to control and calm himself.


:iagree: :iagree:

This is what is finally helping with my fit-thrower. All the positive reinforcement in the world was not fixing the problem because I was still getting angry at his misbehavior. The thing is, he generally wants to be good, so getting punished is sort of traumatic for him. De-escalating the fits by modeling total calmness is hard work, but it is helping. It's still very hard for me to take him out of the house. He gets overstimulated immediately and yells, sings, and flails. If he's walking, he wrenches himself free and runs like a maniac. I get embarrassed, he detects frustration and starts yelling that he's just a freaking stupid kid, and I want to hide because I know what the observers are thinking. :leaving:. It's very hard to not react, and some days I fail completely, but it is the only thing that has worked at all.

#26 ondreeuh

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 02:01 AM


Triggers...hmmm. With school, it's frustration. Especially since she's struggleing with blending. I think that's a huge deal there. Another trigger that I just thought of is being tired (especially when she says she's NOT). Maybe hunger too...not so sure about that one.


With my ds, his frustration threshold is directly tied to his hunger. Of course he won't say he is hungry, but nearly all of his bad moods can be fixed with a snack. I fed him this morning before we left to do errands, and by the third store he was out of control. He ate a whole 6" Subway sandwich with all the fixings and was much better (and he is only 4! He can eat as a much as the rest of us). I would love to invent a gradual-release food capsule so he could go long than 2 hours without eating. :glare:

#27 clarkacademy

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:28 AM

Mine can stay in their room until they can act human again. I even have a son with qutism and I do it with him too. I just cannot deal with them when they get that way anymore. I don't care how long it takes they can just stay there. I understand they may get hungry or be tired but that is just life.

They have to learn to deal with it just like the rest of the world.

#28 amo_mea_filiis.

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:51 AM

A few things stand out:

Keep a food journal (if you're anything like me, it will help you feel like you're doing something and may help you stay calm) and keep it detailed. You can even try cutting food dyes while starting your journal. My ds, and others here absolutely need a protein every couple hours. My problem is getting it in him.

You mentioned threats of taking things but not what happens when you take them. If you have not yet followed through on a threat, it's time to! Just be very matter of fact and calm about it. If you do x, you will lose x. For my ds, it has to be creative and logical. For dd, it just has to be something she loves. Yesterday she almost jumped off the top of the tunnel at the playground (big no! I don't want any broken bones) so i told her that if she did it, she would lose her ipod for 48 hours. She sat up there for 10 more minutes debating before climbing down in a slightly safer way. Part of her debate with herself was that if the jump went fine, it probably wasn't worth the loss of the ipod, but if the jump failed, she would not have her ipod the first 48 hours with a broken bone. It was funny to listen to.

Be very careful what you say in anger ("i'm taking away all your toys if you don't knock it off") because you need to follow through!

Last night with ds, (part of all this is because we've all been going to bed late, and i think the other part was the yellow food coloring he had) he had a mini fit about bath time. He wanted to stay outside and play. I told him that if he came inside peacefully in under 2 minutes, he could take a bath. If he came in after 2 minutes and/or with his nasty attitude and language, he was taking a shower. I knew that giving him a shower over bath would be harder on ME, but if i continue this consistently, he will think twice before fighting about coming inside. He did have to shower last night. He cried through the whole thing. He fought getting out of the tub. He cried while i was brushing his teeth and giving him meds. He even gave me a dirty look while i was reading because the character takes a bath (just go to bed, mercer mayer). I stayed calm, did not spend my time "blaming" him, and in the end, he apologized for not listening and cursing. He went to sleep with no problems.

The "blame" thing- probably started because of my father, but i hate when parents repeat over and over what the kid did wrong. I tell ds what's going to happen, and leave it at that. He knew he couldn't take a bath because he didn't listen. Me repeating "if you came in when i said to" or "it's your own fault you're taking a shower" would have just frustrated us more. He knew what he did, and needed time to process/work through it.

My point, basically- cut artificial foods and dyes, stay calm, talk much less, follow through, be consistent, make sure you all get enough sleep.

#29 NowWeAreFour

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:59 AM

My 7-year-old son acts like that if he has artificial dye. I highly recommend cutting all dye from her diet and seeing if it makes a difference!


:iagree: too. When I finally eliminated dyes from from my DD6's diet, she was like a different person. Many additives can make a child this way, as can some major food allergens. I'd work on discipline and relationship with your DD, but primarily, I'd start watching her diet like a hawk. Food journals can tell you a LOT.

:grouphug:

#30 Mommyfaithe

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:48 AM

Are you following through with the threats? If her behavior is as bad as you describe it, I would take everything away (besides her bed, blankets, pillow, & maybe 1 book), and then let her 'earn' everything back.


From a mom who has btdt...please don't do this. ( no offense....and I know this is what we feel like doing, but it is not effective....and causes some real underlying resentment, or passive aggressive behavior on the part of the child. If you are going to go to battle....be wise in which ones you engage in and how you engage. )

Temper tantrums are loud and annoying and usually cause the parent to put the kids away or escalate the battle into all out warfare.

Instead, I say pull that child closer. Make her your right hand man. When she is losing it....stay calm and put her in your lap....whisper in her ear how much you love her and calm her down.

Then, go back to whatever set her off and help her finish her job. YES.....it takes a long time. YES, it is harder than just putting her outside or making her figure it out herself. 6 is still very young, and those out of control feelings are difficult to reign in. She needs to learn coping mechanisms.

Try to spend time with her when she is NOT emotionally charged. Try to find her doing good things. Focus on her strengths. Do something with her that SHE wants to do.

The thing is, when a child pulls away....we tend to push them further away. By pulling them closer in, that child is shown unconditional love and realizes you love them even when they are doing unlovable things.
When a child is out of control, it is not a time to pull rank.....it is a time to help them get control of themselves.

~~faithe

#31 Parrothead

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:00 AM

Good things to think about on my end. As for the following through with consequences; I've tried telling her to stay in her room until she calms down, but she crys and hollers and comes to the top of the stairs every minute crying, "I'll stooop mama! I'll stooop! Pleeeease!" I tell her she's NOT calm and to go back to her room. She'll come again a minute later with the same thing. It.just.gets.crazy.annoying!

The dyes. I will see about cutting them. It couldn't hurt anything anyways ;).

Triggers...hmmm. With school, it's frustration. Especially since she's struggleing with blending. I think that's a huge deal there. Another trigger that I just thought of is being tired (especially when she says she's NOT). Maybe hunger too...not so sure about that one.

About the aspergers; she really doesn't have the other "signs" that ppl generally talk about. I don't see adhd either.

She also flys off the handle at her brothers easily and hits/spits at them. So aggravating! I've been very ademant about no hitting and no spitting and it's gotten better.

I just had a flash back to posting on an on-line board (maybe it was here, who knows lol) about my now 9 yr. old ds. I remember typing about HIM standing at the top of the stairs crying/screaming too. It was probably about this age. It seems SO TOUGH. Maybe it's because they're not babies anymore, but they're not big kids either? Idk.

I appreciate the insights and hugs. I really need them!

The first thing to look at is sleep patterns. She may need more than the rest of your crew. Possibly a good 10-12 hours. At 6 my very bright dd was sleeping 10 hours a night and taking an hour nap after lunch.

Next you should look at diet. If she is not making it from breakfast to lunch she needs more protein and fat in her breakfast. A typical breakfast of cereal and skim milk won't cut it for kids like this. They need eggs, butter, meats, beans, fruit and veggies for breakfast. Then more of the same at lunch and dinner to keep the blood sugar even. Lots of whole foods, minimal processing and no additives.

If she is struggling more than she should be with anything at school, consider that she isn't cognitively ready for whatever concept you've introduced. There is no need to frustrate the both of you. Put the concept away for a few months then reintroduce it. Chances are at a later date things will go much more smoothly.

Make sure she is getting plenty of exercise. Also make sure she is getting plenty of thinking time. It sounds like she needs a bit of time alone each day to sort through her thoughts and her brothers are bugging her. So she lashes out. Your dd sounds like one of those very bright children who needs to think her big thoughts every day.

If she is in enough distress during a fit she won't be able to calm herself. Especially if tiredness and hunger are involved. You may want to consider talking to her about what is going on when not in crisis mode. Find out what she feels inside during the times of frustration. Do role playing and modeling of acceptable behaviors. Talk about why she has to go to her room when she throws a fit and what is expected while there. Give her cues to think about and help her with deep breathing techniques so she can get herself under control again.

:grouphug:

#32 Tiramisu

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:35 AM

From a mom who has btdt...please don't do this. ( no offense....and I know this is what we feel like doing, but it is not effective....and causes some real underlying resentment, or passive aggressive behavior on the part of the child. If you are going to go to battle....be wise in which ones you engage in and how you engage. )

Temper tantrums are loud and annoying and usually cause the parent to put the kids away or escalate the battle into all out warfare.

Instead, I say pull that child closer. Make her your right hand man. When she is losing it....stay calm and put her in your lap....whisper in her ear how much you love her and calm her down.

Then, go back to whatever set her off and help her finish her job. YES.....it takes a long time. YES, it is harder than just putting her outside or making her figure it out herself. 6 is still very young, and those out of control feelings are difficult to reign in. She needs to learn coping mechanisms.

Try to spend time with her when she is NOT emotionally charged. Try to find her doing good things. Focus on her strengths. Do something with her that SHE wants to do.

The thing is, when a child pulls away....we tend to push them further away. By pulling them closer in, that child is shown unconditional love and realizes you love them even when they are doing unlovable things.
When a child is out of control, it is not a time to pull rank.....it is a time to help them get control of themselves.

~~faithe


:iagree:Absolutely.
I had a couple of dd's who were like this. They are extremely sensitive and ONLY respond to positive reinforcement. Yes, sometimes punishments are appropriate but they must be used wisely. Punishments are NOT good for these kids in a "fit" situation.

When my teen was younger, I thought she was hopeless, but her sensitivity has become her asset. Yes, she can lose it, but when she does, she goes somewhere to be alone and doesn't take it out on the rest of us. She is the world's best teen. Her friends' parents love her because she's such a good kid. She's a great influence on her sisters--for the most part. Haha.

My other one is still maturing. She is very sensitive to the feelings of others and has a highly developed sense of right and wrong. I have high hopes for her in the future.

You may see emotional issues as they mature, which may be behind their tough behavior now. In our case, one tends toward anxiety, the other depression. The older one recognizes this about herself and has sought positive ways to deal with it. I think my younger will be okay, too. At least, she's aware of it.

It is hard, but with the right approach, I think these are the kids that will remain closest to you through their lives.

#33 Zoo Keeper

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:06 AM

From a mom who has btdt...please don't do this. ( no offense....and I know this is what we feel like doing, but it is not effective....and causes some real underlying resentment, or passive aggressive behavior on the part of the child. If you are going to go to battle....be wise in which ones you engage in and how you engage. )

Temper tantrums are loud and annoying and usually cause the parent to put the kids away or escalate the battle into all out warfare.

Instead, I say pull that child closer. Make her your right hand man. When she is losing it....stay calm and put her in your lap....whisper in her ear how much you love her and calm her down.

Then, go back to whatever set her off and help her finish her job. YES.....it takes a long time. YES, it is harder than just putting her outside or making her figure it out herself. 6 is still very young, and those out of control feelings are difficult to reign in. She needs to learn coping mechanisms.

Try to spend time with her when she is NOT emotionally charged. Try to find her doing good things. Focus on her strengths. Do something with her that SHE wants to do.

The thing is, when a child pulls away....we tend to push them further away. By pulling them closer in, that child is shown unconditional love and realizes you love them even when they are doing unlovable things.
When a child is out of control, it is not a time to pull rank.....it is a time to help them get control of themselves.

~~faithe


AMEN. :001_smile: Yes, I have been there, done that. I'm still there, doing that... Yes, a child needs to learn self-control, and to respect the rules in your home; BUT steady diet of warfare 24/7 can be very, very damaging for your child (and you). You might win the battle, but at what price?

Some recent conversations with one of my boys has lead me to re-think some of my methods...don't sacrifice a relationship with your child, just for the "benefit" of "better" behavior. I'm not saying that you ARE doing this, but six is young. Give both of you time.

#34 Joanne

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 09:58 AM

I agree about the physical/biological investigations and suggestions.

From a psychological/discipline standpoint, I'd suggest you stop all threats and punishments. I'd also not immediately investigate or use a token economy of any kind (tickets for rewards).

I'd suggest a whole new parenting paradigm. It would begin with attachment and connection, and would seem in the short term, to be counter productive. But the discipline advice I'd give has to be used on a platform of affection, love, trust and connection/playfulness. Youve lost that due to the spiraling down dynamic of your relationship. There would be a "behavior burst" that will make this approach seem worse as she tests the new you/new relationship but it will get better in the long term (or intermediate term).

The specific discipline ideas would come later, and would be along the ideas found in Love and Logic. I also like the work of Turansky and Miller (mentioned upthread).

In your case, I'd start with "How To Really Love Your Child" by Dr. Ross Campbell. Please don't take offense at that title. I know you DO love your child, but children *feeling* loved sometimes takes some intentionality that is hard to manifest when you are so constantly frustrated.

Let me know if you'd like some more help along these lines; I won't offer anymore unless you are interested and I'm not here to argue with other suggestions. :)

#35 6wildhorses

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 11:48 AM

My 6-year-old sometimes gets to the point where she can longer function and breaks down by either saying really mean words or throwing fits. She has improved a lot over the years, but it really was awful for awhile. What helped the most was figuring out the triggers and then trying to avoid them. For her the triggers were dairy (she's grown out of this a lot and can have some dairy, but I still don't let her drink milk), sensory issues (for her this showed up when she wore uncomfortable clothing or had sensory overload, for instance, by running errands with me to too many different places), lack of sleep, and hunger. I also warn her siblings when I can tell she's on edge. When she's on edge she really can't even have a conversation without breaking down, so warning them to steer clear for awhile helps a lot.

When she was a baby I wore her in a sling a lot because she needed the snugness of the sling and the closeness of my body to feel safe. Sometimes she would scream in the car unless I would hold her hand (not always easy to do but easier than driving with a screaming baby/child). As she's grown older, I found the best way to address the fits was to take her to her room, go in with her, and hold her. I would rock her or sing to her. She needed to feel safe. I tried leaving her alone in her room, and she couldn't handle it. She needed me to teach her how to calm down. She also needed to learn that when she can't handle a situation or handle just being around other people, she needed to remove herself until she could. Once she calmed down we would discuss what happened. It helped to think of what I needed when I was on the brink of exhaustion and couldn't function well. I didn't need punishment! I needed a time out and some loving. Over the years I've tried to model this behavior of removing myself from a situation and taking a time out to calm down and to then deal with whatever is going on. Another thing I did was when we would be at the store and could hear a kid throwing a fit I would point it out. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it or judge the kid; I would just point out that a kid was throwing a fit. A fit sounds loud and obnoxious when you aren't the one throwing it! The next time she would start a fit I would remind her about the kid in the store and ask if she really wanted to sound like that. That helped her to start to see the fits from a different perspective. Also, sometimes when we would play a game I would pretend to throw a mini-fit if I didn't win. My kids thought this was hilarious because they knew I was teasing. But it served its purpose well of helping them to see what it looks like to others when you throw a fit and they concluded themselves that they don't want to be like that.

When her behavior would get really bad and become a real habit, I would pull out a reward system for a couple weeks. I would use it for however long it took for her to get in the habit of thinking before speaking. I had a jar with a little stuffed animal in it. Whenever she said or did something kind, I would put a penny in her jar. I was very generous in giving pennies to really target good behavior. I would take a penny out if she started having bad behavior (and I would turn the animal upside down in the jar because the animal was very sensitive). I would generally give one reminder about losing a penny, and if she didn't stop I would start taking a penny at a time. When she had enough pennies I would give her the stuffed animal.

Last year she attended half day kindergarten, and while she really loved it, half the time I would pick her up she would start losing it in the car on the way home. She was quiet and cooperative at school, but sometimes the experience was overwhelming and exhausting. On the other hand, I do believe that being in kindergarten helped her to learn self-discipline. I was always nervous about homeschooling her because of her behavior, but she has come so far and improved so much, I feel really good about homeschooling her this year. For homeschooling I found that she learns better with her day broken up, such as reading in bed with me in the morning or at night (again, giving her that cuddle time and one-on-one attention she needs), and playing games and doing projects, math, and writing, throughout the day, instead of trying to sit at the table and do it all at once when there are a lot of things going on around her.

Hang in there. I know how exhausting it is. Oh, one other thing. I used calming drops (Rescue Remedy) for awhile (for both of us!!) and also a little lavendar, and that helped us get through it.

#36 bethben

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:40 PM

Try this:
http://www.diannecra...g/video_bob.htm

I have and adopted child who was most likely given hoards of antibiotics during her 2+ years in China. She was prone to rages and was hyper-sensitive and hyper-irritable. She is sooooo much better a month into the program. She's become a very pleasant child overall. She'll still have her moments, but she can snap herself out of them instead of going into a rage.

Beth

#37 stripe

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:47 PM

Heather and Dawn...Just wanted to say, what both of you posted makes a lot of sense to me. I will try going this route too. Maybe I'm going in the wrong direction. I admit that I have a pretty quick temper on me. Its nothing that I'm proud of, but I'm working on it.

:grouphug: I think sometimes girls are just so....complicated. Sometimes they just need a hug. Or maybe we moms need one too.

I started telling my daughter she has a choice between a nap, a snack, or a hug. I am hoping it works. Sometimes it really is that simple.

#38 Munchkins_mama

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:53 PM

I agree with the above posters who mentioned diet. My 6yo was having violent tantrums about nothing major. I took her off all food dyes and preservatives, and most processed food. Within 10 days (!) she was a new kid. She still has her whiney, bratty, moments but she is no longer out of control. It's an amazing difference.

#39 lynn

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:26 PM

:grouphug: I am there with my 6 year old. Her melt downs come when we get ready to go someplace and she decides not to go or when it's time for dance class she decides she hates the tights. :blink: I try to stay calm and get her to the car, she calms down soon after. I wish she'd just get over her issues and do things in a less stressful, normal way.

#40 Ellie

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:43 PM

So, that would sort of be like tomatostaking, yes?

#41 Amy in NH

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 04:52 PM

I tell mine to stay in her room until the shrieking stops. [snip] However long it takes, but she's still going to do whatever I first told her to do before she does anything fun. :grouphug: Not fun to deal with drama!


:iagree: With the door closed.

#42 Farrar

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:01 PM

You should try a 180 on your approach. I'm guessing that she starts the fit and you react to it, get stern, angry, etc. and then start giving out the punishments. But all of that just feeds the drama and lets her ramp up the situation.

Try working on making it a non-event. Keep your temper even when she starts. Try to stay calm and not change your energy level and whatever the issue is just calmly repeat your response (ex. "Put away your toys") whatever she throws at you. If it escalates then take or send her to her room and tell her something like, "I can't help you while you're behaving like this. When you feel calm, come on out and we'll talk." When she finally comes out, give her a hug and talk about how she could have handled the situation better. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It gets worse before it gets better but it worked wonders for my son. It gave him the space to learn how to control and calm himself.


:iagree::iagree::iagree:
It sounds like she's really getting to you. And you need to back off, stop punishing and trying to figure out punishments (which is driving you crazy anyway) and let it be. When my kids get like that, we talk about how it's okay to feel that way, and I love them very much, and I'm going to give them hugs and be as patient as I can... but that it's also okay if I send them to their room, matter of fact, and then let them cry it out.

I like the suggestion that many people are making about bringing her closer... the thing is, in my experience, when I take a tantruming kid into my lap and try to patiently wait it out all that love and attention I give doesn't go to the kid, it goes to the tantrum - which then keeps ramping up more and more. Not to mention the kicking and pushing - much of which isn't the kid trying to hurt me (in fact, all of it in our case) but is just the being out of control. It's just not practical and it doesn't help.

I would personally send her away when it starts, but tell her she can ask for you to come help her when she needs you. As in, if she does want to cry in your arms, then she can ask for that (sometimes my boys do). Or if she wants to stop and can't, she can ask for help and you can go work with her on taking deep breaths, etc.

But then I would bring her closer later - when she's calmer, make a point of having her help you cook, giving her extra attention and love, keeping her close then.

And the biggest thing is don't let it get to you too much. It's probably just a stage. It's not a comment on your parenting.

#43 JessReplanted

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:14 PM

I am sorry, and I'm not trying to be argumentative, but, I'm confused.

Is the OP referring to child with special needs, or a child who is on the spectrum? Because if so, I totally missed it.

Maybe I'm 'old fashioned' for thinking this way, but continued poor behavior from a child demands a consequence. Poor behavior does not just dissipate with age, and the tantrums that were described are not just part of being 6.

None of my children have ever screamed that they hate it here or they hate their rooms. That behavior would completely shock me. :001_huh: But, if they did, there would certainly be a consequence.

My children are generally well behaved, loving, fun, kind, and caring kids, and they know that they are loved.

And, I'm all for calm voices, hugs, and cuddles. But, that is only one part of the discipline process, and it is proceeded by an apology on behalf of the child.

I am really just flabbergasted by this thread. :leaving:

#44 stripe

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:26 PM

No one on this thread has said that horrible childhood behavior is wonderful or should be encouraged.

We did (I think) note that she said "consequences," spankings, and the like have not stopped it and that she was looking for something else that would improve her relationship with her child, which I assumed meant addressing and ending the screaming.

Those who had children who changed dramatically for the better after removal of food dye, seemed to find this elimination more helpful than a swat on the behind. As an example of one suggested alternative (not suggested by me).

"YMMV," as they say.

#45 NowWeAreFour

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 07:28 PM

None of my children have ever screamed that they hate it here or they hate their rooms. That behavior would completely shock me. :001_huh:


I think this might be the key to the confusion. My first was not like that either. Never. When she did have tantrums, they were never on that level. I'm one of those people who can say that I was a spectacular parent until I had my DD6. She changed all the rules.

No one on this thread has said that horrible childhood behavior is wonderful or should be encouraged.

We did (I think) note that she said "consequences," spankings, and the like have not stopped it and that she was looking for something else that would improve her relationship with her child, which I assumed meant addressing and ending the screaming.

Those who had children who changed dramatically for the better after removal of food dye, seemed to find this elimination more helpful than a swat on the behind. As an example of one suggested alternative (not suggested by me).

"YMMV," as they say.


Well said. Consequences mean nothing at all to my DD6. She doesn't choose to act the way she does. It's a total loss of control. I can apply all the consequences in the world, but the next time she loses it, she's surely not thinking to herself, "Boy, I'd better stop this or I'll get a consequence!"

It's a learning process. I just don't think you can punish it out of some kids. Instead, they need time and to learn methods of controlling themselves, anger management, redirection of frustration, help recognizing when their frustration levels are getting to danger level, etc. Trying to punish it out of my daughter only resulted in her starting to talk about how she was "just bad" and how she hated herself. Not at all the right direction, IMO.

And yes, sometimes these things do evolve with time, cognition, ability to express oneself, etc. It doesn't mean we shake our heads and ignore the little darlings' behavior. It just means more creative methods are necessary.

#46 Tiramisu

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:06 PM

I just wanted to recommend the book The Explosive Child. It's great at understanding what makes kids like this tick and how to manage their frustrations.

#47 Professormom

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:15 PM

I'm so sorry. . . .it can be incredibly wearing, can't it? :grouphug:

You've got a 12-year old, a 9-year old, this sweet one, and a baby (1 yr), right?

Gentle recommendation. Take a step back. Love, love, love on her. Remind yourself of the GOOD in her. Focus on tying your heart strings to her.

I had a child like this (dd #4 in my siggie). We went through a very, very rough period, where I thought I could just punish the naughtiness out of her. We got in a very bad cycle, where nothing she ever did was right. Especially when I was dealing with the stresses of a newborn/infant/toddler baby sister.

Be loving, but firm. Give her grace, and give yourself lots of grace. Spend some time making memories with her, and filling her love tank.

I don't know you well enough to say that this will work, but it worked for my dd. Lots of prayer, lots of love. Long road, but at 11 she is a lovely, delightful child.

There is hope.


This combined with what the previous poster said about not giving in on the fun stuff combined with not showing your own emotion. Clear as mud, right?:001_huh:

Kids, especially ones that react really dramatically tend to really feed off of our emotions. Think of yourself as Switzerland... Or a rock... Whatever:-). When you have to hold the line, do it calmly (and yes, I know that takes will power of steel:glare:) and do it like that every.single.time for as long as it takes for her to realize that her spazzing out will NOT make you spaz out (do you like my technical terms:D.)

When you tell her to do something, don't let her get away with rejecting your request. She doesn't move on to anything else while the undone thing is outstanding. When she screams, just look at her until she is finished. If it doesn't stop, you can let her know that the way she is choosing to handle the situation is pulling you away from what you need to do and that will very likely affect something she needs you to do for her later (I.e., being driven to sports, etc.) But again, you stay calm through it all. (Just channel your inner June Cleaver.)

When the seas are calm, smile and laugh with her about anything you can. Tell her what she is good at, and when you start seeing little improvements, help her associate them with her identity. If she starts calming down more quickly, you can say, "you have really been working to become a self-composed young woman... That shows a lot of maturity!". Or even better, let her overhear you saying it to someone else. Psychologists call it referential speaking, I see it as helping them to realize that self-control pays off in the respect of others.

Just my 2 cents, if it helps, great. If not, just click on;)

#48 justamouse

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:17 PM

I'm so sorry. . . .it can be incredibly wearing, can't it? :grouphug:

You've got a 12-year old, a 9-year old, this sweet one, and a baby (1 yr), right?

Gentle recommendation. Take a step back. Love, love, love on her. Remind yourself of the GOOD in her. Focus on tying your heart strings to her.

I had a child like this (dd #4 in my siggie). We went through a very, very rough period, where I thought I could just punish the naughtiness out of her. We got in a very bad cycle, where nothing she ever did was right. Especially when I was dealing with the stresses of a newborn/infant/toddler baby sister.

Be loving, but firm. Give her grace, and give yourself lots of grace. Spend some time making memories with her, and filling her love tank.

I don't know you well enough to say that this will work, but it worked for my dd. Lots of prayer, lots of love. Long road, but at 11 she is a lovely, delightful child.

There is hope.


:iagree:

I was very punitive with my first child. Big mistake, and one I apologize to him for. For the others I've been much softer, much more patient, more loving and they've turned out so well. They have phases, but we work though them.

That said, being loving, patient, kind and not screaming in those moments is HARD. Frankly, I think I was just too immature with #1, and not having had any good parenting for example, I was lost.

You can't be angry in response to her anger. She can't phase you. If she screams, you can't scream louder--not actually, but I mean in punishments. You're not going to punish her out of this, you have to teach her how to verbalize her frustrations, have her know that you hear them, and deal with them. That takes time, and patience and lots of prayers for a cool head.

:grouphug:

Meanwhile, cut out sugar completely, and start to lower her carbs. It really helps them balance their moods.

Edited by justamouse, 19 August 2012 - 09:41 PM.


#49 justamouse

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:18 PM

This combined with what the previous poster said about not giving in on the fun stuff combined with not showing your own emotion. Clear as mud, right?:001_huh:

Kids, especially ones that react really dramatically tend to really feed off of our emotions. Think of yourself as Switzerland... Or a rock... Whatever:-). When you have to hold the line, do it calmly (and yes, I know that takes will power of steel:glare:) and do it like that every.single.time for as long as it takes for her to realize that her spazzing out will NOT make you spaz out (do you like my technical terms:D.)

When you tell her to do something, don't let her get away with rejecting your request. She doesn't move on to anything else while the undone thing is outstanding. When she screams, just look at her until she is finished. If it doesn't stop, you can let her know that the way she is choosing to handle the situation is pulling you away from what you need to do and that will very likely affect something she needs you to do for her later (I.e., being driven to sports, etc.) But again, you stay calm through it all. (Just channel your inner June Cleaver.)

When the seas are calm, smile and laugh with her about anything you can. Tell her what she is good at, and when you start seeing little improvements, help her associate them with her identity. If she starts calming down more quickly, you can say, "you have really been working to become a self-composed young woman... That shows a lot of maturity!". Or even better, let her overhear you saying it to someone else. Psychologists call it referential speaking, I see it as helping them to realize that self-control pays off in the respect of others.

Just my 2 cents, if it helps, great. If not, just click on;)


:iagree:

#50 Farrar

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:21 PM

Maybe I'm 'old fashioned' for thinking this way, but continued poor behavior from a child demands a consequence. Poor behavior does not just dissipate with age, and the tantrums that were described are not just part of being 6.

None of my children have ever screamed that they hate it here or they hate their rooms. That behavior would completely shock me. :001_huh: But, if they did, there would certainly be a consequence.

My children are generally well behaved, loving, fun, kind, and caring kids, and they know that they are loved.


For some kids though, that is a normal part of being 6.

I think that there's an interplay between how we parent and how our kids act. Some part of getting a well behaved, loving, fun, kind, caring kid is our parenting. Some other part is getting a kid disposed to be that way.


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