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I cannot handle my youngest!


MeganW
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In the ongoing homeschool vs. public school "conversations" (we'll pretend these aren't arguments for the purposes of this post!) in our house, my husband asked "well, what would you want to do with Elise (my youngest) if you keep the triplets at home next year?" "Uh, she HAS to go back to preschool - I can't homeschool the big kids with her around."

 

I am a fairly strict parent. I have high expectations for my children's behavior. We talk often about only speaking when what we have to say is KIND and TRUE. Loving each other, etc. etc. etc. We are very consistent with requiring appropriate behavior. We don't fly off the handle every time someone misbehaves - we remove them to a corner in another room and ignore them until they cool it, then we talk about it, get an apology, etc. etc.

 

My youngest is an angel for everyone except me. I swear she hates me. She was the absolute easiest baby there ever was, with the sweetest disposition, and I spoiled her some in the early years. Around 18 months, she started being a little more challenging, and it has gone downhill from there. It has gotten steadily worse and worse despite the fact that as soon as I noticed this behavior, we tightened up a LOT with her.

 

At this point, she is throwing a tantrum like a 2 year old (she's FOUR) about 10 times a day. We have tried timeout, spanking, lectures, etc. I really feel like we have been consistent in trying things before changing it up and trying something else.

 

I don't get it. If I were a slack parent, I would expect this, but I'm not! I have put the work in - WHY DO I HAVE SUCH A DIFFICULT CHILD????

 

The thought of trying to homeschool this one makes me physically ill. I know I shouldn't feel that way, and I have enough guilt about it already, but I am desperate for some help so I need to put it all out there.

 

As an example of the issues, this morning, she woke up and was mad because her brother woke up before she did. Then she was mad because she didn't want to take off her pullup and put on her panties. Because she sat and sulked for too long, a sibling got downstairs first and found Snitch (our Elf on the Shelf), so they "ruined the fun". Then she was mad that we were having hot cereal for breakfast. (Our rule is eat or don't eat, but don't talk about it and ruin the meal for anyone else, and she likes hot cereal, so I really don't know why this was an issue.) Then she started picking at everybody else and was excused from the table, but then she was mad b/c she was "HUUUUUUNGRY!" Then she didn't like the buttons on the sweater I had picked out for her. And so on and so forth.

 

If you are still reading, I really appreciate it! I know this got so long, but sometimes you just have to get it off your chest, you know?

 

PS - if I have to listen to my mother say ONE MORE TIME "she's just desperate for attention - you can't possibly give each child all the attention they need when you have SO MANY!", I will explode! My kids get PLENTY of one-on-one attention, especially the youngest. It's not like I have 42 kids - there are just four!

Edited by MeganW
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:lol::lol::lol:

I think every mother deserves one of those kids at some point during her parenting! When I just had my oldest, I used to look at other mothers and think to myself, "What is wrong with them? Why can't they get those children under control?" THEN... I had my second ds. LOL Kids are born with their own little personalities. While you are the parent, that doesn't make them any less complete, any less fully formed, any less a whole person.

 

I love it. Thanks so much for sharing.

 

As far as help, keep doing what you are doing or flat out tomato stake her. Chances are it is a phase. Be glad she is having it now at 4yo instead of later at 14yo. Actually it was my experience that my easy young child was difficult when going through puberty and my difficult young child was easy when going through puberty.

 

By any chance is she the most like you? Often it is the one that is the most like us that is the hardest to parent.

 

Mandy

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I feel your pain. I could literally have written that post. Except my DD is 3.5 and kid #4 out of 5. She was the best baby ever. Around 18months she got a little more difficult and now she's just a terror. I swear she screams NO at us about 100 times a day. Really. I could offer the kid chocolate covered chocolate and she'd scream NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! before she even stopped to think about what I was offering. We have tried every form of behavior modification that we can find. We've read what seems like hundreds of books. And we didn't jump from one technique to another, we've slowly spent some time seeing how each change in our response changed her behavior.

 

I'm just fed up with it all. And there is no preschool here, so I have to figure it out. I will say (((GENTLY))) that I'm sure a large part of my DD's problem is lack of attention. Not that she doesn't get PLENTY, but she *needs* all my attention, all the time. Or at least, she thinks she does. Unfortunately, I have 4 other kids, so obviously she can't have it all. I really have no idea what to do at this point. It's like she lives to be difficult. I console myself when we go out with the knowledge that other people are seeing her older siblings being very well-behaved and yes

ma'aming everyone in sight. I'm just so TIRED. :grouphug:

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My oldest was like that. We took her off artificial coloring and the tantrums and rages stopped. It was like a jekyl/hyde thing. Seriously. I'm not saying that that's the answer for EVERYBODY, but it helped us immensly. She's also a mild aspie, and we've been in OT for a year helping her develop some basic coping skills but the food coloring (mainly red and yellow) REALLY made a HUGE difference in her behavior.

 

:grouphug:

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I'm just going to offer my sympathy. My 3rd child is like this. He was a super easy baby. He hit 18 mo and became so stubborn and strong willed I thought I'd lose my mind. Everything that worked on his two older brothers was meaningless with him. We don't have the exact same problems you are having with you daughter. He never tantrumed. But he just no matter what does what he wants to do on the sly.

 

He's 7 now. I thought I was an excellent parent till I had him and I was never lax with discipline like you talk about. It just flat didn't work! I wish I could say it got better. I'm still searching for some answers as to how to motivate him to want to do what he's told.

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By any chance is she the most like you? Often it is the one that is the most like us that is the hardest to parent.

 

 

 

I think there is a lot of truth to this. My youngest is my "wild child" and most days, DH would love to wring his neck (not literally, of course). I seem to be the only one with much patience with him, I think because, well, quite frankly, my son is me. Completely and totally a little me. He's therefore quite charming and adorable. :lol:

 

Seriously, though, I think maybe your daughter likes being the "princess," as is often the case with the baby of the family. I know it doesn't make it any easier but I think if you keep up with what you're doing, and keep teaching her that her behavior is unacceptable, she'll come around. I know with my son, he hates to be left alone or ignored, so isolating him until he straightens up helps a lot.

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:grouphug:

 

She's four. Her behavior is normal for four. She wants to be a big girl and have more control, yet part of her still wants to be a baby. It will get better.

 

This may or may not work. The next time she throws a tantrum, pick her up and put her in her room. Tell her she that when she must stay in her room until she calms down. Then leave and shut the door. (If she is anything like my oldest, the first few times, you will have to remain outside her room holding the door shut.) Do not attempt to reason with her. Do not yell or spank. She simply stays in her room until she is calm. When she is calm you may cuddle and talk or resume other activities.

 

Each time she throws a tantrum, she goes to her room. It may take a while, but eventually she will learn that loss of control means going to her room to calm down.

 

Try to give her control over small things. If she doesn't like the clothes you pick, let her pick what she would like to wear.

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She sounds exactly like my 4 year old niece! Exactly! I should have you talk to my sister :001_smile:

 

My five year dd went through a similar phase that gradually has mellowed out a bit (she's still high maintenance but now manageable). One thing that worked for me is if she was in one of her moods I required her to spend every single minute with me until she could behave. I know that sounds kind of counterintuitive and extreme, but trust me --- after an hour or so of being forced to go with you everywhere (i.e. stand in the laundry room and help you put in a load, stand right next to you while you're cooking in the kitchen, sit on the bathroom floor while you're taking a pee, etc.) she will be begging you to let her do something on her own.

 

Other than that, just pick a discipline method and be consistent. I am notorious for getting tired after being worn down after a while and not sticking to my guns, but I find that if I just stay firm that it works.

 

Be kind to yourself. There are a lot of us in the same boat with you...

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My "angelic baby" has gone through the same transformation. She's now 3 1/2. She does go to pre-school (and loves it), but we regularly have tantrums throughout the day. Yesterday she had a 5 minute meltdown because I moved 10 feet when her back was turned. She turned around, saw that I had moved, and started screaming. In public, too. All I can do is laugh, because it is so over the top sometimes. Mostly I try to ignore it, and tell myself that it will pass. And yes, she is mostly still an angel for people outside the family.

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This may or may not work. The next time she throws a tantrum, pick her up and put her in her room. Tell her she that when she must stay in her room until she calms down. Then leave and shut the door. (If she is anything like my oldest, the first few times, you will have to remain outside her room holding the door shut.) Do not attempt to reason with her. Do not yell or spank. She simply stays in her room until she is calm. When she is calm you may cuddle and talk or resume other activities.

 

Each time she throws a tantrum, she goes to her room. It may take a while, but eventually she will learn that loss of control means going to her room to calm down.

 

Try to give her control over small things. If she doesn't like the clothes you pick, let her pick what she would like to wear.

:iagree:It has been a long time, but these are things that I did with my 2nd ds. When I would put him in his room, I would show no anger or engage in any conversation. Afterwards, I would tell him that it was okay to be angry , hurt, and upset, but that it was not appropriate to vomit those emotions all over everyone else.

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:grouphug: sounds really frustrating. It does sound like a phase...or at least I'll be pray that it is. My now 4.5 yo was a bear at 3.5. I'd look at him during a tantrum and wonder if we'd all make it to his 4th bday. Thankfully, it was just a phase and he is my sweetest boy right now. It's hard to imagine that child I'm remembering was actually him. He does throw an occasional illogical tantrum (like refusing to brush his teeth last night because he was too nervous :confused:) but we've figured out that they directly correlate to how tired he is. We really have to make sure he gets enough sleep regularly. He sleeps at least 11 hours a night and occasionally falls asleep on the couch during tv time. We've had to put the boys down a half an hour earlier the last two nights because they were out late on Saturday to help reset his clock. Could she be not getting enough sleep? Not saying that's the answer but it might be worth a try.

 

FWIW, I don't think preschool is a bad idea. My 4yo goes to a play-based preschool 3 days/week and we all love it. What's not to like about art projects, cool in-house field trips, and a loving teacher? Maybe the practice she gets of behaving nice towards others at school will become a habit at home too. The only downside is that preschool is expensive :glare:. My oldest went as well. It was a great bridge from just being home with Mom and starting Kindy.

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One thing that worked for me is if she was in one of her moods I required her to spend every single minute with me until she could behave. I know that sounds kind of counterintuitive and extreme, but trust me --- after an hour or so of being forced to go with you everywhere (i.e. stand in the laundry room and help you put in a load, stand right next to you while you're cooking in the kitchen, sit on the bathroom floor while you're taking a pee, etc.) she will be begging you to let her do something on her own.

 

 

 

:lol: That sounds like torture lol! I wish I had thought of that with my son when he was going through his terrible times! That would have put an end to it. Excellent.

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She could have sensory processing disorder which makes dealing with the world difficult. You might consider having her evaluated by an OT.

 

In addition to dyes, apple juice can trigger bad behavior. I forget the exact enzyme in it that does so, but our kids' behavior definitely improved when my dh stopped buying apple juice for them.

 

The stress caused by my dd9's toddler and preschool years nearly caused my marriage to end. A good friend kept telling us that it would get better when she was about 5. One day when dd was about 5 1/2, I realized that she really was much easier. She has SPD, ADHD, and learning disabilities, so she is still high-maintenance. But she is better able to cope with the world and be reasonable when things don't go her way. My friend's dd doesn't have any diagnoses; she was just strong-willed; but 5 yo was the magic age for her too.

 

Hang in there. :grouphug:

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Actually, throwing tantrums IS normal for a 4-year-old, so I really wouldn't refer to it as doing something "like a two-year-old". Your older kids may not have done it, and if they didn't you're really lucky, but it's totally, developmentally normal. As someone who also has a ridiculously difficult child (who is now 6.5 and still throws tantrums, by the way) I'm not saying that to imply that it being developmentally normal/appropriate makes it any easier to deal with. It's definitely NOT easy to deal with. :grouphug: I agree that 10 times a day is excessive and probably outside the average for a 4yo, but I really, really want to stress that it's not true that kids shouldn't have tantrums past age 2. Well, not that I think they ever should, but they will, regardless of what I think they ought to do. lol

 

I don't have any fantastic advice. We work on a method called Collaborative Problem Solving, with the help of a specially trained therapist. If you're interested, there's a book called The Explosive Child. It's very non-punitive, so if your goal is getting her to stop by showing her you're the boss more than it is just getting the behavior to stop, it won't interest you. (I don't know your goals and tried to phrase that about 4 different ways, but they all sounded equally offensive. Hopefully you understand what I meant. ;))

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Our adopted son is similar. Have you heard of these? http://www.momsnotes.com/

I bought the entire set. I am so glad. Sometimes I listen to them with friends. For a while I had a scheduled meeting to listen with other moms. They rock. Really, we will spend so much money on toys and curriculum, why wouldn't we spend this much for their character? I decided I would and am glad I did. We have a looong way to go, but have learned a lot.

HTH.

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You have my sympathies! My only dd, who is now almost 8, was similar at 4. No type of discipline worked for her. We still have an occasional blow up, though not the throw yourself on the floor kind, but in the same vein.

 

I just recently read several of John Rosemond's recent books, and they contained some of the best discipline ideas I have ever read about. They do not involve spanking or the traditional time out. I wish I'd know of them when dd was age four, but I am going to try some now for certain issues we're struggling with. Many of them involve the child being put in their room (for a part of a day, a whole day or multiple days), and/or going to bed early. They also involve a few different "record keeping" approaches to administer the discipline (simple charts or tickets). I'm not saying these approaches or books are the be-all-end all, but they struck a chord for me considering what has NOT worked for us, and I have pretty much read and tried everything else. I found all of the books in my local library. (The titles I read were Parenting By the Book, and The Well Behaved Child; the first one is overtly Christian, the second, not so much). Some people really dislike John Rosemond, just FYI. Even if you don't agree with him 100%, I think there are some good ideas to be had in his books.

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Uh, my 9 year old is still like this! Only she only has a temper tantrum once a day or so now. She's the littlest. I agree with what everyone else has said:

 

1. This is normal for 4 years old

2. She's the youngest and wants control and attention.

3. Um, her older siblings are triplets for crying out loud. This sounds like survival behavior. She's got quite a lot of competition there for the attention department. It is 3 against one, so to speak!

4. She might just have a choleric temperament. My little girl does. I'll tell you that punishment doesn't work at all or at least with my dd it didn't It just made everything escalate. Because she saw/sees everything in terms of control so it became a power struggle. Everything became a power struggle. Everything.

 

The thing that worked (still working on this; it is truly a maturing process that takes years) is attachment parenting techniques. Work on your relationship's intimacy and trust. Love her, hug her when she's bad (if she'll let you) write her notes that you love her, do special stuff with her, cuddle her, etc. Make her feel safe and loved and then talk to her about her behavior, maybe by giving example of children behaving badly (not her) and then talking about how that's not nice and why. Talk respectfully, don't be angry. Also read lots of books about kids being mannerly and unselfish and talk about that. You have to go around the back door with her, possibly. And every time she's good praise her. Make sure her little love tank is full.

 

That's my 2 cents. I have often despaired of my dd but she is getting better. Usually now she has her temper tantrum around dinner. LOL. The other day she wrote me a very pretty note apologizing. I put it in my keepsake drawer. I know that took a lot of effort on her part.

 

Hang in there!

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:grouphug:

 

She's four. Her behavior is normal for four. She wants to be a big girl and have more control, yet part of her still wants to be a baby. It will get better.

 

This may or may not work. The next time she throws a tantrum, pick her up and put her in her room. Tell her she that when she must stay in her room until she calms down. Then leave and shut the door. (If she is anything like my oldest, the first few times, you will have to remain outside her room holding the door shut.) Do not attempt to reason with her. Do not yell or spank. She simply stays in her room until she is calm. When she is calm you may cuddle and talk or resume other activities.

 

Each time she throws a tantrum, she goes to her room. It may take a while, but eventually she will learn that loss of control means going to her room to calm down.

 

Try to give her control over small things. If she doesn't like the clothes you pick, let her pick what she would like to wear.

 

:iagree: My son still has times of being like that at 8. When he is unpleasant he doesn't get to be around us, plain and simple. He is corrected on his tone of voice several times a day. When he is violent or unreasonable he is sent to his room. He has to apologize several times a day for bad attitudes, unkind words, etc. He is a lot better now than he used to be, but he still has moments where everything is personal, everyone is out to get him, and everything is someone else's fault. Try not to take it personally--we are not our kids' Saviors. The more you can keep from letting it get to you, and maybe even develop a sense of humor about it, the better off you'll be.

 

You might also get Love and Logic by Fay & Cline from your library. It is *excellent* for strong-willed kids. Do you want to pick up your pajamas first or make your bed first? Do you want to eat breakfast at the table with us with a pleasant attitude or outside where you can be as grumpy as you'd like? Would you like to calm down and take a respectful tone or go to your room where you can yell and scream? When she knows her behaviors are her choice and that no one is willing to be emotionally manipulated by her anger, it might take the wind out of her sails.

 

And if all else fails, send her to preschool/kindy long enough to get your older kids established, then bring her back home if you'd like. :)

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Been there with my eldest! He's now the sweetest charmer ever, although still very sensitive. He started really doing better closer to turning 5.

 

I think every parent should have one like that :) It teaches some compassion and keeps you humble! My dearest friend had 2 kids with an easy temperment, and her third was a really tough one to parent. She said it was a blessing to our friendship as she would have looked down on my parenting skills when my tough one came along had she not been put in that situation first!

 

Anyways, for my son, red food colouring was a trigger. He was also very sensistive to sleep deprivation. You've gotten some great advice here, and lots of us have been in the same boat! My sympathies! Keep hanging in there!

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She could have sensory processing disorder which makes dealing with the world difficult. You might consider having her evaluated by an OT.

 

 

 

I was going to suggest the same thing. I was a nanny for a family for a couple years and their oldest son (who was 8 at the time) had sensory processing issues and the weirdest things could set him off. It could be the tag in his shirt, how bright the lights were, that someone got up from the table or we moved from room to room in the wrong order and so on. It was like physical things bugged him but also his mind had a specific way he wanted things to be ordered and when it didn't happen that way he just couldn't adapt. The things like not taking the pull up off quickly enough or the hot cereal made me think of sensory issues.

 

I really hope you find something that works. :grouphug:

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In addition to dyes, apple juice can trigger bad behavior. I forget the exact enzyme in it that does so, but our kids' behavior definitely improved when my dh stopped buying apple juice for them.

 

My middle son has fructose malabsorption (it's like lactose intolerance, but fructose instead of lactose). Apple juice would set him off big time because of the huge amounts of fructose in it. I used to give him an apple most days of the week for breakfast, and once I realized his issue (which caused diaper issues, not just behavior), I took him off it and found his behavior got sooooo much better.

 

So yeah, food allergies and intolerances can certainly affect behavior in a big way. I got to where I could tell if he'd had a food he shouldn't (the list is confusing) before he had the bad diaper. He'd be tantrum city.

 

We still have our bad moments, since he is early 4, but it's much, much, much better than it used to be. :)

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My youngest was my easiest baby and is now my most difficult toddler ;)

 

I had to change everything with him. Punishment in the traditional sense does not work. What has worked is giving him responsibilities... I know it sounds counter intuitive, but the more I treat him like a mature young man the better he behaves. It takes a lot to start. I had to swallow back a lot of words while he threw incredible tantrums. Then I have him a spray bottle with mildly soapy water and put him to work. He does more chores than anyone else in the house. He also does more school work. He plays harder. Everything he does gets a surprising level of dedication. When he starts to flip out he either gets a nap or a job and he's thriving on it.

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Reading with interest as my current youngest (soon to be middle child) is a pistol, as some would say. She's spirited, independent, strong in purpose and determination, and is difficult to dissuade. She's 3. Dh and I joke she will move out when she's 6 :)

 

With other people she's very quiet and usually compliant. People don't understand what I'm talking about :glare:;)

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PS - if I have to listen to my mother say ONE MORE TIME "she's just desperate for attention - you can't possibly give each child all the attention they need when you have SO MANY!", I will explode! My kids get PLENTY of one-on-one attention, especially the youngest. It's not like I have 42 kids - there are just four!

 

How absurd. You certainly do not have too many children.

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How do I describe her? She was screaming as a baby and at 2 climbing everything. I tried "holding" her til she calmed down, which now she says she felt smothered and didnt help her. I tried spanking "not" in anger. I tried putting her in her room which caused a few holes in the wall or was it the door? It sounded like World War 3 was going on in there. Then she would calm down but she was still angery inside. I always stuck to my guns..."I meant what I said and said what I meant". My no meant no and they always knew I couldnt be nagged out of it.

She would play in room eventually. I told her that she could come out when she felt better because she was hurting the ears of those around her. She could never stay focused even growing up. When she was 2, she somehow ran out of the house in cowboy boots and hat naked and in our 75yr.old neighbors backyard. Our neighbor still talks about it and when she grew up, worked for her in her yard like her older sisters. She had more energy than any of our other 5 children. We never had the money to get her "tested". She basically taught herself to read and write. She worked for grocery store in town and they had to hire 5 people to replace her. I always got such good compliments about her work to my amazement. At home her room was a total wreck. She is "still" the spitfire of the crowd...and I guess kind of like me. She is now in the National Guard because she wants to get into police work and doesnt have the money to do so. Through the military it will cover it. There are 3 groups in "boot" camp. Alpha is the highest one and she is trying for it. To do all that is required for her, she takes as a challenged and loves every minute of it. She is also a risk taker which I am not at all. She did get better the older she got but she was always high maintenance and had to be told that it wasnt her that was center stage. We made it through the teen years without drugs and alcohol. She did get a cell phone around 16 or so, something I was against and she was always at friends homes watching movies and doing computer. There are some basic values that we have that she doesnt and she will have to learn eventually on her own that they dont work very well...like her dad and I had to learn before we married.

 

Alot of this is because my husband and I most of the time dont really connect. We have been married 29yrs. and only the last 2 yrs. we have been connecting beyond the daily events of the day or what is happening in everyone else's life and I have noticed that it has made a BIG difference in our 11 and 13yr. old lives. It has helped them to not be so self centered.

I learned in our case that you can have all of the discpline measures in place or even "love" and grace and still it was out of whack. Everything is based on the relationship between husband and wife. They are really smart and know when it is "true" or just going through the "motions" per se.

HTH someone.

Cyndi

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I don't know whether to :lol::lol: or :grouphug::grouphug: !!

 

I do know that my youngest two have been by far my biggest challenge. I do find as the time passes and they mature and can REASON better. I'm not saying they don't have to be obedient to no is no, etc, but the maturity helps. And some days, I give up and sit on the couch and read and snuggle, or finish the puzzle, etc. with them. Sometimes just letting her sit next to me and color or do a worksheet or puzzle while I'm working with another child helps too. This daughter is horrible with naps and the such, so she can really be a drain if I don't keep her day structured.

 

I hope things get better for you, venting does help! :grouphug:

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By any chance is she the most like you? Often it is the one that is the most like us that is the hardest to parent.

 

Mandy

 

I am a pleaser for the most part, but can be stubborn / judgemental when others are doing things "wrong". (I often don't realize it until it is pointed out!) For example, when everyone told me I "just couldn't" handle triplets, I set out to prove that not only could I handle it, I could do better than anyone else who had "only" one child, just because I had been "dared".

 

She is all about looking out for #1 and getting everyone else to do what she wants, but is easily as stubborn as me.

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She could have sensory processing disorder which makes dealing with the world difficult. You might consider having her evaluated by an OT.

 

 

Two of the others (who were preemies) have SPD, so I know what that looks like, and this is different. When my sensory kids have a meltdown, it is usually for an obvious reason and they seem out of control. (Like when we went to soccer in a metal warehouse with 4000 kids running and screaming and balls flying everywhere and bouncing off the walls - too much input = meltdowns.) But this seems more attitude / willful.

 

This kid is actually already getting OT for some fine motor delays. To be honest I don't think there is anything wrong with her other than the fact that the triplets do too much for her in an attempt to keep her from tantruming, and since she has had them doing everything for her for years, she hasn't learned to do a lot of stuff on her own. (A whole 'nother issue!)

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Actually, throwing tantrums IS normal for a 4-year-old, so I really wouldn't refer to it as doing something "like a two-year-old". Your older kids may not have done it, and if they didn't you're really lucky, but it's totally, developmentally normal. As someone who also has a ridiculously difficult child (who is now 6.5 and still throws tantrums, by the way) I'm not saying that to imply that it being developmentally normal/appropriate makes it any easier to deal with. It's definitely NOT easy to deal with. :grouphug: I agree that 10 times a day is excessive and probably outside the average for a 4yo, but I really, really want to stress that it's not true that kids shouldn't have tantrums past age 2. Well, not that I think they ever should, but they will, regardless of what I think they ought to do. lol

 

I don't have any fantastic advice. We work on a method called Collaborative Problem Solving, with the help of a specially trained therapist. If you're interested, there's a book called The Explosive Child. It's very non-punitive, so if your goal is getting her to stop by showing her you're the boss more than it is just getting the behavior to stop, it won't interest you. (I don't know your goals and tried to phrase that about 4 different ways, but they all sounded equally offensive. Hopefully you understand what I meant. ;))

 

I'm a little tougher than that - I can't imagine what would be offensive about suggesting a book & saying what type of parent it would appeal to! :)

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I just want to say that while this may be normal, I have a 3 year old that is "out of control" that just 2 weeks ago was told by the OT how in the world was she not diagnosed before she was 3. Everyone else we have ever talked said it was normal and yes a certain level is normal but then there is taking it to the extreme. So if you are concerned I would talk to some one and keep talking until some one takes you seriously. I will say although we have a SPD diagnosis we are still doing more testing to see if there is more or if that is all...but my dd is very defiant and NO discipline we have used worked.

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And just now we got up from resttime, and I asked everyone to get a towel and their swim bags, and went to help my son wipe his hiney, and before I was even to the bathroom there was bloodcurdling screaming b/c C had a towel, E wanted that towel, snatched it out of C's hands, and then just to add insult shoved C so hard that C fell and smacked her face on the tile. It's just ALL DAY LONG...

 

The sad thing is that if she had just said "C I really want that towel - may I use it today?", I know C would have let her have it. It's like E is just LOOKING for a reason to attack and throw a fit.

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:lol::lol::lol:

I think every mother deserves one of those kids at some point during her parenting! When I just had my oldest, I used to look at other mothers and think to myself, "What is wrong with them? Why can't they get those children under control?" THEN...

:lol: YEP! My first two, even #3, were easy! Then came #4 who gets offended easy, #6 who whines, and #7 who is a whirlwind of activity!

 

(((hugs))) to you, Megan.

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My oldest has always been the kind of kid to have unreasonable tantrums. It's taken years for her to accept that she just can't have what she wants all the time. She gets really worked up really quickly, and can't think rationally at all when she's in that state. She's one of those kids for whom standard discipline measures just don't work. Even at five, she was literally unable to make a choice that would have kept her from doing something she wanted to do, even if she knew there would be negative consequences she wouldn't like. I think it's possible physical discipline might have worked, but only if it had risen to levels I would have thought abusive.

 

Anyway, it will get better. My daughter still has tantrums at 6, but they are not as frequent or severe. Interestingly, homeschooling has actually helped our relationship and her behavior.

 

That said, I have my younger child in preschool, and it's very helpful for getting schoolwork done with my older child. It's also more fun for him- why would he want to be here while she and I sit at the table and do written schoolwork?

 

Good luck!

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I read a book recently (suggested by those in the hive, actually) 'Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in you and your kids'. Long and bad title (imo) but a GREAT book about building honor in the home. Check it out!

 

One thing (among MANY) that I have gleaned from it is when my child is having a bad attitude, they are to sit away from everyone else (on the stairs, on their bed, wherever) until they can come talk to you with the right attitude. It is not a punishment - just a way for them to learn to control themselves. For example, my 4yo will say 'yes ma'am' and obey when I tell her to do something but she says it like she is about to DIE! We have started the whole, go sit on the steps until you can come talk to me w/a good attitude (sometimes it takes a long time, sometimes not so long). She needs to learn to speak to me in an honoring tone (as I do to her) - that is one suggestion for your daughter. It's not time out (not a punishment b/c they did not disobey) - just a time for them to regroup until they can honor the family with a happy disposition...I'm sure I'm not explaining this well - go check out the book - it's GREAT!

 

ps, CANNOT imagine having triplets! wow! I'm sure you're a great mom!

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I know it's a struggle for you now, but dealing with it and not sending her away to preschool should actually help things be better later.

 

In our house, something that helped was going "screen-free" for at least a month. No tv, no videos, no computer time...for any of the kids. It seemed that just a few days without that particular type of input changed her behavior dramatically.

 

I have a few theories about WHY that made a difference, but really, the whys didn't matter to me then...it was just something that worked.

 

HTH!

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I know it's a struggle for you now, but dealing with it and not sending her away to preschool should actually help things be better later.

 

In our house, something that helped was going "screen-free" for at least a month. No tv, no videos, no computer time...for any of the kids. It seemed that just a few days without that particular type of input changed her behavior dramatically.

 

I have a few theories about WHY that made a difference, but really, the whys didn't matter to me then...it was just something that worked.

 

HTH!

 

:iagree:

 

My son was worse when he was in preschool. We are still dealing with some of the negative behaviors and attitudes he learned at preschool.

 

Other have given good suggestions about diet. I forgot that we limit exposure to red dye 40, hfcs, and processed food in general. We also try to stick to a routine.

 

One other suggestion, try catching her being good. Then praise or compliment her behavior. It may sound silly, but if she has become accustomed to being considered "bad," being told she is good may help.

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All I can say is all this 'she was such a sweet baby and then wham-o!' is scaring me! :scared: Ack!! I FINALLY have a sweet tempered, sleeping baby girl after 3 high-needs, non-sleeping boys. I really want to stick my head in the sand and believe that she will always be perfect and easy. :Angel_anim:

 

:grouphug: I'm sorry that you're having a rough time with your daughter. I don't have any great advice as I still have 3 boys who need tomato staking....

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PS - if I have to listen to my mother say ONE MORE TIME "she's just desperate for attention - you can't possibly give each child all the attention they need when you have SO MANY!", I will explode! My kids get PLENTY of one-on-one attention, especially the youngest. It's not like I have 42 kids - there are just four!

 

My first advice is vent to us :D not Mom. You're inviting criticism and it's the last thing you need, especially from someone who has not BTDT.

 

Second, my challenge child is our fifth. She's now almost seven. We truly believe she will be a challenge for years to come. We have consistently parented our children, as much is able I suppose, and we're expecting number 10. I'd say we have a fair amount of practice. And yet... Sigh.

 

I understand. I cling to the "keep on keepin' on..." kwim? We are called to do that which we are called to do regardless of their behaviour. Raising Godly Tomatoes is a favorite site of mine, but honestly, some children are going to require constant effort. I wish it were simpler to "fix" than that.

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I'm really sorry for you. :grouphug: Man, this is a tough time; sleepless nights with a newborn is nothing to preschool tantrums.

 

My challenging preschooler was DS5. Younger by 4 and 6 years to two very close sisters, I'm pretty sure he's felt left out at times. He was such an easy baby, he'd sleep anywhere, anytime; seemed to understand that nighttime was sleep time for Mommy so he'd better sleep most of it too; fed reasonably; so cheerful. Things started getting tough when he learned to walk. For example, one morning I woke, realising that I had heard something that needed my attention. I went downstairs to find my son standing on the top of our upright piano - "Look, Mommy!" He'd climbed out of his cot, opened his door, climbed over the top stairgate onto the stairs, climbed down the stairs, over the stairgate at the bottom, over to the piano and somehow got to the top of it :confused: I am still not sure how he managed it. And it was all downhill from there. He could trash the place faster than it took me to eat my breakfast; he loved to draw - and scratch - the walls with whatever he could get hold of; he was insatiably curious about all things electrical :eek: and would get so angry and frustrated over what seemed to be the smallest things. Looking back, I think he was frustrated because he was a slow talker, and unable to express how he was feeling, so it just came out in a rage. As he got to around 4yo, his behavior continued to be destructive and angry, combined with added maturity and intelligence.

 

I dealt with it in the same way as I had dealt with his sisters, except that there were many times when I really wondered whether what I was doing was having any effect at all. I disciplined consistently for the same things (disobedience, and then later, lying and rudeness), the same way for over 3 years, and still do so when needed, although I'm very glad to say that for the last 3-6 months he has become a lot easier. He's now 5.5yo and days go by when I don't actually have to seriously discipline him at all; he knows that when Mom says he must do a thing, then he better do it right away; if Mom says stop, he stops right away. We still have issues with complaints about decisions he doesn't like, but that is getting better too as we work on it. From being a child who loved to make a huge mess in record time, he now enjoys - and occasionally volunteers - to tidy up his room so that I can vac it.

 

For all my kids, I've found that a twofold approach works best. Firstly, consistent, non-angry discipline for unacceptable behaviors. I don't mean the little mistakes that all children make - accidents - I mean specific disobedience, deceit, and rudeness. So no matter what your dd is doing, IMO if it's one of those three then it needs consistent consequences to impress upon her that that behavior is not ok. I don't think it really matters what consequence you pick, as long as you know that she doesn't like to receive it. The other side of the coin is to present an incentive for when she behaves well. You might not use it for some time, but I think you need some positive reward for good behavior on offer, so that when she does make that better choice you can immediately reinforce it with a reward that she's definitely known about. We've used, variously, star charts; small lego sets; dinky cars; time at the local play place (you know, the sort with a big climbing frame and slides and ball ponds); etc. Again it doesn't matter what it is, as long as you know she would really enjoy it.

 

HTH some. :001_smile:

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Two of the others (who were preemies) have SPD, so I know what that looks like, and this is different. When my sensory kids have a meltdown, it is usually for an obvious reason and they seem out of control. (Like when we went to soccer in a metal warehouse with 4000 kids running and screaming and balls flying everywhere and bouncing off the walls - too much input = meltdowns.) But this seems more attitude / willful.

 

This kid is actually already getting OT for some fine motor delays. To be honest I don't think there is anything wrong with her other than the fact that the triplets do too much for her in an attempt to keep her from tantruming, and since she has had them doing everything for her for years, she hasn't learned to do a lot of stuff on her own. (A whole 'nother issue!)

 

My two kids who have SPD are very different from each other, and for many years, I didn't believe my middle dd had it.

 

But you know your dd best. If she's already seeing an OT and the OT hasn't mentioned SPD, then I doubt your dd has it.

 

Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka is a really helpful book when you have a child who doesn't quite fit any diagnostic criteria but is still challenging. That book gave me some good ideas for dealing with my oldest child, who threw temper tantrums until she was 8 but doesn't have SPD or ADHD. I agree with the pp who recommended Love and Logic, too.

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