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joannqn
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My three year old has tantrums/meltdowns that last 30-60 minutes, sometimes more, never less. Nothing we have tried works. We have tried everything we can think of from talking/reasoning with her at her level to rescue remedy to timeouts. Nothing works.

 

If you ignore her, she'll cling to you, grab your clothing, grab anything you have in your hands, climb on you, sit on you, etc. She'll do everything in her power to prevent you from ignoring her. If you try to take anything she's grabbed from you or hold her, she runs away. If you leave the room, she follows, clinging to you or tearing at your clothing. If you go to her, she runs away. If you put her in time out, she leaves it immediately. About the sixth time, you put her in time out, she starts fighting you with all she has, risking injury to both herself and you. (She nearly pulled furniture down on top of us once.) If you lock yourself in the bathroom to get away from her, she'll stand there pounding on the door as long as it takes to get you to open it, using ever-increasing methods of hitting the door harder (ie. using items).

 

It's so bad, I've had other moms come to me in awe of her persistence. That time, we were at the park while her brother had football. I tried getting down to her level to talk to her but it didn't work. I couldn't leave him there alone so I just stood there talking to a friend while she clung to my leg and screamed for an hour.

 

Our family's schedule is worked around her naps because we've found that meltdowns are guaranteed in the late afternoon if she doesn't have one. However, having a nap isn't a guarantee she won't have one. Today's started at noon. The one at football was at ten in the morning. But getting that nap in reduces the frequency of them. We've moved her bedtime to 8:30pm so she'll be asleep before her sister goes to her room for the night. (She shares a room with her much older sister, and wasn't falling asleep until 9-10pm because of her sister's reading light.) But now she's waking up consistently at 6am, so she isn't getting any more sleep than before.

 

The meltdowns make me feel completely helpless. I don't know what else to try.

 

Please don't slam me. This has been going on for a long time. It's frustrating and nerve-wracking. I cry over it. The only reason I haven't asked for help with ideas before is because certain people delight in cutting you down when you have a difficult child. If you want to tell me what a horrible parent I am, please keep those thoughts to yourself this time. I just need ideas of how to help my daughter.

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I can commiserate a bit; Sister can throw a fit like no one's buisness. We could never fully pin down what caused Sister's until she became clearly understandable around age 5. Then we discovered it was because she was ticked off. Plain and simple. She gets her thinking rigidly set in one direction and.can.not.budge. We are planning to have her evaluated at some point when we finish the boys' testing this year. It is wearying.

 

I say all that to say this:

 

Have you tried tracking in order to pin point what is causing the melt downs?

 

Is there a common element like food, stimuli, etc?

 

If I could go back in time with Sister I would not just wait to "let her grow out of it", I would very actively pursue what was behind the behavior.

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Would white noise help? I don't know about melatonin for that age, but perhaps someone else would know if it was safe/helpful.

 

Have you tried keeping any sort of food diary to see if anything is consistent wrt triggering the meltdowns? Likewise, more frequent snacks (especially of protein), maybe, like a small piece of cheese or some nuts every couple of hours between meals?

 

What does tend to trigger them? I'm wondering if there's anything that might empower her to deal with situations. Like, at football, was she mad because she wanted a snack? In that case, I might try making her a little card with pictures of things like a toy/book, water bottle, and snack that she could use before you left the house to help herself feel empowered. "I am hungry, but my card helped me remember to choose whether I wanted an apple or a banana to bring, and I chose the banana, so I can fix my hunger." (Not that you don't necessarily bring snacks, but maybe it would help her to be in control of remembering and choosing it.) Or maybe jot down what triggered the tantrums so that the next time you'll be in a similar situation, you can attempt to pre-empt them. Like, "Last time we went to football, you were mad because you wanted your stuffed bunny. Shall we bring the bunny along this time?" Sometimes it's just a guess, though. ;)

 

I think you are a wonderful mom; sometimes there is only so much you can do to help the dc. Sometimes they just have to mature a bit on their own until they can channel their own intensity a little more productively or learn to express themselves better. All of mine have had moments of being intense in different ways, and it seems to have different triggers -- one would be hungry easily, another needed some more language skills, another wanted to test the limits and see if throwing a fit would yield what he wanted. . . Hang in there, and remember that this will pass. (((HUGS)))

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Well, we did see naps were an issue so we make sure she gets one every day. Other than that, there is no pattern that I can see. And the set off is always some seemingly insignificant thing but never the same thing.

 

I'll look at the video.

 

We'll consider diet. Dairy has been a problem for three of my kids though they all seemed to outgrow the allergy. We could try to remove it again.

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Could it be an allergy? I know my son isn't born yet,so maybe I'm not qualified to reply.

But I know a boy who is allergic to, believe it or not, food dye. Yeah, the coloring put into Popsicle, soda and stuff.

It made him act nuts. His dad and Hubby are good friends and the kid was a maniacal nightmare to be around before his parents altered his diet. He is such a sweet kid now, that I feel guilty for all the bad things I thought about him. (He isn't magically an angel, but between a better diet and Sign Language, his tantrums are so greatly reduced and he is so much more sane-acting that I almost cried relief to see the change in his behavior. He was over at our place 2 or 3 times a week and I couldn't stand to be around him when he was upset.)

 

Please don't flame me! I never said anything mean to his parents about him, but Hubby and I both dreaded the little boy.

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A typical food day is eggs for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, and meat/veggies for dinner. I often scramble eggs with about an ounce of finely ground sausage and some spinach. Sometimes I fry them in olive oil with a side of Dave's Killer Bread as toast. It is usually served with fresh fruit. Lunch is typically a sandwich with fresh fruit. She likes peanut butter and honey or turkey/ham (preservative free) with cheese. Dinner lately has been marinated grilled meat, salad, and either a cooked veggie (like steamed green beans or broccoli) or baked potato. She will only eat salad if it has caesar dressing, but we use one that has no preservatives.

 

We do eat unhealthy food from time to time. We'll have Kraft Mac & Cheese and hot dogs occasionally as a treat for the littles. Cereal is a treat they get once in a while. We do eat fast food...about 3-5 times a month.

 

If food is part of the problem it isn't an obvious one, and I'm used to making connections with food. Three of my kids have had past problems with dairy and have seemingly outgrown them. DD3 was allergic to dairy for her first year of life. It caused stomach pain and vomiting. She started eating dairy without problems when she was twelve months old, and consumed it without problems for two years before the tantrums began. So, it is possible that dairy is an issue, but it seems unlikely since she had it without incident for two years prior to these starting.

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The first thing I'd want to try would be to move the bedtime earlier if you can, maybe 7:30 (might mean making sure the nap ends at a reasonably-early hour? tricky!). It may be that she's in that horrible transition between needing the nap but then not being able to go to sleep early enough and not needing the nap but able to go to sleep early (when she drops the nap finally I'd move bedtime to 6:30). For my kids, 8:30 would be too late, even with a nap, in terms of getting the "right" amount of consolidated sleep during the overnight (we have early risers here too). What time is the nap and when does it usually end? It sounds like it's still critical, but is there room for tweaking the times to allow for an earlier bedtime?

 

Beyond trying to get her more sleep, I'd also think about nutrition, etc., make sure she's getting enough fats, and try supplements - a regular vitamin, maybe magnesium (e.g., Kid Calm though there tend to be what for me are "morning" vitamins in there too), fish oil, that sort of thing. In short, I see this more as figuring out why she's so frayed than a discipline sort of thing.

 

I totally understand about nothing working - such has been the case for most of my kids (I used to laugh when DH would try to make a tantrum stop by putting them in time out). Distraction was just about the only thing. Even my youngest has been a puzzle - once I made it clear that she did something she wasn't supposed to do, she really needed time and space to deal with that (if a non-family member were at the house, she'd hide so that they wouldn't see her cry even though we could all hear her).

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Someone mentioned pictures to help her communicate.

 

She is extremely articulate...probably as articulate as a typical 5-6 year old. No one ever has trouble understanding what she says because she enunciates so well and she has a broad vocabulary. Academically, she is ready to start kindergarten and is ahead of some pre-k 5 year olds.

 

If communication is the problem, it's because she can't communicate complex thought processes. She definitely can communicate any basic needs and wants and doesn't hesitate to do so.

 

The only pattern to her tantrums would be not getting her way. Today she got mad at her older brother while they were riding bikes. She just got her first two wheeler with training wheels. He rides like an expert stuntman. He was riding circles around DHs car, and she was yelling at him about him cheating. I think they were racing, and he started faster than her leading her to think he was cheating. Since they weren't playing nicely, I told them to come inside. The meltdown lasted an hour and a half.

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(((Hugs))). No slamming from me. I hope Joanne will chime in, she always has good parenting advice.

 

I can tell you that when my ds son was 4 he went through a period of total defiance. It was INSANE. He would open the gate and let the dog out, go to the neighbors house and let their dog out and then open my front door and laugh whole they tore thru my house. He sneaked out of the house in the middle of the night repeatedly.

 

We got a lock for the gates because he wouldn't stay in the back yard. Once when xh had the gate open to get the mower in ds snatched the lock and thru it in the hi grass behind our house.

 

One time I told him if he ran out of the yard again he would be put in his room until his dad got home. Yet he ran out the gate laughing. so into his room i put him. He tore his room apart.....ripped the mattress off the bed and threw books everywhere. He spent 6 hours in his room. His dad got home, we ate supper...he seems fine....he asked to be excused and went outside and ran straight out of the gate, his dog trailing behind.

 

This went on for months, seemed like YEARS. One of my neighbors whose guest house he sneaked into In the middle of the night, did not take it well. She sent me a registered letter threatening legal action/police/CPS if we didn't keep our kid off her property. I took ds outside in the front yard. I showed him the property line. I told him the letter was from neighbor and it said if he didn't stay out of their yard they would call the police. He looked at me very seriously and nodded his head and it was like a switch was flipped and that was the last day he did anything crazy.

 

To this day I have no idea what was going through his head. But I do know we tried EVERYTHING and nothing worked. S I really feel for you.

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My now lovely (but still spunky 12 yo dd) had nuclear meltdowns. She was 2 or 3 when I realized that she just acted on the outside the way I often felt on the inside...especially when I am stressed.

 

My 10 yo ds had meltdowns as well, but he would implode instead of explode (run to his room and hide under his blanket).

 

No one pitches fits exactly anymore, but I still find myself helping them handle whatever is stressing them. It usually involves some empathy -- which I really do have for them -- and sometimes it's a matter of helping them understand something. I've had to assure my then 7 yo that he wouldn't bleed forever when he got a scrape. I think he really thought he was just going to keep bleeding and bleeding forever :huh:

 

Sometimes it involves smoothing things over (and not arguing) until they mature a bit. For example, when my 12 yo was a toddler, she thought every time she bumped herself she needed a bandaid. I think she thought it would help her booboo feel better. We argued and explained and explained and argued. Eventually, I bought a big box of the least expensive bandaids I could find, and I stopped arguing with her about bandaids.

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My kids rarely had those kinds of tantrums, but I do have one who gets herself quite worked up at times. It is very hard for her to "come down" at those times. I usually see it coming on and I've learned to ask her if she needs a hug. That helps to defuse the situation. Have you tried soothing her at the first hint of stress, before things get ugly?

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Short term method that worked for me with my oldest was to video tape him. I whipped out the video camera one day during a particularly bad tantrum. He stopped and wanted to see himself. It's a quick fix to try. If nothing else, you'll have a document of how bad it is if you have to see the doctor about it. We also moved bedtime to 5:30 at that age. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But, we woke up at 5:30am and started getting "ugly" around 5. We moved dinner to 4:00 for him. That and age helped. Of course, he was our oldest and our only at the time so it was easy to change our schedule. ((Hugs)) I know how hard it is. :(

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Someone mentioned pictures to help her communicate.

 

She is extremely articulate...probably as articulate as a typical 5-6 year old. No one ever has trouble understanding what she says because she enunciates so well and she has a broad vocabulary. Academically, she is ready to start kindergarten and is ahead of some pre-k 5 year olds.

 

If communication is the problem, it's because she can't communicate complex thought processes. She definitely can communicate any basic needs and wants and doesn't hesitate to do so.

 

The only pattern to her tantrums would be not getting her way. Today she got mad at her older brother while they were riding bikes. She just got her first two wheeler with training wheels. He rides like an expert stuntman. He was riding circles around DHs car, and she was yelling at him about him cheating. I think they were racing, and he started faster than her leading her to think he was cheating. Since they weren't playing nicely, I told them to come inside. The meltdown lasted an hour and a half.

 

This was my DD. Verbally gifted, highly spirited, passionate, feels things so strongly, etc. I highly recommend Strong-Willed Child or Dreamer. The mix of ability to communicate but having a hard time controlling emotions can be tricky. Their ability to speak and reason is well ahead of their maturity. The best thing for my DD was trying not to spring things on her quickly, including punishments. We talked. She went first. I listened intently and let her know I heard her. She did not ever go undisciplined but the discipline was easier to take if she was allowed to say her piece. Above all, breathe in and breathe out and stay calm. All hope of avoiding her totally melting down was lost if I lost it.

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I'd definitely consider food intolerance as a contributing factor. Changing a child's diet can cause major behavioral improvements if allergies or food sensitivities are at the root of the issues.

 

HIH,

 

Lisa

:iagree: I've had two that radically improved behaviour with food colouring and additives removed from their diets. It may not be the issue, but it could be worth trying.

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I only have one that has real meltdowns and they are always a sign that she hasn't had enough protein. But, try getting into her at that point! I find myself saying things like, "eat this spoonful of peanut butter or else!!!" She starts getting sort of cranky and snappy well before she melts down. If I can get some protein into her, then that usually heads it off. Not saying this is for sure the problem with your dd, I just know it is a problem with mine. (Hugs)

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Can't do timeouts at all. She absolutely will not stay where she is put. Actually, if she's in meltdown mode, we can't enforce anything...not time out, not staying in her room, not bedtime, not picking up things she threw on the ground, nothing. She absolutely will not do anything that she is told to do and there's no safe way to force her.

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I'll post what we've used/done...maybe it will work (hopefully!) but if not then I really have no ideas.

 

We don't ignore tantrums or use time-outs but we do teach self-control. Tantrum starts and we get down in front of the child but do not touch them. In a very low, quiet, calm voice we start to count to 10. As we count we hold up one finger, get to 5, then put a finger down for each number. When we reach 10, we start again. And again, and again...with some of ours we've almost hit 100! What has happened is that the child, even while screaming, looks at our fingers and focuses even for a moment on just that. They hear our voice not trying to out yell them but calm and quiet (even though we feel neither of those inside!). As we count we also insert things like, "Ssshhhh" - very calming, nonthreatening.

 

At some point the child takes a breath - usually a very small breath! We calmly say, "Good...ssshhhh"...and they usually start yelling again. Rather than pack our bags and flee the house we start all over again.

 

Eventually the child takes a breath that actually lasts, we quietly and calmly praise them, and if they let us we hug them. The amazing thing is that once that breakthrough happens, the next tantrum (which typically occurs in the next few minutes, lol) takes less time. Then the next one takes even less time. My most horrific tantrum throwers were able to take a calming breath by the count of about 5 in a week's time.

 

I don't know what it is about this that has worked so well but we've used it with every child so far with success. The thing I love about this is that when our children are at their worst and have no control over themselves, we are right there with them, helping them, but not overpowering them.

 

Best of luck to you!

 

Oh, we started this when our dc were very young (15 months, maybe?) but have shown it to other parents and used it with older dc (4-5yo) and it worked beautifully. Even my nephew (who ranks as the most out-of-control child I've ever had in my home) responded to it much to his mother's amazement.

 

ETA: One word we never say during this training is "Stop". That word means an instant ceasing of whatever is going on, and if the dc hears it yet continues throwing their tantrum then the word loses its meaning. 17 years and 11 kids later I'm STILL having to remind my dh to not say that word. sigh

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She had a second meltdown this evening. Two hours spent with a screaming kid who absolutely refused to listen to anything. I'm exhausted.

 

She's the sweetest most charming kid all of the rest of the time.

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BTDT, both my kids could and did do that, it was caused by a blood disorder called Pyroluria, causes toddler tantrums from h*ll that easy last an hour+. Its a simple urine test but you need to pay out of pocket, Best $72 I ever spent, its treated with high dose B6/P5P and zinc. We haven't had to deal with a tantrum like that in over a year:)

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I agree with those who said it could be food related.

Allergies are never outgrown, the symptoms just change.

 

Keep a food journal, write down all her food and her behavior and moods.

It could be anything. Big reaction foods in my house are corn, oats, and red dye.

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Have you tried holding her hard (in a loving way) in your arms until she calms down? She will probably struggle for a bit - obviously don't get yourself or her hurt, but the pressure of your arms may be calming. Don't try reasoning with her: just hug her and murmur reassurance. It sounds (from her clinging) as if she's very frightened by her own uncontrollable outbursts and may need that security.

 

You are not rewarding her for bad behaviour if you do this; you are helping her to deal with something that is completely beyond her ability to manage.

 

Hobbes didn't tantrum to that extent, but there were certainly times when a constraining cuddle set him straight again.

 

L

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My oldest was that way. Wow. Was it terrible! Her fits were insane! At times I thought she had totally lost it. The only thing that ever worked was picking her up and sticking her in the shower - fully dressed. Sounds nuts but it was like the shock of the shower brought her back to earth again. I'd dry her off and help her change and then we would sit together until she was calm. If I didn't use my "shock and awe" tactic, it was usually more than 45 min until she could begin to calm down. Now that she's older we can talk about it more but sometimes she cannot get a grip. She is more challenging than my other 4 put together. But goodness she's so sweet when she's not having a meltdown.

Hope you find something that works!

I remember my mother sticking me in the shower for a tantrum when I was around 6. I also remember feeling happier after the shower.

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My first thought was food related. I'd look at dairy first, I'd guess that she didn't really outgrow it and it has manifested in different ways. Second, I'd look at protein consumption. Funny to read I wasn't alone in my thoughts. My ds had real behavior issues, his were gluten related for the most part, although other foods contributed. He totally changed after his diet changed.

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My dd with Celiac is a totally different person now than before she was diagnosed. Taking her off gluten changed her personality completely. My children also need protein at regular intervals. It is like the snickers commercial with Danny Devito. A little protein can really turn a plunging child around.

 

I seem to remember that you all had issues with lead in a previous home. Is there any chance that this may be related to that somehow?

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I also agree with holding her. This worked for my dd. I would hold her firmly in my lap (in a rocker if you have one). Try to get the screaming out of your mind and sing or focus on something different. I didn't act angry or mad, I simply held her as tight as I needed based on her struggling. You are stronger than her and she needs to know that. She will struggle but you can't let her down or let her free. If you do, she thinks she is stronger than you and she sees this as a battle she can win. It will be inconvenient but you need to resign yourself to do it and make it a top priority for now. It only took a handful of times and dd realized t wasn't worth it. The time also got less each episode. The first episode I had to hold her for 2 hours, screaming the entire time. The next one was 1.5 hours on and off. It lessened each time and finally I would pick her up and hold her tight in my lap and she would just immediately stop screaming.

 

 

If you do this consistently and you are seeing no progress then I would look at diet or sensory disorders.

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Can't do timeouts at all. She absolutely will not stay where she is put. Actually, if she's in meltdown mode, we can't enforce anything...not time out, not staying in her room, not bedtime, not picking up things she threw on the ground, nothing. She absolutely will not do anything that she is told to do and there's no safe way to force her.

 

I know that you say you cannot do timeouts because she won't stay. This is where I think you will need to be more strong willed than she is. I know it's hard. I have 3 strong willed kids but my middle daughter was beyond strong willed when she was little. Here is what I did with all three of mine and it worked:

 

 

I have learned that for the corner to be effective there are some definite things to do and not do. This has worked with other children I know also. 1. Child does not do what they are told or starts to throw a fit. I get down on his/her level and say " If you do not obey me/stop throwing a fit you will sit in the corner, and you will stay there till you can obey/stop." Through all the screaming. 2. If they do not obey/stop I pick them up and put them in the "corner". Then say, "You will stay here till you are ready to obey/stop."  Make sure this is a boring place where they can't see everything that is going on in the house or hurt themselves. The end of a hall with all the doors shut works great. 3. The child WILL pop up right away and try to escape, many, many times. Do not hold them down in the corner. 2. Simply pick them up and put them back over and over and over again. 3.Now here's the key.Do not talk to them.Do not give eye contact.Just pick them up and put them back. 4. When they have  finally sat in the corner (could be an hour later) and are quiet, go ask them if they are ready to obey. If they give you attitude of any kind or start to whine, get up and say " I guess you still need time in the corner." Then walk away. Do not engage in talk. 3. When they are ready to obey, tell them again why they were in the corner and that they need to say sorry. Give lots of hugs and kisses.

 

It takes time, work, and lots of stamina. Eventually it will not be so hard or long. It will seem like they are in the corner all the time at first. But It will get to a point where they will stay in the corner, and all you will have to do is tell them to go sit in it! Even if they are throwing a fit on the way. And much sooner than you think corner time will be few and far between and then not at all. You have to have a stronger will than them in this senerio and not give in no mater how long it takes. If you have a very strong willed kid you will be doing this for a while the first few times. Don't give up. Don't give in. You can do it! I started this earlier with each one of my children. I think I started around 18 months with my youngest. It was much easier with him. Hope this helps.

 

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tantrums/meltdowns like that have been dealt with differently for 3 of my kids. with dd13 back when she was small what finally got through to her was the time she was put in the corner at gramma's house (gramma was babysitting) and gramma then turned her back and stood there, not touching dd but blocking her escape. dd fought hard, pushing and shoving on gramma, gramma just stood there. DD finally stopped and at home and elsewhere the tantrums mainly stopped, when they didn't she accepted the time out. She is my strongest willed of them all so things certainly didn't get easy but they got easier.

 

With dd5 who can scream the fur off a monkey when she is mad, and ds13 (when he was smaller) I do 1 of 2 things depending on why they were screaming and whether or not it is just tantrumming or crossing into destructiveness with it. Just tantrumming/screaming both would only calm down if held tightly, if I held on tight they would calm in 15-20 minutes vs the hours they could go if I didn't. They needed that counter pressure as they let it all out. If destructiveness was at play they got 1 swat on the behind, and with ds14 when he was smaller it was like a light switch, he would instantly stop and calm down. It didn't obviously get to the source of it but when you have things being carved up, ripped up, holes being dug into walls etc you need to stop it instantly.

 

Now at 14 he still has tantrums, he has mental health crap going on that no one will help with. The only thing that makes him even start to calm down is removal of his favorite items. He is 150lbs, and taller than me, so cold showers or a swat etc are useless. timeouts are not really possible with a 14 yr old. SO I unhook his xbox and hold onto it until he calms down and can speak to me, which is sometimes hours later.

 

I would have her evaluated for sure. With dd13 other than adhd, her's is personality based, she couldn't get her way with me (or gramma) the way she usually did (she is a blond haired, blue eyed, petite girl, all she ever does is bat her lashes and people give her what she wants) she she fought.

 

DD5 seems to be much the same

 

ds14 has always had learning and mental healthy issues at play, and after 14 years of them being largely untreated (despite my efforts to get him help) well thhings just went from bad to worse over the years. I would not want the same for you and your dd, and would certainly hope it is like my girls, no major issues, just a personality issue of being strong willed and needing to learn those firm boundaries remain firm even when she starts the tantrum.

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My kids rarely had those kinds of tantrums, but I do have one who gets herself quite worked up at times. It is very hard for her to "come down" at those times. I usually see it coming on and I've learned to ask her if she needs a hug. That helps to defuse the situation. Have you tried soothing her at the first hint of stress, before things get ugly?

 

 

I don't have any advice because my 3-year-old is very similar. But if op's daughter is anything like my ds, there are no hints of stress before things get ugly. It's immediate. Small disappointment=instant madness.

 

All I can offer is commiseration. My ds has been like this for about a year now. The tantrums have tapered a little (maybe), but he's just never happy. He just cries all day, a moaning kind of cry. I've had him tested for all manner of physical ailments and nobody can figure out what his problem is. He goes to bed at 7:00 and sleeps for almost twelve hours. He wakes up in the morning and he's just grumpy. He's obstinate, contrarian, and just plain unhappy. I spend more time every day thinking about his issues and how to solve them than I care to tally, but it is beyond me.

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I don't have any advice because my 3-year-old is very similar. But if op's daughter is anything like my ds, there are no hints of stress before things get ugly. It's immediate. Small disappointment=instant madness.

 

All I can offer is commiseration. My ds has been like this for about a year now. The tantrums have tapered a little (maybe), but he's just never happy. He just cries all day, a moaning kind of cry. I've had him tested for all manner of physical ailments and nobody can figure out what his problem is. He goes to bed at 7:00 and sleeps for almost twelve hours. He wakes up in the morning and he's just grumpy. He's obstinate, contrarian, and just plain unhappy. I spend more time every day thinking about his issues and how to solve them than I care to tally, but it is beyond me.

 

 

the bolded is just like my oldest and youngest. there is no build up, in fact they can be smiling and laughing and then something doesn't go their way and the screaming starts.

 

My ds9 is like the 2nd paragraph, just generally not a happy person, sleeps a minimum of 12 hours at a stretch, very much believes he is a victim to the world, and doesn't understand when he is in trouble for something that he is not the victim he was the perpetrator. For example, yesterday he started a squabble with some girls at the park, throwing clumps fo grass at them and yelling insults, I hauled his butt home and sent him to his room, well then the world is against him because they threw a stick back at him and didn't yell at him and defend him, I only punished him. Well duh, you started a fight, and with girls to boot, AND I am not their parent, I will deal with the parenting of my own. Anyway, he was in his room nattering to himself about how mean I am, and everyone hates him, and they NEVER get in trouble but he ALWAYS does blah blah blah. Again we have hit brick wall after brick wall trying to get to the bottom of things, I think a big part for him is he has lots of learning issues that are a result of poor motor function (mainly in his face), and struggles with social skills which means no friends, so in an effort to befriend people he shows off, and acts like a dolt which pushes them away further, or he starts fights which leaves the parents of other kids forbidding them to play with him. SO he is lonely, very very lonely. He is one that if it wasn't for having such major delays due to his issues I would put into ps just so he would be with other kids all day, but I won't do that him.

 

Anyway, I didn't mean to hijack the thread from the OP, it just struck me as familiar when I read your post.

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BTDT, both my kids could and did do that, it was caused by a blood disorder called Pyroluria, causes toddler tantrums from h*ll that easy last an hour+. Its a simple urine test but you need to pay out of pocket, Best $72 I ever spent, its treated with high dose B6/P5P and zinc. We haven't had to deal with a tantrum like that in over a year:)

 

I'd forgotten about Pyroluria. It's worth checking into, b/c for some kids, the vitamins are a near miracle.

 

~L

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I just wanted to give you a big hug for all you are going through. I had one like that and I can sympathize.

 

I would take her for an OT evaluation. It could be a sensory integration issue.

 

 

I concur. If food intolerances can't be found, I would definitely look into sensory issues. My middle son had tyrannosaurus sized tantrums. He would have five 45 minute-long tantrums before noon each day for the first 6 months that we lived here. It wasn't that he got his way (obviously, I couldn't very well paint our brick house green like the old house, nor could dh just not go to work so it wouldn't upset.) I can't tell you how many times I had to call dh at noon for a pep-talk to get me through the next 5 hours. Reasoning didn't work. Holding didn't work. Punishment didn't work. Ignoring didn't work. While his tantrums did decrease as he learned a little more self-control, he was NOT a happy kid. Watching videos of him when he was 5 just makes me cry to see such an unhappy boy.

 

We finally got clued in that his problems were sensory related and got therapy for him. We used a neurodevelopmentalist, but the techniques we used were pretty similar to what an OT would have given us. Within 6 months of therapy, you would not believe the difference. This kid actually smiled and seemed happy - so much less stressed. I started sleeping better and stopped dreading something setting him off.

 

I hope you can find an answer.

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My DD was exactly like that.

 

Her meltdowns went away completely when we took her off gluten :confused1: We were not expecting that, we took her off gluten for other reasons. It was just a happy side effect. :hurray:

 

My DD's meltdowns were often triggered by her getting injured, pinch her finger, stub her toe, bonk her head, etc.

 

 

 

I also would like to say that a meltdown is NOT like a regular tantrum. My DD never had regular tantrums, she's a really sweet, easygoing child, except when she had a meltdown.

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My ds went through a phase like this around age 3. It was so stressful for us! My hair was literally falling out from the stress. We actually went to the pediatrician because we were so overwhelmed. He said to put him in time-out and if he didn't stay, to lock him in his room (?!). We did NOT do this and I can only imagine what would have happened. What worked for us was following this method in this book: http://www.amazon.com/Kazdin-Method-Parenting-Defiant-Child/dp/0547085826/ It is basically behavior modification. We used it for a short time just to establish a "new normal". It started working pretty quickly and what I liked about it is that it strengthens your relationship with the child (instead of damaging it by you being the one to punish - you become the one to reward good behavior). I would also recommend making sure she has snacks throughout the day with protein to keep her blood sugar level stable. This could make a big difference. Is your dd gifted by any chance? Sometimes that comes with more intensity and even low blood sugar issues. Hang in there! It will get better! My ds improved quickly with this method in place and his tantrums are just a far distant memory now. :)

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What worked for us was following this method in this book: http://www.amazon.co.../dp/0547085826/

 

Is your dd gifted by any chance?

 

My library system has that book at a different branch. I put it on hold; it should be here in a few days. It looks like it might be helpful for DS11 as well.

 

She is very likely gifted. My oldest two definitely are, and she's following a similar path of my oldest daughter.

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