need some advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2003
need some advice
9
Tue, 07-15-2003 - 1:00am
Hello I am sort of new here I have not posted in a while. I am having a problem with my 10 yr old dd. Who I am having a hard time thinking her dear. We have always had a hard time with her. She was and to some extent still is demanding. I mean emotionally. I know I am not making myself very clear, I am trying to keep this post down to the size of a small book. I dearly love my daughter and I am worried about her. She has had temper tantrums since she was around 5 she always had a piercing cry she would howl and scream. but by the time she knew better she only did it at home not in front of any one but family but now she is doing it more and more in front of people. Today she threw such a fit I get nervous someone will call the police and they will take her away thinking we are beating her to death. We punish her for all these fits, take away special outings which punishes our whole family and groundings take away tv, computer, toys, time with friends. I don't spank her I may have given her a few swats when she was younger but I never felt right about that I didn't spank my older son and he doesn't give us hardly any trouble. I don't know what to do, after one of these episodes I am physically and emotionally spent.when she was younger I could just pick her up and take her to her room and when she stopped screaming,I would go in and talk to her and try to make her understand she can't act like this and get to just go on without consequences. Now she won't go to her room and when I try to take her by the arm to get her there she falls in the floor and screams we had a huge wrestling match today right in front of my nephew who is spending a few days with us. He probably won't want to come back any time soon. I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown by the time my dh got home.The whole thing started because I told her to pick up her barbie stuff before she went outside. I know that makes it sound like she is just a brat,but these tantrums get so extreme it seems like more than that. thanks
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Tue, 07-15-2003 - 11:07am
Have you tried to just ignor her completely? With my son, he does the same, gets into these tantrums then won't go into his room. He usually starts it after I have asked him to do something like put his toys away. I have to physically pick him up to put him in his room and then he usually won't stay there. So it usually takes 2o min for me to actually get him to stay in his room. I do a lot of threating no nintendo, no one over, etc.

The problem I find is how should I take it from there? AFter he calms down do I talk to him? Just go about my business and forget he did it? Or wait it out and see if time and another approach would work or works. For me it's hard to do an approach that takes time because I want it to end now. You know?

I've read and I don't know how well it works because I having tried it, that if you ask him/her to put away toys, etc and he/she doesn't, you should just quietly pick up the toys yourself then when he/she asks to play or do something you can say no that you had asked him/her to clean up but he/she didn't so now he/she can't play with friends or play on the computer, etc.

We were just on vacation and my son started with this tantrum. It started with him not taking a shower when we asked him to. Then after he finally took the shower and my dh and the 3 of them were walking to another's cabin, my son tripped my 5 yo because he was angry and just wanted to lash out at someone. So dh took him back to our room and because he tripped his brother, I told him he couldn't go on the boat this morning and he was to go lay down and take a nap before he did anything else that day. Well, that wasn't acceptable to him and he yelled that he wasnt going to take a nap, that he wanted to go on the boat and so on. He tried to get past me to open the door to get outside but I wasn't letting him. I kept telling him that he needed to lay down and take a nap and that if he doesn't he wouldn't be going on the boat again this afternoon either. But he was loud and I knew the people in the adjoining rooms could hear him and I thought they would call the cops with the way he was screaming. He ended up laying down but it was hard and very draining.

Anyway, turns out the people next door ended up being my brother in law and he could hear my son screaming. He said alls he could hear was him yelling that he didn't want to take a nap. We were at a family reunion and this BIL came late the night before and we hadn't seen him yet. I was embarrassed though because it's so frustrating when you know there should be some way you could keep this from happening. Anyway my son doesn't do this much and it's usually when he is very tired but when it happens, it's so hard to calm him down but when he does, he's a whole different person. My son also has an auditory processing disorder and speech and language difficulties so when he's tired, things just don't come easily for him and I am not sure if everything is getting to him clearly. He needs time sometimes to understand what is being said to him so that complicates things some. Especially when he's upset because things are just so confusing by that point.

Anyway, I would say to try to avoid these displays. Try to determine when she is most likely to do this and try to avert it before it begins. If it so happens she gets to that point, then I would ignor her. She is old enough that she shouldn't be having these tantrums. I also see it this way (and I know I am guilty of the same) if you stay and "fight" and continue to try to get them to do what you want them to do, then you are giving them attention even if it's negative. They have all your attention and that's all they need to keep going. Do you know what I mean? It's hard, I know and I will try to do the same thing with my son. I would also try not to punish her right then and there for taking these tantrums, sending her to her room, taking things away, etc. Maybe tell her later that she is going to bed early because she took that tantrum and that only happens when she is tired so tonight she is going to bed early. Of course that may start another tantrum but hey, you just need to ignor that one too and stick with the bed time. You could tell her that she doesn't need to sleep at that time but that's when you are putting her to bed and it's her decision whether or not she sleeps but if she acts the same way the next day, she will be going to bed early again.

My other advice would be to talk to your pediatrician maybe she can give you advice and maybe find out if there is something more to it.

I hope I helped just a little and I am sure you will get many more and much better advice.

Julie

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Tue, 07-15-2003 - 8:07pm
Welcome back. I'm glad Julie posted some BTDT advice for you. (Thanks, Julie.) I agree with Julie that if you know the tantrums are more likely when she's tired, anytime she has a tantrum, one consequence is an early bedtime. Perhaps try to have a really calm reaction when you can tell it's starting, and to use when-then phrasing for things you want her to do. "When you clean up your Barbies, you can go (xxx). If you're going to meltdown, you still can't (xxx) until the Barbies are cleaned up, and I guess you'll have to go to bed early because you're obviously tired."

Other than trying a calm, matter-of-fact approach, or if you've already tried that, I would really suggest talking to her pediatrician.

Hang in there, and please let us know how you are doing.

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Tue, 07-15-2003 - 8:40pm
Let me preface this by letting you know that I am NOT trying to 'diagnose' your child, indicate or implicate that there is ANYTHING going on other than age or personality, but as the mother of a child who has some 'issues,' my antenna goes up every time I hear things like you've said. My DS, Kevin, has ODD/Oppositional Defiant Disorder (in addition to ADHD, auditory processing problems ... and he's gifted.)

ODD is a pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior in a child or adolescent, lasting for at least six months, during which four (or more) of the following are present:

1 often loses temper

2 often argues with adults

3 often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' request or rules

4 often deliberately annoys people

5 often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehaviors

6 is often touchy or easily annoyed by others

7 is often angry and resentful

8 is often spiteful or vindictive

In addition, the following additional symptoms may be present:

9 misbehaves

10 swears or uses obscene language

11 has a low opinion of himself

I actually have an entire website on ODD which I'd like to invite you to visit to see our story and if this sounds familiar: http://pages.ivillage.com/keke0116/index.html

The best way to describe ODD is having a child who is stuck in the terrible two's. They have low (to no) frustration tolerance, so they tend to have meltdowns and rages. Although most docs look for 'patterns of behavior lasting at least 6 months and present in at least 2 of 3 primary settings' (i.e. home, school, doc's office) I will tell you from personal experience that MANY ODD kids go to great lengths to hold these behaviors in so that the rest of the world doesn't know the turmoil they live in ... and will explode where they are most comfortable (at home.) Kevin would get A's in conduct in school, but would be raging as soon as he got in my car in the afternoon.

Like I said, I am NOT saying that your DD has ODD, but if you feel there is 'something' going on, then I'd suggest you explore it further. Only when you have the answers to your questions will you really be able to help her.

(((HUGS))) and Good Luck. If I can answer anything for you, just ask ... either here or e-mail me.

Nancy

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-16-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 11:20am
Well, I do not have a preteen child (mine are 5,3,1) but I am a former social worker who used to teach foster parents how to discipline their foster kids for such infractions as arson, stealing, etc. Take it with a grain of salt, use what sounds good to you, and pass on what works!

First, it sounds like your child's emotional and intellectual ages are at odds with each other. When a child who is intelligent and articulate completely loses it, often it is because these two parts of her brain have collided, and the result is ugly for the entire family. Talk with your pediatrician or a family therapist about how to help close the gap, and your child will be okay in the long run.

As for discipline, at this age it works best to focus on what we call Natural Consequences. For exapmle, if she leaves her bike out all night, she should lose her bike for a day or two. If her clothes are on the floor, they don't get washed. If she refuses to eat dinner, she stays hungry later. When these things are done, keep track of good behavior and reward them. If she leaves her barbies out when she goes outside, pack them in a box and tell her they will be returned when she learns to clean up after herself. Then hide them in the garage. Completely ignore the tantrum, walk away, have a drink, what ever you need to do to stay compeltely calm. Misery loves company and she will try to suck you into her world. When she calms down, simply move on.

There is a fine line between benefiting from counseling and making a situation worse at her age. She may feel like a "freak" if you take her to a therapist, so I would try to see one on your own and use the advice at home. If that doesn't work, you can take your daughter in. If she feels like you think there is something wrong with her, or that she is unloveable, and she is already hyper-sensitive, it could backfire.

One word of caution: if you are talking about this situation with your friends and family, be careful. If that is what you focus on whenever you talk about your daughter, she is going to get a reputation. Be sure to talk about her better qualaties more often than her tantrums.

It is so important to celebrate who are children truly are on the inside, and it can be difficult when some are simply easier to be around. Help her to learn what interests her, what she believes in. Give her some of your time away from the other kids, let her pick the activity, and I bet you'll have a great time with her.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 6:51pm
Thank you all for all the support. I have not been able to get back to the computer for a few days. I have visited the site for ODD and thought it sounded like my dd. I at least feel better knowing I am not alone. She also used to hold things in, in public, however, she has recently started acting out outside the house.I agree with not taking her to a therapist, she has already asked me if she has a "mental problem" and I told her no she just needed to learn how to handle her emotions better. I don't want her to think anything is wrong with her. Thanks again and I will keep you posted.
Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 10:32am
Thanks for de-lurking on this one and sharing your expertise. I've found natural consequences work great with my children. They're very "logical", and that works well in my house.

Janet

co-cl

Janet


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 7:22pm
This is my first time here and looking for some help for my sister's son. There is alot that you wrote that sounds just like him.I could just scream myself silly about this boy.He can goe for days and be fine then for weeks he acts like a jerk.How does one deal with this type of disorder? Can it be diagnosed by a family doc or shrink? He gets angry when caught doing something bad and blames everyone else but himself.Where can iseek help? Any thoughts would be helpful. Could it be ODD? He has ADHD possibly bi-polar.He just likes to run the house. He can be so good then so rotten.


Munchie1558

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Sat, 10-25-2003 - 10:00pm

Munchie,


I'm not Nancy, but I just wanted to take a minute to welcome you to the board.

Sherrie Rainbow

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mama1963
Sun, 10-26-2003 - 6:21am

Generally, a psychologist or psychiatrist can diagnose ODD, and if your nephew has ADHD, then there's a strong possibility that he also has ODD as the two often (not always) travel together.

Nancy 

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