a cry for help, violent tantrums have returned.

(31 Posts)

Please be aware that i am asking for help and advice but am feeling very vulnerable and shaken right now.
dd1 is 10 in 2 weeks, she used to have violent tantrums until about a year ago, she struggles a bit at school and possibly has dsylexia and dyspraxia although neither are diagnosed. Last year we had family counclling at school and it really helped, she got glasses and also had the most amazing teacher, her self confidence grew and she stoppe having the tantrums, Iwent to the doctor for advice but he refused to help without seeing her, I didnt want to risk damaging her self confidence by saying all the bad points about her to what she would percievce to be a stranger.
At the start of the 6 weeks holiday her tantrums made a bit of a come back, and on holiday she had a couple of what i would call meltdowns where nothing in the world will calm her down and she tries everything she can to hurt you both physically and mentally.
Over the last 2 weeks she has had 2 of these tantrums, onne for dh when he was on his own, I cam ee home from work and he looked shell shocked, she had apparently been hitting and kicking him, these go on for a good hour or 2. She has had another this morning and has been throwing her bags at me and hitting and screaming at me all the way to school. This mornings started becasue I asked her to hurry up and she started shouting that she hates me, I told her we wouldnt be going to the chocolate shop tonight which was probably not the right thing to do but I wnat her to ealise that she can hurt people with her words. I am quite strict and we do have boundaries, this however has never made any diifference to her tantrums, I have never ever given in to a tantrum and she has never got what she wanted from behaving this way, if she discusses things with me in a reasoned way then I may change my mind about things.
I dont know how to deal with these tantrums, I have tried every way possible and nothing helps. She has sensory things to help her, a squashy ball and a dark den, an ipod so she can listen to music, a guitar so she can calm herself by playing music etc, all things which she says help her, however in the middle of a tantrum she will not try to clm herself and just clings and trys her hardest to get you to lose your temper.
I am considering going back to the doctor, I have tried talking about things that might be bothering her. I am sat here shaking and feeling sick and wish I could go and get her from school, I dont understand what is bothering my little girl so much that she behaves this way and I dont know how to fix it.

I think you do need to go to the GP, with your DD and access some help with this.

Can you go to her school and tell them problems have started again and ask for further help and advice from them?

It's not listing her 'bad' points in front of her, it's showing her that you are worried about one aspect of her behaviour and that you love her and want to help her.

things that have changed, over the last yearI have started work after being at home with the kids. I have just gone full time, which is only 3 days a week as I work long shifts. I am supposed to be applying to uni to start next year. I dont know what sort of impact this has although i try to tlk about these things often with dd to check she isnt worried about them.

sorry cross posted beertricks, I dont knwo exactly what i would say to the doctor although I am goignt o make an appointment.

I'd make a list/diary of the tantrums and any other difficulties she is having, plus strategies you have tried.
Insist to the GP that you are not talking about loud rows or preteen stomping about. That you are worried that this behaviour is escalating and not improving.

Wrt to the tantrums as they are happening - don't put yourself in the way of physical harm. Walk away and ignore, ignore, ignore. If she breaks anything don't replace it. If she breaks something of yours then take an appropriate amount out of any pocket money she has to replace it.

I believe there is a 'window' of 2-3 hours after a tantrum like the ones you describe, where a child may seem calm but isn't yet calm enough to understand and think through their behaviour. So any in depth discussions about her behaviour are better left until she is completely over her tantrum.

Don't look too much into it being your 'fault'. Lots of parents work long shifts, change isn't something a lot of families can avoid. If she needs help managing that change then ask for it, but don't blame yourself.

when the tantrums are happening we try to remove ourselves, but she grabs and drags on you so you cant get away from her, it is hard to explain it and it sounds like I am being a bit wet but with the adrenaline she must get and not wanting to hurt her it is very difficult to get away from her. I am really worried about her being at school now after this morning knowing afterwards she is usually very shaky and clingy for a long time, I know I am right now. I feel so bad beasue I really thought we had got through this. when she is not havign a moment she is the most adorable, kind, loving girl it is very jekkel and hyde.

bundaberg Fri 13-Sep-13 10:45:32

i also think you need to see your GP.
you do NOT need to take your DD with you though. When we wanted a referral for DS1 we didn't take him. one GP refused to refer without seeing him, but I wasn't having him sitting there while we talked about him because regardless of your intentions it's bloody sucky sitting and listening to someone reel off all the worst bits about you! I found it hard to do as his parent.
anyway, we saw a different GP who was happy to refer

that said, school ought to be able to refer her to the appropriate people, either cahms or the community paediatricians, and in fact in some areas they prefer a referral from school esp if you have reports from the SENCO etc.

right have made an appointment, it is in 2 weeks so got a bit of time to get together what I need to say

bundaberg Fri 13-Sep-13 10:46:02

also, try posting over in the special needs section. lots of us been there done that and can give advice smile

i did have a letter from school last year, hope I can find it, she was referred to MAST and has a CAF from (dont know if they are the right words) however school never really had any problems with her and this behavioural problem is mainly at home and only close family have ever seen it.

bundaberg Fri 13-Sep-13 10:50:19

but the school helped with the family counselling? so they're aware of the background and potentially can help by writing something to the effect that they agree she needs to be seen?
anything like that will help

No, you don't sound wet at all. I know what it's like.

I bet she's calmed down pretty quickly at school though. Is it something she never does at school?

It may just be a blip, you know and with continuing boundaries and sanctions and great big hugs she may grow out of it. But right now, you're all getting hurt, physically and emotionally, so seek professional advice.

In brief, what we did was:
-attempt to divert the tantrum and stop it happening (we got better at this!)
- refuse to engage while the tantrum was happening. Room door closed, we refused to be followed.
- Lots of chatting at times when tantrums weren't happening. Not face-to-face either, always. In the car, or while other things were going on. Find out any worries or concerns before they exploded into a tantrum.
- flexibility on our part to a certain extent. If DS didn't want to do something in a certain way then if it could be changed we'd do our best. Never while the tantrum was in progress though.
- sanctions for things broken or hitting/kicking. Zero tolerance on this, no matter how sorry DS was afterwards.

could i phone the mast team? would they be able to help? I feel so helpless, when this was happening before our whole family was so miserable and I really dont want things to get to that state again.

or could I phone school today? who would I ask for? the senco maybe.

I would phone everyone who were involved last time. If they can't help now then they will be able to tell you who can.

How about the SENCO at school? Have a chat with them (without your DD) and see what they say.

x-post!

bundaberg Fri 13-Sep-13 11:00:47

yes, speak to the SENCO

when it was happening before I flt a bit like school thought I was being overly dramatic as she never behaves like this there, I think if things are bothering her she bottles them up until she is safe to realease them ie at home. Me and dh can see when she is close to going she becomes slightly manic, but nobosy can see it, even my mum thinks I am just being mean when i say she needs to be removed from a situation to calm down.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 13-Sep-13 11:02:21

My ds can be like this though he has been better lately. I did a self referral to camhs and they did a telephone consultation with me while ds was at school. They diagnosed him as suffering from stress because he wasn't being properly supported at school for his dyspraxia. If you suspect dyspraxia/dyslexia then i would push for screening and diagnoses so that support can be put in place.
I reward him every time he calms himself down successfully and lock his formula one recordings if he doesn't which is slowly starting to work. Hi teacher this year is being very proactive about helping him so hopeful that it will all improve. It does sound like school is a difficult place for her and she is taking her frustration out on you. Perhaps talk to her teacher too. I really feel for you because it is heartbreaking seeing your child so angry and sad.

SENCO is going to call me back.

she did have all the support that she would have had had she been diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia, however over the last year she has improved so much that I know a lot of that support has been removed. this is becasue she no longer needs it, she is now quite physically able (if you dont count all the poor lamposts that get wlaked into) and has caught up with nearly all her school work, I wonder if that was becasue of the support and now she is finding herself scared without it.

now I feel a bit daft as I have no idea what I am going to say to the senco, I just want someone to help before things get out of hand again as I cant bear the thought of dd being the unhappy child she was before.

bundaberg Fri 13-Sep-13 11:31:30

don't feel daft! it sounds as though she needs some help, as do you.
the SENCO will be aware of the past issues and will know who best to refer you to even if DD is currently doing ok in school

thanks, her ta has text me that she is ok (she is my friend) which is a relief maybe I can try and relax a bit now. My neighbour has offered to take dd2 for a few hours after school so I can have some quaility time with dd1 so I need to work out what we can do.

bundaberg Fri 13-Sep-13 19:16:36

did you speak to the senco dita?

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