Just not coping(13 Posts)
I am really struggling with DD1 (4).
Her tantrums are epic. Hours long. Every day. She is getting increasingly aggressive with me, DH and DD2.
We tried not asking her to do anything for a few days and that eliminated the tantrums but she then just tried to get attention - peeing in her wellies, blocking the sink with toilet paper, trying to smash the glass partition doors. She also did not go to bed.
We've made an appointment with the GP at the end of the month. HV has offered a parenting course starting in Jan.
She is just so unpleasant to be with. If she goes to someone for a few hours/overnight (like Gran's) she is much worse upon her return.
Not really sure how much more I can take. I want to cry all the time. My body hurts from how tense I am all of the time. I'm waking around 3am and can't get back to sleep.
We went through a fairly emotional set of terrible threes and read a lot into how to cope with it.
For us, just quietly picking them up, putting them on their step, and then telling them to tell us when they were ready to say sorry worked. Eventually.
It sometimes took hours but the important thing is never to give up and not back down. If you back down, the child just learns how far you need to be pushed to acquiesce and will push longer each time until you do - unless you teach them that their tantrums have no benefit from them.
We also have always explained every decision to our son like he was an adult (despite knowing that, at younger ages, only part of it was sinking in).
After all of that, we have a highly empathetic, immaculately behaved, and polite 5 year old.
It's not easy - but it's worth it.
How did you get your child to stay on the step? We tried it for 2 weeks and we spent 6-8 hours every day trying to get her to stay on the step whilst she screamed and screamed and ran blindly around the house. It kinda felt like torture, tbh. For everyone.
When did this start op and how old is DD2? Just wondering if maybe DD1 is struggling with a new sibling? Or other major life change like a house move? Sounds to me like she is struggling with something. She'll have been used to have you and DH to herself for example and even if she wanted a sibling could be grieving the change and feel a sense of abandonment. Going to Grans would, to her, endorse that feeling esp if DD2 stays with you so would explain why she's worse when home.
Could you sit down with her and ask her if something's troubllibg her, remind her that you're there to help her/ love her etc? She might not feel able to just tell you what's wrong? She might not fully understand it herself and it might take several attempts to get Her to open up. She needs to know she's not in charge, however much she might think she wants to so I'd also start to acknowledge her behaviour/ feelings when she doesn't like something but then hold the line. So if you say it's time to go out and she refuses to get in the car sausonthing like "I know you don't want to get in your car seat, I understand that you don't like to be strapped in (or whatever) but it's my job to keep you safe so you need to go in the seat" then offer her a choice of climbing in herself or you helping. If she chooses neither tell her you'll choose for her and then calmly follow through. Now easy I know with a strong 4 year old.
Just very quiet replacing on the step, time after time. Never at it for 6 hours 'though! We also turned off TV and all other screens so that the house was quiet and with no distractions.
We have found that ignoring bad behaviour completely works as the child doesn't get the reaction they are seeking from it. It's not easy...and that's just what worked for us!
OP, this sounds outside of what I would consider the typical range of behaviour for a 4yo. Have you considered having her assessed for SN?
It sounds beyond normal bad behaviour to be honest. What do you think? Do you have any other concerns about her / her development?
DD2 is 2 years old. We moved house in July. She started nursery in August. Yes, big changes.
She did tantrum before. It started around 18 months and can be hours and hours every day. Around an hour is normal for one tantrum.
I have spoken to the HV repeatedly. I raised concerns at the 27 month review and was told it was normal. I phoned when she was 3 and the HV suggested diabetes. I duly traipsed to the GP who felt that was a ridiculous notion. I phoned last month and have been offered a parenting course, 'The Incredible Years'.
I have borrowed a copy of the corresponding book from the library and there is nothing new. Offering choices, praise when being good, naming feelings, being consistent, etc, etc. Nothing that we haven't tried.
GP appt at the end of November.
Just really struggling to hold it together.
I am a primary school teacher. 20 years now. I have tried every strategy I can think of. Everything I would suggest to parents if their child was in my class.
Now considering visual timetables, social stories, feelings books. All things I might do with children who have additional needs.
I am scared. For her. For our family. For my mental health. For the future.
Have you tried 'love bombing' : lots of cuddles and special time to help reconnect then start afresh?
OP, you sound very down, I'm sorry to hear how hard you're finding things
Have you tried posting on the SN board? There are some very helpful knowledgeable posters there.
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