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consequences or therapeutic parenting needed?

(17 Posts)
crazeekitty Wed 26-Mar-14 17:28:51

Opinions and ideas needed please.

Daughter (not so much the dear daughter tonight... Hmph) has staged an all out tantrum for over an hour now. The upshot of this is that the evening we had planned cannot now go ahead. I am pretty sure she did it because she was trying to stop me doing something I enjoy. I'm also pretty sure that it was triggered by something that was worrying her today and she has taken the anger and stress out on me as her only channel.

I've cajoled, I've tried the "i can see you're finding this difficult", I've shouted, I've tried tickling her out of her tantrum .. great advice there lady kicked in the stomach as a result...I've tried giving time limits to get her ready..I've taken myself out of the situation to de-escalate it... I've tried "if you continue with this behaviour we won't be doing x at the weekend"... I've tried asking how I can help her.

The upshot is our evening is ruined, our friend is going to be stood up, my money has been wasted, and she's sent me out of her room and doesn't want me near her. 90 minutes of this so far.

She's 9. Please can I have ideas of therapeutic consequences so she understands that she cannot keep doing this (it happens every few days over something or other...she dreams up things to be silky or angry about then screams at me a lot) and that her actions impact other people.

I'm biting back tears at the moment. If there had been a partner in the house I would have just walked out and gone about my evening but I can't.

crazeekitty Wed 26-Mar-14 18:09:52

P.s. she's just apologised and asked for help with her moods.

What to do?

namechangesforthehardstuff Wed 26-Mar-14 18:45:17

Can you now do what you had planned?

Tbh I have never dealt with a properly tantrumming 9 yo and I know what you've been posting about lately and I am not an adopter so please do feel free to tell me to stick it but...

I'd say she can't hear you when she's in it. So in a sense it doesn't matter what you do/say beyond obviously being calm and in control and not rejecting her. I think the work is done around the tantrum, not in it.

What the work actually is? Well there are wiser people here for that.

Hope you're ok?

Kewcumber Wed 26-Mar-14 19:34:47

tickling her out of her tantrum .. great advice there lady therapist Really?!

Well I'm no professional but that would be terrible advice for DS (who's 8). Once he's in a meltdown there is no point doing anything - he's lost it at that point. I just pick one sentence "I'm not going to discuss this whilst you're using such a horrible voice" and repeat it very calmly ad nauseum with minor variations if I get bored. Shouting escalates things and also let them know they've got to you which they (often unwittingly) then try the same thing again next time.

I'd stick with the natural consequences - "if you behave like this then I can't leave you (or you can't go to...) because X will be scared of you behaving like this and its not fair on them". Not a punishment because of how they behave but what will have to happen as a consequence ot it.

I do allow DS to "earn" stuff back though if he manages his behaviour well.

Not sure any of that is helpful but don't forget that I've had 7 years more experience of this and DS still struggles at times.

fasparent Wed 26-Mar-14 20:02:11

Keeping cool and calm no shouting but assure the child it takes two too tango, and is a consequence for such uncooperative behaviour such as missing a event or club activity they enjoy or such like, deduct pocket money , miss a shopping trip, etc. explain mum's also enjoys times out as do their friends mum's , Ask how would their friend's feel if they knew of their behaviour.

Swansinflight Wed 26-Mar-14 20:16:51

Agree 100% that the work has to be done around the tantrum. My DS is nearly 8 and when off on one he would just not be hearing you, as per Kew.

Is there any chance she's subconsciously sabotaging the going out because it's more than a bit scary? Would she be able to articulate that?

Have a look at Ross Greenes the Explosive Child if you haven't already done so. Not adoption or therapeutic specific but a very different way of looking at parenting kids like ours.

What is the consequence to her of missing the evening out and what to you? If a consequence to her id say she is already experiencing consequences, if one to you I think you need to think about a way she can make it up to you - do something nice for you?

Right now, chocolate, tea, sympathy. That's for you smile

crazeekitty Wed 26-Mar-14 22:36:46

Thank you all. Nothing scary about what we were going to do tonight. Nothing she hasn't done before and always enjoyed and looks forward to.

I think it was probably worry from something else that happened today and it had to come out somehow.

I did walk away in the end and left her to it with some reassurances. Her consequence is that until I know she can maintain being calm (this is the 4th or 5th meltdown in two weeks... I lose track) then we can't go to the theme park we've saved up for. Feels mean because she is genuinely out of control but I really can't take her when she is having so many battles with regulation atm.

I know not to shout. I really do. But so far this week I've nearly had a black eye, stomach kicked, nearly crashed the car when the shrieking started then and had to restrain her to get her safely away from something pretty dangerous when she kicked off. None of it is done with malice on her part.

Anyway, thanks all for listening, tomorrow is.another day and we will soldier on together. I enjoyed bedtime story tonight if nothing else. And we had fun giving the hamster a pamper session.

And I'm sorting out therapy tomorrow. More therapy. That doesn't involve tickling, playing with bean bags, using paint brushes on noses and cotton wool buds with drinking straws. Or trampolines. Again with the trampolines. Wtf?

Italiangreyhound Wed 26-Mar-14 22:37:04

crazeekitty my dd (not adopted, not the same thing at all) is quite explosive and she had a massive tantrum last week and I was so bloody angry and fed up so you have my massive sympathy.

We are working through what to do when your temper flares

Clearly it is not working terribly well but I think that is because I am treating it more like a bedtime story to be read than a homework to be done! I need to put in some work to give my dd the skills that when she is angry or upset, she has the way to get out of it/to process it/to communicate how she feels and to make herself and others safe from her anger.

I have to remain very, very calm but also allow her to know she has upset and angered me. This is my way of dealing with it. She did not join our family by adoption and I am not suggesting it is the same thing.

I do feel some of your pain and I think that as others have said this is something to work around when there is no temper tantrum in progress.

I have always been very big on consequences, and was quite a Super Nanny fan a few years ago (before DD hit her troubled behaviour when she started year 1 at school).

Now I feel that consequences contrived by me are not always going to do the job! She needs at 9 (my dd) to know that she has power and control for good, that she can choose the right thing ad when she does not do good there are natural consequences. So for me in your situation a natural consequence would be I will not arrange a treat night like this again for a while. It may be worth checking your dd felt this was a treat and not something she was anxious about.

Tonight my dd got cross and broke the sting of pearls she was wearing. The consequence for not controlling her anger is that pearls all went in the bin (not real ones - I hope). There was no way I was going to fix it. Hey I have only just realised now (35 years later) why my mum never replaced the soup I spilled one lunch time, and we had to eat just bread and butter! I always though there was no more soup, maybe she was teaching me a lesson! She obviously did not articulate it well.

That for me is a lesson to articulate how and why things happen. Because you did this we can't do that but next time you have a chance to do this and we can do XYZ!

Tonight DD would not do her spelling homework, I said what shall the consequence be, to DH, he said she will do badly at spelling text tomorrow!

Sometimes things do just have natural consequences but they need (excuse the pun) spelling out!

She is 9 too.

Sometimes I think that the consequences for their bad behaviour is the terrible way they feel.

Please draw some comfort from the fact that you say she asked for help with her moods.

I think you said before she has not long been with you (under a year?) Don't say - but I am just wondering if it is all quite new I would just take this into account. next time I would (personally) not book stuff you pay for in advance until you can trust she will be able to go. Not plan to do things that involve meeting people elsewhere etc. It sounds boring but I would just make sure she does not have the power to do this to you for a while.

Next time you want to go to cinema you might say (just my humble opinion), I won't book it, we will see how you are on the day and if you are behaving well we will go and get tickets etc. Then book then literally before you go out the door. And remember to sing her praises once the evening goes well (if appropriate).

Try and get something nice for you planned soon, when she is at school, so your time is not totally limited to her and her enjoyment - e.g a cinema trip, a massage, a light lunch etc (or a heavy one), even if you work full time you must get lunch breaks. Make some time for you when you can do what you like. An exercise class or a swim or whatever will relax you.

That way when she kicks off next (as she will - as mine will) and spoils a special day it is not so much your day that is spoilt - if that makes sense.

As you know I am not yet a mum to someone who joined us by adoption but hope very soon to be! Feel free to utterly ignore me.

Tickling out of a tantrum!!!! That sounds like tickling a ticking time bomb!

Italiangreyhound Wed 26-Mar-14 22:42:36

Cross posted with you.

Glad you are getting therapy. That is very helpful. Ultimately I think it will be a big help. I also think you might need some advice from someone professional on how not to get hurt by her. Don't say but just consider are you getting hurt protecting her, or try to intervene or is she chasing you etc?

I am sure I have had all those in the past on a more minor level and now DD is 9 I do not attempt to stop her if she is being angry or aggressive (unless directed at me or someone else). I am fortunate my dd is not as angry or aggressive as she once was and actually her current bout of anxiety may be part of the adoption process (and I have spoken to social worker about it and she is happy with how it is being handled). But when dd was smaller she did get quite aggressive and almost seem to collude me into her behaviour, e.g. fal onto me and then say I had scratched her etc.

So now I stay away from her. Luckily for me the anger only ever comes out at home and usually not in front of others so I make sure that there is nothing too fragile to hand and just leave her to her temper (but only if safe to do so).

crazeekitty Wed 26-Mar-14 23:03:13

Thanks Italian. I'm trained to restrain and it's to stop her knocking herself unconscious.

If only I could do something when she's at school but I'm at work and tonight was my one chance to do what I enjoy while she did what she enjoys then we do something together afterwards with her favourite family friend. The money is by the by. It's just that's another very sore point at the moment.

Anyway, I've drafted in a friend this weekend and I'm going out to do my thing while friend supervises homework.

Cheers everyone. Much calmer now.

Italiangreyhound Wed 26-Mar-14 23:06:28

Glad you are calmer. Sleep well.

Italiangreyhound Wed 26-Mar-14 23:27:33

crazeekitty I am sure you have many more skills in dealing with all this than me. So if anything I say is helpful, great - and if not, please ignore.

crazeekitty Thu 27-Mar-14 08:19:34

Of course your comments are helpful, Italian. All comments are.

Just fended off another shrieking session as she went into school. Ho hum. I stayed calm at any rate.

Italiangreyhound Thu 27-Mar-14 08:25:39

Well done. Calm is the new frantic!

KristinaM Thu 27-Mar-14 14:21:22

Kitty , I'm sorry that things are so hard for you both again

And I agree that your DD needs proper specialist therapy . With no trampolining or tickling hmm

Try contacting the post adoption centre in London , they have an advice line. Ignore any social workers who come along here and tell you it's very expensive. Yes it is. But it's not nearly as expensive as keeping your DD in a residential unit for the next 7 years at , what < scratches head > £150k pa.

She is 9 and you are her last chance at a family. SS have buggered up things thus far, they need to put their hands in their pockets and pay for specialist support for you before it all goes pear shaped. Again.

I would send you a big hug but it's not the mumsnet style

KristinaM Thu 27-Mar-14 14:35:08

Sorry , have just done a quick google on costs. Looks like it's nearer 3500£ per week so approx £1.2m for the next 6 years.

crazeekitty Thu 27-Mar-14 14:41:33


thank you. I appreciate your advice. I'm on ss's case, galvanised!

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