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My 5 year old, much loved dd, is honestly at times a horrible, horrible child.

(61 Posts)
Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:21:31

I honestly don't know where to go from here.

She screams, she tantrums, she hits me. Everything is a battle. Going to the supermarket to buy a Christmas Tree this morning I was hit, smacked and pushed throughout the entire trip. This was because I refused to buy her cuddly toy.

She stays awake until ten, shouting for me to come to her for a drink, toilet, cuddle, whatever.

We probably have three meltdowns a day, where she is totally beside herself and out of control. Screaming, shouting, telling me she hates me, threatening to hit me.

She has always been quite high maintenance but this is a fairly recent development. The sheer volume and intensity of her anger is frightening.

My ds who is 8 was actually trying to stand between her and me this morning as he was so distressed by the way she was going for me. Obviously I told him it was not his job to do this and reassured him that I was not being hurt.

I honestly don't know where to go from here, I am shouting more and more and feel that at times these situations are totally out of both of our control.

Anyone else going through this, I adore my child but I am actually becoming frightened of her tantrums and I never thought I would be like this. I am not the type to back down from them though and so the intensity increases. I honestly do not know the best way to handle her now. Time out works, in that she will calm down, cry and say sorry but within an hur or two is building up to the next one.

Believe me when I say that she does not stop. For example she asked for a drink of water 5 times tonight, each time she got a sip, in the end I said no as it was late and time for bed. She screamed continuously for a drink then for half an hour and only stopped when she fell asleep.

Does this sound familiar to anyone because I am just so sad that this is happening to us as we have always been so close sad.

StrictlySazz Mon 05-Dec-11 22:23:43

Sorry to hear you are going through this sad

What is she like at school?

ElectricSoftParade Mon 05-Dec-11 22:26:18

I am sorry but I don't have any advice but am going through something similar with my DD also 5.

I hope it is just a phase... <hopeful>

Would be good if anyone else has advice though smile

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:28:39

She is out of school at present as we moved but when she was there, no complaints at all. She has a school place now to start after Christmas. I must have been the only parent who was never asked to stay behind for "a word" in all the time she was there, although I must admit she would give it to me with both barrels within a few minutes of pick up, although was very pleased to see me. I assumed that most Reception children were like this due to adjusting to the full school day etc.

gironimo Mon 05-Dec-11 22:29:44

Not much advice, but watching. dd is 6, and while her tantrums are much less frequent and severe than the ones you describe she still has anger issues that I find hard to deal with. She seems to "spoil" for them - i.e. does something she knows will recieve a punishment. When she has had several warnings and the punishment is implemented (toy taken away or no treat of some sort) she kicks off.

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:30:07

Do you know what electric just hearing that someone else has a similar experience is a bit of a relief. Is your dd very similar to what I have posted? How do you deal with it?

baubleybobbityhat Mon 05-Dec-11 22:31:37

Have you thought about asking your GP?

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:32:35

Its the violence that scares me, she hits and hits and hits, I would never hit her back but today in the Supermarket I was very close to tears and my stomach was churning, I almost felt like I was back at school being bullied, pathetic I know. Then there is the threats to hit, kick, smash things to pieces. I have never hit her and my dc have never watched a programme that is not on CBeebies, Nick Jr or the Disney channels so I don't know where it is coming from.

racetobed Mon 05-Dec-11 22:34:03

oh god, i am sitting here weeping after my also much loved dd tantrumed pretty much consistently for four hours tonight. so just wanted to give empathy.

poor you. poor me. poor us. who'd had thought it was so bloody hard?

ogredownstairs Mon 05-Dec-11 22:34:32

Much sympathy. DD was very much like this and although obviously there were lots of good times too it was incredibly draining for about five years. School helped a lot - she is now in Y1 and is a different child - still 'feisty' but can stop herself going into meltdowns. All I can say is hang on in there. Going back to school will probably help - and you'll get a break from each other.

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:35:23

baubley I already have a child with ASD and he has had some real meltdowns, but for some reason with him it seemed more dealable with, he has never been violent towards me though. I am beginning (only in the past few days tbh) to have very small suspicious that she may have traits as well, although it is manifesting itself very differently in her if this is the case and showing at a much later age. Maybe it is time to see the GP sad.

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:38:03

ogre I sobbed when she started school, I missed her so much, NOW I find myself counting the days until she goes back again.

Its very helpful to read other similar experiences actually. Gives me hope.

race when you dd tantrums does it seem totally and utterly out of control? My dd simply will NOT stop, no matter what I say, no matter what sanctions I threaten, once she is off, she is off and nothing will stop her except her getting entirely her own way on whatever has set her off.

Selks Mon 05-Dec-11 22:38:31

I really really recommend the book 'The incredible years - a trouble shooting guide for children aged 3 - 8' (I think it's called) by Carolyn Webster Stratton. It's available on amazon and elsewhere. It's what a lot of parenting courses etc use, and it's a complete life saver.

ElectricSoftParade Mon 05-Dec-11 22:39:01

Petra have done the ignore, taking away stuff, naughty step, endless stuff. I have a DS who has certain physical SN and, even through his problems, he is "easier".

What really makes me sad is that I feel I am failing her but I don't quite know what to do. Do you feel like that?

StrictlySazz Mon 05-Dec-11 22:39:28

Just thought i would ask as DD has been much worse since she started school (although nowhere near as constant as you are describing) as though all her 'good' behaviour is exhausted by the time she comes home. It does sound like your DDs behaviour is 'controllable' by her if she was good at school, so hopefully it will be a phase as she learns to deal with things herself rather than having to involve and take them out on you.

Do you think it is a reaction to moving with her trying to get attention?

ElectricSoftParade Mon 05-Dec-11 22:40:22

Selks Have spent a fortune on books today but am now off to Amazon. Thanks for the recommendation.

ElectricSoftParade Mon 05-Dec-11 22:44:09

Racetobed Sorry but ((((HUGS)))). I do think it is a phase <deluded>. Bloody hell, I hope so...

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:45:58

I absolutely hate myself when I shout at her, I feel utterly ridiculous wanting to cry while arguing with a 5 year old. She is 5 fgs, she needs me to remain in control and I honestly do, sometimes for up to an hour or more and quite often can negotiate though the tantrum without losing it. She is completely relentless though, like a battering ram, just goes on and on and on until she gets her way, which she never does so its on to the next thing.

I suppose she could be unsettled by the move but it has been a few weeks now and this is a fairly recent development, although as I say she has always been very high maintenance.

selks I will take a look at that book, I love a good MN book recommendation, they have solved a lot of problems in my life over the years I have been on here!

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:47:08

She is asleep now, peaceful and angelic but I am sat hating myself because I shouted at her before she went to sleep, I hate that, hate it, can't stand to think of her going to sleep with my loud voice the last thing she heard.

racetobed Mon 05-Dec-11 22:48:09

my dd is younger than yours, petra, so is much less susceptible to reasoning anyway. so i'm afraid i can't really offer you any advice you may find useful, just wanted to offer you solidarity! i am also a full-time SAHM and desperate to get back to work so i can have a break.

i reallly feel for you; you sound at the end of your tether sad

(at risk of sounding like a complete middle class dick, my dd is AT LAST sleeping and i have put a short mozart piece on constant loop in her room in the vague hope that some serenity seeps into her as she sleeps. fat chance)

MayaAngelCool Mon 05-Dec-11 22:48:43

sad Your situation sounds awful, poor you.

If you think there's a chance it could be a learned pattern of behaviour, a way of exerting control over you - and from the way you contrast her behaviour at school it sounds as though this could be it - then it might be worth using telly as a reward. I.e from now on she has to earn the right to watch it by complying with your expectations of her. Be specific about what you expect, and maybe set up a chart. Then let her experience the unpleasant consequences of her actions - when she tantrums because you say she's not earned telly, just walk away and leave her to cry. You MUST remain calm and dispassionate, no matter what. Do not respond at all.

If she follows you, tell her you're giving her time out for 5 mins and that she must stay on the step. If she follows you again, threaten to increase the time, then follow through with it.

Eventually, after a lengthy cry on her own, give her a cuddle but say nothing - especially don't focus on the bad behaviour, as she's learning for herself that this doesn't pay. I'd expect that after a few cycles of this she'd click that she's going to get nowhere.

This worked with similar, though not as extreme, behaviour from DS, who's the same age.

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:50:07

Well I just went and whispered how much I loved her loads of times so that she might absorb that while asleep. Just had to explain once again to ds why I shouted at his sister and he said "well I don't blame you, she is very mean to you" sad.

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:53:39

Maya maybe not going on about the naughty behaviour might help us get over it quicker. I am a bit of an explainer self justifer so maybe that doesn't help. So I could make it quite clear what the sanction is, do it and then not get drawn in. Its blooming hard though when she is screaming her lungs out I can tell you. Not letting her watch DVDs could work and I have to say she calmed down pretty quickly when I said she would not be able to help decorate the Christmas Tree if she carried on. She was so sweet and happy this afternoon as well, she kept saying, no more shouting and screaming, we are best friends now Mummy blubs and giving me loads of cuddles.

Petraperfect Mon 05-Dec-11 22:55:44

Think I will avoid some of the triggers as well, no supermarkets where she might want a toy etc, bedtime maybe a bit more no nonsense, ie tell her I will only be coming in to see her once and to make the most of it etc. Park early tomorrow, run her off a bit and then see how we get on.

winnybella Mon 05-Dec-11 22:57:06

When she tantrums, do you ever just send her to her room and tell her to stay there til she calms down? That way you don't need to listen to it and she, without the audience, might stop?

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