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Failing our 5 year old DD, rages tearing family apart

(14 Posts)
rubyblue Sat 25-Jul-15 19:10:11

DD has huge rages, throwing items, kicking, screaming, real out of control anger which can last for an hour. Three times today, over minor things like wanting to watch a different programme on TV, on in a shop because I wouldn't buy her shoes. I am at my wits end, we are all exhausted and will do anything to make her happier and improve family life. Every weekend is stressful, DH and I are stressed out and DS (7) bears the brunt of either being ignored whilst we are dealing with her (all the attention right?), or having privileges taken away too. We have tried time out, charts, counting to 3 then loss of a toy. I've tried to spend time alone with her, tbh it just makes her more demanding. We are obviously failing, I've read the Incredible years, toddler taming...I'm now considering going to see a counsellor. Do family counsellors exist? I don't know what to do. In other ways she's so lovely, bright, funny and wants desperately to please us...but she has this uncontrollable rage. I don't know where it comes from and it's not getting any better.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 25-Jul-15 19:30:29

You have my sympathy. My otherwise beautiful, funny, clever daughter can be like this too. I think a lot of it stems from stress. Does she get stress at all?

rubyblue Sat 25-Jul-15 20:16:09

I don't know what she might be stressed about. She craves attention all the time, usually my attention and this creates tension with DH and DS. Which I think she senses and it makes the whole situation worse. It helps just knowing I'm not alone. ��

capercaillie Sat 25-Jul-15 20:20:51

I can sympathise - we have similA situation. DD is hard work although we've had less tantrums recently. She is incredibly demanding though and nothing seems to work. She is a very sensitive character and thinks very deeply about a lot of things. Haven't got any answers for you - just sympathy.

Florriesma Sat 25-Jul-15 20:22:11

Ds is 6. When he was 5 I could have written your post. I was driven to tears by his behaviour at times. There is no quick fix I'm afraid but he has improved a lot since then. Although he still likes to chance his luck quite often. He just gets short shrift theses days.

So what worked for us was absolute consistency. Once you have said no then stuck to it. At all costs. Dh too. Doesn't matter whether you agree with the others decision or not. We put him in his room

Florriesma Sat 25-Jul-15 20:25:43

Posted too soon. We put him in his room and left him until he calmed down. We found there was no point arguing, debating or trying to reason. They just escalated the emotion. What has really worked was removing his hudl for 24 hours from the incident. If he kicks off again within that period then the clock starts again. He loves his hudl so this works a treat. (He isn't allowed it constantly btw!)

cake it's a very hard stage.the other dc weren't like this so I'm not sure what was different.

RandomMess Sat 25-Jul-15 20:26:03

What happens if you put her somewhere safe to rage away until she's got it out???

Chrysanthemum5 Sat 25-Jul-15 20:28:24

DD was like this at age 5, completely different from DS so we just didn't know what to do.

To some extent she simply outgrew then (she's 7 almost 8) but also she is just a sensitive little soul. She still has her moments but nothing like we had before.
Things that helped - talking about feelings, family meetings where we set out agreed behaviour rules, realising that a lot of her tempers arose from when she felt scared (she gets scared on her own so would panic and scream if her brother left the room etc) - we worked through two books 'what to do when you worry too much' and 'what to do when your temper flares'.
Best wishes I've been there and I know how awful it is.

rubyblue Sun 26-Jul-15 08:30:13

Thanks so much for your advice. We put her to her room last night until she calmed down, took over an hour. DH is much firmer than me. My instinct is to help her calm down but he thinks she plays up in order to get this time. I'm not sure. Today, she is sweetness and light! I will try those books and it's reassuring to know that they grow out of it.weve tried naming her anger and helping her self regulate but in the heat of the moment, it all goes out of the window. We are all exhausted by it, she's been like this since 18 months old and never grew out of it but now it's way more violent. sad

Rubberduckies Sun 26-Jul-15 08:59:01

It sounds as though you're dealing with a really difficult situation, but you will get through it! You're doing a great job already. What I would say is that consistency is key, so you and your dh need to sit down together and decide your plan of action. Remember than when someone is upset or angry, they are less likely to be able to reason or learn new skills. These things need to be done when you are happy and relaxed.

In my job I make behaviour plans, and one way I like to do it is a traffic light system. It can help people recognise their emotions and chose the right strategy for the right time.

Green means 'I'm happy and relaxed' you can note down what the person is like when they're happy, and what everyone (including your daughter) can do to keep her green. This is things like having family rules and clear consequences, being consistent, keeping her busy and distracted, have set times for talk/cuddle time with mummy, learning to recognise emotions and learning some new strategies to help her calm like count to 10 or punch a pillow.

Amber is 'I'm getting upset, anxious or annoyed' and you might note down some warning signs that she's showing signs of getting close to a rage, and also if you have identified anything that seems to trigger her. The strategies you can use in an amber stage try to get her back to green. It's not a time to learn new skills, but a good time to practice coping strategies with some help or distract/divert to something else. Continuing to be consistent and reminding her of the rules and consequences helps, and sometimes reminding someone when they can have them attention they want (I'm busy helping DS right now but you can do some colouring for 20 mins and then we can have our cuddle time)

Red is when nothing has worked and you see the rage. People can't really reason at this time or learn new skills. It's about sticking to your guns and having a consistent way of dealing with it. Often Having some time alone to calm, or stomp around the garden is the most helpful here. When out, it might be sitting on a chair until calm or just going straight home.

Some parents find this a useful way of helping to decide what to do and when, and to make sure that everyone is doing the same.

flowerfairy Sun 26-Jul-15 09:27:39

I'm exactly in this position now. DD is 4 and about to start at school inSeptember. DS is 11 and rarely had tantrums. Yesterday we went out for a family trip and it ended with a huge tantrum because we'd asked her to go to the toilet before leaving the place. THis lasted for about 20mins (which isn't a long time but it felt like forever). SHe shouted and screamed at me, she's not violent, just extremely angry. To calm her down I had to sit her on my knee and rub her back. Over the last week she has had 1 a day about playing a game and not playing by the rules or wanting to do something on her own that would cause something of Ds's to break. Yesterday I felt drained after this last tantrum. I can remain calm, (most times) but Dh finds it harder. When we put her in her room it just seems to make her worse as she just gets more agitated. Sometimes I just don't know what to do for the best. I think there's some good tips here so I think we need to sit together and decide how to continue. Whe

marmaladeatkinz Sun 26-Jul-15 10:32:49

Reading with interest. Dd (4.5) Is like this. Yesterday my parents said they could not cope with her and could no longer look after her sad

Dr1 is 20 and was never like this. It is totally exhausting. I'm am hoping starting school will help (although she has been going to nursery and that hasn't)

pause4thought Fri 07-Aug-15 00:12:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LolaCrapola Fri 07-Aug-15 21:21:07

Hi could have written this about my DS who is also 5, nearly 6. It is draining. We find a sticker chart helps with some behaviours but not all. His meltdowns have meant that I have stayed home a lot with him rather than take him out because his behaviour has been so awful...I wish I knew the answer!

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