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Can't cope with her anymore

(74 Posts)
nutcracker Thu 20-Jan-05 16:24:55

Dd2 (5) has just had the most almighty tantrum and i just cannot deal with her anymore.

I had to go into the shop after school and as they rarely have sweets i told them they could pick something. Dd1 picked hers and Dd2 asked for chewing gum. I said no. She kept on and on asking for chewing gum, and on and on and on. Eventually i said she had to pick something else now as i was going to the till. She didn't, so i went to the till and paid.
Then i went back to DD2 to see if she had finally made a desicion and she was still asking for chewing gum. I explained again why she couldn't have it and told her she could have something esle but she had to pick now cos i was waiting to go and it was starting to rain.
I warned her 3 times that if she didn't hurry up she would have nothing. Still she insisted on chewing gum and so i took her kicking and screaming out of the shop.

She then launched into the biggest tantrum she has ever had, which included kicking me, biting me, pinching me, punching me and trying to tip the pushchair up (with ds in).
I had to push the buggy and try and pull her along, she kept sitting on the floor, kicking my ankles and pinching my hands so i would let go.
I couldn't let go until we had crossed a busy road and then as soon as i did she ran off and i had to leave dd1 with the buggy to run after her.

Once we were nearly home i let her go again as i couldn't steer the bugy and so she sat on the floor and threw her coat in the road.

We eventually got home with her screaming, me almost shaking and on the verge of tears. I've got scrathces all over my hands and my ankles hurt like hell.
Dd2 is now in her pj's in her room.

She has always been hard to handle, even as a baby but because she has always been good at nursery and now at school, no one wants to know. I had her ears tested just incase she wasn't hearing me properly but her hearing is fine and so now the h.v doesn't want to know either.

I cannot control her when she is like this, it is even dangerous as she nearl;y had us all in the road at onme point and she really wanted to hurt me i could see that.

She can be the most lovely and sweetest little girl but when goes into one thats it.

I just don't know what to do with her anymore

SoupDragon Thu 20-Jan-05 16:28:49

Nothing helpful to say Hugs though. DS2 (nearly 4) can reduce me to tears too.

Titania Thu 20-Jan-05 16:30:22

aw hun. Im sorry. I hope you feel better soon {{{HUGS}}}

secur Thu 20-Jan-05 16:30:25

Message withdrawn

kernowcat Thu 20-Jan-05 16:31:08

I empathise with you but haven't any advice to hand. Mine are 11yrs and 8yrs so tantrums come in a different form now. But no less traumatic. Hope someone can give you some practical advice.
Does she have these tantrums with anyone else?
send you a hug.

jangly Thu 20-Jan-05 16:32:56

I suppose you could just go to the shop on the way to pick them up and buy any treats in advance. Just avoidance really. Don't take her anywhere she could could get into a strop! Then hope she grows out of it!

nutcracker Thu 20-Jan-05 16:33:19

She doesn't have the tantrums at school at all, they think she is really good, she only ever gets told off for talking, so it is obviously something i am doing wrong.

She will behave like it with me, dp, my mom and dad.

nutcracker Thu 20-Jan-05 16:34:27

I usually do Jangly but i was late today.

The thing is though, avoiding places and things that make her have a tantrum pretty much means i can't take her anywhere.

secur Thu 20-Jan-05 16:36:41

Message withdrawn

kernowcat Thu 20-Jan-05 16:37:51

My DS is different with different people but saves the hardest to cope with behaviour for me. Someone once said at least I know that he feels able to voice his frustrations with me but it really doesn't help much. Be consistent with and enforce boundaries.
Good luck!

jangly Thu 20-Jan-05 16:39:07

Its probably just her nature! Sweet and good most of the time - but posses a fiery temper! I know that doesn't help!!

Sponge Thu 20-Jan-05 16:39:48

It's nothing you're doing wrong Nutty. My dd is also good as gold at school, other people's houses etc but she can be a right stroppy little madam with us and does sometimes hit me etc. I think there's just something about testing parents or other really close carers. The best thing obviously is just to ignore and leave the room when she goes off on one but you can't if you're out and she's putting herself in danger. Laughing sometimes diffuses the situation but it can make her even more cross so it's hard to judge.

jangly Thu 20-Jan-05 16:51:32

Perhaps when she's calmed down you could have a talk with her. Tell her why chewing gum is bad, and what could have happened on the busy road. Give her a cuddle, too! Sorry if that's too simplistic. Good luck.

Lonelymum Thu 20-Jan-05 16:58:56

Try not to give her too many chances as I find that that makes the following tantrum worse. (my dd -nearly 5 - used to have them but seems to have outgrown them, fingers crossed) It sounds like you gave her loads of opportunities to choose something else. I would have given her just one opportunity once you could see the strom brewing and not offered her any more, ie once you had gone to the till, that should have been it for her.

I hope I don't sound like I am criticising you. It sounds as though you dealt with the tantrum well and if she is now in her room and presumably calmed down, you have managed to de-fuse the situation. But I do think that when a child is still in the tantrum stage, they should not be offered a treat too mant times. Let's face it, she knew perfectly well what was expected of her but she continued asking for chewing gum because you kept asking her to choose something. I think that only helps in building up her subsequent frustration (which is what a tantrum is) when she doesn't get her way.

Am I making sense? Probably not.

nutcracker Thu 20-Jan-05 17:15:57

I do know what you mean Lonelymum, and i should have removed her sooner but i knew what would happen then, however many chances she had had. If i'd done it after onbe warning the result would have been the same.

I have just spoken to her about it and explained why i am upset with her and why i didn't allow her to stay and choose something.
She still doesn't quite seem to understand why she couldn't have it though. As far as she's concerned she wanted it, it was there in the shop and so she should of been able to have it.

She doesn't seem to be able to realise that she can't always have what she wants and will just repeat her request over and over and over again.
This morning she wanted her scooter to take to school, i told her no, but she carried on and repeated "I want my scooter" all the way to school (a 15 min walk).

Berries Thu 20-Jan-05 17:26:48

try this website
here . She sounds v similar to my dd2. Particularly look at no 3 - sounds exactly like what you are experiencing. One of the most interesting point is that this is not 'bad behaviour' it is a lack of development of skills (ability to handle frustration) and should be treated as such - not easy I know. My dd2 was not actually violent, she just used to cry continually if frustrated. There's quite a few tips for handling it on the website. I also found another website when my dd2 was about 4, about 'volatile' children, describing them like little volcanoes, which was v good but can't find it at the moment.
DD2 was gen. ok at school, although a comment from yr1 teacher was 'we've managed to get the tantruns down to about 1 per week now!' shows that she wasn't an angel.
BTW that web page does suggest you should also get an assessment - not sure whether that is needed or not, but my dd2 DOES appear to have grown out of it (more or less) at last - shes now 7.5

pabla Thu 20-Jan-05 17:27:13

Nutcracker, I have almost identical experiences with my ds on a daily basis. He is younger than your dd (3.6) but even so, shows no sign of improving. I never give into the tantrums and try to avoid any likely triggers but it makes no difference. He has been worse over the past two weeks, which I have put down to the fact that he is going to nursery 5 days a weeks now, instead of three previously.

I myself have a fairly short fuse and it really bugs me that he makes me get cross with him because it makes me grumpy for the whole day. All too often I end up shouting at him or being too rough with him in order to get him into the car for the school run, for example. I then feel like I am a terrible mother.

When he is not having a tantrum he is very sweet and loving!

nutcracker Thu 20-Jan-05 17:38:55

Berries that site is good, thanks. Point 3 is spot on too.
She does get very tired too which is also a prob but physical causes have been ruled out.

Lonelymum Thu 20-Jan-05 18:58:02

I know it may not be helpful in your case Nutcracker, but the other thing that occurs to me is that your dd must be in Reception and I know that some children can find school, especially the first year, very tiring. If she is tired, that won't help her ability to control her feelings. Not much help, but just a thought.

Lonelymum Thu 20-Jan-05 18:58:54

Oh she could be in Year One I suppose. Well, the same thing applies as year one can be a lot more intense than Reception.

Amanda3266 Thu 20-Jan-05 19:11:37

Oh nutcracker, how dreadful that your hv doesn't want to know. I'm a hv too and see several parents with children who behave like this at times.
Have you seen any of the "Little Angels" programmes? They are very good at getting pointers for dealing with unacceptable behaviour.
I don't know what you've already tried but a star chart might be a start to rewarding her for good behaviour. Or you could just divide each day up into morning, noon and evening and draw happpy/sad faces for good/unacceptable behaviour.
The idea being that she builds up a certain number of stars/smiley faces in a row and then gets a reward of something small - say a magazine or whatever she would like - even if it's chocolate.
The other thing to say is that often at that age children haven't developed the ability to voice their true feelings so they come out in other ways - and are usually directed at those they love most.
Try ringing your HV again - if she can't help is there a nursery nurse who could come and see you to offer some support?

Sending you a big virtual (((((((((hug)))))))))


nutcracker Thu 20-Jan-05 20:15:17

Lonleymum she is in reception. Was under the hospital at the start due to constant tiredness but nothing untoward was found and she did improve a bit.

Amanda - We have tried star charts yeah but the novelty soon wore off with her.
I will try and speak to the h.v again or my gp.

bensmum3 Thu 20-Jan-05 20:17:50

HI Nutcracker. looking at your thread I think dd is no 2 of 3 , am I right ?
ds1 is no2 of 3 and also has very different behaivour, although not tantrums, but he really responds to individual attention, I think starting school is such a big step for them, just give her lots of love (when she's not having a tantrum) and I'm sure it will soon get better !( If youre really worried. try talking to a homeopath)

puddle Thu 20-Jan-05 20:41:57

Nutcracker this rings lots of bells with me. My ds is in reception too and we have regularly had after school melt downs. He's tired, he's hungry, he's been holding it together all day at school (he's really good at school too which is an effort I think ) and he hasn't had enough time outside to burn off excess energy. He has also been aggressive, has sat down in the road and refused to move, has clung on to lamposts walking up the street - you get the picture.

He's improved recently though, partly I think because he is more settled in reception and is loving school. He took a little while to settle but I can see he's really happy there now. Other things which have helped....I've noticed his behaviour is very very bad if he gets hungry these days - it's almost back to toddler days having to make sure I have food and drink for him all the time. He has a mid-morning snack at school and I've really increased that too - he has a sandwich and some fruit. We've got a pasta system working well now - he's realised how it all works and that he gets money and can choose treats - it is a real incentive for him now - he's happily working towards saving up for a bionicle! I've also stopped expecting so much of him - we chill out a lot at home at the moment and have cut back on play dates so he can just relax after school.
Don't know if this helps at all.

And to be honest if he ran off as you describe I'd get him a wrist strap until he could be trusted not to.

makealist Thu 20-Jan-05 20:55:03

Does anywhere near you do parenting classes? I went on a course and found it quite helpful, they gave ideas on what to do in such cases and how to avoid them in the first place and it was lovely meeting other mums, most of whom had the same problems, if not worse, I found just chatting about it and pooling your ideas together a help and quite looked forward to the classes, was sad when they finished, but we all used meet up once a month for a coffee.

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