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How the hell do you deal with a 7 year old that tantrums like a 2 year old?

(12 Posts)
SparklyGothKat Tue 07-Oct-08 09:04:31

I have had enough. Dd2 tantrums like a baby, with screaming, hitting, slamming doors, fights with her sister. Its every day and I am at the end of my wick. Today Dd1, 8, (who has ADHD) threaten to stab Dd2, because Dd2 was beating her up. We have tried reward charts, naughty step, separating them, nothing work.

We went to our caravan on friday and I had to pull over on the dualcarriage way (in a bay thing) as Dd2 was tantruming so much it was dangerous. I took her out of the car and sat her on the grass and wouldn't drive until she calmed down, but she was kicking and hitting for ages.

I have had enough of both DDs, the contant fighting, screaming and totally disregard for everyone else in the house.

Dh has said to get a police officer round to show them what will happen to them if they carry on like this as an adult.

DD1 has ADHD and I think DD2 copys her behaviour even though we have told her that DD1's behaviour isn't normal. At school Dd2 is a quiet, sentive member of the class, she is like 2 different people.

I sometimes just want to get in my car and drive away.

pofaced Tue 07-Oct-08 09:24:57

I'm afraid I don't have anything terribly helpful to suggest but suspect that you should talk to ADHD specialist: it seems to me quite likely that your DD is not the only sibling of someone with ADHD who imitates their behaviour/ cannot control her temper etc.

It must be very difficult for you: don't be afraid to ask for professional advice from specialists. I don't think threatening the police is a good idea

FAQ Tue 07-Oct-08 09:28:08

Sparkly I have no advice for you - but a lot of sympathy - I have the same problems with DS1 (just turned 8) - and he doesn't even have a sibling with ADHD to copy

SparklyGothKat Tue 07-Oct-08 09:29:22

I saw the ADHD specialist yesterday, I should have mentioned it then, Dd2 seems so angry at us, nothing we do is right, even making sure she is ok after a fall etc, results in a tantrum hmm

hecate Tue 07-Oct-08 09:44:35

If they were being violent, I wrapped and tucked. Arms round their body, legs round their legs, head tucked into their back so they couldn't headbut me! And I held onto them until they gave up (this can take a while!)

If they were just tantruming, I made sure there was nothing they could hurt themselves with, and I left them to it and went to do something else.

Sometimes I lean over them and tell them they are not doing it right, "No, you need to kick your legs, kick higher, roll over, yell IT'S NOT FAAAAAAAAAAAIR, shake your arms..." blush But only when I'm bored wink

I used to make wa-wa- noises by wibbling their lips, or pressing my hand repeatedly over their mouth. Again - I plead boredom grin

Sometimes I joined in. Or started singing. grin

Sometimes after they were done, I clapped. blush

You'd be surprised though, how little they tantrum these days. Compared to how they USED to be - well, ds1 used to be, it's loads better! ds2 has always been more laid back (although he has started trying to tantrum, but he's really not very good at it! I tend to go with leaning over him and giving him directions these days!!)

I think what worked for me was I stopped caring. I mean, I made sure they couldn't hurt anyone, but beyond that, I just stopped giving a crap.

And of course, you NEVER allow them to gain anything from the tantrum! Rule no1 - don't give in! grin

It sounds like something is going on with her - do you have to give a lot of attention to your other child (understandably) if she sees this behaviour being 'rewarded' (I know it's not a reward, but she won't) then she is more likely to copy it. Also, if her older sister is behaving in this way, well, she is the model isn't she? To your dd2, this is how you behave and you telling her it is not, is not as powerful a message as what she sees.

Perhaps in order to deal with dd2, you need to focus on how you deal with dd1, if that makes any sense?

SparklyGothKat Tue 07-Oct-08 09:52:21

i think a lot is do with many things, we moved house 2 years ago, she had to move schools, she had 5 teachers within a year, Ds2 was born last year, Ds1 had an operation in may so I had to spend time in london with him, and he needed a lot of help afterwards. I am still BF Ds2 and I think she resents me doing that as I can't do things with her while BF.

Dingbatgirl Wed 08-Oct-08 13:51:42

Hi .... you could go to your GP to ask for advice? My ds has tantrums, he's six, he gets frustrated and finds school difficult, so the GP has referred me to a family worker at Mental Health who deals with supporting parents with children having these issues. It's so tiring - I hope this isn't a silly question, but do you manage to have any time to yourself? Good Luck.

cory Wed 08-Oct-08 15:29:41

Dd was still tantrumming at this age, but because of her own health problems. Tough, but it did pass in the end.

Perhaps more relevant to you, ds went through a period of being difficult and secretly destructive (cutting things up, throwing them down the loo) which was clearly about his distress of being the younger sibling of a child with special needs. We were thinking of getting extra help for him, but things got better on their own.

YeahBut Wed 08-Oct-08 15:34:00

You need to talk to your ADHD specialist as soon as possible. ADHD / ADD is strongly genetic. If one sibling has it, the others each have 50/50 chance of having it too. Both my dds are on the ADHD spectrum. One child is introverted and dreamy, the other is extremely hyperactive. Neither child has a firm grip on their emotions and tends to collapse in a screaming heap when things get too much, even if they aren't significant to us. Good luck to you and HTH. smile

Acinonyx Wed 08-Oct-08 15:54:32

ADD/ADHD has a genetic component but not in the classical sense i.e. the likelihood of having another affected child is a lot less than 50% (as is the case for most psycopathologies). Of course, it's not zero either.

YeahBut Wed 08-Oct-08 16:46:02

Through years of practical experience, our specialist would disagree!

Acinonyx Wed 08-Oct-08 17:05:57

That's interesting. I had to review the genetics for several disorders including ADD last year and e.g. twin/sibling studies do not bear that out. Maybe you have a lot of ADD couples in your area wink

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