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Please help, how do I deal with violence?(5 Posts)
Please help me, sorry if this is a long post feel free to skip the background and just look at the last paragraph! I felt like walking out tonight after yet another clash between my 5 yr old did and my dh. Or thought I'd have a heart attack trying to deal with it. They both get so angry with each other, dd wouldn't brush her teeth and as usual they both blew up at each other and she started to get violent, hitting and kicking first then as she got more and more angry wrecking her room kicking and throwing things, she pulled a special photo off the wall and shut herself in her room and was kicking and throwing herself against the door. We said we'd go downstairs and leave her to calm down if she could, we shut the stair gate behind us mainly for her own safety but also because usually during a meltdown if we go downstairs and do that she hates the act of us walking away from her, and usually then starts sobbing and then says she's sorry and wants us to come back and cuddle and calm her.
Tonight she instead ripped the stair gate off the wall, she's 5 but the height and strength of a 7 year old. I think she shocked herself, because then she did start sobbing and wanting cuddles and calming. We are waiting for an assessment for possible asd but in the meantime how should I deal with the violent behaviour?? The sensory issues and meltdowns I can deal with because she can be soothed and persuaded everything will be ok, but the anger and physical aggression is getting too much for me, it's almost every night, she can be calm and happy all day then at bed time she gets so so angry.
Tonight it was not wanting to brush her teeth and then not wanting to go to bed, then she said she was never going to go to sleep again, she is so strong willed and determined that it wouldn't surprise me if she actually managed to keep herself and us awake all night just to make her point. She is having bad dreams at the moment, a recurrent one about a boy at school starting a fire, triggered I think by the fire drill they had recently. She says she doesn't like us being downstairs while she has to go to bed in the evening, it's not fair that we get to stay up and watch TV, she wants the tablet in her room and so far we've said no but maybe it would help comfort her about being on her own in her room? Her light has a dimmer switch and she wanted it left on low, she also wanted to do some drawing which we left her doing in bed, what do your children do when they have trouble settling / going to sleep or being scared at night?
How do you cope with anger and physical aggression? I'd be grateful for any advice, I'm scared she's going to hurt herself or one of us soon and I have no idea how to help her and deal with it...
She sounds exhausted and anxious
Don't be afraid to keep her off school if she's had a bad night and needs a day to recover, it can be really hard for our children to get down from that state of hair trigger high arousal so sometimes we have to take measures to encourage it.
It's probably worth looking at PDA strategies for things like teeth brushing.
We have always had an early but long bedtime routine with lots of nice stuff built in. When ds was younger we let him think we were doing boring 'grown up stuff' like cleaning after he went to bed so he didn't feel he was missing out.
Ds always has a bath and dp reads to him for at least half an hour every night, then he does diary and we review the day. Ds often does Lego or uses his tablet before reading after he's gone up, he has various lighting choices and sensory options in his room.
One thing that helped dh and I stop getting cross in this type of situation is to think of it as a panic attack rather than naughtiness. It helps us deal with the situation much more calmly.
When your husband starts getting cross he needs to walk away even for a couple of minutes and then should be able to deal more calmly. After all he is the adult so if he can't keep calm how on earth can he expect a four year old to.
The other thing that we find helps dealing with our two is to avoid ultimatums e.g. do the task in 5 minutes rather than do it "now!". It may seem like giving in but it is not as you are more likely to get the request done and with the added bonus of no meltdown.
Yes to what the others have said, we never issue an instruction to Dd3 these days and expect it to be carried out at once!
We say things like "At somepoint today you need to go in the shower"I would repeat this at least a couple of times during the day and she would usually at somepoint acknowledge me!
With teeth brushing you probably need to talk about it when she is calm! Its probably a sensory thing! Children rarely if ever want to have these outbursts/meltdowns/panic attacks, they do it because they feel out of control and they cant cope!
If she has Asd a visual timeline could be helpful but if she is more PDA its likely to be shredded or thrown at you!
Get a copy of "the explosive child" by Ross Greene, it could really help!
We never forced ds to brush his teeth. He couldn't bear having the brush in his mouth. He has excellent teeth now aged 13 with no fillings and brushes his teeth because he chooses to. Okay, that is just anecdotal evidence but I really don't think it is one of those things you need to escalate over.
It is a bit like people getting in a complete state because their child won't wear a coat. In the end the child will probably choose the coat if it is cold outside but not if they get manhandled into it in the hall.
You cannot force someone to go to sleep either. You can create a nice atmosphere at bedtime, you can find things to do near her room (folding, sorting, reading, clean the bathroom) However if you challenge her and get angry it is quite likely she will resort to much more demanding tactics to get you to stay near her. I used to fight with my NT four year old dd all the time over bedtime, and was driven to distraction by her delaying tactics and [violent]demands. When she was 6 I discovered that all she wanted was me to lie down and cuddle her and chat to her for a while. What had taken an hour of attrition reduced down to half an hour of quality time, and she fell asleep quite easily. But I had to change my mindset and stop worrying that I was making a rod for my own back etc.
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