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post #41 of 57
Oh, I also wanted to mention that even in the absence of allergies, we found that protein snacks were essential. And really just any kind of snack after school. In that case it had just been too long since snack time.
post #42 of 57

My 2yo is similarly spirited and intense so I cautiously await what lies ahead...! But, I have changed her diet recently - dairy free since 3mos and now gluten and soy as well - and the intensity of her tantrums has dropped, and I can tell when someone (FIL) has given her something on the no-no list because it shows up in her behavior once he leaves.  Now for us, I'm awaiting my own confirmation of MTHFR since I've got issues with methylating b12 on my own and my liver doesn't detox properly, and long story short, one of the effects of MTHFR is anxiety, which I have majorly.  Good news it that being on a methyl b12 supplement has helped enormously with the anxiety and thus less mood swings for me, woo!  Bad/good news (depending how you look at it) DD has a pretty good chance of being positive for this as well if I am.  And if I'm confirmed positive I'll probably have her tested as well.  Which would mean getting her on a proper supplement to hopefully ward off the issues I've dealt with for the last 30years. I can say behaviorally speaking, my DD doesn't have much contact with other kids either, but she certainly does well with them and at the same time is very much capable of self entertaining when she's had enough of them.  Clingy behaviors can certainly point more towards an insecurity - it fills that need to feel approved.  And even the brightest of children can feel insecure about just how bright they are, quite often because they are told so all too often.  I wasn't a needy kid in terms of attention, but I was highly insecure and the more people told me I was smart or that I didn't need to be helped because I could do it on my own...the worse the insecurity got.  Totally bombed once I got to college and had no idea how to "learn" because I was always told I was smart.  Have you tried activities like gymnastics or dance or other things that require coordination and a different skill set?  They are great for building confidence.  Also, the inability to slow down the brain and settle....sometimes you have to teach that with quiet times.  Some people just go go go and never know how to wind down.  It's often mistaken for hyperactivity when in fact the body craves a slowdown but doesn't know how to achieve it.    I tend to draw on my knowledge as a dog trainer and am always trying to be two steps ahead on the behavior curve and thinking of ways to achieve what I want without asking for it from DD because she is so incredibly resistant to being told what to do or how to do it!  It's frustrating and exhausting and I have to tell myself it is only a phase.  Doesn't mean I always believe it!  But it helps to see that there are kids out there who goes through this and the parents don't end up in an insane asylum when all is said and done lol

post #43 of 57

I too have a spirited little 3 and a 1/2 year old (she is one of twins).  I don't know if you're open to seeing a Naturopathic Doctor or not, but seeing ours has been invaluable.  She talked to us about some children having a harder time processing and organizing all of these new experiences and information and she gave us some homeopathics to help her nervous system with this process.  We seem to be doing this treatment for 4-8 weeks about every 6 months or so and it has made a world of difference for her!  She still has the regular upsets that every kid goes through but the reaction level has come down to a very tolerable one.  She calms down much faster and you can reason with her and help her get to a happier place.

 

I also wanted to mention the possibility of food intolerance.  I know that allergy was discussed, but I'm not sure that intolerance was broached.  There is a distinct difference....allergy is an immune response and intolerance is a digestive response.  But it can very definitely affect behaviour.   A Naturopath can also help with this by doing a food intolerance test.

 

Good Luck!

D

post #44 of 57
Thread Starter 

Hiya,

 

With regard to food. I can only think that she might be having a little too much dairy, and maybe a little too much sugar, albeit natural sugars in fruits and dried fruits mostly.

She does eat a lot of wholegrain bread and pasta...you never know, there might be a gluten thing going on - but fundamentally her diet has remained pretty much the same for a couple of years...will continue to observe on this front.

 

General update:

 

We're in week 6 (or maybe it's the end of week 7?) - if we're counting. ;)

 

And....

 

I can cautiously say that things are better.

Certainly we are not having all day awfulness like we were a wee while ago.

In fact - we just had two and a half splendiferous days in a row, where she was lovely...polite...in really good form in lots of ways. It went to custard on the afternoon of the third day...but still...it was a very sunny couple of days.

And looking back - we seem to definitely be 'coming out the other side' of *something*. She is still being naughty, and apparently finding new ways to be naughty each day (e.g. we've just had to start hiding toilet rolls because, like a puppy...she's been unrolling them all over the house and trying to flush the resulting mess down our loos!) She is still occasionally shouting and screaming, but much less than a couple of weeks ago.

(Just as a complete aside: The idea and practice of timeouts or even time-ins is something we've considered, but is just completely unsuitable for her. She will cling like velcro...and obviously, even in a rage, needs to be with us.)

She is also STILL rejecting her daddy somewhat...but has gone back to going with him a little more willingly on outings (they are currently supermarket shopping together).

 

Other things of note:

 

  • She is having less nights of minimal 10.5 hours sleep. We are mostly getting 11 or every 2/3 days 11.5 hours. This must be helping. It's certainly not hurting.
  • She has surprised us, and the teachers at her preschool, by going from completely angry hysteria at drop-off, to kissing me goodbye without tears, in a mere 5 visits. I think we all thought that she was such a stubborn little critter that it wouldn't happen in a text book way like this. I'm so proud of her...as I know it's a big effort. She still gets visibly nervous when we're approaching the preschool...and has said a couple of times: "Mummy, I will try not to be sad when we say goodbye." Awwwww.... One thing that has helped is making sure she realises she's going 'tomorrow'. We had a few rocky mornings because: "I didn't know it was school day! I don't want to go! I didn't realise it was today!" etc. Just to illustrate the change: Last week sometime she woke up, and the first thing she said to me in the morning was: "Mummy we have to take the calendar off the fridge (calendar is a weekly chart showing 'school' and other things) - that way I won't have to go." To...the last time we went: Also first thing in the morning: "Is it a school day? Hurray!" I know all this might change, in fact that ALL this stuff can and WILL change...but I'm buoyed by this particular aspect of our lives. We do need the break, and she is enjoying it thus far - just a shame it is nearly their xmas holiday and preschool will be shut for a month. 
  • When she's in a good mood, the small limits and rules we have tried to implement of late are more-or-less being obeyed. Sometimes she will wait for a set period (of her own making) before doing something, but usually she does it in the end. To this end, I've had some success by just stating things very simply, instead of 'asking' her stuff. E.g. There's toast on the floor. Or...TEETH! Or...SHOES! Much work yet to do on this front though - still very much learning what works as we go.
  • We are struggling still with a couple of things - e.g. she is still insisting that a bottle of milk is the ONLY thing that will 'cheer her up' if sad. Cuddles, books...nothing else will do. We have been trying to limit her small (120ml) bottles of milk to x3 a day in total...our logic I suppose is that we want her to give them up entirely, but to be honest, this doesn't look likely any time soon...and maybe needs to be a child-led thing? Yesterday she had a major meltdown because she was sad and I wouldn't give her a 4th bottle. Big sad/angry tantrum...I didn't give in - but she was distraught for a long time ("WHHHY can't I have it?? Why? I'm SAAAAD!!!" etc) and then eventually she sat on the couch with me for half an hour whilst I had to make up a big long verbal story to calm her down. Kind of a success in terms of the 'limit' we are trying to enforce, but I'm wondering if I should actually be withholding the ONE thing that she uses to make herself feel better. The milk is very watery...so am not worried about her getting too much really. What do y'all think? Should we just let her have it, especially if it calms her down? (I do wish she could find something else that helps though...but apparently there is nothing else that will do.)
  • Our other recent problem (though I'm hoping it's just going to stop very soon) - is that she has BIT me a couple of times. I've been reduced to trying to remove myself, but she just runs after me gnashing her teeth (!?) She thinks it's a funny game. Have explained it IS NOT. She seems very mouthy/sucky/chewy at the mo generally...almost as if she were teething (which is impossible) - so there's that little challenge as well. I know there are threads on here about it, will look them up.

 

There are other little things - but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

So...provisionally, if awfulness was 100, and fantastic was 0 - I'd say we've gone from days that were 85% 90 (hideous), to nearly the opposite - days that are 85% 0-20 or so. She still has her moments...but it's not nearly as brutal and upsetting for everyone.

 

There is hope then (for others reading).

I wasn't entirely convinced it was a phase - but it's looking like it is/was. Especially given that she has also matured and changed and become even more smart, and verbal and capable over this time too. An ugly growth/development spurt therefore? She is only 3 and a 1/4, so I'm hoping that this is the half year spurt/upset...and we won't get another one in 3 months!

 

Have to go now - but thanks all for your posts and input.

I will update again in a week or so - hopefully with even better news.

 

G

x


Edited by Grover - 11/30/13 at 2:42pm
post #45 of 57
That's fantastic, Grover! I know many of us would love days that are 80% great wink1.gif
post #46 of 57
We went through a weird oral phase during our phase of awfulness, too. Weird, huh?
post #47 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
That's fantastic, Grover! I know many of us would love days that are 80% great wink1.gif

 

Hope I haven't overstated it! Nor jinxed us. Eeek. Will update....

 

Quote:
We went through a weird oral phase during our phase of awfulness, too. Weird, huh?

 

Very weird. It's almost like she needs a chew toy. It's bizarre.

 

Quote:
GOOD LUCK!  Do what you have to to keep your head about you because ultimately she will grow out of this and will be better for it if you take care of yourself at the same time! :)

 

Late replying to this - but thank you. This reply has partly helped inspire me to formulate a plan to deal with my chronic insomnia (see my other thread). I know that if I'm better rested, I will be able to deal with this craziness that is motherhood.

post #48 of 57

I would let her have the milk.  If it improves her immediate mood, but the general mood starts deteriorating again, you might consider limiting it.  A child like this especially, I would be hesitant to remove anything that they use to self-soothe.  Only as a last resort would I insist on limiting it.

post #49 of 57
Thread Starter 

Okay - it's been a week. Time for an update.

 

We've had an okay/average week I guess.

Less happy and 'up' than my last post unfortunately though.

 

A couple of things have happened.

1. She got a very very minor cold (sniffles, lets say) - she didn't seem unwell, but just had a runny nose last weekend, and is still a little blocked.

2. She had an upsetting day at preschool on Friday. I don't know why (unfortunately) - but she did wee her pants twice without telling anyone, and then had a big cry in my lap when I picked her up. It might have also been that the guy that comes to play special games with them on fridays ('Playball' it's called) didn't come - and I'm sure she was disappointed about that. I don't really know the cause. Have fingers crossed that she's all okay to go again by next wednesday.

 

Mostly though at the beginning of the week things were going okay-ish.

But...the last couple of days...things have gone a little custardy. Or a lot custardy.

 

Specifically, she's been going back to have these giant meltdowns in the morning. I hear her happily talking and singing in bed (still crazy early, like 5.15am...but we just can't seem to get this to change, argh!)....I get her up and all hell breaks loose. She just seems to lose the plot entirely. This morning was just insanity to the enth degree. She wouldn't walk out of her room. (I'm not carrying her anymore). Didn't want Daddy to carry her. Didn't let me go down to the kitchen to get her milk. Eventually let Daddy get the milk. Still wouldn't move from my lap on the floor. Milk not the right temperature. Daddy re-made it. Finished that bottle...wanted another. Wanted a story, but wouldn't let me get one.....and on and on...and all the while screaming and shouting everything.

We were in her room, on the floor for a good 45 minutes before she felt able to come downstairs.

 

I just don't get it. She seems happy until I go in there - wth is wrong with her!? Argh.

 

Then during the day she is not too bad, but last night, she was having a great dinner (being a 'well-behaved dinosaur') being cute and cooperative, then I gave her pieces of pear instead of a whole pear...and again she lost the plot in such an epic way. Possibly the WORST meltdown we've witnessed yet.

I can't even describe it....but she sat on my knee with a bottle of milk (her comfort thing, which is still getting out of control I think) in one hand, the lid of the bottle in the other hand....SCREAMING that she couldn't stretch out her arm to put the lid of the bottle on her knee. SCREAMING it over and over....! Totally irrational. Utterly totally impossible to fix too. I put it on her knee....more screaming. I helped move her hand, more screaming. I tried not to talk for a while - more screaming for me to talk and HELP ME!!! HELP MEE! I CAN'T STRETCH MY ARM!!! Etc etc etc... I don't think I've ever seen her quite so distraught. I got her to bed on time, and she slept immediately - but yeah, then woke up with the screaming me-me's again. Sigh.

 

We're also still having a massive problem with her wanting me to do everything. I mean everything. Lift toys and put them next to her, when they are only two feet away etc. She won't let her father do anything at all for her (except take her out sometimes, thank goodness). When asked, she said: "I love Daddy, but I don't want him to do XYZ."

 

She only does most of this it seems when she is upset already....and it's completely pointless to NOT do it, or say do it yourself....she will wail the house down for hours and get into such a state I just cannot bear it. We would be fighting and fighting her all day long if we didn't 'give in' to some things.

We have had to try and figure out a little what battles we want to fight, if any at all....as so much of it doesn't seem worth the agony that results from trying to force things to be our way, for maybe not essential reasons.

 

The milk thing is a problem in that she will ask for milk if she gets a tiny bump on the head, or gets even a tiny bit frustrated with something. Trouble is, she's always bumping into things, and always getting frustrated these days. I don't want to withhold this self-soothing thing still...but it's kind of crazy that she won't come to me for cuddles (though for EVERY bottle of milk, part of that is that she HAS to sit on my knee, and HAS to have certain toys sitting with us in a PARTICULAR way etc).

 

She is also being generally a little naughty. She has certain things she likes to try every day (bite me, unroll the toilet paper or whatever) - but I could handle ALL of that I think, if it weren't for the other meltdown stuff.

 

 

Sigh.

 

So that's where we are at.

There really have been some good times too I suppose - but the bad things seem to still be casting an enormous shadow on everything. I'm hoping she is just sleeping badly because of the blocked nose, and that this will fade away again soon....but, I guess it never really entirely let up - just eased right back.

 

We still debate limits, and consequences for all this - and partner and I disagree at least once a day (it's all so stressful, especially starting the day at 5.30am with wailing and upset) - but it just seems wrong somehow to try and punish her when she just seems overwhelmed, or overtired or simply over-emotional.

 

One thing I have learned (I knew this before, but it just didn't click properly) - was when she is raging/distraught - I often say "It's okay, it's okay..." I say this a lot. She really hates this, and will often scream back, "No, it's NOT okay....I'm NOT okay...!" and gets more upset. Last night I tried to say "I know you're sad, really really sad..." But even the words "I know" seem to make it worse. I'm trying to remember to simplify even more: "You're very sad. You're very mad. etc"

 

I can't help but think to myself (and she does prove this constantly) that if she were happy/contented....she would not do all these things. I don't know why she is UNhappy though.

Essentially, when she is happy...she doesn't behave like this. I wish I knew still what was getting to her. It all just seems like a stress/anxiety reaction.

Next time she is happy and we can talk, I will ask her....but it's a vague thing...I need to figure out how/what to ask her about exactly.

 

Hmm.

Sigh.


Edited by Grover - 12/7/13 at 1:42pm
post #50 of 57
Can I just say LOL to the pieces of pear being distressing and the "can't stretch out my arm"? I'm sure someone mentioned this but have you read "Your 3 year old: friend or enemy" By Louise Bates Ames?
post #51 of 57

I still see a correlation between increased milk intake and increased meltdowns.  When my daughter was an infant and having major tummy issues (you could hear her poop from 3 rooms away...doors closed) the pattern was scream and fuss - nurse to sleep - stomach begin to gurgle and wretch 45mins later - repeat...over and over 24/7.  It took 2 weeks of me off dairy to see the changes in her (takes anywhere from 2-3wks to clear the body) but holy day and night!  We've bee more recently gluten free after testing sensitive to that.  DD has been pretty good for a 2yo, and her meltdowns are always easy to manage.  Thurs/Fri while my FIL was watching her he brought food in (I've told him a thousand times over NOT to feed her anything I didn't make, obviously he listens well).  He said something about chicken sausage as he was leaving Th afternoon and I couldn't help but think great, it's probably contaminated with gluten or dairy (not that uncommon) along with all the nitrates and other lovely things the IL's don't care to avoid but we do.  Sure enough, bedtime that night was the worst she's ever been in 2yrs....hyperventilating to the point she started to drool and then choke on the drool, kicking us, the walls, her bed, the floor, screaming "don't touch me! don't!" - wouldn't even calm down when I offered up a boob.  When she finally did climb into her bed (on her own because I wasn't about to get kicked in the face!), she sobbed uncontrollably for almost 10mins before she could finally settle.  It was horrible to watch because she's NOT typically like that.  Sure she's had a tantrum or two at bedtime but NEVER to that degree, and the only change was the food.   I do give her rescue remedy when she's tantruming and it does help her to come to her senses a bit quicker on the lesser ones.  I'm also dabbling in essential oils for myself and will probably mix up a nice calming batch along with the other stuff I had planned.  Maybe worth a try for the anxiety, here's the link I had found browsing pinterest:  http://campwander.blogspot.com/2012/08/3-strategies-for-anxiety-relief.html

post #52 of 57
Thread Starter 

Update:

 

Have got zero time - so will have to be brief:

 

Much improvement in our house with the LO. No meltdowns like the 'stretch my arm out' one above since I last posted (hurrah).

We're still having some issues around food - specifically dinner, and bed times are becoming a little bit more painful as she is pushing boundaries.

However! She is being crazily polite suddenly - every second word is please or thank you...and we're so delighted that she's finding she's getting everything she wants...which in turn is helping her to be even better mannered!

 

Long may it last (there I go, jinxing myself again).

 

Yeah - not perfect....but things definitely better than even a week ago.

Also she is sleeping slightly more. We've pushed her bedtime half an hour later, and it seems to have enabled her to 'sleep in' a tiny bit, and is more consistently having 11 hour nights now...or a little more.

 

Got to go!

More another time.

post #53 of 57

I found this article helpful when my oldest was your dd's age; maybe it can help you too:

 

http://www.continuum-concept.org/reading/whosInControl.html

post #54 of 57

Have you looked into PANDAS or PANS? I didn't get to read through every post, but skimmed, and didn't see this mentioned. The sudden onset caught my attention (as I am searching mothering for PANS right now). This was my child for three years- the totally uncharacteristic sudden change that just cycled and morphed. He was completely asymptomatic for illness, but that's how PANDAS/PANS works- rather that present the illness in a way that we'd normally be able to physically see, it attacks the brain. Well it's still him now actually, only it took three years and dozens of doctors/health care providers/healers to finally diagnose him with PANS. Knowing what it is was a big win for me. We're still not improved, but working on it. 

post #55 of 57
Wow! My daughter and yours must have been separated at birth as they sound very similar, right down to the intensity. She is about to turn 5,and unfortunately things are still a challenge for us, although not as bad as when she was 3. So I'd say it's partly normal developmental stuff and party the high needs/intense personality. Also in our case I have a similar personality to my daughter which makes it harder to stay calm when she is pushing buttons, unfortunately. Anyway, a few things I have learned that may be helpful:


I totally agree with the recommendations to read Laura Markham book or read her articles and other info on Aha Parenting.
If you've only been in this stage for a few weeks, I wouldn't worry that you've set up any bad habits. Just keep plugging away.

I think if you give in to a tantrum out of desperation, you're teaching her that it works. You may need to temporarily rethink what you say yes or no to so that you aren't stuck in a situation where you said no to something that wasn't really a big deal just because it was inconvenient, only to have a tantrum occur and then you give in to it. On the flip side, you need to decide what is really important and hold your ground on it.
While she tantrums after you've said no, be calm matter of fact while enforcing the limit and empathize with her.

A very very very strong need for control is the issue with our DD and it sounds like yours too. Give more control wherever you can.. Choices, more independence, etc.
You can't parent effectively if you don't get a break so if preschool is necessary for your sanity then I would consider it non-negotiable just like Carseats or carrying her.
If she seems to have some separation anxiety and is clingy, give lots of extra love and snuggles and you can also make a game out of it where you chase her around or pull her into your lap and tell her you won't let her go, you want just one more hug, etc. Laura Markham describes it better on her site but it's a fun way to help ease her anxiety.
Wish I had something more helpful. Most days I feel like I'm failing this parenting thing.
post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyfirechick View Post

My 2yo is similarly spirited and intense so I cautiously await what lies ahead...! But, I have changed her diet recently - dairy free since 3mos and now gluten and soy as well - and the intensity of her tantrums has dropped, and I can tell when someone (FIL) has given her something on the no-no list because it shows up in her behavior once he leaves.  Now for us, I'm awaiting my own confirmation of MTHFR since I've got issues with methylating b12 on my own and my liver doesn't detox properly, and long story short, one of the effects of MTHFR is anxiety, which I have majorly.  Good news it that being on a methyl b12 supplement has helped enormously with the anxiety and thus less mood swings for me, woo!  Bad/good news (depending how you look at it) DD has a pretty good chance of being positive for this as well if I am.  And if I'm confirmed positive I'll probably have her tested as well.  Which would mean getting her on a proper supplement to hopefully ward off the issues I've dealt with for the last 30years. I can say behaviorally speaking, my DD doesn't have much contact with other kids either, but she certainly does well with them and at the same time is very much capable of self entertaining when she's had enough of them.  Clingy behaviors can certainly point more towards an insecurity - it fills that need to feel approved.  And even the brightest of children can feel insecure about just how bright they are, quite often because they are told so all too often.  I wasn't a needy kid in terms of attention, but I was highly insecure and the more people told me I was smart or that I didn't need to be helped because I could do it on my own...the worse the insecurity got.  Totally bombed once I got to college and had no idea how to "learn" because I was always told I was smart.  Have you tried activities like gymnastics or dance or other things that require coordination and a different skill set?  They are great for building confidence.  Also, the inability to slow down the brain and settle....sometimes you have to teach that with quiet times.  Some people just go go go and never know how to wind down.  It's often mistaken for hyperactivity when in fact the body craves a slowdown but doesn't know how to achieve it.    I tend to draw on my knowledge as a dog trainer and am always trying to be two steps ahead on the behavior curve and thinking of ways to achieve what I want without asking for it from DD because she is so incredibly resistant to being told what to do or how to do it!  It's frustrating and exhausting and I have to tell myself it is only a phase.  Doesn't mean I always believe it!  But it helps to see that there are kids out there who goes through this and the parents don't end up in an insane asylum when all is said and done lol

Off topic, but I'd love to know more about the methyl b12 supplements. I have MTHFR mutation and lots of anxiety but had no idea they might be related.
post #57 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by katsmommy View Post


Off topic, but I'd love to know more about the methyl b12 supplements. I have MTHFR mutation and lots of anxiety but had no idea they might be related.

Yes! When I was with my ND she was going through her long list of items and one of the things she asked was about anxiety - which I've had my entire life, like major social anxiety to the point of breaking down crying when in unfamiliar groups of people and all the embarrassment that follows....not a fun way to go through school or life.  I had it somewhat "under control" when I reached a breaking point and decided I couldn't live like that and sort of did behavior modification/desensitization on myself (I'm a dog trainer so I tried applying what I knew from that!) but OMG the methyl b-12 has been a HUGE improvement!  It's a bit harder to find in the stores, not all brands have a methylated form of the b12, but easy to find online without the dairy/gluten/soy which are issues with MTHFR.  I take way the 4 step process required to break down standard b12 (which MTHFR prevents) and allows your body to utilize it in pre-broken down form.  If I remember correctly the conversation, much of the anxiety has to do with a build up of toxins in the liver (something b12 assists with) and once you release those toxins the anxiety goes away. Hope that helps!

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