Lexi started kindergarten this year. She had a couple minor problems at the beginning of the year, and the teacher and I discussed them and came up with some solutions.
The past couple weeks, she has been having a much harder time. Both at school and at home. She is having pee accidents, often multiple times a day, at school and at home. She is very violent,and has hit teachers and her sister. Monday I had to go pick her up at school because she was throwing a tantrum and they couldnt get her on the bus. Today I had to get on the bus to get her off because she kept hitting her sister, and the bus driver had to pull the bus over and move her to another seat because she wouldn't stop.
DH keeps trying to tell my oldest that she needs to hit her back :( And my oldest is to gentle of a soul to do it,not that I want her too, but I also dont want her to be bullied by her little sister. I have been fighting him since I was pregnant with Kamille that we will not be using corporal punishment, and he thinks that if he could just spank Lexi that she would start listening. He says "some kids listen when you talk, and others dont" He says he was the same way when he was a kid and that he knows that spanking is the only thing that made him shape up and start listening. He also had ADHD and was put on medication for it, but that couldn't have had anything to do with it according to him. I have tried numerous times to discuss a set even discipline plan in out house, because it is obviously not agreed upon at the moment. He is just determined that my way is not going to work, and although he does not hit or spank the children, does yell a lot more than me. I am wanting to get her into behavioral therapy and work with the therapist to develop a plan of action, but basically DH will not agree to anything but spanking, and will not change anything he is doing.
With the wetting, I am trying not to make a big deal of it, and wanted to think that it was a medical issue, but she will tell her teachers at school that she doesn't need to go to the bathroom, because I packed extra clothes. Her teacher and I have discussed that is is not healthy to pee on herself, and to always try to use the bathroom when the class goes. She has no problem waking up at night to go potty, but has frequent daytime accidents. She also either has an accident on the bus or cant make it down the driveway in time almost every day now.
So, I know that there is alot in this post, but I really need help with this. I am more concerned with getting her help than anything else, and while DH wont change his approach, he will just let me handle discipline for awhile if he feels that it is working, and then maybe in time will adjust his approach. So I am only seeking advice for how to help her, not about my husband. Thank you
jeneca mommy to kamille, 6 lexi, 4
#3 due 2/28/12
Anyone have any ideas? I am really struggling. I got a call from the councelor today because Lexi kicked a little boy in his genitals numerous times. Apparently, he was in the spot in line that she wanted. He tried to move, giving her the spot, but she followed him and kicked him. The councelor got her calmed down and went to call me, and Lexi fell asleep. She slept for over an hour while I was tying to get to school to pick her up. Then when we (my FIL and I) picked her up, we decided to go eat. while in line at the restaraunt ordering our food, Lexi sat on the floor and peed her pants. She was 5 ft from a bathroom, and I was right beside her. she didnt say anything, and just sat down and peed. I have an appointment with her teacher, the councelor, and the principal to set up a plan (I forget the name of it) and then we will meet again in 3 weeks. I am leaning heavily at this point toward moving her to a head start program and trying kindergarten again next year. I just dont want her to feel like a failure. Academically, she is doing well, she just isnt doing well socially. I dont know what to do, I am at a loss.
jeneca mommy to kamille, 6 lexi, 4
#3 due 2/28/12
Was she doing the hitting/ peeing before she started school or is it new? If it is new, I do not think it is a "discipline" issue but rather classic signs that she is seriously stressed out or that something really upsetting to her happened. I would try to get more to the bottom of why she is doing this.
I am also wondering what things were like pre-Kindergarten. Has she always been that aggressive? Have you talked to her pediatrician about an evaluation? Does she have other signs of ADHD (seeing as your DH brought it up).
I wouldn't just pull her out and wait a year. It sounds like she needs help. In fact she may be able to get the help she needs in the school setting.
DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).
She doesn't have a pediatrician right now, as our old pediatrician wont take the girls back and the medical card system here is changing and I dont know what drs are even available here. Trying to get all that worked out ASAP.
She had accidents frequently up until maybe October of last year. Then she had none for 10 months and now it is a daily thing this past week. She has always been pretty aggressive toward her sister, and tends to prefer playing alone. When in a 2 year old class with 20 kids, she played alone. When in a 3 yr old class with 10 kids, she made friends with 2-3 girls and played with them all the time. She still talks about those girls. So before now, she was only aggressive toward her sister and occasionally her cousins.
As far as stress and change, we had a sudden move at the beginning of August. DH is out of town 1/2 of every week now because he works in our old town and stays at a friends house because we cant afford all the gas for him to come home every night. DH does not keep jobs very well, so we are worried if he changes to a job here he is going o get mad and quit or lash out and get fired. He is in a work environment that works for him, so we are trying to make it work for our family. When DH is here we tend to fight more often than we did when we saw each other every day. I even told him this week that when he comes home I am usually stressed the whole time. I am sure that stress is carried over to the children unfortunately.
jeneca mommy to kamille, 6 lexi, 4
#3 due 2/28/12
I have a 5 yo dd, too, and I think you need to find a developmental pediatrician and a counselor asap. You and your dh need to be on the same page with discipline. I can't tell from your posts what your strategy is for dealing with your dd. I don't think yelling or spanking are appropriate or will lead to the results you're looking for. But I do believe in setting and enforcing limits. My children (including my 5yo dd) haven't had a time out in... I can't even remember when... but we did use them. They also know there will be some sort of consequence for bad behavior. What are your daughter's?
It appears that you had to pick up your dd from school because she had hurt another child-- and then you took her out to lunch? Why? I would have picked up my child, saying how sad and disappointed I was by her behavior, and how disappointing it was that we had to go home immediately and figure out how to improve her behavior. We would have gone home and talked about it-- me asking what she was thinking, how she thought the other child felt, how she thought she could make amends, what she thought the consequence should be, etc., all in a serious, sad tone. (Not angry and certainly not yelling. My children are devastated when we're disappointed.) She would have eaten lunch, then gone to lay down on her bed to come up with some solutions. Then we would talk about the amends, including, writing a note of apology. I would tell my dd that I know she is such a kind, sweet, wonderful person and that such behavior is so surprising and not like her and that I know she can do better. I think what your dd did to that other child was very serious and I would want my somber behavior to reflect that. My kids aren't yellers, but if they had thrown a tantrum or yelled when we started to talk, I would have sent them to their room until they were ready to talk about what happened, if they were resisting. The consequence of talking it out would have been within their control, but they would still have talk it out when they were ready. For an ongoing behavior issue, I would do a positive reward chart-- keeping track of all the good things she did, leading to a reward. This would help re-establish appropriate behavior.
What have you done about your dd's aggressive behavior toward your other daughter? That's something that wouldn't be tolerated in our house. I also have twin 9-year-old boys and people are always amazed that they never fight. They just don't. The reason, I think, is partly their temperament, but also because it's just not something we support. From the time they were babies, we encouraged gentle touches and gave positive reinforcement and acknowledgement of kind behavior. For a while we had a "kindness" marble jar, that also recognized them for being kind and supportive. They occasionally bicker, but they NEVER fight. It's just not going to happen in our house and at this point, they'll separate themselves when they get frustrated with each other.
I think a parent coach or counselor will give you some good ideas on behavior modification-- and that includes changing your behavior. But I think your dd also needs to see a doctor asap to rule out any medical issues. Her peeing does sound like it's behavioral, but maybe there's more going on. ADHD is genetically linked, so it's also possible your dd's impulse issues are related to ADHD, and if it were me, I would want to address that, in order to preserve my child's positive sense of self.
I would also caution against and all-or-nothing approach to gentle discipline. (No discipline to spanking.) It seems like I read a lot of people on this board who end up yelling. snapping and spanking and basically disliking their child because the child is out of control. I think there are kind ways to help children learn how to interact in ways that other people and kids want to be with them.
Can you take her out of school for awhile and work with her at home, when her sister is at school? My 5 year old (who has some behavioral issues too), seems to be able to control them much better when she isn't overstimulated by new situations and new people.
Do you think it would help her to just have a gentle routine each day with you - mostly at home, with only limited exposure to new situations and people? Then as things calmed down for her in her mind, maybe you could gradually reintroduce school.
I'm also wondering why she got to go out to lunch after being sent home from school?
I agree with getting some help asap. Not just at the school.. they are limited with what they can help you with. I think she needs more help than the school can offer. I bet they have a great plan, but you probably need more than that.
At five, she can have responsibility for her choices. It's easy for you to say "hit her back" to her older sister, but it's hard for her to do that... it's unfair to put the responsibility on the sister. The adults need to do the hard things. Not the sister. If that means you find a very safe place for the older sister to play without any fear of little sister, then you need to find a way to make that happen. You can't leave little sister alone, but the big sister would probably enjoy some time in her own special place. (maybe with a friend)
I'm not suggesting there's anything wrong with your five year old at all. She may just have needed one more year before starting school. She might not be ready for school yet. She might do better in a different environment. We don't all learn the same way. Perhaps she needs a completely different approach than the one you have decided works for your family. (I don't think spanking is the answer either) You might be doing it perfectly for your older daughter, but your younger daughter might need something completely different. She might be craving something that she's not getting.
As far as stress and change, we had a sudden move at the beginning of August. DH is out of town 1/2 of every week now because he works in our old town and stays at a friends house because we cant afford all the gas for him to come home every night. DH does not keep jobs very well, so we are worried if he changes to a job here he is going o get mad and quit or lash out and get fired. He is in a work environment that works for him, so we are trying to make it work for our family. When DH is here we tend to fight more often than we did when we saw each other every day. I even told him this week that when he comes home I am usually stressed the whole time. I am sure that stress is carried over to the children unfortunately.>>>>>>
I bet these things are at the root of your problems moreso than being in kindergarten. You and your dh are the first examples, if he's angry easily, she may just be copying him. Sudden moves, having dh gone, all those can stress children out. How is she sleeping? You said she slept for an hour after picking her up, she may be overtired. Overtired kids have little resources to draw on and are irritable.
Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS