I'm begging for help. Please... I don't know what to do. I have an 8 yo ds who has these meltdowns... I've tried everything I can think of to help, but nothing is working. I'll tell you about today.
We do quiet time in the afternoon -- all 4 kids go to different areas to sleep or play quietly, but today I let the 6 yo and 8 yo go in one room together to play with a new toy (a build a race track and race a pull back car thing). He KNOWS he's supposed to be quiet during this time so the other 2 can sleep, but he came stomping downstairs (baby sleeps downstairs, everyone else is upstairs) because he couldn't get 2 pieces together. Went upstairs to help, reminded him they could do it themselves if they just calmed down and tried it and left. Starting stomping in his room, went up to remind again to be quiet and told them (8 yo really) if it was going to frustrate them that much, I was going to take it away. I ended up staying to help a bit and when they saw what to do, I left. A few minutes later, 6 yo asked to go to his own room and 8yo lost it. Threw things, stomped, hit me, screamed...woke baby up... (RIght here is where i lost it. No excuses...I bungled it badly from here on out as well -- I started yelling and told him he wasn't going to the beach with his friends tomorrow, which only made him act out worse... BUT, here's the thing. All of the books I've read, the therapist we've been to, etc. etc. etc. ... I've never found a plan of "do this when that happens". I guess its all trial and error, but so far I've made more errors than anything else. I've tried hugging, holding, commiserating, empathising, grounding, timeouts... you name it, i think i've tried it.
So...if you had a kid like that, how would you handle it? Please be specific... I think I need to write up a "do this plan" when he freaks out and script it, so no matter what he does I stick to my lines and keep my temper. Of course, I also need my house and stuff not to be trashed which is what he tries to do. I don't have a "safe room" where there's nothing he can mess up or break... Or, if you know of a good professional I could consult that does things online/over the phone.. If I can get results, I would totally pay for the help...
(In the past, the only consequences of his freak outs is that he has to clean up what he messed up and we have to talk about it. Maybe thats where i've gone wrong???)
I get 5 free therapist sessions through benefits... has anyone ever gone to a therapist for parenting advice? Was it useful? Any advice on how to find a good fit one (I have a list of names from the insurance)?
sorry I don't have specific advice because my kids are younger and it sounds like you have already tried a lot of possible solutions. I am responding because I'm a social worker and I think using your 5 free visits is a great idea! You should call the people on your list and ask if they specialize in children or parenting issues. You can usually get a good feel for their style and personality over the phone. Also, tell the therapist you are looking for some concrete advice up front, and ask if they have a more directive style. And remember, if you don't get a good match the first time, try someone else. Good luck!
Beyond that, talking to him after he's calm and asking him what we can do next time. I try to keep it I statements and problem solving. I'm a big fan of Faber and Mazlich in general for parenting/discipline/communication. Skills.
The Explosive Child is another good book. Thankfully all quick -ish reads but I think the second book makes more sense if you've already got the skills from the first authors.
I keep saying I'm going to log what he eats to see if there are any correlations, but it just takes soooo much time... but I really do wonder if theres a link between diet/tv/fits... Its just sooo hard to figure out. And, I love that book in theory, but I find it so hard to do in practice. That reminds me that I bought their workshop version and need to find some friends to do it with me...
I'd just get the family together, talk about it and put a start date on the calendar. Was he gassy, refluxy or colicky as a baby?