I have a four year old daughter who is very intense in her reactions to things and her emotions quickly get out of control. I have tried talking with her, giving her tools to calm herself, breathing techniques. When she is very upset I hold her and hug her until she calms down. There have been times when I have not been able to calm her down. She seems so out of control and almost afraid of her own emotions. When she gets angry at me now she strikes me or throws things at me. I have of course tried discussing her feeling with her and explaining that that sort of behavior is unacceptable while suggesting other ways to express her anger. It is not working, the behaviors continue and I am at a loss for what to do. Has anyone else dealt with this type of behavior?
OP. It sounds like a hard situation. I haven't dealt with exactly the type of behavior you describe but IME children often don't know what to do when they have very strong feelings and it helped me to realize that learning how to deal with strong feelings is a skill just like learning to walk, learning to use the bathroom, learning to read, etc. Perhaps that will sound obvious but for me it helped to frame how I could best support my DD. Is there anything that does seem to help, perhaps not when your DD is very upset, but things that help when she's just a little upset? If so, perhaps building on those things? One thing my DD loves is being about to pick out a card to show how she is feeling. We like these cards: http://www.amazon.com/Todd-Parr-Feelings-Flash-Cards/dp/0811871452/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381199758&sr=8-1&keywords=todd+parr+feeling+cards. We started using the cards for smaller emotions, but now if my DD gets very upset and we suggest a card, she'll find a car to express how she feels. Cards may not be the thing that appeals to your DD, but if you can find a coping mechanism that she has and is comfortable with, it might be something she's more likely to use when her emotions get stronger. Wishing you all the best!
The cards are a great idea. I will try those and see how she likes them. She just really gets out of control with her emotions and when she has a particularly intense episode, it seems as if she is scared of her own emotions. She has also damaged things, kicks doors, etc... I try to help give her tools to calm herself, but it doesn't seem to be working. There are just times when I don't know what else to do and I feel bad for her that she cannot control herself. Sometimes me holding her helps bring her down, other times it seems nothing helps. It gets to the point where she is so upset and breathing so fast, it seems as if she might hyperventilate. I am looking into counseling for us to help with me more strategies since I have exhausted my toolbox. Thanks for your suggestions.