DD is getting close to 8, and a recurring problem is her inability to stop when she gets riled up, particularly at bed time.
We have tried everything. We stop all tv and stuff early in the evening, and we have tried all types of end-of-day slowing down or routines or habits. It seems to never fail that when it's actually time to GO to bed, she gets insane. Silliness, tickling little sister, farting, screaming, running, etc - about half the time, she ends up spewing hateful things at us, but the other half, she just gets wound up and gets crazier and louder. When we try to get her attention to stop, she acts like she can't hear us (yes, we've had her hearing tested). We end up grabbing her, or yelling, or otherwise responding in anger after awhile. She does this at various times during the day, but not every day. It seems more predictable at the end of the day, regardless of whether or not it's been an easy day, hard day, long day, active day, fun day, crabby day, busy day, slow day, good eating day, junk food day, playing day, etc.
I have read "how to talk to kids" and "unconditional parenting" - those books just make me feel like a failure because the methods don't work. I've tried punishment or rewards only. I've tried ignoring - I've tried getting on her level - I've tried addressing her needs before she gets wild - nothing works! We've consulted a family therapist, and her methods didn't work. The family doctor prescribed homeopathic remedies, but when she's angry, she won't do them. Then, once she has spouted her anger and used up her energy (usually less than 15 minutes), she turns back into the sweet, well mannered, thoughtful child that she is most of the time.
It just makes everyone get angry, and I'm at my wits' end.
So, my question is: is this just normal?
Have you tried starting the bedtime routine 30 minutes earlier? I know that when my kids behave like this, it's because they're overtired and they're revving themselves up to stay awake. Dd (who is 7) is particularly hard to deal with. She becomes completely unreasonable, whining and demanding. I then lose my cool and we feed off each other. The solution is to start the bedtime routine at 7:45 instead of 8:15. Ideal would be 7:30, but that just never happens.
NORMAL! Doesn't mean you don't want to pull out your hair. I missed bedtime tonight because of work related stuff and I'm pretty sure I'd be happy to miss it every night. I feel so stress free right now! Of course DH looked like he needed to explode!
yes, we've adjusted bedtimes - that is not the solution or problem.
We have 3 daughters - 12, 7, 2 - we run the gamut of age-related drama. The middle child is just consistently troublesome in this area. We genuinely think she doesn't hear - and can't self-regulate in the moment, which isn't surprising, but the unwillingness or maybe inability to STOP when asked is really becoming a serious problem.
I would be more convinced it was unconscious, but it never happens in public. The oldest also almost never shows her drama side in public. I am glad they feel comfortable sharing their emotions with us, but I'm really tired of being the punching bag
We go through the same thing... and have tried all the same "solutions" as you (to no avail). I will be watching this thread for further ideas!
Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010
i used to babysit a 11 and 7 year old at night.
the 7 year old would be like this on nights he didnt get his physical exercise. dd has been like that too. without any sibling.
there were two factors. 1. how unfair life is that i have to go to bed at 7:30 and my brother stays up. 2. physical exercise.
now here is a boy who would be asleep in 15 mins. he really cant stay up later than 8, but he fights it all the time.
it was like clockwork. no bicycling or scootering in the evening, i knew what would happen at bed time.
I'd consider stepping up from the family therapist to a child psychiatrist; she may benefit from a non-stimulant like Intuniv (guacafine) that can be given at night and helps curb hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Have you tried just going with it? Getting crazy and active and running with her? Maybe she just needs to work off extra energy before she can calm down. At our house with play tag every night for about 20 min before bathtime.