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I have a 5 1/2-year-old daughter who ordinarily is reasonable and thoughtful. Right now I am so challenged by her, it's wearing me out.<br><br>
It used to be that when she was angry, she might shout or stomp around or whatnot to get the feelings out (which I would always validate and support). Now, however, when she is angry or frustrated about some small thing not going her way, watch out! She hits (only me, not her dad or other people), she kicks (again, pretty much only me), and lately she has started destroying things in her anger--throwing around pieces of a board game, dumping over hampers of laundry throughout the house.<br><br>
I always acknowledge her anger, try to redirect her expression of it (hit a pillow, kick the sofa), but when she's in the thick of it, she will not be deterred. It lasts for maybe 5 minutes, and then she is back to her usual self. I wish I could anticipate these episodes better, but honestly lately she can go from zero to rage-fest in what seems like seconds. Example: She wanted me to play a board game with her. She started to set up the game on the floor in a spot I knew wouldn't be comfortable for me. I suggested we move the game to a different rug in the same room, bent down to pick up the game board, and she exploded, screaming NOOOO!! then throwing the game pieces everywhere.<br><br>
I am figuring this is some sort of developmental phase that is particularly challenging for her emotionally. She's just finishing up preschool and will be attending K in the fall. Other than that, there are no other factors I can think of that would contribute to such intense emotions.<br><br>
Is this a 5 1/2-year-old thing? A need for control as she's on the cusp of a new chapter in her life where greater independence will be necessary? Help! I hate to say it, but I am treading so lightly lately around her, I just get so defeated by these episodes (1-2 per day) that I don't enjoy her company much right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> The hitting, kicking, and as of last night scratching (!) are really getting to me. I try to help her control her body, but I simply cannot physically restrain a 40+ pound kid who's angry.
 

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DD is just five, and at this point, hitting is the only thing we still do time-outs for, and I send her to her room. She can come out whenever she is done hitting and tantrumming.<br><br>
It's just not ok to hit me, and frankly, it makes me lose my temper, so in our house, she is better off in a timeout than me trying to playfully parent her out of it and then REALLY losing my temper.<br><br>
It usually works and she's over it fairly quickly. If she won't go to her room, I walk away, go start cooking something or take the dog for a quick walk around the yard. A quick change of scene usually does us both good.<br><br>
And when I return, then she goes into time out for hitting for a few minutes and then we talk about how I don't want to be hit, and it's not acceptable in our family to hit anyone, ever.<br><br>
I always say this, but watch how much sugar she eats, too? I found that DD was particularly explosive temper-wise if she had too many juice boxes. Some are better than others, but for the most part 1 juice box exceeds the RDA of sugar for a 4 year old. I don't even know if this is really possible, but in DD's case, last fall it seemed like we bought full-sugar juiceboxes at Costco, and halfway through the pack she was just melting down every day. Maybe just a coincidence, but since then I really pay attention to how much sugar she is taking in each day.
 
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