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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Warning: very, very long

My DD(5) has always been a challenge to parent. I've posted on here about her a LOT. Lately in particular I feel like I am completely failing her as a parent. She's completely falling apart!

She spent 5 days of her vacation week at her grandparents' house. She runs the show there, gets her every hearts' desire, eats like crap, never gets to bed on time, etc. She was fine her first day home. The second night before bed she went ballistic when I had her tidy her room. I directed her specifically to pick up books and she started one of her patented "I can't!! I don't know how!" tantrums and threw a big book at me. I told her she could put herself to bed and walked away (bad move) and she launched into a mega insane violent tantrum, hitting, kicking, throwing breakable things, etc. I had to restrain her and when she continued trying to bite me I trapped her in her room for lack of a better plan to keep myself and the baby safe. She shoved her hands under the door trying to get at me and I told her to stop tickling my butt and she cracked up. We snuggled a little and I sent her to bed by herself. She did not fight it, went to sleep.

Next morning, getting ready to go to a party, trying to make valentines. "Did you write your cousin's name on it?" "I can't! I can't! I don't know how!!!" Flinging herself around, screaming, etc. Wouldn't get ready to go. Threats of missing the party had no effect. We got ready to go and waited for her in the car. She got her stuff on and joined us. Crisis over, was fine for a while.

Time to go home, she wanted to tie a scroll with a string but didn't have time. Freaks out. We wrangle her to the car, drive a bit, she is LOSING it. Gets her buckles undone and tries to exit the moving car to go back to do the string thing. We pull over in some neighborhood, she's going nuts, trying to break through the window to get out, trying to kick her sister in the face, slaps her dad in the face. He takes her out of the car and tries to hold her, she struggles and screams and tries to hurt him. We can.not get her to calm down. We start thinking about calling for professional help somehow. I discuss this seriously with DD, ask her earnestly to calm down so we don't have to go to the hospital, she gets buckled in. Five minutes later she's gabbing happily, string forgotten. At home I have her go to her room as consequence for hitting. No argument.

Today another flip out, not so violent but very long and very intense about not being able to ask for a sandwich. "I don't know how!!! It won't work!"

Is this......in any way normal? This level of violent tantrumming in a child almost 6? It's not totally new behavior, but not regular for her either. Happened once when I was alone with both girls at the mall and I almost had to call security because I couldn't manage both kids. The "I can't! I can't" freak outs are common, but the violence and fury is not.

Should I chalk this up to readjusting after her travels? I am inclined to head straight to the doctor assuming there's something majorly wrong.

I feel like I have made some sort of huge error that somehow she doesn't get how really, REALLY seriously unacceptable this behavior is. Or then on the other hand I think she does know, but still can't control it, so somehow I've completely failed to teach her to regulate her emotions. I feel so defeated.

Beyond that, she has chronic eczema that's flaring and her skin is all broken. Her lips are all red and chapped from chronic lip licking. She has encopresis and keeps soiling her pants, and still has way too many per accidents, too. And doesn't tell me until much later about either. She keeps narrowing her diet. Her recent growth spurt has her in a 6x for length and 4 for weight so all of her clothes sag while still showing ankles and wrists. And she is SO needy. Like she's a manual transmission vehicle and I am in the driver's seat. She is never content, grumpy, feeling sorry for herself, rude. But in between she's exuberant, creative, loving, nurturing to her little sister, and deeply conceptual.

I don't know what to do with this kid. Sometimes I just want to jump ship


Thanks for listening to me vent, internet mamas. Advice appreciated, but mostly just thanks for listening. It's hard to talk about this with people IRL.
 

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Have you tried eliminating anything from her diet? The skin and digestive problem could be flags for an allergy/intolerance, and the extreme behaviors could be a part of her re-action.


Is she worse after spending time with Grandparents?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your response.

We have considered diet in the past, but we were never good at being consistent. Our best effort was attempting to weeks of a Gluten and dairy free version of Failsafe. That was a nightmare, and there were no really obvious changes, so we gave up. I've been thinking about giving a top-5 type of elimination diet another try, with better preparation.

We definitely expect a backlash after visiting the grandparents. This current round of bad behavior, though, just seems SO extreme. I cannot imagine any child raised in a reasonably well-disciplined home having tantrums like this, but I also don't know a lot about children's typical behavior. That's why I'm hoping for feedback as to whether this behavior is within the realm of normal for a typical child under a bit of stress. To me it seems completely off the charts.
 

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I'm not sure

What to say. Is is possible she's ADHD. I hate to put labels on people, but ADD people can struggle with basic stuff like the string thing (patience, focus, control) and then have a very hard time with controlling frustration and anger. It does also sound like something is constantly irritating her. My son was a "I can't I can't" kid too, and trying to teach him stuff like ice skating or bike riding was a nightmare. We'd take him out on the ice (I think he was about 4?) and he'd throw himself back with ice skates on no less and writhe and scream on the ice. Bike riding lessons often involved screaming all the way down some very busy well populated streets as well as deliberate riding into obstacles and more screaming/crying. Homework was similarly awful with a lot of screaming "I CAN'T I DON"T KNOW HOW!!!" URG. I feel really badly too as my son is 14 and I still am unsure how to help him. One thing I wish I was not so susceptible to was public humiliation and embarrassment. If you can get a handle on that you'll for sure manage better than I did. If you can get her into a corner, room, safe place to let her tantrum it out that's what I would do. Then I'd try to talk about it with her when's calmed down. You can say "I guess tying the string is hard for you and you are angry but when you do x it's not safe for you or your sister or mom or dad. etc. etc." My son is very bright but emotionally, socially immature. One thing I was reading about ADD kids (my son is borderline) is they remain immature for longer, so when he's struggling with something you'd think a kid his age should be OK with I try to keep that in mind as a possibility. Tantrums go on for a surprisingly long time, even adults tantrum.
 

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I am inclined to head straight to the doctor assuming there's something majorly wrong.
I think this is your gut talking here and maybe you should listen. That scene you described in the car seems really abnormal and out of control to me.

That said, how many consequences can she avoid by flipping out? Are you a complete pushover? Do you threaten consequences but they don't ever happen when she gets really upset?

Another question- how scheduled is she? How does she feel about school? Does she have blocks of unscheduled (and screen-free) time to herself, to play with her toys, to play with other kids?

Given what you've shared, if I were you, I think I'd look for a child psychiatrist that practices play-based therapy for her to start seeing.
 

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Sounds a lot like what ive been dealing with with my 6.5yo most his life! A behavioral eval is a good place to start. Ped should be able to refer you for that. Its tricky to puzzle out exactly whst it is going on. With the eczema id be suspicious of food intolerances. Which...im afraid may be part of what my son's challenges too! I feel you though, making radical diet changes is terrifyingly hard and i haven't had the guts to take the plunge :( a big part of my son's challenges stem from anxiety. I wonder if there might be some adhd going on but im not sure. We're assuming he has oppositional defiant disorder on account of fitting the dx criteria 100%, lol. One thing ive seen some interesting changes with, not night and day but definte raised eyebrow level of "wow. Progress." Is we consulted a homeopath and got a constitutional remedy.

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
 

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I cannot imagine any child raised in a reasonably well-disciplined home having tantrums like this, but I also don't know a lot about children's typical behavior. That's why I'm hoping for feedback as to whether this behavior is within the realm of normal for a typical child under a bit of stress. To me it seems completely off the charts.
Oh, wow, please don't think that! Whatever the reason, or combo of reasons, for her behavior it's not because your home isn't 'well disciplined' and it's not as uncommon as you might think. She sounds a lot like our neighbor's 8 yo was at that age and they have a very mindfully disciplined home. Not in a bad way, but one that makes mine look like chaos on fire. ;) The kids know what to expect because everything has a routine, etc. She's one of four and the only one that has been that much of a challenge.


Some kids are more volatile than others and it really sounds like you might have a perfect storm right now...Highstrung easily frustrated kid with a new baby sib who just got spoiled for a week by grandparents plus allergy/food issues plus just being 5. Just being 5 is hard sometimes.

ETA~ FWIW I've felt many times that I'm the wrong kind of parent for dd2, but it is starting to mellow as she's gotten older.
 

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Yes

I've been there too, I constantly question why I can't seem to do enough for him, it's hard to see him struggle. In the past I wondered why other people seemed to be managing better, why was I finding looking after him so exhausting? One thing to keep in mind, if you have really intense kid is that for all the negatives you get a lot of positives too.


http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/temperament_and_your_child/temp4/

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/attention-deficit-disorder-adhd-in-children.htm

Even if your child doesn't have ADD you can still look at the strategies that work for these types of kids.
 

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Warning: very, very long

My DD(5) has always been a challenge to parent. I've posted on here about her a LOT. Lately in particular I feel like I am completely failing her as a parent. She's completely falling apart!

She spent 5 days of her vacation week at her grandparents' house. She runs the show there, gets her every hearts' desire, eats like crap, never gets to bed on time, etc. She was fine her first day home. The second night before bed she went ballistic when I had her tidy her room. I directed her specifically to pick up books and she started one of her patented "I can't!! I don't know how!" tantrums and threw a big book at me. I told her she could put herself to bed and walked away (bad move) and she launched into a mega insane violent tantrum, hitting, kicking, throwing breakable things, etc. I had to restrain her and when she continued trying to bite me I trapped her in her room for lack of a better plan to keep myself and the baby safe. She shoved her hands under the door trying to get at me and I told her to stop tickling my butt and she cracked up. We snuggled a little and I sent her to bed by herself. She did not fight it, went to sleep.

Next morning, getting ready to go to a party, trying to make valentines. "Did you write your cousin's name on it?" "I can't! I can't! I don't know how!!!" Flinging herself around, screaming, etc. Wouldn't get ready to go. Threats of missing the party had no effect. We got ready to go and waited for her in the car. She got her stuff on and joined us. Crisis over, was fine for a while.

Time to go home, she wanted to tie a scroll with a string but didn't have time. Freaks out. We wrangle her to the car, drive a bit, she is LOSING it. Gets her buckles undone and tries to exit the moving car to go back to do the string thing. We pull over in some neighborhood, she's going nuts, trying to break through the window to get out, trying to kick her sister in the face, slaps her dad in the face. He takes her out of the car and tries to hold her, she struggles and screams and tries to hurt him. We can.not get her to calm down. We start thinking about calling for professional help somehow. I discuss this seriously with DD, ask her earnestly to calm down so we don't have to go to the hospital, she gets buckled in. Five minutes later she's gabbing happily, string forgotten. At home I have her go to her room as consequence for hitting. No argument.

Today another flip out, not so violent but very long and very intense about not being able to ask for a sandwich. "I don't know how!!! It won't work!"

Is this......in any way normal? This level of violent tantrumming in a child almost 6? It's not totally new behavior, but not regular for her either. Happened once when I was alone with both girls at the mall and I almost had to call security because I couldn't manage both kids. The "I can't! I can't" freak outs are common, but the violence and fury is not.

Should I chalk this up to readjusting after her travels? I am inclined to head straight to the doctor assuming there's something majorly wrong.

I feel like I have made some sort of huge error that somehow she doesn't get how really, REALLY seriously unacceptable this behavior is. Or then on the other hand I think she does know, but still can't control it, so somehow I've completely failed to teach her to regulate her emotions. I feel so defeated.

Beyond that, she has chronic eczema that's flaring and her skin is all broken. Her lips are all red and chapped from chronic lip licking. She has encopresis and keeps soiling her pants, and still has way too many per accidents, too. And doesn't tell me until much later about either. She keeps narrowing her diet. Her recent growth spurt has her in a 6x for length and 4 for weight so all of her clothes sag while still showing ankles and wrists. And she is SO needy. Like she's a manual transmission vehicle and I am in the driver's seat. She is never content, grumpy, feeling sorry for herself, rude. But in between she's exuberant, creative, loving, nurturing to her little sister, and deeply conceptual.

I don't know what to do with this kid. Sometimes I just want to jump ship


Thanks for listening to me vent, internet mamas. Advice appreciated, but mostly just thanks for listening. It's hard to talk about this with people IRL.
You are not inadequate! You are doing great. Also, I think some of this behavior is typical, and some is not.

My kid had tantrums with tears about not being able to do things right at this age. Perfectionist meltdowns were a big thing for him for a lot of elementary school. He didn't get violent, but he did cry. I also remember that his teacher forbade the use of erasers, because kids would spend all their writing time trying to erase any wrong marks. A lot of what you wrote about your daughter worrying she would get wrong were things he worried he would get wrong and cry about.

Some adults think that tantrums are not typical in kids this age, but my observation is that many kindergartners and first graders do blow up like littler kids, usually outside of school where they feel safer. (Mostly at home, but I have actually seen kids that age melt down at the swimming pool, at the end of the day at day camp, or at synagogue--when parents are around, I mean. They hold it together until parents are there to make it feel OK to have feelings, or melt down in the car as soon as they are "not in public," but of course they still kind of are.)

The part that sounds scary and worrisome is the physical symptoms--not being able to control her pooping and peeing, skin breaking out, her lip-licking issue, and tantrums getting violent. I think the latter is a physical symptom and not an emotional development one, but of course I'm just some lady on the internet. You need a doctor for this one.

As some others on the thread have said, it might make sense to get her tested for allergies and especially for a physical problem that might be causing encopresis. The latter was a problem that my good friends' son had at that age, and it turned out to have a big physical component. He needed to take medication to be able to control his bladder (and by extension, his bowels--not being able to trust his body for signals meant it was all hard to manage.) He got super stubborn and refused to do a lot of things, I think because he was trying to cover up some of the feelings from not being able to control his accidents. That made them think it was all psychological until he had a better physical exam. He took the medication and it has helped, but he needed an accurate diagnosis first.
 

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Tantrums are pretty normal, it's our job as a parent to teach our children coping strategies on how to deal with issues instead of throwing a tantrum, but that takes time and effort.

The violence is not normal. That would concern me greatly. I would recommend a play therapist and visit to doctor, especially with what you said about her eczema. If it is food allergies, then you are going to have to deal with that, and get your parents on board, otherwise she isn't going to be able to stay with them.


None of this is a reflection on you as a parent. Your daughter has some issues which you are doing your best to overcome and help her with. It's just time to go seek professional help.


Just saw this and thought it might be of use?

http://www.upworthy.com/is-your-childs-behavior-worrying-you-this-app-might-help?c=ufb1
 

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Do you think she may have "sensory" issues- ie mildy anywhere on the "spectrum"/ I only ask this because my 6 year old, we discovered last year, has some issues in this area. We hadn't even considered it until some things came up and we took him to a natural health care clinic and they suggested it. He is most ly "fine" but has some issues come up.

So what we learned is that diet and supplements can play a huge difference. So for him we went gluten free, and for us low corn and low dairy, but some kids need no corn and no dairy ( and no soy either). We find when we do give him gluten and too much dairy, his behaivour issues get way worse.
We also added a childrens magnesium/calcium vitamin- magnesium can really help with calming them down. Also a great book for support with this is: The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook, Updated and Revised: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet
For us, and perhaps for your child, our son doesn't have autism. And he is non vaxed, BTW. But once we identified that some of his behavior stuff matched the spectrum stuff, and made the appropriate diet and mineral changes we ofund huge improvement. ALso adding fish oil/omega
 

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I wanted to add more as I got interrupted by my kid when I was doing my last post! The place we went to get him looked at is a place I also go to for health issues-- it is expensive but amazing-- just FYI if you have the means and inclination- the hansa center in Wichita Kansas.
But even reading the book I listed above can help. Prior to changing his diet my son had dark circles under his eyes- they went away when we eliminated dairy. HE still has some dairy but way less. And gluten was huger than we thought.
Also brain/behavioral stuff is related to the gut ( digestive tract). We also added digestive enzymes. fish oil is ahuge help to the brain- though when we did it too often he started getting nosebleeds. so we stopped it all together for a while an dthen added it back in very slowly- now instead of daily fish oil he has it two- three times a week and no nosebleeds.
LEt's see-- what else- oh yeah we give him also this trace mineral stuff to help with his minerals.
Good luck, I think a lot of it coud be helped with some of this stuff- my son was having some pretty bad stuff that resolved form this and when we occasionally slip up with too much gluten /dairy we see a big change in his behavior. We can give him a little but not a lot. And once you get used to it it isn't that hard to do. a lot of the behavior stuff can basically be brain inflammation/gut inflammation. another tip is to add Epson salts and hydrogen peroxide to the baths- it helps with detox and adding magnesium via the hydrogen peroxide
 

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I have no idea of this might be useful to you, but a friend of mine has a child that began exhibiting some pretty extreme tantrums. After much research has recently been able to get her treated for PANDAS. And it has apparently made a huge positive difference for her daughter.

I don't know very much about it at all, but your description of your daughter reminded me of her description of hers.
Here's a link she posted to Facebook about PANDAS
http://www.pandasnetwork.org/understanding-pandaspans/what-is-pandas/
 
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