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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DD is driving me crazy. In fact, she drives EVERYBODY crazy. No one is shunning us yet but I think that's just because she's gorgeous (it's impossible to stay angry with someone who looks that much like an angel).


Anyway, my DS has stopped beating up other children and can play quite nicely and behave himself in public
:, which we never thought would happen.

So my DD feels that it's her turn to take over. She's always been difficult to get along with because she's so... um... defiant (there's just no better way to put that). We're not very strict parents but we do have some rules: no climbing on the dinner table, no playing with knives, no running into the street, no pouring drinks on the keyboard, etc. (you get the picture). But she will not listen. No matter what we say. We know it's not a language problem (she's slow to speak) because she has no trouble understanding us when it's something she wants. She just has selective hearing. When we tell her (or ask, or beg, or cry) not to do something, she just gives us this little devilish grin and does it anyway. Every time. Without fail. Actually, that's not true. Sometimes she starts to do what we say and then changes her mind and misbehaves.

Anybody else BTDT? Hardly anyone could sympathize about my DS' pathological aggressiveness so we're hoping this is a similar situation that will also clear up with age and maturity. But what do we do until then? We can't go anywhere or do anything lately because her behavior is so wild. We even had to give up story time at the library.

Soon my DS is going to be on a long business trip and if this doesn't stop by then I'll be
.

Is this just another version of my DS' problem? I.e., the complete lack of self-control?

Please tell me SOMEBODY's dealt with such an extreme form of this...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And before anybody mentions it, no, she's not hyperactive. At least, not more than your average toddler. She's just strong-willed to a fault. When she's interested in something she can sit really still and concentrate for long periods of time (like 1.5 hours or longer). It's amazing to see, actually.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by VanessaS View Post
Thank you. I love your signature, BTW.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's more information, so you can all better picture what I'm going through (and commiserate with me):

If she's thirsty and we give her something to drink and it's the wrong thing (i.e juice when she wants milk or water) she'll (a marked improvement from even 2 weeks ago) sometimes turn it down and shake her head and other times she'll grab it and throw it across the room. I kid you not. Food will also go flying if it's the wrong thing or she's done eating. Dinner time commands my absolute attention because it is paramount to remove all food and drinks from in front of my DD the moment she's finished eating. For safety's sake. My mother, in her infinite wisdom, suggested we use "sippy cups". We took her advice and my DD was kind enough to unscrew the top before she threw it. (She's wild but she's not STUPID Mom!)
:

She is absolutely incorrigible. Just last week she climbed onto our desk chair and started typing on the keyboard randomly (we keep it locked when not in use, but STILL). I pulled her down and firmly said, "No, don't type on the keyboard." (she's too little for more explanation). Then she immediately climbed back up. I pulled her back down and admonished her again. She repeated this... drumroll please... 46 times. At which point I gave up on my I've-read-a-parenting-book attempt and put her in her room to scream at me through the door. I felt bad and let her out and she immediately ran into the other room and climbed back onto the chair. AAAAAGH!
This reminds me of how my DS used to be. If he started hitting another child it was TERRIBLE because nothing could make him stop short of dragging him off the other one and into another area or room. He's so different now (even a bit of a "sissy") that's it's hard for me to remember what he used to be like.

So, you see what I'm dealing with here...
 

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To me, she sounds much like my own 18 mo, who was much like my middle child at that age. She is very, very young . . .I think you need to rethink your expectations. I don't think this has anything to do with being gifted, but more with being a strong-willed toddler. My oldest was NOT like this at all, so my 2nd and 3rd have been quite the contrast, but I think far more typical. It is very tough, but like you said re: your son . . . the end does come eventually!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Panthira View Post
You know what they say about the word "don't" right? If you say, "Don't hit the the dog," kids will hear only the last part. So they will hear "hit the dog".
Yes, even adults! I think at this age, it's prevention, prevention, prevention, and redirection when that fails!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Panthira View Post
You know what they say about the word "don't" right? If you say, "Don't hit the the dog," kids will hear only the last part. So they will hear "hit the dog".
True. Frame it in the positive. "Be nice to the dog."

1. Baby-proof and kid-proof the heck out of your house so there aren't as many things for her to get into and you don't have to reprimand her as often. If she loves pounding on a keyboard, get her one that isn't attached to a computer so she can pound on it all she wants! Find ways to satisfy her needs without driving yourself crazy. If she throws her cup, she's obviously not thirsty for the time being. Don't immediately give her more, because that rewards the throwing. Make sure you're not rewarding negative behaviors (without meaning to).

2. It's the age.

3. Make sure she's getting plenty of sleep, GOOD food (no artificial colors or flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup), and LOTS of exercise!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
I don't think this has anything to do with being gifted, but more with being a strong-willed toddler
Maybe, but isn't it possible that the two are connected somehow? She's much more intelligent than most children her age but her maturity-age doesn't match her intelligence-age (typical asynchronous). It's often hard to remember that she's only 17 mo. When I see most kids this age it's shocking. They seem much more like babies whereas she's more like a preschooler. A very strong-willed preschooler.


Quote:
Baby-proof and kid-proof the heck out of your house so there aren't as many things for her to get into and you don't have to reprimand her as often.
The house is completely baby-proofed except for the computer. We're thinking of getting a roll-top desk but I don't know if that will help much unless we keep it locked at all times.

Quote:
If she loves pounding on a keyboard, get her one that isn't attached to a computer so she can pound on it all she wants!
She has one. She's not fooled! And you can forget redirection, she's got a one-track mind. The only person who can redirect her is my DS and that's because she's decided that everything that he does is interesting.

Quote:
If you say, "Don't hit the the dog," kids will hear only the last part. So they will hear "hit the dog".
That's a very good point, so I should try not to be so negative. But it wouldn't matter anyway as when she's busy with something she's completely unconscious of what I'm saying. I think it all sounds like, "Yada, yada, yada" to her. My DS and my DH are the same way. They get so focused that they forget the world around them. I usually have to touch them physically or wave my hand right in front of their faces to get their attention. Apparently it's typical VS and I'm used to it already.
They don't think in words but rather in pictures so I usually have to be very demonstrative when speaking to her or she doesn't understand.
 

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My 12 mo old does the same thing. He is very persistent and strong-willed. We have to redirect his attention to something equally as fascinating or interesting. Or sometimes he is really looking for me to play with him and give him more attn.

It really isn't appropriate to say something over and over to a 17 mo old. Your words soon lose any power they had and she'll learn to tune you out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Or sometimes he is really looking for me to play with him and give him more attn.
I thought that, too. But she really just want to do what she wants to do and it has nothing to do with me. I've tested this thesis. She gets a lot of attention and is even a bit spoiled and smothered (blame my mother) and occasionally locks herself into her room so that she finds some peace.

Quote:
Did you redirect her to her own keyboard?
Oh, yes! We tried her own keyboard and even her own little kiddie computer. She's not fooled. It's the connection of the keyboard and mouse movements with the monitor reaction that's so fascinating for her. I usually just lock the keyboard when I'm not using it but I don't like her to use it anyway and I certainly don't like her playing on the desk (she often climbs up onto the desk itself). We've tried taking the chair away but she can lift herself up anyway (yeah, amazing, I know). She can lift herself up onto the dining room table, as well, but she hasn't quite managed the kitchen cabinets. Though, not for lack of trying...

I know you all FEEL like you've been through this, but I don't think you've seen it in the extreme.

Oh, well. I suppose it will pass. Like I said, she occasionally shakes or nods her head to communicate, which is nice. Just 2 more years to go...
 

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Sounds like my high needs/spirited/explosive 23 mo.

It's the age, in large part. And yes, while her intellectual maturity may seem to far outpace her peers, her maturity level and self-control will ALWAYS be the same as others her age.

I think you need to reframe your thinking.

No WAY would I let her climb the chair 46 times before DOING something about it, if the chair is indeed off limits.

Our computer chair is off limits, too, but it's unfortunately in the corner of the living room, our main living area and her play room (2 bedroom condo). I got fed up with her clinmbing it, getting into stuff on the desk, pens, the keyboard, etc., and I decided it was OFF LIMITS. It's on wheels and she insists on pulling her belly up on it so her feet are off the floor, and while it hasn't tipped over on her yet, it seems like just a matter of time. So for two days, it sat on its side unless DH or I were using it, and if she went near it, I'd remind her it was off limits and completely redirect her to something else. It only took 2 days.

You have to find her "currency" for redirection. If we're both just getting aggravated with each other (we butt heads a LOT more than she and DH do, and he's her primary caregiver while I WOH FT nights), I get her out of the house. "Put on your shoes, we're going out!" is like pure heaven to her.

I've also found that getting out of the house with her every day is imperitive. We take a music class once a week, and we take a walk to Trader Joe's or the bank or wherever we need to go. Or we go to the park, the condo playground, the pool, the library, to Papa's office, whatever I feel up to/need to do.

It must be really frustrating to her to not be able to communicate more. I wonder how much that has to do with her behavior.

You aren't alone, it's a lot about the age and her temperment, and you can have peaceful days with some creative thinking!
 

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Maybe, but isn't it possible that the two are connected somehow? She's much more intelligent than most children her age but her maturity-age doesn't match her intelligence-age (typical asynchronous). It's often hard to remember that she's only 17 mo. When I see most kids this age it's shocking. They seem much more like babies whereas she's more like a preschooler. A very strong-willed preschooler.
QUOTE]

Vanessa, I do think the 2 are connected. While, thankfully, my DD (now 8) doesn't exhibit the behavior you've mentioned, she did start it at around 7-9 months. She became VERY angry, throwing objects, trying to bite, etc. Though I now know she's 'gifted', I most definitely didn't at the time, but I got 'lucky' in that I knew sign language (follow me, here, it will make sense in a minute) and since she couldn't express herself verbally I thought that's where her frustration was coming from. I began teaching her sign and within a month she had over 30 signs and would drag me around the house 'asking' for more. Her daycare was AMAZED and often had to call me at work to find out what she was 'saying'! Her anger diminished, once she was better able to communicate and our lives became much easier!
:

Also, I recently completed a 99 hour certification course to become an 'Anger Resolution Specialist'. Sounds impressive, but really all it did was teach me about anger and why we have it. I was raised that anger (and, most importantly expressing it) was 'wrong' or not 'lady-like', but now I know anger is an emotion designed to help us create change when our needs aren't being met. While my daugher is now MORE than verbal, my training has taught me how to stop and ask her 'What do you need?' when she's getting really upset. I have to learn to allow her to express her emotions (in a safe, healthy way, of course
) and teach her that by expressing it in a productive rather than destructive way, she can better get her needs met.

Sometimes it's hard as adults who are conscientious parents (giving our children clothing, shelter, food, love, etc.) to realize they may still have needs we're not meeting. Though she may understand what you're saying, if she's not able to express her wants and needs she can still be feeling extreme anger.

I can tell you're really searching for a way to make your life AND hers better. I hope this helps a little!
 

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DS was like that, it's a difficult combination of the age along with an unusually high concentration/focus level. Redirection has never worked with DS. The only way to stop him from climbing something was to either remove it to another room, which involved him crying for us to bring it back or looking for alternative climbing aperatus, or to remove him, which was usually a complete melt down. However, with maturity he at least is slightly more careful and willing to listen or negotiate sometimes. My main sanity saver was to get him out and busy as much of the day as possible.

Look on the bright side though at least she just wants to type on your keyboard. DS liked to pry the letters off, I remember the first time he did it when he was a little over a year. I had opened a new word document for him to type in and was sittinng across the room knitting. All of a sudden he toddles over to me and says "aych" and hands me the "H" key.
 
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