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<p>DD is 5yo and has been having a hard time staying even-keeled.  She's always been an intense little person. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Today, on the way home from school, she got upset about a very minor thing.  She went from being a happy skipping little girl to furious yelling screaming and kicking.  She doesn't really lash out physically at me, or anyone else but she can be violent towards objects (her things in her room, a door etc).  </p>
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<p>Today's incident of screaming etc. started in the car.  I tried to talk to her but she was just escalating so I decided to remain quiet until she calmed down.  Trouble is, she really doesn't calm down until she's gone far with her temper.  So, after angrily kicking the back of my seat (so much so that it was bumping me) she almost broke part of the seat.  And then she undid her seat belt and got out of her car seat.</p>
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<p>We were barreling down a highway at 60 miles an hour.  I couldn't pull over right there but I took the next exit and I stopped in a parking lot.  There's no point, when she is like this, trying to force a car seat buckle on her, so we just sat until she did it finally.  But it took me losing my temper and yelling.  <img alt="greensad.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="width:1px;height:1px;"></p>
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<p>This isn't the first time she's done something dangerous in the car.  A couple months ago in a fit of anger she picked up a shoe and threw it at me from the back seat. </p>
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<p>We live in a rural area.  Not driving is not an option. </p>
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<p>What can I do to stop this?  Both incidences I have raised my voice and gotten angry, but both times I've been scared.  And angry.  And worried that she will continue to do such dangerous things.  She's a smart five year old who understands things a lot of kids her age don't, so she definitely knows that what she did was wrong.  But it is as though something in her head blocks all reason and sense of safety.  </p>
 

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<p>can you get one of these?  would it help?</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.mypreciouskid.com/seat-belt-cover-angel-guard.html" target="_blank">http://www.mypreciouskid.com/seat-belt-cover-angel-guard.html</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://shop.ebay.co.uk/sis.html?_nkw=Seat+Safety+Belt+Buckle+Guard+Lock+Child+Seats" target="_blank">http://shop.ebay.co.uk/sis.html?_nkw=Seat+Safety+Belt+Buckle+Guard+Lock+Child+Seats</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://perfectlysafe.stores.yahoo.net/92205-bucklealert.html" target="_blank">http://perfectlysafe.stores.yahoo.net/92205-bucklealert.html</a></p>
 

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<p>That is such a tough spot! :hugs: I am just subbing so I can see what others have to say, as I have had some similar situations (not escaping the seat, yet, as she is only 3, but huge tantrums in the car, out of nowhere...)</p>
 

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<p>I noticed this happened after you picked her up from school. Do you bring a snack with you? A cheese stick and a banana/apple was my standard snack when driving home with my kids after daycare and kindergarten. Not only does it keep the blood sugar from tanking, it also kept them busy so that minor things were less likely to escalate.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<p>Yep - I'd brought a snack and a drink but she said she didn't want them (I offered multiple times).  I know she was hungry and we were going home to eat right away.  Regardless, even when she is hungry, this situation is unacceptable.</p>
 

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<p>But you yourself said that you lost your temper and yelled. And then you said you raised your voice and got angry on more than one occasion.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't think your daughter can really have a true sense yet of the dangerousness of her actions (as it relates to car crashes & mortality). But she is bright and she can see that anger and yelling are the way to go. And being young, I think that the physicality of the expression of her anger is just a matter of impulse control. Kids often express things with their whole bodies.</p>
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<p>Mommy gets big-angry-scary when she's upset. So she does too.</p>
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<p>(This was not meant to be hurtful....I too had to learn this lesson when I used to wonder why my son would hit and bite and scratch when he was mad. I realized that although I was not doing those things to him, the ESSENCE of those things was the same. That is, I was big-angry-scary-mama with the big frowny face and loud voice and threatening words. So he'd lash out back in the way kids do. As soon as I stopped it, the level of intensity went WAY WAY WAY down between us.)</p>
 

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<p>It sounds like your dd is in a booster?  If so, and if she's doing something so unsafe such as sliding under the belt, I think a logical consequence (and safety one) would be to put her back in a harness.  As for throwing things, I've had that issue with ds1 from time to time.  And the consequence I've always given him is that he cannot have anything in the car within arms reach for a few days.  No toys, no books, and I took his shoes off.  He HATED it and it works.  I just explained I needed to know that he was going to be safe in the car and explained why it was unsafe to throw things (what if it hit me, the driver, hurt me, and caused me to crash the car, etc). </p>
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<p>I think you are right in letting her "have it out".  Some kids just need to release that negativity.  And trying to stay calm and not react is key (I know, really hard to do).</p>
<p><br>
I also think, pre-emptively, you can talk to her about car safety.  She's 5yo and capable of getting that.  Let her know that her fits distract you and make you an unsafe driver (which can cause things like her or you or others getting hurt if you can't concentrate on driving).  Wriggling out of her seatbelt is unsafe and could cause her to be really hurt in an accident, etc. </p>
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<p>There are a couple things I would change.  First I would start getting into a routine of having a snack BEFORE starting your drive home.  Even if it means you need to stop at a park near school or a grocery parking lot and both of you have a piece of fruit and a drink.  Or crackers and juice etc.   Second I would move your childs seat so she is NOT sitting behind you.  This allows her to tantrum and not kick your seat.  DS has always sat behind the passengers' seat.  He started there because it was easier for me to use the carseat in that spot and he just never moved.  Now DS isnt the tantrum type of kid but I could see if there was a tantrum that is where I would want him to be.</p>
<p>I would also make sure you have your child locks on the cardoors engaged (if you have them).  That way if she manages to get loose in the car again she cant get out of the car.</p>
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<p>I would continue to stress car safety and car behavior.  However the behavior sounds like she needs a small snack after school and she is just decompressing from school.  She could be tired, issues at school etc... IMO that small break with you, the snack, etc could take care of the problem.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>One last thought... try a soft relaxation CD in the car, the music could help soothe her and make the drive pleasant for everyone!</p>
 

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<p>I would say pulling over in a parking lot and mom getting really frightened and angry was a natural consequence.  I would also say not driving anywhere not completely necessary for a few days was also a natural consequence.  </p>
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<p>DS went through a period of unsafe car behavior.  First seeing how much it scared me gave him a sense that this was truly important.  Then being told that no we can't go to visit Aunt XYZ b/c mommy is scared you will get out of you seat for a week made it real.</p>
 

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<p>When i was about 8 or 9 i took my seatbelt off to fight with my brother in a car while it was moving.  My dad stamped on the brakes and barrelled me into his seat/the central console.  I never did it again.  Not gentle i know, but i am similarly hard lines in the car.  It's the one place there is no compromise.  In your place i would cancel a really fun looked-forward-to thing because you can't trust her to be safe in the car, move her back to a harness with a guard, put her somewhere in the car that she cannot kick your seat, and probably (being me, not you) i would do what my dad would have done, which is to emergency brake and Go. Nuts. to get the point across.  The angriest DD has ever seen me is when she undid her seatbelt while the car was moving.  She hasn't repeated it.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NellieKatz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278728/natural-consequence-for-this-car-issue#post_16038412"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>But you yourself said that you lost your temper and yelled. And then you said you raised your voice and got angry on more than one occasion.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't think your daughter can really have a true sense yet of the dangerousness of her actions (as it relates to car crashes & mortality). But she is bright and she can see that anger and yelling are the way to go. And being young, I think that the physicality of the expression of her anger is just a matter of impulse control. Kids often express things with their whole bodies.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Mommy gets big-angry-scary when she's upset. So she does too.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(This was not meant to be hurtful....I too had to learn this lesson when I used to wonder why my son would hit and bite and scratch when he was mad. I realized that although I was not doing those things to him, the ESSENCE of those things was the same. That is, I was big-angry-scary-mama with the big frowny face and loud voice and threatening words. So he'd lash out back in the way kids do. As soon as I stopped it, the level of intensity went WAY WAY WAY down between us.)</p>
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<p>off topic a bit : but this is good advice for me too. i forget how scary i am sure i can be when i get upset and then i wonder why the kids react the way they do when they are mad.</p>
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<p>i like the idea of a snack and maybe a stop at a near by park. not sure where you are, that maybe out if it gets super cold and snowy, but just you and her for a few minutes and something to fill her belly my help. especially if she has had a bad day. the thing i have noticed with my kids is that they do well with others, but then get all crazy for me. i know this is because i am a safe person for them to get all crazy with... frusterating i know. ((hug))</p>
<p>h</p>
<p><br>
 </p>
 

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<p>I really disagree with this.  Anger is an appropriate reaction in some circumstances and a 5 year old being that disruptive in a car is absolutely one of those circumstances IMO. </p>
<p>OP - I think you've gotten some great advice.  I would certainly be canceling the next fun outing.  Lecturing ad nauseum before the next car trip and having another outing that will be canceled as an extra reminder before the next trip.  ie "Remember - no dangerous behaviour in the car and if you do behave that way we will not be able to go to _____".  That's the approach I've taken with my son in similar circumstances and it has been very effective. </p>
<p><br><span>Quote:</span></p>
<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>NellieKatz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278728/natural-consequence-for-this-car-issue#post_16038412"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>But you yourself said that you lost your temper and yelled. And then you said you raised your voice and got angry on more than one occasion.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I don't think your daughter can really have a true sense yet of the dangerousness of her actions (as it relates to car crashes & mortality). But she is bright and she can see that anger and yelling are the way to go. And being young, I think that the physicality of the expression of her anger is just a matter of impulse control. Kids often express things with their whole bodies.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Mommy gets big-angry-scary when she's upset. So she does too.</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>D_McG</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278728/natural-consequence-for-this-car-issue#post_16039424"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I really disagree with this.  Anger is an appropriate reaction in some circumstances and a 5 year old being that disruptive in a car is absolutely one of those circumstances IMO. </p>
<p>OP - I think you've gotten some great advice.  I would certainly be canceling the next fun outing.  Lecturing ad nauseum before the next car trip and having another outing that will be canceled as an extra reminder before the next trip.  ie "Remember - no dangerous behaviour in the car and if you do behave that way we will not be able to go to _____".  That's the approach I've taken with my son in similar circumstances and it has been very effective. </p>
<p><br><span>Quote:</span></p>
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<br><br><p>I think Nellie Katz didn't mean that you can't be angry. I believe she meant that the behavior she was modeling when she was angry was not ok.   When she was modeling that screaming was an appropriate response to feeling angry her kids picked up on it and followed suit. When NellieKatz learned  to channel her frustration and anger in a positive way her children also followed suit. Or at least that what I got from her post.</p>
 

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<p>So Im going to be realistic here.</p>
<p>The only natural consequence for a child throwing a shoe is the shoe hitting mom in the head and the car crashing.</p>
<p>The natural consequence for a child who takes their seatbelt off is flying through the windshield.</p>
<p>Since I'll never be prepared to let my child endure those types of consequences, I sure as heck have NO problem with a serious wake up here.</p>
<p>This is a matter of lives being at stake.</p>
<p>My 5 yr old ds pulled this twice on his way home from preschool last year.</p>
<p>I brought the snack and drink too, his favorite cd, and most of the time we had a very pleasant 15 minute ride back home.</p>
<p>The first time he did it, I cant remember why, but we had a talk about safety, how scared mommy was, what could happen...blah blah blah.</p>
<p>Well the second time, he wanted to go out to a restaurant for lunch (which we did do sometimes). I told him that it wasnt the day we could go and that I didnt have money.</p>
<p>He was really disappointed and started kicking my seat. He then hurled his water bottle which landed by the brake pedal area.</p>
<p>I pulled over into an empty parking lot, took him out of his seat, and sat him down on a curb in front of the car. I wasnt violent, but I was serious. I dont even remember if I said anything.</p>
<p>He didnt say a word. I just stepped about 3 feet away from him and did my deep breathing. When I was calm, we got back into the car and went home.</p>
<p>He never did it again.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> If I only talk about my 5yr old DS I could really look like I know what Im doing and offer advice</p>
<p>My 7 yr old DD is another story. I still havent solved that riddle.<img alt="" src="http://files.mothering.com/bouncy.gif" style="width:17px;height:32px;" title=""></p>
 

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<p>I think anger can be effective if it works and counterproductive if it doesn't--how is that for mixed advice? :)</p>
<p>A child over the age of 3 doing something really dangerous might learn a permanent valuable lesson by witnessing an outburst of parental shock and anger. The natural consequence of scaring the crud out of a driver is that the driver gets scared and upset. In this example your reaction (that parental shock/anger) is information. Perhaps a child needed that information, and with it, they can make a better choice next time. How a parent feels CAN be an appropriate and sufficient motivation for a child to make a better choice in some instances. In fact some children will provoke a situation until they are satisfied they have been given authentic information of this type regarding parental emotions (ie. the child wants you to 'get real' with them). However if you get angry and the child keeps doing the dangerous behavior then you need to do more than react and hope for best, and keep in mind that most often you WILL need to do more than show your anger and hope it works. Most of the time kids need to know more than just how their actions make us feel, they need direct instructions on what they should do as well as interventions that set them up for success.</p>
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<p>If this were my child I would make all the changes mentioned right away. Require a snack be eaten BEFORE driving home, move the carseat to the other side of the car, put a childproof buckle on the seat, and have clear consequences for disruptive car behavior. If this were my child he would be left home that evening if I ran any errands (which for my child WOULD have been a big deal consequence, but might not for yours). Even if you don't go anywhere that evening, announcing that she won't be allowed to go due to her behavior can have a very effective impact.</p>
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<p>This does two things. First, as the responsible adult you have ensured a 5 year old does not have the power to cause a serious accident. It is your job to make sure she can't do this after all. This is less stress on you as the driver. Right now she has way too much power. Second, you have set your child up for success by meeting underlying needs (food) and giving consistent consequences. In most instances time will take care of the rest.</p>
 

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<p>mom2happy, in the interest of full disclosure, that is exactly what I did when ds threw a royal shoe throwing fit in his carseat at age 4. I pulled over at a gas station and slid open the car door and then I walked away and left him there (within sight of me) while I calmed down on a curb. I think I might have put him on the curb with me once I calmed down, I can't remember, it was so long ago. And when I say I calmed down he knew I was furious with him, literally in a rage of fury, but I am not a yeller or screamer so it did not come to that, but I was livid and he knew it and was quite somber and scared because he knew something was happening that was out of the ordinary. Then we had a very serious "come to Jesus" kind of conversation, which probably involved a description of death, car crashes, etc. to impress upon him the seriousness of what he had done. He was not a baby. He knew better. He knew I knew it too. He never did it again. Ever. However, if he HAD done it again then I'd assume this situation required even more discipline and a large measure of prevention/consequences. But I don't feel bad over my response at all.</p>
 

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<p>I had trouble with kids unbuckling in the car also.  Not driving someplace wasn't an option.  (3 year old hates going to 10 year old's soccer game so she'd quickly learn to take it off and we stay home.  Not gonna work!)  I threatened and used tape over the buckles.  But what really worked was this-</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I let the kids stand in the car while we drove around our quiet dead-end neighborhood.  I let them feel how hard it was to keep their balance.  Then I pulled a move similiar to gobecgo's dad and hit my brakes a few times.  They went flying.  Then I had them sit in their car seats unstrapped and driving all of 8 mph hit my brakes again, with warning.  They still went flying.  Even at three they seemed to understand. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for the throwing of items, it still goes on.  And I keep the item they throw!  My mighty beanz collection is pretty cool at this point.<span><img alt="splat.gif" height="30" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/splat.gif" width="30"></span></p>
 

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<p>I think hearing anger is not going to help a child learn to control anger.  But hearing fear could certainly teach a child how serious it is to disturb a driver.  I remember once my older dd doing something (don't remember the specifics) that was a serious safety threat, and I was so shaken up I had to pull over.  I didn't yell at her, but she certainly saw how frightened I was.</p>
 

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<p>So, first, keep her seat on the other side of the car.  I know a pp already said that, I'm just restating because that is definately a necessity.  If she starts to throw a fit, then pull over, step outside of the car and tell her, "once you calm yourself we can go".  Then, turn your back to the car.  There will be times when pulling over takes a few minutes, but ultimately, pull over and go through this routine. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>You also need to work on her anger management at home.  If you solve the problem there, then the car issue will resolve as well. Also, give her acceptable ways to express her anger.  When she is calm, discuss options other than kicking and hitting for her to express herself.  Make sure she has the appropriate words to express herself.  Make her words matter, so if she screams "GO AWAY"  then, if at all possible, walk away.  If not, explain why it isn't possible, "honey, we are in the store, I can't just leave you alone right now, but I can stop talking for a couple minutes".  The more power she gains over her own anger, the less you will have to deal with issues in the car.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Petie1104</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278728/natural-consequence-for-this-car-issue#post_16040740"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>If she starts to throw a fit, then pull over, step outside of the car and tell her, "once you calm yourself we can go".  Then, turn your back to the car. </p>
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<br><br><p>I've done this too.</p>
 
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