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I am completely, totally losing it. My up-till-now reasonable 5 1/2 YO DS has turned into someone possessed or something. I could tell this kid to eat chocolate ice cream for breakfast and he wouldn't follow directions. He can't seem to keep from hurting his little sister for more than 60 seconds. He won't comply with limits -- even though we are pretty permissive and limits are either completely about safety (don't leave the yard without permission) or politeness (don't roar at people). And every 5 minutes (or so it seems) he is having a temper tantrum about being reminded of limits or directed to stop hurting his sister. This is getting completely out of hand. I sent him to his room 4 times today "until he could be socialable again", for throwing things at DD, kicking one of us, trying to crush DD in the gate because she wouldn't let go, and generally screaming at me. Mostly I'm trying to protect DD and him, because if I don't remove him from me I will strike him. I have lost it twice in the last month and spanked him -- both times after he hurt DD.

Is there an effective way to help him listen and follow instructions? I've tried explaining why every single limit is in place, I've tried to eliminate any limits that I couldn't explain to him (because I figure those are probaby arbitrary), I have been extremely attentive when the two kids are in the same room, I've tried to be as proactive as possible about food and other things, we've moved bedtime back almost an hour. No real changes in his life that I can pinpoint. I'm now resorting to removing him to his room. As I said, I'm really afraid that if I don't do this, I'll hit him again.
 

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Hey, first of all, good for you for realizing you are so close to the brink. We all go there sometimes.
I don't have a 5 1/2, but I have a 4 1/2 and I've noticed the half years are tough. 4 1/2 was terrible for about a month- tantrums, extreme anger over unpredictable nothings....so maybe this will pass soon!

In the meantime, hugs - and can you get someome to give you a break? Grandma, dad, good friend?
Betsy
 
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