behavioral issues with my 5 year old daughter.. please help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by em87, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. em87

    em87 New Member

    I tried posting on another forum but it never showed up. So I am simply going to list my daughters issues:
    hitting others
    lying/blaming others for things she has done
    destroying things on purpose
    going from throwing a tantrum to giggling (extreme mood swings)
    sneaking into the fridge and eating off others plates
    kicking our dog
    She also does other things like attaching to people easily and if you say "i love you" to another child even if you just said the same to her she says "you like her more or you don't love me". She has issues with paying attention unless its a cartoon she is watching. I try reading to her, she pays little attention. I have tried time outs for misbehavior and redirection. The pediatrician won't give me a referral to see a psychiatrist saying she is too young (she will be 6 in about 2 months). I don't want her to have lifelong problems socializing with others and want her to be able to make friends which is becoming an issue for her. She has no consideration for others and I cannot even find anyone who will babysit her more than once. I love her, and I want to get her help. She is mean to her brothers and sister and she doesn't feel any remorse and carries on horribly in time out. Once in awhile she is fine, but then comes that mood swing and it is really becoming such a problem that it interferes with the other children's activities even to the point of not being able to go out in public with her for fear of a tantrum. I literally just want to cry sometimes, because I feel so bad for her, and it is so stressful. I don't know what is wrong, and I have talked many many times with her doctor to no avail. I just want to know what is wrong so I can get her help... please help me!!!
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    No time for my usual long list of questions but...
    What were her first three years like? adopted? bounced around? behaviours?
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you tell us a little about her early years? Did she have a lot of chaos? Can you tell us about her milestones and her family situation. Dad around? Divorce? Remarriages? Lots of early different caregivers? Has she ever been evaluated by somebody other than a pediatrician who normally doesn't know much about childhood disorders?
     
  4. em87

    em87 New Member

    She walked early 9 1/2 months. At 3 months she had a very serious strep d blood infection, hospitalized for 3 weeks I stayed with her the whole time and babied her quite a bit after that. Her father and I divorced when she was 18 mths old, she was headstrong even then.She has seen her father on a regular routine ever since the divorce. She did have some tantrums early on, but it only became a problem at around age 3. She began throwing tantrums and getting into things, biting and hitting. It has just escalated more and more. She did have episodes in pre-k but now in Kindergarten the teacher has had very few problems with her.
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did she have one primary caregiver or did grandma, auntie, dad, you etc. all take turns taking care of her. Divorce is a major disruption at a tender time in her life.

    I think IC is thinking of what I am. Perhaps she has an insecure attachment. Her symptoms remind me of the kids I've fostered (and one that I adopted) who have had attachment problems of various degrees. Crazy lying is a big symptom. Being mean to animals is another. Violence, of course. Lack of a conscience or a diminished conscience is a big sign. If a little kid sees another child crying, most kids will be upset and may even go up to the child to try to f ind out what's wrong or give them a hug. Attachment disordered kids normally do not act upset that a peer of theirs is hurting. And if they do something wrong, they don't disply any remorse.

    I think a good neuropsychologist evaluation would help you figure out what is going on. I'm just a layman parent, but it doesn't sound like the usual suspects to me...sounds worse than ADHD and not particularly consistent with autism. Sounds like she needs somebody very smart and well-educated in childhood testing to see her.

    Hugs and let us know what you decide to do.
     
  6. em87

    em87 New Member

    I did remarry and divorced again. She did not have a lot of different caregivers. She had me, her dad on his days, and one babysitter (her grandma). She was not bounced around, and I have been the main caregiver her whole life. I have full custody and her dad gets visitation on weekends. She does have 2 brothers and 1 sister and they do not behave the way she does. She hasn't been evaluated by anyone other than southern Indiana pediatrics, and they don't seem to want to give me a referral even though I have requested one several times. I have tried redirection and time out as the pediatrician. suggested, doesn't seem to have any effect upon her. I want her to be able to make friends, but she is having trouble with that because she is bossy and she purposefully tries to annoy other children. She tears up others belongings. I really need pointed in the right direction. I have thought maybe she is bi-polar because of the intense mood swings. Her doctor said that it was probably just her age. I'm soooo frustrated with her dr!
     
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can you get a doctor without the referral?

    Her brothers and sisters were different ages when you went through all of that divorce stuff. Although it unfortunately happens, it can affect our children's ability to attach if they have too many changes in their first three years of life. Even if she doesn't have that, something is going on and it will be very hard once she gets into school if she is not seeing somebody and diagnosed. Typical behavioral methods do not tend to work with our kids. If the teachers and even your own family members do not know what is going on, sadly they tend to blame your parenting (which is not the problem) and label the child as "bad." I would try to catch that before it happens. It's not fun and it's frustrating for you and the child. Certainly, having other kids, you know that her behavior has nothing to do with her age and that most kids don't act that way.

    I wish you luck and hope you can figure out what is going on and get help for her!!
     
  8. em87

    em87 New Member

    I am her primary caregiver now and have been for four years, but when I was with her daddy he took care of her while I worked. Grandma only watched her rarely when I had a dr appointment. Now I have her Mon-Fri and her dad sees her for 8 hrs on sat and 8 hrs on sun. I have done mommy/daughter days and even then with just me and her she acts up, even tried to steal candy from a store we were in then had a tantrum/meltdown when I made her put it back and apologize. She can be so sweet and loving then turn violent and hateful. I want to be able to take her places and have fun as a family. I want to be able to trust that she isn't going to hurt her brothers or sister. I love her and want to help her get better. It is so hard to go through this, and even harder to watch her go through this, whatever this is. There are good days though, ones where she won't have the mood swing until the very end of the day and was good as gold all day long. And on those good days the tantrum right before bed I usually chalk up to a long day and being tired. But I don't understand the ones that are all day long, on and off.
     
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Here's an approach... a different approach.
    Stop trying to fix the tantrums.

    Yes, I'm serious. Instead, simplify your life. HUGELY. Take out of your live everything that brings stress, chaos, change, exposure to crowds, expectations for top-level behavior. Yes, that means that you can't take her with you when you go shopping. If you're a single parent, you can't do this without help. You need to see if you can get her to the point where she can cope with life. If bedtime tantrums are "normal" for your home, then... even on a good day, too much is being packed in.

    If she's wired differently, reducing the overload WILL show impact on behavior, and be a clue as to where to go looking for help. If she's more attachment disordered, these changes will not have an impact, OR will make things worse. In which case, it gives a different direction for you to pursue.
     
  10. smo1

    smo1 New Member

    I know EXACTLY how you feel. My daughter turned 6 recently and her behavior is VERY similar. Our backgrounds are also very similar. I separated from her dad at about 12 months then remarried, then divorced 2 years later. I have been the constant through everything. We have moved many times and she has had various caregivers. She is an only child.

    We were at a mommy daughter day on Sunday and it was a pleasant day and we did all activities that were unexpected treats for her. (because I am reading this book that is a parenting book that has daily things to do for your child). When we were at our last place to stop she switched behavior so quickly and I was just so lost. I am at a point of considering counseling for her.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did your child witness any domestic violence? Any possibility that abuse is going on at Dad's? Does he have any shady friends? Here is a blurb about attachment problems. The whole link is listed below the blurb. You can see if it rings true or not. Nobody will know better than you do if this sounds like your child! It also offers a way of treating it as traditional methods don't work. Good luck, whatever path you walk!


    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] [/FONT]The attachment process can be disrupted in a number of ways, including:
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] · separation from the primary caregiver
    · trauma
    · abuse
    · prenatal exposure to drugs or alcohol
    · unalleviated childhood illness or pain
    · divorce or loss · multiple caregivers
    · chronic maternal depression
    · neurological problems
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] In many cases, a thorough history will reveal a reason for disrupted attachment. In other cases, the reasons are less clear, but the deficit in basic trust is unmistakable.[/FONT]​
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] Issues of problematic attachment are suspect when a child shows these types of symptoms:
    · unable to comfortably tolerate closeness with caregivers,
    · motivated by material rewards but not by the intrinsic satisfaction available in healthy relationships,
    · reported by parents as having 'a behavior problem ever since s/he was a baby.'
    · superficiality
    · indiscriminate affection
    · clingy behaviors
    · annoyingly incessant chatter
    · lack of eye contact
    · dishonesty
    · cruelty
    · poor peer relationships
    · inappropriate demands (sometimes to the point of tantrums)
    · physical aggression
    · poor impulse control
    · poor conscience development
    · low self-esteem
    [/FONT]​
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] Accurate diagnosis is crucial because some neurological syndromes masquerading as attachment disorder, carry quite different implications for treatment. Fortunately the diagnostic process has been aided in recent years by various assessment tools, behavioral checklists, and brain scan techniques.[/FONT]​
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] Treatment: What Works, What Doesn't[/FONT]​
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] Because these children lack the capacity for genuine relationships, relationship-based processes such as traditional therapy and parenting methods often are ineffective. The stress the children with attachment disorder create in the home environment is so great, often they require out-of-home placement.[/FONT]​
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] Since traditional treatment approaches that aim to change or modify specific behaviors are notoriously unsuccessful with children with attachment disorder, it is more effective to deflect attention away from specific negative behaviors. It is more helpful to view the problem behavior as the child's way of keeping others at a distance, and recognize that the true problem is fear of intimacy. It is usually more useful to emphasize closeness as non-negotiable. [/FONT]​
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] What does it mean to say closeness is not negotiable? It means that when the child is having a hard time, s/he needs to be close so that the caregiver can help, and, if the child is having a good day, the caregiver needs to be close so as not to miss out on the fun! Non-negotiable closeness implies substituting nurture and supportive control techniques in place of punishment. Common interventions such as isolation, seclusion, or the familiar 'go to your room' are counterproductive in the treatment of attachment disorder, because these children have what is called a 'reversal of learning' in which closeness is scary and distance is safe. Therefore, isolation has exactly the opposite of its intended effect: it is gratifying or rewarding to the child.[/FONT]​
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] This ‘reversal of learning' phenomenon is a primary reason why traditional treatment models generally fail to benefit children with attachment disorder. The same contingencies that will extinguish a behavior in an adequately attached child may reinforce the behavior in a child with attachment disorder. In addition, programs that rely on 'point' or 'level systems' are seldom effective, because children with attachment disorder show a remarkable ability to 'work the system' to get rewards, without internalizing any meaningful changes. Such children do better in treatment programs that minimize systems or rules, while maximizing human interaction. The needed human interaction can be maximized by requiring the child to negotiate needs and privileges directly with the caregivers.[/FONT]​
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] Programs utilizing nurture and non-negotiable closeness, such as the treatment model originally developed at Forest Heights Lodge, can provide the corrective emotional experiences that help make up for the deprivations and deviations in nurture that alter attachment and subsequent development. These kinds of programs are helpful for younger children. As children reach later stages of adolescence, developing trust is still a crucial issue when working with issues of attachment. However, it becomes complicated because part of the ‘normal' process of adolescence involves moving beyond one's initial attachment to parents and caregivers. Yet, the development of trust is still a critical need in order to build healthy attachments. As adolescents move toward adulthood, their peers become their most important relationships. Often substance abuse becomes their way of dealing with the pain of attachment disorder. Another way adolescents try to cope with attachment disorder is to build a sense of trust and relationship with their peers through the strong bonds formed within a gang.[/FONT]

    http://www.strugglingteens.com/archives/2000/6/oe03.html
    [FONT=Times New Roman, Times, serif] [/FONT]
     
  12. em87

    em87 New Member

    Thank you all for your insight! I am so glad to know that I am not the only parent experiencing these issues. Finding this website has been wonderful :) I don't know how much I can simplify things though. She has to go to visitation at her dads and she is in kindergarten. I have pretty much stopped taking the kids to the store with me. I still try to do the mother/daughter days though. I have established routines around school hours as much as possible. Today she got off the bus and she is in an excellent mood, which is wonderful. I try not to stress about the possible tantrum to come, and I will try getting her to bed a little earlier and see if that helps any. Keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  13. em87

    em87 New Member

    No she has not witnessed any domestic violence.
     
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    SMO...
    Welcome
    You might want to start your own thread... you will get more responses that way.
    Maybe she had just one too many unexpected treats that day.
    Some kids just can't handle that... mine sure couldn't. We walked a fine line between telling them ahead of time (and generating anxiety and anticipation related problems), and surprising them (and getting transition issues). And doing a combination of unexpected things? usually resulted in overload.
     
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What do you have for a bed-time routine? And how long does it take?
    Some kids need an hour or more for wind-down... dim lights, quiet house, quiet activity, maybe a bath, etc.
     
  16. em87

    em87 New Member

    It takes about 2 hours. Bath, then a book, then tucked in. But a lot of times they come back out about 3-4 times then we redo the book (end up reading about 3) and tucking in.
     
  17. smo1

    smo1 New Member

    *I completely agree. Answer to prayers.
     
  18. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    em87,

    Welcome! I'm very happy you found us as this is the most wonderful group of caring, knowledgeable individuals ever! I'm getting here a bit late and you've already been given some excellent advice. The one thing I'm going to add is that if you need a referral from your pedi in order to get your daughter a though neuropsychologist exam, in my humble opinion, it is time to find a new pedi. Even if you don't need a referral, I still think it's time to find another primary care physician for your children. Any doctor that refuses to truly listen to what a parent has to say, in my humble opinion, isn't worth seeing. When my middle child, difficult child 2, was born, I knew very early on that there were issues but our pedi at the time said I was just an overly nervous, neurotic mother, that just because difficult child 2 wasn't reaching the same milestones at the same time as difficult child 1, it didn't mean that there were issues. To make a long story short, I wrote a letter to the pedi explaining why I was taking my children out of his practice, found a new pedi who gave me some valuable advice and the referrals I needed to begin the process of determining what was wrong with difficult child 2.

    Thinking of you today, hoping today is a good one for you, your difficult child... Hugs... SFR
     
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