New Here need help!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mythreetees, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. mythreetees

    mythreetees New Member

    Hi I am new to this site and would love others parents advice. Today I am at my wits end because each day is a battle at my house. My difficult child daughter just turned 6 and is in Kindergarten. She is very smart and can be so loving and fun. But she has these out of control rages that we don't know how to deal with. Usually something sets her off, like picking clothes for school and then she starts to scream and cry and flail on the floor. She grunts and we can hardly understand what she is saying or what she wants. Lately it has been about picking clothes for school which seems really silly, but gets in this rage and we can't even talk to her. She loses all sense of reason and control. If we put her in time out she kicks the walls and destroys everything in her path. She hits, and yells that she hates us and that we don't love her. When we try to give her a consequence she just uses that as something prolong her anger. If we try to walk away and ignore her she follows us and gets more angry for ignoring her. This morning before school I was trying to get her and her brother to start getting dressed and just because we left the room before she was ready is what set her off. She wanted us to come and stand right in the same spot we were before until she decided to come with us. When I told her she could just go to school in her pjs that made her more mad and she followed me around the house screaming and yelling at me that she didn't want to go to school in her pjs and what a mean mom I am. So this is happening at least every other day. I don't know what to do. When she rages their is just no talking to her. The interesting thing is that she is on her best behaviour with other people. Her teachers at school think that she is an angel, she is quiet and does what she is told, she listens well and does all her work. They tell me that she is just so well behaved, but at home she can be such a holy terror and my husband and I just don't know what to do. It seems like their is almost a disconnect when it comes to her actions and consequences. Is this ODD or something else?

    Thanks so much for reading my rant. Please Help!!!!
  2. amy4129

    amy4129 New Member

    Welcome to the site. You will find lots of other parents who are trying to figure things out. You will get lots of advice and suggestions, take what you can use. Both my boys have ODD and are much better at school than home.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hi J and welcome. I'm sorry you have to be here. We are just experienced parents here and can't diagnose but it does sound like your daughter's behavior is outside of normal bounds.

    I've got a few questions:
    Do you feel the problem with dressing is because she's being rushed, doesn't like/feels uncomfortable in the clothes or she is frustrated/overwhelmed?
    What other triggers have you noticed?
    How does she interact with her peers/brother?
    How long do her rages last?
    Did she develop normally (meet her milestones? sleep problems? frequent illnesses?)?
    Is there any history of mental illness or developmental disabilities in the family tree?

    As for her behaving well for others, it's not uncommon for our kids to honeymoon with others outside the home. Our kids tend to let loose at home because they just can't hold it together any longer. You are going to want to get your daughter evaluated, preferably by a team of specialists, to figure out what's going on with her. FWIW, ODD often travels with a co-morbid condition (such as bipolar, adhd or autistic spectrum). In these cases, it's imperative to figure out the root cause in order to lesson the effects of ODD.
    Here's some info about some of the various disorders we've seen come through here, multidisciplinary evaluations:

    Many of us have had great success with the parenting techniques explored in The Explosive Child by Ross Greene, you probably should get hold of copy as our kids don't tend to respond to traditional parenting methods.

    Again, welcome. Responses can be slow as we are heading into a holiday week soon, but others will be along.
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Welcome! I'm glad that you found us.

    Usually when children reach this age are are still having such extreme reactions to things there is an underlying cause. It's critical to get to the bottom of it or else you waste tons of time and energy on strategies that don't work. In some cases the child's behaviors will actually be heightened because their needs aren't understood.

    My child had these kinds of rages and clothing was one of the frequent triggers. I cannot tell you how many times we went to battle over clothes until I realized that there had to be something going on--I didn't know what but I knew I needed to change strategies. Finally I went out and bought 6 outfits in matching sizes and colors that were as close the the clothes he was most likely to accept. This reduced the clothes wars by about 70% but they did continue on until I really understood what was up.

    In my son's case what was up was that along with his other issues he had Sensory Integration Dysfunction--his brain isn't wired up to handle sensory input like most of ours and simple everyday things can send his into fight or flight mode. Here's more info on that:

    While you are looking for answers, I would suggest backing down on the issues that are causing your daughter problems. Change tactics and look for creative solutions and don't dole out consequences because if they haven't worked by now you're probably wasting your time and possibly making things worse. The Explosive Child will help you in that sure to read the thread at the top of the board about the book.

    Did her issues (rages, difficult behavior) increase when school started?
  5. Ltlredhen

    Ltlredhen New Member

    Just wanted to pop in and add my welcome.
  6. Andrea Danielle

    Andrea Danielle New Member

    Me too! Welcome to the site. I am sure you will get a lot of great information here and you will quickly find that you are not alone. We are all doing through something similar. Good luck on your journey!

  7. mythreetees

    mythreetees New Member

    Thanks so much for the welcome and the advice. To answer your questions: We have tried having her pick out her clothes the night before and in the morning she will change her mind and throw a fit. It isn't just clothes. I think that she wants to be the one in control. Last night we had another one because I went to let the dog out before I helped her with her homework. I didn't even know that she was ready for my help. She wanted me to put the dog back and somehow undo what was already done. This is very common. She wants me to have magical powers and if she doesn't like the way something is or if what she wants at that moment isn't available than she gets angry and wants me to fix it to her liking, which is usually not possible. She did have reflux pretty badly as a baby, she didn't sleep and cried all night. We finally had to swadle her at night in order to get her to sleep. If she could move her arms at all she would wake up screaming. She did grow out of it at about 11 months, but really has been difficult ever since. She did develop normally, was even a little early reaching quite a few of her milestones. Her an her brother can usually play together quite well, but lately she has started to be really mean and nasty if he does something that she doesn't like, she will yell and shove him and tell him that she never wants to play with him again, and when I tell her to be nice she looks at me like "are you really talking to me?" and just keeps doing what she wants. She gets along great with her friends from school. It really does just seem to be here at home or at Grandmas that she behaves this way.

    My mom, me and my sister have all suffered from a little bit a depression and anxiety, but that is all. I appreciate all of the suggestions and will be looking at all of the website references and getting the Explosive Child.
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Sigh...been there, done that on all of these kinds of issues. Those were some long years until we got over the hurdle and difficult child became flexible and rational.

    I know it is her determined behaviors that have brought you here--that's the same with all of us. But it's critical that you look beyond her wanting to be in control. Usually if you look beyond "stubborness" to other behaviors you will find clues as to what's going on. I know that's really hard to do because it's the difficultness that makes life so hard for parents and siblings.

    Does she have any unusual interests or obsessions?

    Something for you to try some morning soon to see if it helps any: Make some kind of simple schedule for the morning routine. Use simple pictures (or words if she's reading) in a list. There are some kids that will do much better if they know exactly what to expect and so situations like letting the dog out don't upset the apple cart.

    Wake up
    Eat breakfast
    brush teeth
    get dressed
    get packed for school
    get on bus