What would you do?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bigbear11, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    So... things have been touch and go here since my husband and I got back from vacation 2 weeks ago (Trex stayed with her big sis and had a ball). She has kept it together for the most part with some really good days but a few BAD rages along the way. She got a really bad scratch from the cat yesterday that is now red and swollen so we were taking her to the Dr this morning to see if she needed antibiotics. She got upset at the house becuase she was going to miss the first hour of VBS (she knew we had the appointment yesterday so no surprise). Was hitting and refusing to get dressed, etc. Finally got herself together enough to get in car. She started hitting, pinching, grabbing my husband's glasses going down the road.... bad scene. I had left when they did to go to work.

    We are planning to leave on Friday to drive to Ohio to see some of my husband's family and then go by Dinosaur World in KY which she loves and has been looking forward to for months. Also planning to take our time and swim at the hotels along the way. Since she seems to be in one of those "cycles", we are so afraid that this will happen on the trip... it will be kinda stressful. Plus on one hand, we are tempted to say she isn't going and she and I stay behind due to her behavior in the car this morning.

    I am torn... would this get through to her about how serious the car "rage" was and that being violent toward us in a vehicle is not going to be tolerated (yes I know... shouldn't be tolerated anywhere but one thing at a time). It might make her understand. Or should we go as planned and not use this for punishment. Just for clarity... I am not talking about punishing her loosing control but the hitting, pinching, trying to break Dad's glasses thing.

    What would you all do?
  2. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Update... between the time I posted the initial comment and now... about 45 minutes we had another rage. Seemed to be triggered by not being able to find a princess doll and got frustrated. Hitting, name calling, trying to break stuff in the house, etc. I am so leaning toward saying "sorry... when you treat people like you have been treating your Dad and I, you do not get to do the fun things". If she and I don't go then the days at home will be H*** but maybe it would make a point. She knows better than to behave that way. She could control the hitting and stuff maybe not the frustration and melt down. Months ago during rages, she would grab magazines and stuff of ours and rip them to shreds. One day, she was doing that and grabbed up one of her favorite coloring books and ripped it into. Mature I know but you know what... she has not ripped anything of ours since so she can control I just don't think she tries becuase there are never any "consequences". Sorry... I am just so angry right now... bad day.
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    First of all: big hugs.
    What would start by asking: what is a realistic goal for her? Do you think you can have her work on the number of rages? Or maybe only focus on alternative outlets while melting down?
    When she is calm, can you work on her options (ripping magazines, hitting pillows, loud vocalizations but no words...) and make her practice?
    But is it realistic to expect her to control it a bit better by friday? I understand you want some kind of consequence, but taking a planned family trip away might too much.
    Could you come up with a consequence that can be used at home and on the go? Maybe silence for x amount of time if she physically attacks you (once she is calm down the count down starts), followed by an apology and she has to explain why she says sorry.
    Whatever you decide, be very cautious of what your "threat" is. Because you will have to follow through in order to be taken seriosly.
    And if you're simply not up to a challenging trip (very understandable), you could explain it to her and leave the punishment part out of it "we need to work on your rages some more before we can take the trip. It will not be good for anyone to go in those circumstances" and then maybe ask her what she thinks she can do to control it better or make the rages more appropriate.
    Hang in there.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Why on earth would there not be consequences???? There should always be consequences. That is a very basic rule of life, if she doesn't learn it as a child......the world out there will be far harsher than you in teaching her as an adult.

    That said........

    I always left "special" things special. They were never used to bribe or punish a child. Otherwise we'd not have had much special anything going on in our lives when Travis and Nichole were young. And kids need those times. Holidays were special, vacations like the one you plan is special.

    You still can give her appropriate consequences. I did my best to make the consequence fit the situation. I just didn't remove special activities, especially those that were family time together. It worked well for us.


  5. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    That is such a good question. I get so confused about the best way to deal with her. I have posted before about how to "discipline" and gotten feedback from the group that If she can't help this then we shouldn't punish. And I do not believe that she can always control her frustrations... she is very explosive and I think she looses it before she really recognizes it much of the time. I suppose I didn't use the correct words to describe my question then.

    I've always thought that there should be consequences for the breaking things, violence toward us, etc. but not the losing control piece. Is that right? I think I misinterpreted some of the comments before.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, my personal take on this is that you have to treat your daughter therapeutically. Which means having a consequence, but not one that is punitive. What do I mean by that? Well, that the whole thing is handled in a way that is without anger or desire to "punish" on your parts but which does try to show her, in a loving way, that this is a boundary that you want to help her respect. No way would I stop her going on the trip - will just increase her rage and not teach her anything, particularly as it would be instituted arbitrarily and after the event. If you had said at some point that if she raged violently, she would not be able to go on this trip that might be different. Well, it would be different as you would have to follow through on what you had said.
    Hugs. What you are facing must be so hard at times. She does need skilled help with this. Where are you with therapy for her?
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    BB I don't get in to General very often. (I'm trying to change that) So I can't comment on what others might have advised per consequences of behavior.

    She can't control her frustrations (at least at this point), but she can control her actions. I never ever fault a kid for their emotions (even if I don't agree with them). They have a right to express how they feel, but they must learn the right way to do it. The right way being using their words, pounding a pillow, or whatever other way that is respectful, non violent, and non destructive. And yes, I totally agree that can be really hard to do. But it can and should be done.

    I didn't really have the car rage issue, thank heaven. Well, ok, with MY kids I never had that issue. With katie's kids (my grandkids) I did........and I refused to move until they stopped. I told them once, normal voice raised just enough they could hear me. And we didn't move (for 10 or more mins) until it stopped. Rinse and repeat a dozen or more times......and they got the idea. And I'm old fashioned, put your hands on me and you will regret it. I don't tolerate it and I don't give a hoot what your diagnosis is. But my grandkids weren't going at it quite like your daughter was, for a rage like that, she'd have done the doctor visit and gone home. No VBS. I wouldn't have even threatened, I'd not said a word, just driven her home. (and yes, I've done this as well.) Once she finished the rage at home......because there would have been one........I'd have explained to her that if missing only an hour of VBS was enough to make her out of control then she is not ready to handle VBS yet, and she could try again the next day. Then if possible, talk about how she could have expressed her emotions in a more appropriate way which would show that she could handle going to VBS that day. It's ok for her to be upset because she was going to miss an hour of VBS, that's a normal response, her actions were what was inappropriate and out of proportion to the situation.

    An immediate natural consequence for raging for missing an hour of the activity.

    I tried to make consequences as immediate as possible, to relate to whatever they were raging about if possible. Like when she tore up the books, she would've had to not only clean up the mess, but earned the money by doing chores to replace the books. Natural consequences to her actions. This is not raging.....but Travis at about age 6 loved to pour contents out of bottles (thankfully into the toilet or drain), he drove me nuts because every time I reached for shampoo or dish soap it was empty. He was grounded to my side for an entire day. I mean seriously, he couldn't move a foot away from me for an entire day. Next day he got to try again. He did it again, and again he was grounded to my side for the day. Next he got another chance......and blew it. Another grounded day. And suddenly pouring the contents out of bottles was not appealing anymore. (he could play ect, he just couldn't leave my side to do it)

    It's not something that is going to take hold overnight by any means. It will take time and effort, some thinking outside the box.....and it will be some time before she begins to realize that you're always going to follow through. (and it will take practice on your part too)

    But not giving her consequences for inappropriate behavior is doing her no favors whatsoever. The world is a cold harsh place. Once she's grown and on her own no one is going to give a darn if she is diagnosed whatever or not, and the lessons then will be jail or worse.

  8. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    I know exactly what you are going through!!!!! And when you get the answers, please let me know! :)
    What I CAN tell you....In my experience......Go on the trip anyway! In my difficult child not going on the trip will defenitly not "let the penny drop"! He wont connect the dots and you will miss out on an opportunity to have a nice time as a family....But you might have meltdowns as part of your trip....In our situation my son will have ups and downs anyway....staying at home or going.....Just always have a back up plan ready for any situation and expect inperfection, so that you dont feel to disappointed if things dont work out as planned! Hugs
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Ditto Hound. I do the same thing. Some things just should not be taken away but the consequences should "fit the crime". I would not have taken her to VBS. THAT would have been a natural consequence.
  10. bigbear11

    bigbear11 Guest

    Thanks for all the comments... it helps. With regard to the taking her on to VBS after the rages... my husband needed the break and she had calmed down but I agree it would have been a good natural consequence. Sometimes it is just to the point of -- she gets out of the house for a few hours and he gets a much needed break. He is a stay at home dad so summers can be really tough depending on the day. ;-)

    Regarding therapy. She isn't in any right now. I know she needs to be but we haven't been able to find anyone who has experience with this type of stuff in kids in our area. Plus with her speech delays getting her to talk about what is bothering her (assuming she recognizes it) is hard. But we need to get started with this I agree.

    My husband and I need to talk and come to agreement on what we are going to have as consequences and make sure we stick with it (haven't always which I understand doesn't help the situation). The natural consequences like making a mess - cleaning it up, breaking something - earning $$ to replace, etc will be easy. What we need to agree upon is what to do with the violence toward us. Kind of hard to have a natural consequence to that. Needs to be something that she "feels" so as to help her understandBut we need to agree and tell her up front what it will be, do it and stay consistant. Should be easy!!! yea right....

    Anyway we are going and leave tommorrow. We'll be back on Wednesday... wish us luck!!
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dont come down with a list of rules and punishments all at once though. Focus on no more than 3 behaviors to punish to start. Be very clear, written down, about what rule has what consequence.
  12. musiclady

    musiclady New Member

    I would honeestly let it go, but have a plan for next time. We have started to pull over when this behaviour starts, until it's safer to drive again.
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Whatever you decide be very careful and pull over asap if the raging starts. My son used to get very violent in the car and it was very scary (in fact it resulted in 3 hospitalizations).
  14. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    My difficult child used to rage and act out a lot more than he does now. Actually, he's 17 now and doesn't rage at all. However, when he was in 1st grade, I went to Disney with him and my next younger son (21 months younger), a friend and her D, who was in between them in age. My son decided to rage as we drove into the parking lot. I wound up spending 2 hours in the back seat of the car holding him as he raged, while my friend took the other 2 kids into the park. When he was that age, I very rarely went anywhere alone with him. On that same trip, he went into the pool at our hotel and refused to come out. I had to have the lifeguard retrieve him because when I tried to, he began pushing me down under the water. Being in the water calmed him in those days, so the next day, I let him start his swim earlier because he wanted a set amount of time in the pool. That time, he came out with no problem.

    As for your D, I read your story and I'm wondering if art therapy might help her because her speech and language issues might not be as prominent that way.
  15. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Positive psychology does not belive that kids can learn lagging skills from punishment or be emotionally empowered to be more adaptive. The question I believe is whether she is capable of holding it in while on holiday , if you are able to have a back-up plan when she loses it and if you can start working proactively on potential problems.

    As far as consequences go, I prefer those that don't get the kid to ask - what will be done to me or what will I get , but rather reflect on how their actions impact on others and how they in an autonomous way engage in the moral act of resititution and manding relationships
  16. musiclady

    musiclady New Member

    If it were me, I wouldn't be going. Not because she was acting out in the car, but because it's just too stressful. I know first hand how stressful trips can be. In the meantime, I would work on consuqences you can use anywhere...