cant get no help with my 4 yr old out of control

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by nonya, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. nonya

    nonya New Member


    I am new here and hope I can get some help. I have a 4 yr old girl. I have noticed behaviors I thought not normal since she was 2. Doctors and school tell me oh she is normal its ok. Just keep on her and don't let her get away with stuff. Ok easy enough right? WRONG. From 2 she has been so absorbed with me. She needs my attention and no one else can have it. She shows lots of love maybe too much but I never mind lovins from my child. We have had animal since I am an animal lover. She never showed any interest in any animal. No negative or positive reactions towards them. She just didn't care about them either way. She likes to have fun and play but always have to play with mom and didn't care to play with other kids. She never showed aggression towards other kids but just acted like they didn't exist. She refused to play alone as well. I thought it was weird but told it was not. At 3 she started talking way to much. I can't get a word in. She wouldn't listen to what was being said because she was too worried about saying what she had to say. If someone tried to talk to me she would walk between us and start talking over them to get my attention so they could not have her mommy I guess. Last year was her first year of preschool. I told them of my concerns with her interrupting and they say they didn't notice anything abnormal. She even did it to me talking to the teacher but claimed it was normal. ok then if they say so. One day my daughter said she punch another kid. I asked why and she said because he hit me. I talked to teachers about it and they said they didn't see anything. Then she started repeating things over and over. She would ask a question. I would answer her question. Right away she asks the same question. I answer question again. Right away asks the same question. She wont stop until I tell her to stop it. So now she is 4. She still interrupts me talking to others. She still repeats questions and comments even if I acknowledge her. She now starting this hitting and kicking thing. Her and her friend were watching a movie. 20 mins into movie she gets up and kicked her friend in the face. Then another day for no reason kicked her other friend in the stomach. Then another day she kicked our dog. Then she did it again another day but also in the same day she slapped her 1 yr old sister in the face. Now we have tried positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. We give it a while to see if what ever correction will take effect but nothing does. We have done time outs according to age. 1 min per age. We have taken toys and tv away, no playing with friends, grounded to room for longer periods when short time outs were not working any more. I even went as a spanking with open hand to show her that people have feeling like her. We have a good girl chart and a bad girl chart. Nothing works. Nothing has changed in our family within the last year. Me and my husband get along great and we talk our problems out and don't scream and yell. We do this in front of her so she learns how to deal with problems with other people. I am an at home mom. I spend a lot of time cleaning and care for the house and don't have a lot of time to entertain. When my 1 year old takes a nap i play a little with my 4 year old to give her the one on one attention. We get about 2 hrs of alone time. Then when my youngest wakes it back to work for me caring for the house hold. After dinner and dad gets home we take kids outside to play. I can't do it by myself because they are both so high demand I can not tend to both at once at playground. The one year old like to run around and put everything in her mouth as they do but my 4 year old wants me to help her on the swing, go down the slide and play with her. I tell her to play with the other kids and she will sometimes but most of the time she wont. She will just follow me around and interrupt my conversation with others. It seems she doesn't get the difference that we are adults and she is a child. She thinks she should have equal rights and questions my every move and tries to tell me what to do. I don't allow it and we are fighting for control. She is very argumentative. Even if its in her favor she argues. For example she will ask if she can have a snack. I will say yes. She will reply well you let me yesterday. I ask her why she is arguing if I said yes. Of course being 4 she doesn't know. When I send her to time out for doing something wrong I will ask if she knows why she is in time out and she says no. I tell her why. Then when I let her out I ask again and she says no again. It's like she wont own up to her mistakes or just doesn't get it. I tried talking to her on the couch and not tower over her. I explain as brief and simple as possible why she is in trouble and why she should do these things but she doesn't either get it or care. She always says sorry for her actions and promise not to do it again but 1 hr later she is back at it, and punished again.

    I tried to get my doctor to refer us to a professional but she won't. She says this is all normal. Well she doesn't know about the hitting yet but I have little faith she is going to give me the referral we need to get professional help. We don't have a lot of money so I can't pay out of pocket for help. I don't know what to do. I want to help my child but not getting the resources needed to do so. I feel like I am going crazy and I'm just a bad parent. What does one do? Sorry this is so long but best lay it all out now instead of through several posts.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome. Well, no, your daughter's behaviour doesn't sound "normal" and, although it is difficult to do, I think you have to insist with your doctor. Tell her about the unprovoked aggression. It also sounds clear that you are not a bad parent, just the opposite, in fact.
    I wouldn't presume to hazard a guess as to what is going on with your daughter but I think you definitely need evaluations and help. I do not know the US system, but I am sure others will comment who do.
    Conventional discipline techniques don't work with these different children. You have to start thinking outside the box, as it were. A good book to read is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Your daughter sounds very anxious. Is there anything that has happened to her in her life - an early separation because of illness, for example - that could explain this?
    Hang in there. It is so very far from easy and sounds like you are being the best parent you can be.
  3. nonya

    nonya New Member

    Hello and thank you very much for info. It's funny you mentioned about a losing someone in her life at an early age might be cause. Her dad passed away when she was one and my dad passed away when she was 2. My current husband came into her life when she was 2. I did notice after my dad passed away she had a hard time bonding with men and it was only mommy she could trust. Around 3 she started trusting my husband more and actually started caring on a real father daughter relationship. I never though this to be the problem because of her being so young and I just figured she didn't remember any of it. We do talk about grandpa and daddy a lot and let her know her daddy loves her just the same. My husband is very careful to show no favoritism between the girls. I am really glad you brought this possibility up because I would never have though to bring it to a professionals attention. My doctor does know about this situation but still claimed she is normal. I am going to insist on a referral though. Someone told me to try to go through her school for a test. So we got an appointment at her school to enroll her and talk further about haveing her evaluated. So I am keeping fingers crossed they will do it.

    It's no joke that typical discipline doesn't work on her. I hope to gain some discipline idea or parenting ideas as we wait. I'm afraid at this point any normal discipline will crush her spirit or cause her emotional damage. I'm just so afraid now of making mistakes and furthering her situation because I don't have the professional help yet. This is so hard and confusing, I feel lost.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board, although I'm sorry you have to be here.

    I have no idea what is wrong with your daughter. I wish I could offer solid advice. She is different from most of the kids I've read about and known. Can you try to get your doctor to refer her to a neuropsychologist? I like them...they do intensive testing in all areas of function. CERTAINLY her early losses aer a factor. When young ones lose important people, it DOES affect them. She has been through two fathers already and she may not remember, but her subconscious does. Maybe that's why she clings to you.

    I am not sure your daughter understands cause and effect if she doesn't know why she is put into a time out. She will certainly require certain interventions and a different parenting style. I have a few questions that could help us help you, which is what we'd like to do:

    1/How was her very early development/your pregnancy/your delivery/her health as an infant?

    2/Did she hit her milestones on time? Can she make good eye contact with you and strangers? Does she like to cuddle? Does she play appropriately with her toys and not just dismantle them or line them up? Or ignore them.

    3/Are there ANY psychiatric or neurological problems (such as autism, bipolar, schizophrenia, etc) on either side of her genetic family tree, even if she never saw the afflicted relatives?

    4/Any other quirks?

    I am wondering about Tourettes Syndrome because of the repeating. Nonsense, hyper talking can be many things...high functioning autistic spectrum, a childhood developing mood disorder (mania), hyper-anxiety (which can go with either of the aforementioned), a poor memory, attachment disorders, just so many things. That's why I recommend a neuropsychologist evaluation. Nobody here can really tell you what is wrong, but the family history is usually a good clue. I would not just ignore it and hope it will go usually gets worse if ignored. And I doubt if any parenting changes will do much good until you realize what you are dealing with. Has she been evaluated for Early Education by your school district?

    Others will come along with their .02.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there! Welcome to our little world (not so little as you can see, many of us are in your shoes or have been!)

    You are at the beginning of this journey (well probably feels like a thousand years to you!) but one thing probably everyone here will tell you is that it is so easy to doubt ourselves, so easy to listen to doctors and therapists and teachers who don't see the big picture that we see in our kids. Over time you will learn to truly trust that no professional, no matter their degree, knows more about your child than YOU DO! Trust your mommy gut, it does sound like your daughter has some challenges and I agree that she likely is not perceiving things as other kids do, so while she may seem rude, or defiant, or naughty, she may just be operating out of how her mind is thinking, I need X and this is how I get it. There are kids who can even tell you behavior rules and about manners but STILL can't do it themselves.

    One thing that is pretty consistent, early help is most effective. For people to dismiss you is terrible in my opinion. I would make it very clear, do not ASK for an evaluation, call all around...children's hospitals, universities see if you can find a neuropsychologist that can assess a four year old child with developmental and behavioral challenges. Sometimes they will get the referral from your doctor themselves.....other times you need to go to the doctor or insurance and say, I want my child assessed here. If they come up with an equivalent person great but dont let them push you off to a typical family psychologist, they tend to only look at parent/child dynamics and not to say we can't always use parenting help, but the diagnosis can be skewed toward there being only parenting challenges so to get the neuropsychological evaluation first is often really helpful.

    A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who has additional training and does really comprehensive evaluations. They will consider the losses your daughter has experienced, they will look at biological and mental health genetic histories, they know about neurology and can tell if there is a problem with her overall development or if there might be a childhood psychological disorder. It is well worth the investment in time and money if you are able, but it is expensive if insurance does not cover it and many of us would have a hard time, so if that is the case for you make sure to ask about payment options, any programs to help etc. There are other professionals and teams or clinics who do similar testing (for example a developmental pediatrician who may have a team of therapists to help assess), but the important thing is to make sure it is a comprehensive evaluation looking at motor, language, brain development/cognition, emotional development, social development, etc. A typical psychologist generally does not do this (of course there are rare exceptions).

    I hope you can push this through, I totally believe you and your daughters behaviors and speech patterns are common for several disabilities so it is important to be what is called here a Warrior Mom, just let them know that if they are missing something when your gut is telling you there is something wrong, you will hold them accountable and you are documenting every single refusal to help find answers.

    Not that you have to be ugly, just assertive! And for me, that has been a learned skill and at times I still dont fight hard enough... It is awful to ever look back and think I wish I would have fought harder. You are doing a tough job all by yourself. If at the end of an assessment they say she is fine and you just need some ideas, the GREAT but better safe than sorry.

    In the mean time, check out those books and post here, many parents will have ideas for specific issues and will be able to relate to how your daughter responds to situations. You are not alone by any means.

    Hugs, Dee
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! Welcome to the group! I agree with the others on having evaluations done...if your current pediatrician refuses the referral, it's time to talk to another pediatrician...perhaps a developmental pediatrician. It seems to me that she's more in denial than any mom I've known and you seem to be applying a lot of common sense...come back to the forum often - there's tons of information and strong shoulders here. Beth