New Member
God I need some help.
I have a 5 year old girl. From about 2 she has been very highly strung would have a paddy and scream till she wet herself up to about 4 years old.. I have another girl almost two years older than her. I put it down to frustration..
She settled a little bit for about 6 months as she started primary school.
But her behaviour is back to what it was. She has a tic which is on and off. Lots of blinking and pulling faces.
All she does is scream and shout and my eldest doesn't help by winding her up.
I've tried to explain to her if she can't get her own way but nothing sinks in she just cried and cries..
I have the feeling she is suffering from anxiety.
It's all on my shoulders as their father standard response is well she isn't like that with me.. (He has them for 10 hours a week)
But when she returns it's like hell!
Any advice tips welcome
Many thanks


Well-Known Member
I assume you are not in the U.S. and I am not aware of what services exist in other countries. If you lived here my advice would be to get her an intenensive evaluation in all areas of function. i dont believe she is deliberately misbehaving. I dont think she can help it.

The tic would make me want her to be tested for tourettes syndrome. Her behavior reminds me a little of my son when he was very young...he is on the autism spectrum. Anxiety is a part of autistic spectrum too.There are many childhood disorders that make young ones a slave to bad behavior and too many end up thinking they are bad people. Some kids are overly sensitive to stimuli and act out under commotion or stress or loud noise or even taking a shower. This can be Sensory Integration Disorder. My son had this with his mild autism.
He needed an Occupational Therapist (OT) to help with that and she REALLY helped. In the U.S. we get help for special needs in school and his Occupational Therapist (OT), speech therapist and social skills group were all from school. He started improving immediatally. His behavior, which had been hyper, settled down as soon as he felt understood.

The go to diagnosticians here are often neuro psychologists. My son had ten constructive hours of testing in all areas of function and is doing well now since he received appropriate help ad has become a very calm, happy young man of 23. He is independent. He works. He is very ki d and beloved by all.

There is also attachment disorder which often occurs in adopted kids and those who suffered early siignificant chaos in their first three years. Divorce, an abusive parent (dad?) or no one particular caregiver can cause this...it can cause changes in the brain. Sadly it is becoming more common as divorce does.

Did you have a traumatic birth with her?

Unfortunately I dont know where to start receiving help outside of the U.S. I am sorry this is happening. My best two cents is to do what you have to do to get her tested and evaluated from a high le rl professional, not a prdiatrician or talk therapist.

She is so young. This is not her fault. With one so young, dig, dig, dig. Likely she can not help herself and no form of discipline will change her until she is in the right professional hands. Many of the young kids who bring us here do not/can not respond to any form of discipline. Wait to have her tested before you use that as the way to change her. Certainly try to discipline her but dont be shocked if discipline alone doesnt work.

Good luck and lots of hugs.
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pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Welcome, mirrorimage. I am also guessing you are outside the U.S. as I have no idea what a "paddy" is. :)

Transitions for kids between parents are tough. I believe you that Dad doesn't see these behaviors; he isn't with her long enough. But just imagine how it feels for her to hold herself together in front of him. When she returns to you, she is exhausted and frazzled. You are the "safe" parent. She can be herself with you. Sorry but that means a whole host of ugly that you get to find a way to handle.

My son was extremely difficult at 5. I found reading The Explosive Child helped me to make changes in how I was interacting with him to bring more calm into our house.


New Member
I'm new to this thread and I totally understand your situation.
I have a 9 year old son who became extremely challenging this time last year. After many appointments with Camhs in the Uk and 7 exclusions from school in the last year my son on Friday was diagnosed with ODD. To finally get answers for his behaviour does bring some relief as I have spent many sleepless nights wondering why and what is going on and even doubting my capabilities as a mother. I am a single parent and have had to struggle with this on my own. My son has contact with his father however despite the exclusions and his dad being informed of my sons physical and verbal violence towards me not only at home but in public, my sons dad has always been very unsupportive claiming he is not like that with him and if I am not coping he will take my son. Everytime my son has been excluded it has been for biting, punching, kicking and swearing at the teachers. So I am not the only authority figure who has to deal with my child's aggression. I am also concerend for my job as I am continually being called out of work to collect him which my work as you can imagine are now fed up with.
My son calls me every swear word under the sun, refuses to come home when I pick him up from school, has made allegations against me which he then confessed to being untrue when investigated p.s I am a teacher so I could of lost my job and he frequently tries to run off, has hit his grandmother and tells frequent lies. Last week he made a allegation against a teacher when he had done wrong and was spoken to about it. The last year has been really stressful for me and despite support from friends and family I have never felt so alone.


Roll With It
Shereen, I would encourage you to ask a moderator to make this a thread of your own. You will get more responses tailored to you this way.

Please know that most of us who have been here a while think that ODD is a pretty useless diagnosis. It doesn't give you any real help. It tells you the kid doesn't like authority, period. It gives ZERO clues as to why or as to how to help. Most, if not every single one, of the kids who have come to this site have had this diagnosis at one time or another. It didn't help because it wasn't the actual root of their problem, it was just a label meant to maybe get the parents to stop asking what is going on and how do we help? Instead some parents take the label as "we don't know and can't help, so it is what it is". I actually had a doctor explain that is what ODD is, basically a label that is applied when the doctors don't know what is going on but they have to label the behavior without knowing what is causing it. WIth ADHD they know how to treat it, with bipolar they know how to treat it, with autism they know how to treat it, with ODD they don't have a single clue how to treat it.

I urge you to push for further testing. If you were in the US I would urge you to see a neuropsychologist or developmental pediatrician for intensive testing, generally 10-12 hours of it over 3-4 sessions, to see what is really going on. I don't know who does this sort of testing in the UK though. I do think your son needs serious help.

Of course his father doesn't see the problem. His father doesn't see much of him, does he? So he is on his good behavior for his dad, and they only do fun stuff together. Dad doesn't make him do homework, or take a bath, or go to bed, or not watch a movie, or stop playing a game, or eat his vegetables. Moms do that stuff. Plus with Moms you know they will love you no matter what, they won't leave you, they are always there. So you can show your awful side and they have to take it because they love you. But because Dad left, well, maybe you are not lovable, so if you are awful, and Mom still stays, then she really loves you. So you have to be super awful to Mom just to be sure she really truly does love you.

Yes, you and I see how strange that thinking is, but it really is how kids think. It is why it is super common for Moms to be the ones who get the super horrible behavior. My son was incredibly violent to me. It was horrible and scary and very dangerous. It took a lot of years of therapy for us all to understand it. I urge you to see a therapist as well as to get a therapist for your son. It can help.

We have a list of books that are very helpful. They can make a real difference if you use the strategies in them. The Explosive Child is the first book I would recommend. It is truly excellent.