Feeling battered

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by BellyKate, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. BellyKate

    BellyKate New Member

    Hi. I'm new here and stumbled across this site while googling ODD.

    I really just need a great big venting session.

    My 5 year old daughter has been "challenging" since just before she turned 2. She's bright and outgoing. But her dark side is driving me insane. Today is a perfect example. We were in a mall and she wanted some Bratz fingernail extensions (something she has never had before and only wanted because it had Bratz on the package). I told her no. She had a meltdown and started hitting me and screaming and as I turned to walk out of the shop she flung her body into me and shoved me from behind constantly. I grabbed her hand to stop her hitting me and led her away... all the while she was screaming and hurling abuse and threatening to smash my head in (her latest favorite thing to scream at me),and once we got into the car she started spitting at me.

    I wish I could say this was a one-off. But it happens frequently. I have tried 1-2-3 Magic, star charts, taking things away, smacking ~ even though it is against my beliefs... I've tried so many things for months at a time before I try something new.

    She rarely will do what I ask her to without arguing or having a tantrum. She talks back to me and other adults. She is very sociable and extroverted but other children end up not wanting to play with her because she tries to control the games including what they must say in a game and how they must say it. It hurts her deeply when kids don't want to play with her anymore because she is a painful mixture of incredibly bossy and ultra sensitive. On days she isn't at preschool she gets really sad because she craves time with other kids.

    She will fly off the handle over the smallest things.

    I took her to a child psychologist when she was 3 because of this type of behaviour. It was a fruitless visit. I have decided to make an appointment with our doctor this week. I feel hurt and confused and alone... and battered. I love her so much but I feel at the point where I don't want to be near her. So many conflicting emotions. She has a great big heart and is funny and can be so sweet. But this other behaviour is present more often than the sweet girl.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
  2. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Welcome BellyKate~

    I'm glad you have another appointment with a different doctor. Most of us would tell you that doctors are defiantly NOT one size fits all.

    I don't have any personal experience similar to yours ... but others will be along shortly to offer specific advise.

    Welcome to a wonderful forum.

    Hang in there ... you're not insane. You're struggling to parent a difficult child. Not an easy job.
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Welcome - I agree with GG that you have another doctor's appointment soon. Part of this journey may be finding the right psychiatrist/therapist who will listen to you, the parent. Hear objectively what a parent is saying & begin to treat a child's symptoms until a definite diagnosis comes into play.

    Having said that, it may take a while before you have a clue as to what is going on with difficult child. I can assure you that it isn't your parenting if you've tried all the things you mentioned & it hasn't made an impact.

    Many of our difficult children only respond to a "unique" parenting style. I'd like to recommend the book The Explosive Child to start out. It can be used for any child with any diagnosis or disorder. It's been a godsend to many here.

    In the meantime, take deep breaths - find time for yourself when you can. If the word "no" sets your difficult child off - don't use that word. I will redirect my difficult children many times, but will not use the word no. If kt wants to jump on a bed I'll say "that's not allowed here but you can go play on the swingset or go ride your scooter". You see where I'm headed here? I never say the word no & I offer other outlets/times, etc.

    Good luck on the new doctor - keep us updated. In the meantime, please take care of yourself to the best of your abilities. This is a long journey - you will need to pace yourself.
  4. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I'm glad you have a new doctor appointment. I'm not sure what type of doctor you are seeing, but many on here, including me, recommend a neuropsychologist. If you can find one that is pediatric and request a multi-disciplinary evaluation, this really helps cover the bases. We took our 3 difficult children to one and this man spent more time not only listening to us, but also spent more time with our boys. He had many more suggestions to offer than any psychiatrist or psychologist we have seen.

    I too thought my youngest son was ODD. I thought his bad behavior was extremely manipulative. Often times I felt like it was directed souly at me. Recently we visited a new psychiatrist after the neuropsychologist evaluation and the psychiatrist agreed with one of the DXs and started him on a new medication. He has improved greatly, although I do believe the medicine needs to be upped a little now. Many think ODD is actually a symptom rather than its own disorder. I'm starting to think this is true with my son too.

    Good luck with the new doctor. Let us know how it goes. You found a great board for support and advice. The people here are wonderful. Welcome!
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi BellyKate, welcome.
    Are you SURE your daughter is the next world dictator? I think it's my son. d&G help them if they marry one another!
    I know how you feel. been there done that. (Especially the spitting part. Grrr. I had my son spray down the stairs and railing with-409 a few mo's ago because of that. You should have her spray the inside of the car. You can't let her get away with-that. Choose a calm time and go out with-her but don't nag.)
    I actually like Ross Greene's book, The Explosive Child, better than 1-2-3 Magic, by the way.
    Here's an example--when your daughter wants stupid fingernails because they're featured on Bratz, you smile and say, "Wow, those are something, aren't they? Tell me why you think they're pretty."
    Presumably, she'll take the bait and chat and you can avoid a meltdown, by directing her to something closer to the door, then in the mall area, and then out into the pkng lot (yes, I have been this manipulative but/and it works!) The idea is not to say "NO!" right off the bat. Even saying "No," softly is still no and your daughter will seize it in a heartbeat. She's waiting for a fight. Don't give it to her.
    Even if she is a born dictator, you're still older and smarter. :smile:
  6. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    Hi, Bellykate:

    Welcome! You will find much support, help, and advice here. It sounds like you could use some of the support at least. I live with a difficult child that sounds very similar to yours in many ways and understand what you ar going through.

    His father and I knew that he was differnt from the first week he was born. He cried constantly and very rarely seemed happy.
    He was difficult and demanding and did not sleep well.
    We were told that he had colic, allergy to formula, gastric reflux, gas, etc. Then we were told, "He is just a toddler" or "that is just how boys act" etc, etc, etc

    We knew differently. Then came the epilepsy diagnosis at two years old. In some ways it validated our feelings that something in his brain was not right. His first recognized seizure was very dramatic but others are subtle so, it is something to be on the look-out for with any young child.

    Then the differences really stood out when he was in a situation with other kids his age. He was the only one that was angry, spitting, hitting the teacher/church nursery aide, taking his clothes off, defiant all of the time. He has failed three private preschools and has been asked not to return to our church nursery/childcare.

    His behavior is very volitile and his meltdowns quite frequently involve hitting, yelling, scratching, and spitting on me. When this occurs it only makes it that much more difficult to deal with adding insult to injury. So, I can very much relate to the pain that you are going through.

    Like you, I did not believe in physical punishment and had never spanked my older child. Unfortunately we resorted to spanking difficult child at two years old. I really hate that but we were so desperate. We recently stopped spanking because it was ineffective and probably doing more harm. I try not to beat myself up over this (excuse the pun) but when dealing with a difficult child (especially as a rookie) it is so difficult to know what the "right" approach is. During the first three years I read so many books, both those that I bought for myself and those purchased by well-meaning family members.

    Since my child has epilepsy I had his neurologist refer us for neuropsychology evaluation. She has seen his serious behavior problems and beleives that a lot of what we see is related to his frontal lobe epilepsy. That being said, it took over six months for the rererral to actually happen.
    It is a very important step for you to take ASAP. So, please heed the advice and seek out such an evaluation. My son's evaluation took place at a Children's hospital.

    At this point, we are doing weekly behavior therapy not sure that it is doing much but at least it gives difficult child a regular interaction with other adults and puts him in situation where he can safely work on things like following directions and not hitting them etc. He has been on an anti-convulsant since January of this year. This particular drug is supposed to be a mood-stabilizer as well. Unfortunately we have not enjoyed that effect. He was recently kicked out of another preschool last month so, I relented to an anti-psychotic drug. He is still on a very low dose so I cannot say that this has helped much yet. But I have hope as his neurologist and psychologists say that it has helped many of their other patients.

    I was very relunctant to start medications. It took several seizures before I started the anti-convulsants and his latest expulsion for me to start the anti-psychotic. Our lives (including difficult child's) are just so miserable that I am willing to try the medications despite the side-effects that they may cause. Now that he was recently dignosed with ADHD we may have to add to the medications but his doctors repsect my decision to go very slowly with this.

    I am not saying that your daughter needs medication but, if you are like me you may need time to think about this and do a little research on your own before the doctors suggest such.Just something to start thinking about.

    My son is very bright as well. So he does not "qualify" for Special Education preschool offered by the public school system. Having a difficult child who has severe behavior problems yet is smart as a whip presents it's own unique challenges. It can be very frustrating when the general public and educators do not understand that these kids need help.

    I am happy that your daughter likes preschool and is getting along OK although not perfectly. My son enjoyed going as well. WE started him when he turned three. He is mostly violent towards the teachers but of course that scares the other kids. So, he has not been able to make any friends at the schools that he attended. His sister is so accustomed to his behavior that she tends to seek out the most difficult and aggressive kids in her class to be friends with. This worries me so much and I have talked to the therapsit about it. Do you have other children?

    If you read some of my recent postings you will see that you are not alone!!! I am so tired of trying to figure out my difficult children "triggers." :hammer:

    This morning started out with him having a huge blow-up over his dreaded milk <u>yet again</u>. I though that I had figured it out by letting him choose several cups, spoons, pour the milk, squeeze the chocolate, and the such. He has a very detailed way that he wants his chocolate milk prepared and I NEVER get it right. This leads to milk on the floor, spitting, etc. Well, today since he had been in charge of every step of the preparation I would not allow him to get mad at me. (I am so tired of being blamed for everything all of the time) He tried by screaming at me but I CALMLY kept reminding him that he did the pouring, stirring, etc. He was dumbfounded for a momement which gave me enough time to remove milk, spoon, breakfast, before he could thow it across the room. He was asked to go to his room to calm down and then he asked me to take him there. He came back out about ten times and all in all it took 30 minutes for him to settle down again. But at least I didn't have his breakfast to clean off of the floor today nor any scratches on my arms. So, it was a good morning.

    Hang in there. You are not alone. There are lots of experienced moms here and then those like me that are just learning the ropes with you. It is not your fault! You are doing a great job. You just need a little (or a lot in my case) help as we all do.

    Let us know how things are going.

  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I just wanted to offer my welcome. This board is a great place for support.

    You just described my daughter there. She doesn't make the connection between her behaviors and others' reactions. In her mind, everyone is just mean to her. Period.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome, I'm glad you found us. Your difficult child sounds a lot like mine at that age. I'm glad you have a dr. appointment. coming up. The title of your post could be many of us here. We often feel battered and that's hard enough but when it's our children doing the battering it's even harder I think. Please be sure to take care of you. Simple things like a bath, losing yourself in a book, taking a walk.
  9. branbran

    branbran New Member

    Hello and welcome. You have stumbled across a wonderful site. You will get lots of supporting words here and you will learn alot too. Finding this site was the best thing I ever did for MYSELF. Your story is very familiar, I'm sure most of us can relate. My daughter is 16 now and in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), but I remember those days all too well, the tantrums, and the humiliation in public, those horrible stares from the ignorant bystanders!!! My daughter was very similar when she was 5, I knew early on there were problems with her. She too was very bossy and hard to be around and yet very fragile inside. I know how hearbreaking it is. Glad to hear you have a dr. appointment., that is the first step in getting your daughter the help she needs. Every School District is different, but I was very lucky and got lots of help from mine. In fact that is where my daughter had all of her evaluations. They put me in the right direction, always gave my daughter what she needed. We were very lucky in that regard. I hope you are able to get the support you and your daughter need from your SD. Hang in there. Keep us posted, let us know how the dr. appointment. goes.

    Hope thing's start looking up for you and your daughter. :smile:
  10. BellyKate

    BellyKate New Member

    Thank you all for your kind and supportive words ! It's always good to know you aren't completely alone, or the only one going through these sort of things.

    Thank you so much for the book recommendation ! I found it at the local library (miracle!) and have been devouring it. Yesterday I was far enough into the book to try out some of the stuff and I have to say that we had the best day together that we've had in a very long time. I was using the baskets and helping her find solutions. This morning we had a talk about being mean to the cat and she said "let's see if we can find a solution mum"... good result so far !

    Hopefully I can use those ideas to avoid Bratz fingernail meltdowns in public and avoid the kinds of meltdowns where she puts holes in her bedroom walls ( that was a week before the Bratz fingernail meltdown).

    I saw the local GP who was at a loss as to who to refer us to. We live in a small town. The local Child psychologist saw us 2 years ago and basically said she is like this because I have suffered from depression. I went on a huge guilt trip after that but finally decided he was wrong ! So, not too keen to go see him again. I have a referral for a paediatrician ... not sure which other path to go down. She doesn't start school until next year. My other option is to go to Sydney to see someone.

    I realise if I am to use the ideas in The Explosive Child then I am going to have to get more sleep (so that I'm not sooooo so tired all the time) and really think on my feet. But I like the ideas being presented, they make sense and I am willing to give it a good go !

    Thank you all again !