First time here....trouble with 5 year old girl


New Member
I just discovered this site this week and it looks like a great resource for parents with challenging kids.
So, let me tell you my story about my 5 year old daughter. Early on my husband and I recognized her VERY independent nature. She would rebel against us and throw long tantrums. We thought she would grow out of it. Long story short, she hasn't grown out of fact it is getting worse.
daughter is very easily frustrated, loves to scream at the top of her lungs, kicks, hits, slams doors, etc. My husband and I can't figure her out. When we talk to her school, they say that she is an angel to have in class. They have no problems with her, that is until we arrive. The she will start whining and acting up. Her tantrums at home seem totally unreasonable. She gets totally out of control. She is very physically active (loves to play outside, swing, etc). To my knowledge has normal speech for her age.
husband and I have just started to explore our options for her. We got a referral from her pediatrician. but then found out that they were not covered by our insurance so we are waiting for more information.
I have no idea what to do...I feel like husband and I have tried everything (time outs, rewards, charts, spanking). They don't seem to work.
I'd appreciate any advice you all can give. Thanks!

Mom to 3 girls (7, 5 and 5months)


New Member
Hi & welcome..
Your daughter sounds a lot like my difficult child(gift from God). He too is great in school, never a problem...until he gets home, in his safe zone. We always thought he must be able to control this behavior because he only behaves this way for my husband and myself. We too tried the timeouts, behavior charts, & spankings when he was younger.He has always been very quick to anger and gets frustrated easily, then "the outbursts" that gradually turned to "rages".(Throwing things, turning over furniture, hitting kicking and verbally abusive.)This all started about three years old ...he is now eleven. Two years ago he was diagnosis with early onset bipolar disorder. We started with depression & antidepressants about age 7, helped a little but gradually got worse and we moved on to mood stabelizers. We after some trial & error we found a medication that has worked wonders and he is doing great.

My advice is to see a child phychologist & a peds. psychiatrist and have your difficult child evaulated. Get more than one opinion. Sometimes it takes seeing a few docs to find one you and your child really click with. Make sure they really listen and hear what you are saying. If you are having trouble with insurance call your county mental health clinic and see if they can help you with services.

There are a lot of really informed and experienced parents on this forum...We are happy that you are joining us.

Keep us updated !! xoxo


New Member
My husband and I are currently trying get her seen by someone. We just have to work through all the insurance crap.
I thought of a few other things that my daughter does that seem different that other children. Ever since I can remember she has done this strange wiggling thing on the floor. She will lie down on her belly and up on her elbows and (from what I can tell) will flex all of her muscles. She will do it mostly when vegging out in front of the TV. It seems that it's some sort of relaxation thing for her, but I've never seen any other child do it.
Also, when she is sick or has a slight fever, she turns into a different kid. She is polite, thoughtful, wants to please's like night and day. Is there something in the brain that can make that change with sicknesses?
We have been recording audio of the tantrums that erupt at home in hopes that it will shed some light on what is going on with daughter.

Mom of 3 girls (7, 5 and 5 months)
Welcome to the board!

Have you read the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? If not, get your hands on it YESTERDAY. It really has a lot of good ideas in dealing with difficult children, and can help you maintain your sanily while trying to get in for an evaluation.

Know that you are not alone. Sending prayers and hugs your way!


New Member
Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll go get it today.

Is there hope that we can somehow treat our daughter without medication? Honestly, I am to the point where if someone recommended medications I would be willing to try. I just can't think of anything else that I could that could change her behavior. I feel like we've tried everything. Hopefully this book will have some new ideas. I noticed that there is also another book about treating the explosive child. Is that worth getting also?

Also, thought of a few more things. daughter has sucked her thumb since about 12 months (although our new rule about only doing it while in bed seems to be working). She also continues to wet the bed almost every night, regardless of how much she's had to drink the , or how many times she uses the restroom before bed.

Thanks again. It's good to know that I'm not the only one out there with a challenging child. You all seem to know a lot more than I do!


Not all disorders and conditions are treated with medications. The important thing is to get a very thorough evaluation (we recommend a developmental pediatrician, a neuropsychologist or a multidisciplinary evaluation through a university or children's hospital) so you know exactly what you're dealing with and can then put the proper interventions into place. Besides medications, interventions can include (depending on the disorder) therapy, social skills training, Occupational Therapist (OT), speech, school-based accommodations and services, tutoring, etc. Again, you need to know what you're dealing with before you can put a plan into place.

I just bought Ross Greene's Treating the Explosive Child and am starting to read it. I also gave a copy to my son's psychiatrist. It's very good, but I think for now you can start with The Explosive Child. If you find you want more info after reading it, you can go on to the next book.

Welcome and good luck.


New Member
My son(11yrs)wears Good Nights(pull ups)to bed because he still wets every night, apart of his BiPolar (BP) disorder. Regarding the stretching, I do know that certain disorder characteristics or symptoms are "tic" behaviors. Or mabe it's just they way she stretches to relax? We too hated the idea of medications, but they have given us back our son and our family unit. We still have our
not-so-fun episodes but the medications given us breathing room.

You are doing a great service to your doctors by keeping a log and video of behaviors, especially if she only has these behaviors for You and your husband.



New Member
hi there,

wow, my story is nearly ditto. i am totally new to these forums and have no idea what the abbrevations mean. can you give me the down low?

anyway, my 4.5 yr old was diagnosed with sensory issues at 18mos. she went to Occupational Therapist (OT) for 18mos. and was dismissed. all was much better. then we moved to a new home, locally, and 9mos. later we relocated out of state. still no notice of any poor behavior at school. she only act out to me, dad and her older sister (sent to me from above). we have been in corp. housing for 10mos. in an area where we know no one. i was struggling with the move. i was isolated and without a community. needless to say, my 4.5 yr olds behavior went terribly south. i just thought it was some sensory issues popping up again, but the tantrums, the arguing, the destruction of things and physical aggression just worsened. i behaved so poorly, feeling desparate exhusted from trying to find a reasonable solution to get her to respond any form of discpline. i resorted to screaming, saying things i totally regret. i am so embarrassed by my immature behavior.

my older daughter and my relationship is totally suffering and including my relationship with my husband.

he is so very patient, but he feels i have just not stood my ground with her so therefore, i have created a brat. i know this is not true.

i know you are looking for answers, as am i. but i feel validated by your email. i know i did not create this monsterous behavior.

we are going to get her evaluated on wed. maybe i will have some insight for us both.

mom of 2 girls 8 & 4


New Member
Originally Posted By: 3girls
Also, when she is sick or has a slight fever, she turns into a different kid. She is polite, thoughtful, wants to please's like night and day. Is there something in the brain that can make that change with sicknesses?

The same thing happens with my 5 year old DS, but I have no idea why. I'm glad someone else has noticed the same thing. I tried to research it on the Internet but I have gotten nowhere. I'd like to find out what it is and bottle it!

- Britta
mom of three boys, 7, 5 and 2 months

5 yo- sensory issues, anxiety issues, ADHD symptoms, etc.


New Member
Another ditto here! I suspect that my daughter (3yrold) has oppositional defiance disorder, but it has also occurred to me that it may be bi-polar. Her behaviour is almost identical. Still :censored2: her thumb (though mostly only at bedtime) and wears nappies for night sleeps. Those are just things that I never considered may play a part, but who knows?
She displays a very independent and determined attitude. Whether she uses it to behave nicely - and when she does it's wonderful - or to misbehave - in which case she is totally out of control, defiant, destructive, rude... (when she's good she's very very good, but when she's bad she's horrid!).
We too have good reports from daycare - she's a little angel there - but at home, where she's in her safe-zone, and with Nanny (who also seems to be apart of her safe-zone) she can be a litle horror.
A couple of things that I am noticing play a major part in this: food allergies, and cod liver oil. The food allergies are foods with additives (which encompasses about 90%t of foods in the supermarket) and foods that are high in salycilates - which my sister and my grandmother were allergic to. By reducing salycilates to only her veggies in dinner, and by removing additives from her diet, her behaviour has improved 10 fold.
The other thing, the cod liver oil (omega 3) has helped to stabilise her moods. We have just had an episode this morning, because we were silly enough not to get another packet in time, and she has not had it in two days.
So if they are things that you haven't tried, I reccommend them - it isn't the ultimate cure, but it takes the edge off so to speak, and it's natural.
I'm trying star charts at the moment, but our biggest hindrence is me remembering!
Good luck with everything!