Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by miche, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. miche

    miche New Member

    What do you do when your 6 year old yells in your face "NO" whenever you ask her to do anything at all? Then she hits her 3 year old sister and screams at the top of her lungs for an hour. husband says I need to be calm and give her consequences. Well that doesn't work for her or me. When I'm calm and give her consequences, she just yells in my face again and screams. I put her in her room and she throws and breaks things. She doesn't do this for my husband.

    So today he tells her that if she is bad for me and I have to call him at work, her birthday party (which is planned, paid for and everyone is coming) will be cancelled. So again, I will be the bad mom. She doesn't deserve a party.

    What can I do? I do want to be around my child right now. I know this is a vent, but I need SOMETHING. Advice, understanding, whatever. I am at the end of my rope and feel like I am going to explode.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If it were me, first on my list would be to have her re-evaluated by a neuropsychologist. Sounds like, with an hour of raging, there's more going on than ADHD and she may not be able to help her behavior.

    Our kids tend not to respond to mainstream discipline. You can try canceling her party, but don't be surprised if it doesn't make any difference. I think sometimes we think our kids are "bad" when it's really that something is wrong with them. That doesn't mean we should put up with intolerable behavior, but it does mean that in order to help them change their behavior we need to get a better handle on what's wrong with them so that we can help.

    In young kids, the first diagnosis usually evolves as time goes on. ADHD is often the first, rarely the last and only, diagnosis a child gets. in my opinion more is going on than ADHD. I'd call a neuropsychologist. They can have long waiting lists because they are good.
  3. miche

    miche New Member

    So far we've seen a developmental pediatrician who specializes in child behavior. I have a referral for a child psychiatrist/developmental pediatrician as well. So far, she hasn't had any medical testing done, just Daytrana (which didn't work). I'm hesitating with the next prescription (tenex) because I don't know enough about it yet and the pediatrician was very dismissive on the phone.

    I'm also really concerned because her 3 year old sister has grown up with this as an everyday occurance, and it is affecting her. She's starting telling me she hates me too, and hitting, etc just like her sister. I think she is copying her, because she is not mean like difficult child. Now we also have a new baby, and I just can't bear to have her be affected by this as well. Is it wrong to want to give away your own child? I can't take it anymore.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    A) you are not a bad mom because the clear cut consequence is carried out. She has a choice.

    B) everytime she yells at you turn your back at her and walk away. Ignoring negative behavior and rewarding positive will help her learn better. I would tell her when you are calm that you don't like being talked to like this and that mom doesn't talk to difficult child like that. If she screams you will not hear what she is saying and will walk away until difficult child can speak calmly. This has to be done in a quiet time when things are not ratcheted up emotionally. She will hear you better and understand when you turn your back and walk away. If she uses her words she gets lots of praise and maybe a treat or reward(in the beginning).

    C) tell husband if he makes a consequence, he better darn well be able to follow through. Threats without follow through teaches difficult child's that it's empty words and will teach nothing but how difficult child can manipulate the parenting system in your house. Make reasonable consequences. Use a list that you and husband agree on. If you threaten to throw away toys she doesn't pick up you best be prepared. We actually had a box in our closet where unpicked up toys went and could not be used until son's earned them back.

    It's tough to deal with a difficult child when emotions are high. I found if I had a plan and used it then I wasn't nearly as emotional. It is a well thought out parenting plan that can't be figured out when you are in the heat of the moment.
  5. miche

    miche New Member

    I have tried the calm conversation thing. She completely ignores me when I try to talk to her (even husband). She refuses to listen at all. She has to be the one in control -- always. Even in non-emotional situations. I have given up. Sad to say, but I want to give her away. LIfe is so much easier without her.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    miche, Life is much more easy, peaceful, loving without them. Unfortunately, that is not the deal. You get what you get and it's up to you to play the cards you are dealt.
    Look at how far you have come in parenting her. You have survived 6 yrs and can still organize a birthday party for her.
    Keep trying the suggestions given to you. Being consistently calm, firm, and intolerant to her yelling will reap results eventually.

    You are at a crossroads it seems. Are you getting help for you? You are a survivor/victim of continued verbal battering. Make no doubt about that issue. It wears you down and makes you want to give up. This is the part you have a choice in. What do you want to do? How do you get to the goal you set?
    Any chance of the doctor making some suggestions? Any chance medications may come into the picture?

    I know you are down and feel like surrendering but your other two children need you as does your husband. They see your value and your strength.
    Can you join a group of parents with difficult children? There is strength in numbers.
    How she is today isn't necessarily how she will be in 6 months. Give your self a break from her. Can you do any of these suggestions?

    You want to recharge your batteries. The only way to do that is find some way to get respite from difficult child. Can she go to grandmothers, aunt, daycare or camp? It will make a big difference to you if you have a break.
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Miche... I've cancelled a birthday party. It's not easy but was necessary in our case because Duckie would not have been able to get through it without a rage or meltdown. It was a consequence, not a punishment.

    Have you tried The Explosive Child by Dr Ross Greene? That helped me get my priorities in line so that I could help Duckie behave better; there's a thread at the top of the Early Child Zone that discusses the book and technique. Personally, I would cut out all activities, events and expectations for the next few weeks and work on getting through to difficult child. I know it isn't easy, but it will be easier to do now before school starts in a few weeks.

    Another thing I did that really got her attention was to "full-riley" her room and make her earn back her stuff by being respectful and considerate. I left her bed, dresser and her favorite bed-time lovey only in her room. It was quite an undertaking moving it all to the garage, but it really got her attention and let her know "which side her bread is buttered on".

    The third thing I'd suggest is that husband and difficult child have a little talk. It did wonders for mine & Duckie's relationship when he told her flat out that he wouldn't tolerate the way she treated his wife any longer... that he would dole out consequences and punishments. Many times, children don't see parents as a cohesive unit and will undermine the one they view less favorable. It's up to the other parent to stand up to the child and correct their thinking. Just my .02.

    Good luck! Remember you aren't alone in this and you aren't a bad mommy. :)
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just seconding what everyone has said. Please know you are not alone. It isn't easy to be verbally abused day in and day out. I can understand how you are feeling. Please be sure you are doing things for you. For me that means seeing a therapist, exercising, finding time for myself, coming here. It will look different for you, but do make time for you. I can't tell you how important this.

    I know how easy it is to want to yell but if you can stay calm it does help. Sometimes I think to myself things I would say to him if he weren't my child but I think them, I never say them. It doesn't mean she will handle it calmly but as long as you are following through with consequences she will get it, eventually and even if not you will feel better staying calm. One thing I started to do with my difficult child is saying, "O.k., your choice." For awhile that made no difference to him until he started seeing things taken away that he would earn back, or not going somewhere he wanted. It isn't perfect but a lot of the time now he'll make a better choice.

    Mostly I'm sending hugs your way, I so understand the constant verbal abuse.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    miche, I am sorry things are so rough. I remember those days very vividly and still wonder how we survived them.

    I think pulling everything out of her room except a mattress (I put the mattress by itself on the floor so she has fewer places to hide things and she can't 'break' the bed frame, footboard or headboard), a light (preferably a ceiling light), and a dresser. Make sure she has 10 outfits or so. Her favorite clothes should NOT be in there. they should be kept put up for special occasions so she doesn't destroy them. If she is able to dump her dresser over, then fasten it to the wall or replace it with one of those $20 3 drawer plastic bin thingys. She won't ruin her "good" dresser, won't hurt herself by pulling it over or dropping a drawer on her foot.

    Make sure that she has her "lovey" whether it is blankie, stuffed animal, etc... . One of the things we PROMISED - and even wrote down and posted on both sides of his bedroom door - was that his lovey would NEVER be taken away for any reason. I had to make a special point of it a few years later when he went into a psychiatric hospital, but I refused to leave him there if they didn't have a doctor write orders that it would NOT be taken away for ANY reason. They let him keep it after I cut the back open, removed the music box, and stitched it shut (thank HEAVEN for the little sewing kit in my purse!).

    Let her know she can EARN things back. Chances are she won't want to, but that is OK at this point. At least she won't get hurt if you make her stay in her room until she calms. Chances are that she DOES care but cannot show you that for some reason. Our kids are very complex.

    I know all the supernanny type shows have "unruly" and "wild" kids who are "fixed" with the time out routine. difficult children do not respond much to this. Don't feel bad, we ALL have gone through this, esp after the supernanny shows came on - everyone then assumed we parents just were not doing it right. Hogwash!

    I think having husband sit difficult child down and explain to her that abusing HIS WIFE is not acceptable. And that he WILL give her whatever consequence you and he decide on beforehand. He needs to stress how much he loves you, how much he loves her, how strongly he feels about his wife being abused by ANYONE. Chances are it will be the FIRST time she really thinks about you and husband as having a relationship with each other as spouses, rather than as just being her mommy and her daddy.

    AFTER he tells her how upset and disappointed he is, then you need to enter the room and teh discussion. Just remember that "normal" kids can usually process the discussion that equals about 1 minute per year of child's age. So a six year old should NOT get lectures that last more than 6 mins. OUR kids are NOT "normal" so they process for an amt of time much less than 1 mi per year of age. I use a guideline of age minus 3 mins. Be quick, be firm but loving, and don't get drawn into an argument.

    I think that Dr. Douglas Riley's new book will be very helpful to you. It is called "What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You" and Dr Riley has a discussion about it on the early childhood forum. The Explosive Child by Ross Greene is also very very helpful if you haven't already read it.

    I was a screaming mom. I grew up in a family that had LOUD fights, mostly between my dad and my gfgbro, but mom was in there too. so that is what I learned. I picked up "She's Gonna Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger" by Julie Ann Barnhill. It was AWESOME. I was able to figure out when I was about to blow up and I learned ways to keep from blowing up. As I became less volatile, so did my family. Now Wiz still raged and tantrummed but even he was less intense when he blew up.

    Take some time this weekend to do something WITHOUT the kids. Move, long walk, manicure, pedicure, take a book to a coffee shop - whatever floats your boat. Do this on a regular basis if at all possible.

    Sending gentle hugs to you.


    ps. If you get the books from amazon, you can go through the link on the right side of the page here and it helps support the site!
  10. idohope

    idohope Member

    Please know that you are not alone. You house sounds much like mine. I could have written your statements about being yelled at, controlling child and concern about a younger sibling imitating.

    We started seeing some progress when working with a therapists whose first steps were to try to break the negative cycle and work on building a more positive relationship. I was going to cancel an important event for my difficult child and the therapist suggested that I not do it. Now, I am not saying that inappropriate behavior, especially hurting others, does not have consequences but that a major consequence like canceling a birthday party for a child who may not have the tools to control their behavior may escalate things. We found PCIT (parent child interactive therapy) to be a help to our family. It is a small piece of a long term solution but maybe you could find a therapist who does this. Obviously it will not fit for all but it helped me as well as my difficult child.

    Hang in there.
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    What Fran said, but especially this:

    Ignoring the behavior, I have found, is the way to go. Our children are very much 'in the moment' and a consequence during a rage will make the rage worse; while a consequence after will have little meaning if the child cannot control the behavior, or hasn't learned how.

    Believe me, I know how hard it is to ignore a child in a rage. been there done that. You have to find a zone in your mind that you can get into. For me, remembering that these are symptoms of an illness/disorder and not a child being bad or that hates me helped immensely. There are still times I have to remind myself because we deal with the behaviors everyday and they sap the life out of you. Then all you see are the behaviors and it's easy to forget that the behaviors are actually symptoms.

    Sorry if this is jumbled. I haven't slept.
  12. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Hi Miche,

    You have gotten a lot of terrific guidance. I want to also encourage you reading the books by Ross Green and Dr. Riley regarding the parenting of explosive children. Very insightful. I would also agree that it sounds like A LOT more is happening with your child than ADHD. That was BOTH of my kid’s first diagnoses when I realized, “Hey, something’s just not right here”.

    I am a yeller too and have blown my stack a number of times. Thing is, I don’t feel better. I feel worse, if I lose it. If your difficult child needs to “be in control”, perhaps you can develop a few strategies that give her the illusion of being in control. It doesn’t have to be big decisions, but simply giving her a choice over what she wears or a snack. Also, she may have the need to be in control because she feels so out of control. Being a controller myself, that is one way that we cope.

    I have found that my sense of humor (of which is really big) has been my best coping mechanism. However, it is key that I remain calm. If she’s out of control, all the more important that you MUST remain under control. I understand what a challenge that can be when they’re screaming in your face, “No”. The temptation to scream back is overwhelming, but this is when it is most important for you to stay calm. If you need to scream, go somewhere private and scream into a pillow.

    I would also second having her tested by a neuropsychologist. I got some recommendations from a pediatric neurologist when I took Son to be scheduled for a MRI. It should be comprehensive and take a few days. Son’s testing took over ten hours and we had to do it over three days because it was so grueling for him. But, it did reveal some answers that helped me understand him a bit more. However, for me, it also left some questions. I’ve come to accept those questions most likely will never have concrete answers. I come from the perspective that our kids usually need to be examined from many medical points of view. Yet, YOU ultimately decide the course of action because you live with your Daughter. About pediatricians, they are in way over their heads with our explosive kids. They are good for general healthcare. When I spoke with Son’s pediatrician about seeing a Neurologist and a neuropsychologist he was very dismissive and thought it was not necessary. I disagreed and did what I thought well.

    As for your husband, try to get on the same page and have the kids see you both as a parental unit. husband and I have had our struggles doing this because husband is gone a lot working and I have to deal with most of the difficult child issues. We have gotten much better and the kids know they cannot divide and conquer.
    I will say this: all the consequences in the world will not be helpful if your Daughter doesn’t “connect the dots”. Make sure you make it clear that “when she does A, B will happen”. That has been a real challenge with Son. If she does A, make sure you follow through with B! A mistake I did with Daughter, was attempt to give consequences while she was in a rage to make the rage stop. It didn’t work and most of the time, because she was in such a state, it made it worse. To compound everything, she didn’t even remember the rage when she was done.

    As far as giving your daughter away, if I had a dollar for every time I wanted to kick one, or both, of my difficult children to the curb, it would satisfy the national debt. These kids bring us to our knees and sometimes we are so desperate for relief, that we just want them gone. I understand that completely. Plus, you have a 3 year old and an infant! That alone is exhausting without having a difficult child. Do you have any means of respite? Even if it’s a walk or a bubble bath? Try to find ways to give yourself little breaks and treats. Any nearby family willing to help in that regard?

    Try and take it one day and sometimes even one minute at a time. Staying in the moment has helped me tremendously.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Miche, I just found Dr. douglas Riley's post in the Early Childhood Zone. It explains the new book and he helped some parents when he popped in. He was mostly checking up on us and letting us know what the new book was about.

    I think you will find it interesting.
  14. miche

    miche New Member

    I've already read The Explosive Child. The only part that seemed to work was to keep reminding myself to choose my battles and decide what is really important. Otherwise, my difficult child does NOT respond to any type of chart, token, incentive, etc. We actually told her she could have a Wii (what she really wants) if she could get 5 positive behavior checks in one day. Didn't matter!!

    Anyway, husband is ready to give her up one day, the next he tells me to not give her any medications. I don't know what to do. I'm willing to try tenex, but he thinks ONE dose of it yesterday morning caused a meltdown at night when we said she couldn't go for a walk with the neighbors. A complete knock down drag out 2 year old type temper tantrum complete with crying, kicking, and screaming in front of ALL of her friends and our neighbors. Her emotions are getting worse -- she used to be able to keep it together when we were outside with friends and neighbors, now I think she doesn't care or can't. husband knows she's not like other kids, but is in complete denial. He won't come to the doctor with us, he thinks medications will hurt her, and he really thinks that behavior management will help. BUt then last week he yelled at her so much I came in the house because I thought he was going to beat her, he was so mad. He told her we wanted to give her away and then asked me to start researching halfway houses or something like that becuase he couldn't live his life like this.

    Then two days later he doesn't want to try Tenex. I can't give it to her without his knowledge, but he is also not with her all day long....and althogh he knows what she is doing to me, he's not here so it's not the same.
  15. miche

    miche New Member

    dazed and confused,
    I don't have any time to myself. That's the worst part of it all. My family is 3 hours away and they just don't understand. I've asked people to come down, or to even send the kids up there, but they are all too "busy". It's frustrating because I'm the only one far away and I get no help...and when husband gets home it's just a relieft to have him take one or two of the kids for awhile -- rarely all three!!!!
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    OK - about the Tenex. This is a drug that is used for High Blood Pressure - at large doses. At small doses it can be used to help moods and tics.

    We were instructed to give it to my difficult child at bedtime - and boy did she sleep well! LOL! I think it helped my difficult children outlook on life. She seemed more positive. UNfortunately, her father was not consistent with the administration of the medication and I was forced to remove this drug as an option. It MUST be given everyday at the same time.

    You should call your Pharmacist and get more info on the medication.
  17. miche

    miche New Member

    I talked to the pharmacist. He said it the 1/2mg dose, there shouldn't be any side effects for a 6 year old, maybe dry mouth. He didn't know much about using it for aggression/ADHD. It's scary though giving her a blood pressure medication???

    Without Daytrana (that was a nightmare) difficult child has been sleeping 11-12 hours at night -- we've never had a problem with sleeping, so the tenex at night would be useless. It's the waking hours that are hard :) I really want to try it again this morning when she gets up, (still sleeping) but husband hasn't gotten back to me yet and I don't want to do it without his knowledge....
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    If your child had a broken arm, would you take her to the ER without waiting for your husband's knowledge of it? If your child had diabetes, would you treat it without your husbands knowledge or approval?

    Your child has an illness. Often our children start out with an ADHD diagnosis. A lot of disorders mimic ADHD - anxiety, depression, bipolar, for example. Those are all - including ADHD - medical disorders; just as much so as diabetes. It is very hard and time consuming to accurately diagnosis a child so young.

    By not helping your daughter, she is being hurt.

    I am sorry if I sound harsh. But your husband saying no to medications and telling a 6 year old child that he wants to give her away is horrible. It sounds like he needs to get a grip on his anger, as well.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think it is time to tell your husband to fish or cut bait. He MUST stop standing in the way of her treatment. She NEEDS treatment NOW, not in a few years. The things he is yelling at her just make her hurt inside. How would YOU feel if at just six years old your father SCREAMED to you that he wanted to give you away??????

    THAT IS CHILD ABUSE. No matter what she does telling her stuff like that is just going to make it worse and is going to gain you a visit by child protection. If I saw the neighborhood brat being screamed at by a parent more than once I would wonder if the parent caused teh child's behavior.

    I KNOW you are doing what you think you can. You have got to take the blinders off and actually work with a doctor to help save your daughter. medications are trial and error. NO medication is perfect. There are side effects. But in this case the impact of not treating her with medications will be her possible future, and likely your marriage. Sooner or later your husband will walk or you will. This kind of stress kills marriages. Esp when you are sitting there wtih the medications and he is in the way. You may have to just ignore him as you go through medications until you find the right ones to help her. It isn't a fun process, but it will help give her a life. And give you a life.

    This may sound harsh. Life is harsh, often. Esp with those of us with difficult children. What you have been doing, non-medicine and just behavior mod isn't working. Take husband's objections out of the picture and start treating that girl so she can finally live up to the standards expected of her. Right now she simply isn't capable.

    Behavior mod and screaming are going to land her in a world of trouble. So far her self esteem is so damaged by the battles of behavior mod that she probably feels she simply cannot do anything right. She doesn't know how to earn positive reinforcement.

    You ALL need help and support. Get family therapy. Also get a marriage counsellor because this is going to tear you apart and you can at least try to avoid that. Do NOT leave her outside while he is screaming at her. Take her away from him, send him out to cool off, whatever. That is just not working and is making things worse.

    I sincerely hope you and your husband can get off the fence. The medications are scary. But, really, isn't life already pretty dang scary already? Why would you deny her a happy childhood? She has a right to the pursuit of happiness also, and for her that probably means she will need medicine. ALL kids have a right to grow up with-o being screamed at that their parents don't want them.
  20. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Miche, do the adhd moods make her more intense?

    I would definitely get another evaluation. My difficult child was originally diagnosis'd with adhd and still has that on her "official" diagnosis, but we all know it's not adhd, but bipolar with a mood disorder. I'm not saying that's what your daughter has, but she sounds quite a bit like my daughter when she was that age. My daughter didn't have any trouble sleeping...she slept well at night and will still nap some days (she did today).

    Adhd seems to be the first diagnosis docs give and try treating that first.

    She may need medications for a mood disorder.

    The other thing that helped my daughter immensely is that I cut back telling her things that will cause her the birthday party. I don't tell her when her party is. I don't tell her when she's going to sleep over someone's house. I don't tell her when family is coming to stay. All these things are need to know and I can honestly tell you that she doesn't have time to build up the anxiety about things. I could probably bet money that your daughter probably has this same issue, right? She probably has things set in her head that things are going to be a certain way and when something doesn't go right, she falls apart....right?

    Try not telling her about playdates and parties and just let them happen. When you don't tell her about them, you can't use them as a punishment. The fact that you might make this a punishment probably causes her anxiety. These are all things that would send my daughter into a tailspin.