How to teach self control to a difficult child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by luvmyottb, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    difficult child was fairly excited tonight to watch a Charlie Brown Christmas with me tonight. But she could not sit still during the show. She decided to eat again because that is what she does at times when restless. She had dinner and cookies afterward and decided another meal was in order at 8:30pm.

    Oops, my bad! I said the no word and boy she was off to the races. She got mouthy and mean. We had a discussion Saturday night about when her temper flares, mom or difficult child will leave the room so it doesn't escalate to where she decides she is going to hit or throw something at me. I digress.

    So I asked her to leave and she begins to taunt me with the kitchen timer, right behind me making it ding as I retreat. (That bell went off about 20 times in a row:mad:) I ask to her go upstairs and leave me alone so we can cool off.

    Whenever I ask her to retreat or I walk away from the situation it seems to make her madder. I sat down in my chair and she is yelling at me, telling me she hates me and go ahead send me to jail and she picks up her boot and whacks me on my heel. It hurt. I got tears in my eyes and she is immediately horrified. Runs to the fridge to get an icepack. I listened to 100 I"m sorry's. We talked about the need for one of us to retreat when she feels her anger coming on. She is very concerned about me, says she is a bad kid and doesn't deserve parents like us. She says she doesn't know why she does things like this. I wish I did! She says maybe we should go to the guidance counselor at school for help. (We aren't seeing a therapist at the moment, but have alot over the last 3-4 years)

    Ok, so I know she feels terrible about it and deep down doesn't want this to happen. But the impulse control for her is a different story. So I come to all the wise warrior mothers for help. How can I teach her some control over her anger so we don't get to the point of difficult child wanting to beat me or throw something at me? She is 11, but I swear her emotional IQ is at least 3 years behind. Am I expecting too much out of her? I am concerned by the time she is 13, 14 or 15 and is bigger than me, (I'm 5"2) I could get hurt and the police will be involved. I want to nip this in the bud now. I know you guys can help me out. Thanks if you have made it this far.

    Thank goodness I had the sense to tape Charlie Brown Christmas. I love watching it and remember when I used to watch it as a kid with my Grandma. Warm memories.
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am sorry. Well I know she is older than K. But emotionally who knows!
    K can not sit still for any show, barely ever.
    I have a basket of things for her to hold and play with while watching TV. Little things like rubber squishy things, puzzles, windup toys....
    I also have a therapy ball for her and N to sit and bounce on. I have the room set up so they can do laps around the couch and stand behind the couch and jump up and down. I have little flat therapy disks for them to stand on as well...
    It is one of the only ways for them to watch TV or a movie without going crazy, driving each other crazy or me and husband crazy!
    These things have been the only way for me to avoid the yelling at them to sit still and for K to not go into a rage and act like your difficult child.
    by the way they just finished up watching it also... things in both hands! LOL
    Actually K was wrapped up tight in a blanket tonight, while holding her hand toys!

    K thinks she is hungry if we do not keep her distracted... or she gets agitated and angry as well.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member


    I"m sorry you had a rough night, it isn't easy. Wow, I wish I had the answer for that one!! sheesh

    Let me ask the medication she is on, im not at all familiar with it. Do you feel and the pyschdoc feel it is working? Is she currently in therapy at all?

    My difficult child will be ten in february, she has yet to outwardly hit me with something or her hands yet she pushes me and has a few times. She's more of a verbal one, and when she's in a particular mood if i look at her the wrong way i get the complete utter nastiness.

    I tell difficult child for now, to punch a pillow. Don't stomp your feet, or hit a wall or slam a door or hit your sister, punch the sh*t out of your pillow. You guys may be past pillows, yet how much room do you have or space where you live??? I was just thinking? I don't know why but punching bags keep coming to my mind. I dont' have the space or a basement to utilize yet if i did that's what i'd hang quite honestly.

    The space thing is a good idea, it really is. Yet she may not be able to control whatever emotion she is feeling and the anger building up on her to remove herself for a cool off period. What if you just said when you are speaking to me like that, or in that way I will no longer speak to you? And you get up and leave wherever you are. I know, you shouldn't have to i feel the same way, yet if you were to remove yourself that would be in a sense taking control of the situation and maybe avoiding further upset??

    Just a thought.

    I hope you have a good rest of the night.

  4. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    hmmmm, sounds like my difficult child. She's about a 3rd grade level in acedemics, and who knows how young emotionally. She used to follow me screaming, kicking and hitting when I'd walk away. When she was much younger, we would always remind her to hug, not hit. Her social workers in school have been fabulous at teaching her some coping skills over the last 4 years. #1 is to go to a quiet place to regain her composure. She's been doing great with it and we've got it written in her IEP. A behavioral therapist would be another option, play therapist too.

    Maybe instead of saying "no", you alter your response. Is she real picky about her meal options at that point? Are you able to offer her some options, or does she have something specific she wants? Maybe offer healthy snacks when she's ready for a late meal (raw veggies, an apple) or, since you were watching a movie, make some popcorn!

    good luck to you - remember it may look like a long road ahead but keep going!
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Book recommendation - and I highly recommend it for any age. Actually they wrote 2 - one for little kids and parents and one for teens and parents. You can order it throught this site too. It is called

    How to talk so kids will listen and how to listen so kids will talk.

    You admitted that you said "NO" to her and it caused a meltdown. What if there were a way to communicate with her and get your point across without her melting down? Would you give up saying the word NO to achieve that goal? read the book.

    We got through life everyday thinking that things that we say are okay and kind or that as a parent we should be ABLE to utter the words NO and get instant gratification. Even some of the things we tell our children thinking we're giving them a compliment come off to their minds as sarcastic. This book is a very very good one on one example WITH WEEKLY WORK STUDY.....on how to achieve effective communication with your kids and then it pours over into your life with others.

    I'm a work in progress.....but I can tell you that when I remember to follow the lessons in the book and it's hard -old habits are hard to break...they work even with the most obstinate 18 year old young man.

    What have you got to loose but the meltdowns?
  6. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I was just thinking about the word NO this morning. LOL
    K was up and had said NO about 7 times... I was explaining to her how it is OK to not like something or not want something. But we all need to try harder to think of some other way to talk to each other.
    That is one of the reasons why I will just hand her things to do when I see her start to elevate. We can avoid the talking, if it works, great. Then we go from there.
    I will put out a couple of food options, try to make it short and to the point.
    I need to get the book for myself!!!
  7. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Going to get the book for sure. I just don't want a replay of last night anymore. I hate the word no, it just brings out the worst in her.
  8. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Star, thanks for the suggestion...Tink can't handle the word NO.

    Luvmyottb, let's keep eachother posted on how this book works...and if you find ANYTHING that works let me know!
  9. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Will do BBK:D
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow. So sorry.

    You've gotten some great ideas here.

    "No" sets off my son, too.

    Just wanted to lend support.
  11. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    I also agree with Star . You are on the right track when you see that your child is lacking skills. I suggest getting the latest edition of the explosive child or ' lost at school ' by Ross Greene -

    I hope this helps - education is a process