New here - Looking for help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Circetay, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Hello, I am new to this forum and am looking for advice/help with my 5 year old daughter. We have an appointment with a pediatrician in December to start the process of having her assessed. In the meantime, life at home has been very difficult. She is disruptive to the family and I don't know what to do anymore. I don't have any family support and none of my friends are able to offer any advice. I feel very alone and am not sure what to do for her.

    A little bit about her, she is currently 5 years old and a very temperamental child. She needs to have her own way all the time and is prone to fits of crying, screaming and physical violence if she doesn't get her own way. She will NOT sit in time out, and if we put her in her room for unacceptable behaviour she has a meltdown. She throws things at the door or stands in her doorway and screams at us. She is very fond of the word "no" and torments her little sister most of the time. No consequence or threat will get through to her when she starts to have a fit. She is not rational, nor is she able to calm herself down. I have tried talking to her when she is calm, making an action plan with her but as soon as something triggers her, she forgets everything we talked about. I don't think she realizes how her behaviour affects others.

    She is currently in kindergarten, half days and there have been no concerns about her behaviour at school. Most of her fits occur at home, with just her immediate family. Everyone says she's such a polite, well behaved kid who seems a bit sensitive. At home, she's a terror.

    I just don't know where to turn, or what to do anymore. This morning has been one of the worst we have had in a long time. She kicked her younger sister in the chest and tried to bite me when I tried to discipline her for her behaviour.

    Anyone have any words of advice?
  2. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    First, let me say WELCOME - and you are not alone. Many of the parents on the board have been there done that. I found this board when my difficult child was 5 (he is 8 now). His behavior was just like you explain with your daughter. It even escalated to where he would climb out his window if I put him in his room for time out. He would also hop on his bike and take off because I could not catch him. We took him to a psychologist who diagnosis'd him with ADHD (combined type) and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). He began taking stimulants for the ADHD. We have tried many different ones. They seemed to work ok because at school, he no longer had problems in Kindergarten -- and then first and second grades were great. Things are not great this year in 3rd grade. His behavior at home has never really improved. Now we are seeing a psychiatrist and counselor.

    Others will be along shortly, probably with some questions, so we can get to know your daughter better. Has she ever been diagnosis'd with anything?
  3. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Hi Jules, thank you so much for your response. I must admit I have been anxiously checking my email, hoping for responses. I have found lots of people with similar stories but not much help in how to deal with it.

    In terms of diagnoses she has not yet been diagnosed with anything. Myself, I have recently been diagnosed with ADD and am being assessed for possible Mood Disorder/Depression/Anxiety Disorder/ Personality Disorder. I am currently taking Adderall and Risperdal. While researching adult ADD I came across a lot of information about it's heredity and I must admit that it is something I am concerned about with my daughter. We also have a family history of ODD and Tourettes on my husband's side. Lots of stuff going on unfortunately :(

    I am reading The Explosive Child right now, and while I can see how the techniques work, I don't think my child is able to express her concerns or offer possible solutions. I have yet to read the chapter that deals with this issue but I will. I don't expect her to conform at my will, but she cannot continue to control the mood in the house or to have unacceptable behaviour.
  4. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    It's definitely a hard road. What helps though is the support and understanding of other parents. I don't think there is anything that is going to "cure" my son, but there are a lot of interventions that can help make things less difficult. With my son, the psychiatrist suspects an underlying mood disorder, depression, and/or anxiety too.

    This morning was especially difficult for us too. Is there a full moon or something?! He was doing everything under the sun to annoy his little brother (3) and was not cooperating one bit. I suspect he is either anxious about something that happened at school yesterday, or it's from the red dye in the fruit by the foot snack (wrapper) I found in his lunch box. Or if it's windy, or if the weather changes, or if he didn't sleep well, or if WHO KNOWS. It's always something.

    Does your daughter have friends at school, get along socially with others?
    Hopefully others will be along soon!
  5. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Welcome, sorry you had to join us.

    I don't have a lot of suggestions as my difficult child is much older. I do want to offer some empathy. Your post describes my 16 year old boy monster perfectly. :sick:

    There are no fast or easy answers, I know that is sort of deflating because you probably came to this site much like many of a moment of desperation. What you have stumbled into though is a wealth of resources, ideas and people who believe and understand what you are talking about. That perfect angel in public and demon at home where no one else sees it thing...yeah, we get it.

    Some days I come here ready to blurt out how awful things are and then I see someone else has it worse, much worse. It puts things in perspective. I don't mean to minimize your plight at all, sometimes it just helps to see someone else surviving what you are going through. There are good days and there are bad. It's a roller coaster ride for sure. The most important part is...

    You are in the right place and you are headed in the right direction. The light may be at the end of a long tunnel but it's there. Expect setbacks and dissapointments along the way. Take the quiet moments to regroup and destress if possible. Easier said than done, I know. We all pretty much make do through some awful times. We didn't ask for this and our kids certainly didn't either.

    The most important thing, something I suspect many here will ditto is a good solid diagnosis. Find a good doctor, not easy and get moving toward solutions. Get a neuropsychologist evaluation. That is a long waiting list sort of deal and very pricey if your insurance is limited. However, it is a priceless tool. It won't cure anything but it gives you a microscoping in depth image of what your child is underneath all of the confusion. I wish wish wish I had known to get one years ago. Take that giant leap and it will make a world of difference. I promise you will be glad you did.

    Everyone here sings the praises of the book you have and I am in the middle of reading it myself.

    Please consider a signature line. It helps everyone keep your and your difficult child's details in order.

    People will ask lots of questions in here like how your difficult child does in school, socially, how she responds to stress, memory issues, learning delays? ect. ect...all sorts of stuff. We don't mean to pry but many parents on here have kids a lot like yours so the more you share in detail the more we all can narrow down who has more in common and more to share with you. you would be surprised who has a "twin" to your difficult child and what they have already learned works for them.

    Again, welcome. You landed in a great place. Be patient though...;)
  6. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Not having any support is part of what's making this so difficult for me. And if I do reach out to people they just don't seem to understand. Or they say to be firmer, or that we're probably not consistent etc.

    I agree that pinpointing the causes is very difficult. I have yet to really figure out what's at the root of my daughters anger, or issues. I know she overreacts to everything, but what would cause that? I try to provide a safe and stable home life for her, but it seems that no matter what I do, the fits still happen. It's like constantly walking on eggshells, never knowing if at that moment something will make her snap.

    In terms of her social skills she does seem to get along well with others. It's interesting because at home, when playing with her younger sister she is the boss, she makes the games or decides what to do. But with friends she seems to be much more a follower. She is also very very eager and has to be first at everything. If she has to let someone else go first, there is usually some whining or crying involved. My thought is that at school, she must be doing fine since they haven't expressed any concerns, and her need to be first could be looked at as eagerness to take part which is not a bad thing. My family doctor did specify that behaviour issues usually arise in the 1st grade when there is a lot more sitting and individual work required.
  7. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Farmwife, thank you for your warm welcome. I cried reading your kind words. It's been a very emotional day for me. This is also the first time I have stepped out of my comfort zone and asked for help, at least with regards to my daughter. I have some new recent diagnoses myself that I am trying to come to terms with and I see lots of those traits in my daughter. I know how hard it is for me to be me, and to deal with my issues that it just breaks my heart to think that she is dealing with something similar. Add to that the guilt I feel for passing on my issues and you end up with a very emotional me!

    I figured there was no magic cure or easy answers. We've been working on this most of her life, and I feel like i've tried just about everything there is to try.

    In terms of diagnoses, or evaluations we're working on that. Our family doctor has referred us to a Pediatrician specializing in adhd and behaviour issues. We will see that doctor in December. I'd be lying if I said that i'm not terrifed of how far that is. Of how we are to continue in this way for the next two months, but it's been going on for a long time so we'll just keep at it. One day at a time. From there, he will be the one to order the psychiatric assessment if we are to move forwards. I think given my history it's important. I am trying not to focus too much on the labels, but I do agree that knowing what you're dealing with helps. I also want to take care of this before she has trouble in school and gets labelled or she gets much older and stronger. I know that she is suffering too and I don't want that to go on any longer than it needs to.

    I have added a signature, not that there was much to add! And have no problems answering questions. I accept any and all advice, that's why I came here. I already feel a bit better that I can communicate with others who know what it's like, who have lived similar things.
  8. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    Others with more experience in your difficult child's "thing" and the right questions to ask will come along soon. I'm more of an emotional/anecdotal type person. I try not to get too caught up in actual facts, lol.
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    That is EXACTLY how my difficult child is. Great at school, terror at home. When I tell the teachers how he behaves at home they look at me like I am a two headed Martian. They can't believe that the polite, quiet, well behaved child in their classrooms is the same child that I describe to them. My point is that I know exactly how you feel. Welcome to the board. You are not alone. We are all here to help each other.

  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board, Circetay. I remember those days all too well, except I also got the calls from school, and I was a single parent at the time, unemployed, and had just gone back to school.

  11. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    Welcome, Circetay. I think most parents find that they feel better once they get an initial diagnosis. Knowing that something is 'wrong,' but not being able to name it is very frustrating. The behaviors you describe could be several different things, but a good doctor will be able to sort it out. It can be a long and tiring process, but you are on the right path.

    Good luck.
  12. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I just wanted to add my welcome to you. I'm glad that you've found a place where you can ask questions and get some feedback from people who have a little of experience. I hope you're able to find the answers you need to help your little girl. Hugs~
  13. First off BIG HUGS for you and your family. I too know the feeling all to well of not knowing what to do, walking on eggshells and just waiting for the next fit....... We have an almost 5 yr old son, whom was just recently diagnosis'd with ADHD-Combined type and ODD. Well the diagnosis comes as a help, it's not a fix. We are only 1 month into our first medication regimen. The ADHD medications have given him much more control over himself, and the able to take time to process things around him..... we are hoping this is the beginning of an easier life for him. I know you are looking for help dealing until you can get to through the diagnosis process.... which can be long. We had got to the end of our rope even with the posibility of having our son (my step-son) leave the family home. He too would not sit for time-outs, would distroy his room when put in there for time-out or to cool off, he would bite, pitch, kick, and throw stuff at me when he didn't get his own way. He was extremely mean to his younger sibling also. We started counselling about 1+ yr ago, through an agancy in our area for children and families going through hard times, that helped alot (i'm not sure exactly where your located so I am not sure whats in your area to help, we are near Ottawa Ontario Canada). We too only heard from others, either we are too tough, not tough enough or that they just thought he was completely fine. Although we started getting notes home in JR Kindergarden and continuing through to this year, although it was never as bad there as at home. He was a complete terror at home, and everyone at home was always on high alert. I spent many school days at home by myself just crying thinking that I didn't know how i was going to make it though another day/evening/bedtime. The family counseller we have has helped alot, advocated to get us into testing sooner, and in touch with resources in our area. In the meantime, i wish there was something I could tell you would help but we too had to just keep toughing it out. We tried to keep as simple as a schedule as possible, any outings that weren't necessary were done when he could stay at home, and we tried to keep meals times consistant. It was so hard for me I always wanted to be out doing stuff when it came up or making sure everything was done but I had to learn to let it go. I spent countless hours sitting just outside a baby-gated bedroom door being yelled at. I usually had an older sibling around to watch the younger one but when it was just me I would put our younger son in his room with some toys just down the hall where I could keep an eye on him and sit and listen. Whenever he would stop I would just simply say when you can calm down for 2 mins we will continue on with our day/evening/etc. If he continued I would just wait longer and sometimes it was much longer. We made his room complete safe for him and us. His dresser came out, he has only soft things in there, pictures, etc are up high and we even had to take his door off and use a gate. His toys are kept in a closet outside his room, we put one of those touch lights up on the wall with double sided tape high enough he cant reach it. It seemed so horrible but it was the only safe place to put him while he tantrumed so no one got hurt including him. I would go back and forth between checking on him and playing with our youngest, or doing whatever else I was doing before it started. Whenever he did stop for a couple mins and I figured he would be calm, I would then say You did ___________, that was unacceptable, please say sorry and now you have now calmed down let's continue on. We knew some things he did he might not have known exactly or couldn't control himself so by timeout and removing him from it was the simplest. If it was hurting someone else he had to say sorry to that person. If it was inappropriate use of something I put it away during timeout (fit) and continued on with something different.

    Well I am sure I have said wayyyyyyyy too much..... welcome to the site, it's a wonderful site........ Feel free to message me.....
  14. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome. As someone put it, I wish I didn't have to be here, but given the circumstances, i'm glad that I found you all.
  15. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi Circetay, welcome.

    Maybe for awhile you could look for clues about what soothes your daughter and conversely, what dysregulates her. You could try to cut out the stuff that dysregulates her, even if it seems like you're spoiling or pampering her. When you find out what calms her, do a lot of that.

  16. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Hi Jo, that's what I try to do on a regular basis. I try to maintain a balance between what works for her, and what works for the rest of us. She always needs to pick things first, or have first say but once in a while I have to let my other daughter choose as well. My difficult child usually gets upset, but I try to explain to her that it's fair and that she will get to pick next etc. There seems to be very little consistency between what and when things bother her. One day it will cause an explosion and the next she is fine. I have yet to learn the real cue. Other than her not getting what she wants when she wants it. I also struggle with husband since we never seem to agree on what things are worth fighting about, and which are ok to let go. I have been trying all kinds of different things to diffuse her fits. Lately she has become violent with her little sister and we can't accept that. We tried to punish her just tonight and during her fit she threw her favourite animal down the stairs. That was followed by anger because she could not have her animal (which we never touched) husband told her that when she was calm she was more than welcome to come and get it. But she didn't seem to understand. Then she starts screaming "i want Mommy" so I stepped in and tried to talk to her, told her I was not going to talk to her while she was screaming and crying and asked her to count to 10 with me. She was incapable of doing so and kept repeating that she could not stop crying. At this point her cries sounded forced. This fit lasted for about 45 minutes. We finally ended up putting her to bed while she continued to fit and cry. It was awful :( I just feel so helpless and like I can never seem to do the right thing. I know there is no magic cure but it's so hard. It's exhausting trying to come up with something that might work, and just when I think I have it figured out, it changes again.

    Sorry for the vent :( It really has nothing to do with your initial comment. It's been a tough day.
  17. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    ((((Circetay)))) I wish I could make it better for you. I have been in your shoes and still am -- the adolescent version. The early years are hard because the younger kids are just overtaken by their emotions and really have no control. I don't want to offer you any more advice because at this point of the evening you might just need support as a fellow mom in the trenches. It's hard, isn't it? Not what we expected. The trenches are deep and the mud smells awful.

    The only (simple) things I can think of are keep the kids apart, and don't talk to your difficult child during her rages. You can sit with her, but in my experience, every word I speak only escalates the rage. It has to run its course.

    Sending you my very very best.


    P.S. Please get enough sleep if you can, and eat as well as you can, and take vitamins. Survival mode requires at least some basic level of self-care :sick: I have learned this the hard way many times over the years.
  18. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Jo, I had typed out a whole long reply to you and then lost my connection. ARGH!!! Must be time for me to go to bed. I'll try to repeat in shortened form.

    Thanks for being there for me this evening. It's been really nice to talk to someone about this. It's been something i've kept to myself for too long. I have my own issues and I deal with blame and guilt a lot. I hate that I blame her, and myself but it's part of what I do. I know that it's unnecessary and doesn't get us anywhere but it's a learned behaviour that I have yet to figure out how to unlearn. I am hoping to get into some individual therapy very soon and I think that maybe that will help me things through a different light. I just want to be the best Mom I can be, and right now I feel so far away from that. It's like we're on different planets and every time I react or don't react it's wrong. Her and I never see eye to eye and it breaks my heart. I just want to love my little girl and make her life easier for her but I can't. I feel like i've let her down. :brokenheart: I mean she's 5, these are supposed to be the easy years.

    Keeping the girls apart is hard to do, since we have a very small house, but at the same time we're always near each other so I can hear what's going on. I think that my younger daughter might instigate a little as well. When does normal sibling rivalry become more than that? As for her rages, i've been the one to ignore her, husband simply cannot. I keep telling him over and over that it works for me, but he has yet to see it. Of course, because she's different when he's around. As for sitting beside her, thats a tough one. Most of her rages are at moments where we cannot sit with her. In the car, as we are leaving the house etc. Mostly they happen when she gets in trouble or is being punished. Isn't sitting with her more of a reward? I'm really at my wits end in terms of discipline with her. She won't sit in time out or go to her room without raging and she doesn't care about reward charts. What's left?

    Take care of myself! I love it! Sounds like something my Mom would say, if we were actually talking that is. I am not very good at self care. I stay up too late (especially since starting the ADD medications) and am up way too early for my liking with the girls. I don't eat regularly (Dr. suspects ED's) but I do take vitamins! My cycle is to charge through on adrenaline and then crash. I find that nighttime, when the girls are in bed is my favorite time of day. There is peace in my house and I can destress. I think I also dread going to bed because it means that coming up next is morning and you never know what kind of day it's going to be. I hate living on edge like this, it's exhausting.

    On that note, it's getting late and I guess I should try to get some sleep. Planning a quiet day at home tomorrow. Sometimes they are the best, others the worst. Hopefully it will be a good day. Hope you're enjoying your weekend.
  19. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hi Circetay,

    I take Adderall too. It has been a lifesaver for me. I like to stay up late too -- I simply feel better at night, more alert and alive. And I also often dread going to sleep because it means when my eyes open, it will be tomorrow. I also go on adrenaline and then crash. I think a lot of this is very ADD-ish, along with just our personal styles. I've been working on getting into a routine for about two years now, and coming along -- baby steps.

    Do you have any sensitivities? I do. I have auditory sensitivity (could be called auditory defensiveness) -- loud noises sound extra loud to me and can be anxiety-provoking. And I love deep pressure -- a heavy blanket, or stealing gfg13's beanbag blanket which is deliciously heavy - helps ground my body in space.

    Don't stay up too late!


    P.S. I think self-care is the hardest thing in the world for many people. It's a learned skill which requires diligence, especially for women I think, because often we are taught to care for others at our own expense. And as an ADD-er, sometimes I don't notice I'm going over the edge until I'm in free-fall. Getting better at it though.
  20. Circetay

    Circetay Guest

    Hi Jo, hope you had a good day! We did. husband even commented that he felt like he was in the twilight zone. difficult child was so good today, and we averted several meltdowns. Not sure if it's because we are reacting differently or just a fluke but it was nice.

    I can't believe how similar we are! What sort of routine are you trying to stick to? I've been on Adderall for only a month or so. I tried Dexedrine and Ritalin prior but neither worked very well. Adderall is the first one that doesn't impact my mood or cut my appetite completely. The only routine I follow right now is one that involves housework and de-cluttering. I think it helps with my anxiety too. Keeps me busy, I love to clean when anxious and my house is looking better and better.

    I've never really thought of my sensitivities but I think I do have some. I have an issue with noise. If there is noise that I can't control or do anything about I tend to focus on it and get very anxious. It used to happen often with my neighbour playing loud music. I could hear the bass through the walls and it would drive me crazy. husband used to tell me to just ignore it or turn the tv up but it was all that I could hear. I often ask the kids or husband to turn down the tv if i'm doing something but when i'm the one watching it's not an issue? I love to feel cocooned. When I go to bed, husband has a hard time getting the covers out from under me. I tend to roll into them until I'm covered to my ears and only then do I feel safe and warm.

    I know that for me, self care has always been difficult. I don't have a very strong sense of self and have found my worth by being there for other people. The problem with that is that it takes away from taking care of myself, since i'm taking care of everyone else. I'm also a stay at home mom so I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that everything is done. That the house is clean, dinner is cooked etc. I sort of feel that it's my "job". I had a breakdown of sorts this summer and have started asking husband for more help around the house. I feel terribly guilty, but I feel like he has a responsibility too. He lives here, and I don't think it's too much to ask that he help more. He doesn't always agree, but we're working on it. Now I just have to learn to let go when things aren't done my way, or to my specifications. And yes I realize how awful that sounds. I am a control freak and perfectionist, it's who I am. Unfortunately it also works against me. I have yet to notice the edge, or when I'm getting close to it until it's too late :(