Thoughts on My Daughter?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Lordy, Mar 19, 2008.

  1. Lordy

    Lordy New Member

    I know a message board isn't the same thing as getting a true evaluation, but I so waver from thinking she has a problem to thinking she is just a normal 3 year old doing the typical naughty things.

    To me, she has seemed "harder" than other babies since birth. She cried more and was hard to make happy. She is loving and bright, and I enjoy her, it was just like she had an idea as to what she wanted and it was hard to figure out what that was.

    Now, at 3 1/2, she still doesn't sleep through the night. She is also hard to put down. If someone lays with her, she goes to sleep within 15 minutes or so. Unless she's really tired though, she won't stay in her bed by herself. She is up 2, sometimes 3 times a night. She doesn't stay up, she just cries, and I will go in there and pat her back or give her a drink, and she will go back to sleep.

    She was in preschool, and did okay. The first part of the year she would cry and cry and cry when I left. It seemed like all the other kids just go and play and sit down, and she would have issues. I guess she behaved most of the time, but she did get some bad notes sent home, mainly for not listening and being still during circle time. I don't THINK she was defiant at school. Her naughty notes said things like she took someone's food and threw it away. I asked her why, and she said because he dropped it on the floor and then was going to EAT it. That was her version anyway. So she took matters into her own hands and threw them away. Also, sometimes she would run around the classroom and not stop when the teacher told her to.

    She's occasionally defiant at home, running from me if she doesn't want to do something. We follow that up with discipline and she is getting better. We have the hardest time getting her to eat at the table. She doesn't like most foods and she doesn't want to sit still. If we go out to eat, it's not fun. If it's a wait-service restaurant and she has to wait to get her food, she misbehaves or wants to run around. It seems like all the other little kids just sit quiety and color. Not mine. :furious:

    So I don't know that defiance is our issue as much as she is very needy. She won't sit and play by herself, she wants SOMEBODY with her at all times. Sometimes she will call me in the middle of the night because her blanket has fallen off. Well, she could pull it up as well as I can but she doesn't. She doesn't want to wipe when she goes potty, she wants someone to do it for her. I can understand the #2, but wiping for #1 just isn't that hard. She CAN do it, she just doesn't WANT to.

    The other night we went out for burgers. I stayed in the building to wait for my older daughter, who was using the bathroom. My husband had my little one and they were walking to the car. She asked where I was, he told her, and she broke lose of his grasp and ran across a busy parking lot back to the burger place! :faint: I was so scared. My husband was yelling at her to stop the whole way and she just kept going.

    When she gets tired, she is AWFUL. Other kids whine and cry, but she takes it to a whole other level. This weekend we had been out all day, and were out a few hours past her bedtime. She cried and whined and i put my hand back to hush her and she bit my finger!

    I do spank occasionally, not hard, but it usually got her attention and she would cry and stop the behavior. Last time I spanked her, she told me it didn't hurt, so I spanked her harder, and she said that one didn't hurt, and so on. That seemed very defiant to me.

    So.....I just don't know. Sometimes I think she's just being 3, but then other kids seem so calm and easy compared to her. I love her so much, and most of the time she is a delightful child, but when I compare her to other kids she just seems so much harder, and I can't really put my finger on it. Thoughts?
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Welcome to our forum.

    I think age 3 is a lot harder than 2 for many parents. It's hard to know what's normal, what a child should be expected to do at this age, how varied their diet should be, etc. If you're concerned enough to go looking for answers, it's probably a good idea to start keeping a journal--triggers, foods, behaviors, etc. It doesn't need to be elaborate, but enough to have a paper record in case you decide an evaluation is warranted.

    I have a son who is extremely picky about foods and a daughter who didn't sleep through the night (she wanted a warm body next to her all the time). Take a look through this info on sensory integration and see if anything there rings a bell:

    Does she seem anxious to you?

    Developmentally are you seeing anything unusual: early reading, speech delays or advanced speech, lining up toys or other objects, eye contact problems, etc?

    Is there any family history of mental heath issues?
  3. Lordy

    Lordy New Member


    No family issues of anything.

    She can read---just cat, pat, hat, etc. Easy words. But it's because she's had an interest and we've worked with her. She didn't just pick it up.

    I've wondered about the sensory issues. She has to have her jacket off to ride in her car seat and is a picky eater. She likes to run around the house naked or in her undies. She doesn't like to lay on the couch with her blanket unless she just has her undies on cause it doesn't "feel good" to have her blanket on her clothes, just her bare skin.
  4. Lordy

    Lordy New Member

    Also, she can be great at home, but when we go out, she can't stay out all day or it becomes UGLY. Over stimulation?
    At Disney World, for example, she was GREAT for about 3 hours, then we HAD to start heading back. She just needs some down time.
    I know some kids can last all day, but she can't. I just don't know if that's 3 or something else.
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Why don't you pick up a copy of Carol Kranowitz's book "The Out of Sync Child". It's available at most larger bookstores and the most recent edition is available at amazon.

    My difficult child has struggled with serious sensory issues and has been helped by occupational therapy and us adapting home, clothes, foods, etc for his needs. My daugther doesn't have a full blown case but we found her sleep problems were sensory related--stumbled upon the fact that a poufy mummy sleeping bag we hauled out to keep her warm when she had the chills during an illness wound up helping her sleep through the night afterwards. Weighted blankets help other kids.

    Sensory issues can also cause a lot of classroom problems. What would seem like normal noises in that setting can be very distracting or even excruciating to a child with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID).

    I wouldn't attribute all behavioral issues to Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) as it usually doesn't ride alone, but it's a good place to start your search.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My difficult child needed tons of downtime at home just to be well. We still are careful with our schedule, especially when traveling. I had to keep errands to a minimum and give him down time before and after preschool.

    Does she have a hard time transitioning from one activity to another or one place to another?
  7. Lordy

    Lordy New Member

    Looking at this:

    1. The child is disorganized and lacks purpose in his or her activity. She plays well. At the playground, she will move from the swings, to the slide, to the climbing rock. Her attention span isn't long, but I would say her play is purposeful.
    2. The child does not move around or explore the environment. She probably moves around toooo much, and there is nothing left untouched.
    3. The child lacks variety in play activities. Hmmm, she has her favorite toys, but really prefers imaginative play with people more than toys at all.
    4. The child appears clumsy, trips easily, has poor balance. She is pretty coordinated. She walked at 9 months, and can skip really well at 3.
    5. The child has difficulty calming himself after exciting physical activity or after becoming upset. Yes. She doesn't have the long extended tantrum, but she does need to find a very quiet, preferably dark place to calm down.
    6. The child seeks excessive amounts of vigorous sensory input. She doesn't put toys in her mouth or anything, but she LOVES her paci, and her blanky, and is particular about needing those two things to be comforted.

    So, she really only matches two of the six. Is this one of those if you child meets any criteria we should look into it, or should she be matching more than 2 for it to be a consideration?

    Thanks for ALL your help.
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    That list is only to give ideas of several aspects of sensory integration so I wouldn't consider it as a comprehensive screening tool. I don't have a copy of the Out of Sync Child any more but I think there are some checklists in there--even so, that book would be a better guide since it's more comprehensive.
  9. Lulu

    Lulu New Member

    Hi! Welcome to the group. I'm still pretty new at this, but I can see that your girl and my boy share some characteristics, particularly the defiance regarding physical punishment (which I tried a few times, then had to stop because obviously, it was escalating to senselessness). STill, at 4.5y, my son calls us in to cover him back up and to get him some water, when my 3yo has been getting out of bed to get her own water in the night for 6m now. SIgh. Every child is so different, it IS hard to know what is normal, what is difficult, and what is worth having a specialist or expert look into. I so understand your wonderings. Wish I could help you more!