when enough is enough


New Member
I have been posting, the last couple of weeks, in the general discussion forum about our 12 yo difficult child, but some things have prompted me to seek out some advice for my littler ones.

I guess I have been struggling for quite some time trying to separate normal preschool aged behavior problems from the more serious behavior disorders.

My 5 year old girl, is probably more like a "difficult child in training"...

For starters, I should mention that I KNOW this behavior is not something that she is learning from BIG SIS, because our 12yo difficult child was only placed in our home a few months ago, and my 5 yo has been showing signs for much longer than that. Sometimes she goes from one extreme to another in a matter of seconds, being so depressed and sad one minute, to being wild and out of control the next, then screaming hysterically at the smallest little thing. Then other times, one mood or the other will last for days at a time, and nothing we do will snap her out of it!

For example, the tantrums and screaming fits...it seems that everyone's recommendation is to send them to their room to finish their fit and only allow them to come out when they have collected themselves. It is my understanding that this usually works after a while...if a parent has the endurance to wait it out. At first, I didn't have the endurance to wait it out. But then I realized that something definitely had to change and so I thought "what the heck, give it a shot" and I figured that I was in for an hour or so of crying the first time, expecting that the lenght of time it lasted would get shorter each time...

SO NOT THE CASE!!!! She didn't even make it an hour, she was only up there in her room for 20 minutes but in that 20 minutes she managed to make herself SO hysterical and out of control that she threw up everywhere. Of course, when this happened, I could NOT just let her sit up there in the mess, so I went up and cleaned it up. By the time I was finished, she had calmed down and was allowed back downstairs. Problem is, this seems to be a continual problem. Everytime she gets upset now, I have to find a way to soothe her, and if I don't, she screams until she is sick everywhere.

Also, there is the issue of bedtime, which she fights sometimes for hours at a time (even until one and two in the morning sometimes).

She attends school right now at a private school that offers preschool and elementary school. There are several days that she gets into serious trouble for not following the rules or directions.

I am just trying to figure out when enough is enough, and how to tell whether she is doing these things because I am not using the right techniques, or if there is something else going on.

If there IS something else going on, I guess I am not sure where to begin as far as treatment is concerned. I don't know where I would find a good child psychiatrist. The one our 12yo sees is an adolescent psychiatrist and doesn't see patients younger than 12. And the psychiatrist she used to see before she was of age for the new one I DID NOT CARE FOR at ALL, she was already seeing her when she was placed in our home and we got her out of there as QUICKLY as we could, so there is no chance I would EVER take another one of our children there!!!!

There is just so many extremes that children take at this age trying to test things out, and I can't figure out where to draw the line and say "okay this is not normal and something must be done" and when to just chalk it up to developmental curiosity and deal with it accordingly and move on.



I'd definitely recommend an evaluation. It sounds as if there's more going on than not using the right parenting techniques (but reading The Explosive Child by Ross Greene can't hurt at all).

You could follow a few different routes for the evaluation: going through a children's or university hospital for a multidisciplary or neuropsychological evaluation, locating a developmental pediatrician, or asking your older daughter's psychiatrist for a referral for a child psychiatrist. We found psychiatrists for difficult child 1 and easy child through difficult child 2's psychiatrist (and we're fortunate that they're all excellent docs).

Hope you find some answers soon.


Well-Known Member
I'd take her for a multi-disciplinary exam at the university hospital or children's hospital. That's not normal five year old behavior (I've raised five kids past five, and none acted like that, even my son with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified, but he was the closest). I wouldn't let it go or just rely on parenting methods. I think many Child Psychiatrists see younger kids, and that could work too. Also a neuropsychologist. I'd skip the non-MD psycologists to make a diagnosis. Good luck.