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At my wits ends with my 6.5yo DD


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#1 ChunkyChook

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

DD has become unbearable at playdates and birthday partys. She is constantly running off and sulking by herself if she doesn't get her way in a large group situation. On the weekendI had to remove her physically from a birthday party where she screamed at a child "I don't like you". I said to her if she didnt like the child she needed to move away. I tried to sit her down and speak to her away from the group but she started kicking and screaming and trying to throw dirt.

I dragged her to the car, bawled my eyes out and went back and apologised to the birthday childs mother. She gave me DDs party bag which I let DD see but then put in the cupboard because she didn't deserve it.

At the time they were all sitting around plaster painting at a table and the girl she yelled at was sitting next to DDs best friend and I think DD was jealous. How can I get DD to say to herself in her head 'this is ok' and bite her tongue instead of abusing the poor child sitting next to her friend?

The day before at another party she was off sulking every 5 minutes because she wanted something another child wanted etc etc. It just puts a dampener on things. Especially when she is the only child sulking and carrying on.

She is very competitive and has to win. If she is racing someone and is losing she will throw herself on the ground and say she has a stitch but when the other person comes back to check on her she will jump up and sprint off again.

I have pulled out the old super nanny rule of being told once, then a warning then 6 minutes sitting in the laundry (sounds mean but it's the only boring room in the house) for 6 minutes because she is just so argumentative about getting dressed, picking up toys, getting hair brushed etc.

But I dont know what to do about the social situations and her carrying on. She is an only child but has been in childcare 1-2 days a week since she was 4 months old and I was also a FDC provider for 3 years. So it's not through lack of time with other children.



#2 Mummy Em

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

Sounds like you have some idea of what is behind the behaviour (feelings of jealousy) so that is where I would start. Try to find some books about jealousy and good sportsmanship, talk to her about her feelings often and teach her the words for different feelings so she can express herself. I would also work on preparing her for situations that she might find difficult by talking about how she might feel if her best friend sits next to someone else (for example) and how she might deal with those feelings so that she doesn't 'explode' or hurt someone else's feellings.

#3 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:49 PM

She sounds very much like my 6.5yo DS. He has Aspergers. Are there any other aspects of her behaviour that are concerned with? It might be worth getting her assessed by a developmental paed if there are.

As to what to do about it - well, that will depend on WHY she's doing it. For instance, my DS would throw a tanty if someone was sitting next to his best friend. In his case, we need to remind him that we can have more than one friend and his bestie doesn't get sad when he plays with someone else, so there's no need for him to get upset. We've been working on this for a while with his psych and have lots of social stories etc about it. We also run through and practice what to do and say in difficult situations so he's got a "plan" for how to act.

One other thing that my DS still really struggles with is thoughts. He forgets that other people don't know what he is thinking unless he uses his words and also that other people have different thoughts to him. Again, we're working on this but knowing this really changes how we interact with him, and what our expectations are etc.





#4 MrsShine

Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

I agree with PP.

I would also make sure you talk to her about her behaviours and how it is viewed by people around her - tell her she may not have any friends or be invited to parties if she behaves this way which would be very sad.

Tried but true, take some thing precious to her away when she behaves badly - in this case maybe it means the next social outing she is invited to she cannot attend due to her behaviour the last time. If she has a play date scheduled call the mum in her presence and say "unfortunately we will have to cancel as DD is having trouble sharing or whatever" this might embarrass her and give her some sort of idea as to the consequence of her actions. I'd say point blank for now that she will not be attending other parties & events until she can learn to behave - once you do go again, if she mucks up, take her home immediately.

On the other hand, give her opportunities to get better at sharing and experience how this can also feel good ie. let her pick a special treat for her and a friend to take on a play date and help her by saying something like "DD picked this out just for you - she knew you would like it" and let her hand it over herself. you could also encourage her to give up some old toys she no longer plays with to smaller children or charities. My sister sponsors a child on her sons behalf and he has to help choose small gifts to post and write letters, he has lots of questions about the way this sponsor child lives and its helped him have compassion for others.

Also speak to her school teacher and ask about the way she interacts with other kids in class and at playtime, maybe there is other power plays in place or even bullying etc?

Good luck!

#5 khunella

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:01 PM

The problem with your daughter sounds a bit bigger than the event at the party. At 6 years, it looks like these behavioural patterns are becoming 'set'. Not sure how or even if you can undo things at this stage, but I would get professional help, and be prepared for the fact that if you decide to go down the therapy path, much of it will be about you and they way you choose to interact with your daughter. Good luck, but remember you're not alone, lots of parents have to deal with these things! You owe it to your daughter to try and work on these aspects of her personality, because things may only get tougher for her as she gets older and has to become independent (and behave in situations where you're not around).

#6 khunella

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

Good advice, but behind every challenging child is a parent, a parent who brings up a child. I think the OP should get professional help, help that will focus on her and her own behaviours. Focussing on the child, or these party situations alone is unlikely to fix the underlying problems which are likely to be much deeper. But don't lose hope, there's plenty out there if you're willing to face up to your own issues.

#7 -*meh*-

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

the behaviours are also very similar to my DS1 (8yrs) who has ASD.

He is unable to play anything due to fear of not winning, it is actually painful to watch, he will upend the game in the first round if he thinks he is losing...

he lashes out and is unable to communicate during high emotions.

If there is anything else you are concerned about with her behaviour you may wish to look further in to it. if not then maybe work on some games where things don't work out the way she wants but still make her happy etc.

Edited by -*meh*-, 16 January 2013 - 04:11 PM.


#8 erindiv

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

QUOTE (khunt @ 16/01/2013, 05:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good advice, but behind every challenging child is a parent, a parent who brings up a child. I think the OP should get professional help, help that will focus on her and her own behaviours. Focussing on the child, or these party situations alone is unlikely to fix the underlying problems which are likely to be much deeper. But don't lose hope, there's plenty out there if you're willing to face up to your own issues.



I don't see how you can decide that this is all basically the parent's fault (just as you have done on my post about my DD's tantrums, I just noticed, is this your answer to everything, blame the parents?). From what the OP has said she has dealt with the problem well thus far. I don't think the OP has 'issues'.

OP, you've had some good suggestions from PP so far. I don't have a 6.5yo but I saw this behaviour displayed a lot in my young cousins who have turned out fine. For some kids I think it is a phase they go through in early school where they are learning they don't have control over everything, they don't always get their own way and they don't always win. These are important lessons every kid needs to learn. Some take it well. Some don't.

I would just keep reminding her of other people's feelings, perhaps bringing up incidents where she has had other children say something mean to her, etc. Explore how she felt, and remind her that other children feel the same way if she says/does something mean to them. Just keep going over things, the concept of sharing attention; friends can have other friends, it doesn't mean they like you any less. I daresay she will improve in her own time.

That said, if her behaviour is very dramatic and draining you, a visit to a developmental paed may be in order, just in case there is something more than just normal development going on there.

#9 Cat People

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

Would you describe her as "explosive"?  (re the kicking, screaming, throwing dirt; is that a regular thing?)

My opinion is this sort of behaviour can't be "punished" out of them.  You have to find the root cause and work from there.  In Ross Greene's book The Explosive Child, he talks about children doing well when they can.  No child wants to behave like that; no child wants to feel like that. If they could do better, they would.  Trying to punish a child to behave when they don't have the ability to often has the opposite of the desired effect - leading to more frustration and anger.  We wouldn't punish a child for not being able to read would we?  If your child doesn't have the skill to control her outbursts, punishment is unlikely to teach her that skill.  Even if you don't feel your child is "explosive", I've gained a lot from reading the book on how to deal with undesirable behaviour (especially anger), so might be worth a look.

#10 ladybird1

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

QUOTE (erindiv @ 16/01/2013, 05:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't see how you can decide that this is all basically the parent's fault (just as you have done on my post about my DD's tantrums, I just noticed, is this your answer to everything, blame the parents?). From what the OP has said she has dealt with the problem well thus far. I don't think the OP has 'issues'.

OP, you've had some good suggestions from PP so far. I don't have a 6.5yo but I saw this behaviour displayed a lot in my young cousins who have turned out fine. For some kids I think it is a phase they go through in early school where they are learning they don't have control over everything, they don't always get their own way and they don't always win. These are important lessons every kid needs to learn. Some take it well. Some don't.

I would just keep reminding her of other people's feelings, perhaps bringing up incidents where she has had other children say something mean to her, etc. Explore how she felt, and remind her that other children feel the same way if she says/does something mean to them. Just keep going over things, the concept of sharing attention; friends can have other friends, it doesn't mean they like you any less. I daresay she will improve in her own time.

That said, if her behaviour is very dramatic and draining you, a visit to a developmental paed may be in order, just in case there is something more than just normal development going on there.


this


#11 khunella

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:44 PM

Of course it's not "all the parent's fault" - no-one says that and you've made it up. But it's unhelpful to assume the issues rest entirely with the child, and that the interventions should focus exclusively on the child - kids don't grow up in isolation, particularly when it comes to their behaviour. This is plain common sense, and the point I'm making.

#12 Expelliarmus

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE (khunt @ 16/01/2013, 05:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of course it's not "all the parent's fault" - no-one says that and you've made it up. But it's unhelpful to assume the issues rest entirely with the child, and that the interventions should focus exclusively on the child - kids don't grow up in isolation, particularly when it comes to their behaviour. This is plain common sense, and the point I'm making.

So you're completely unaware that during interventions that seek to help the child they actually focus on what parents need to do and never focus exclusively on the child?



#13 erindiv

Posted 16 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

QUOTE (khunt @ 16/01/2013, 05:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good advice, but behind every challenging child is a parent, a parent who brings up a child. I think the OP should get professional help, help that will focus on her and her own behaviours. Focussing on the child, or these party situations alone is unlikely to fix the underlying problems which are likely to be much deeper. But don't lose hope, there's plenty out there if you're willing to face up to your own issues.



I have not 'made it up'. Your post speaks for itself.

QUOTE
But it's unhelpful to assume the issues rest entirely with the child,


It is also unhelpful to assume the issue rests with the parent. Suggesting she should just get help to 'focus on her own behaviours' and 'face up to her own issues' implies the parent is to blame. Sure, the parent's attitude is a contributing factor. But saying she has 'issues' is not fair. She and her child BOTH need help.

#14 khunella

Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

QUOTE (erindiv @ 16/01/2013, 05:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have not 'made it up'. Your post speaks for itself.



It is also unhelpful to assume the issue rests with the parent. Suggesting she should just get help to 'focus on her own behaviours' and 'face up to her own issues' implies the parent is to blame. Sure, the parent's attitude is a contributing factor. But saying she has 'issues' is not fair. She and her child BOTH need help.


There is no implication of 'blame' - this is your implication, the distinction is subtle but real. There are issues and problems to deal with on both sides, which I know is stating the obvious.

#15 bluecardigans

Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

.

Edited by Display anemone, 16 January 2013 - 05:24 PM.


#16 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (MrsShine @ 16/01/2013, 03:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree with PP.

I would also make sure you talk to her about her behaviours and how it is viewed by people around her - tell her she may not have any friends or be invited to parties if she behaves this way which would be very sad.

Tried but true, take some thing precious to her away when she behaves badly - in this case maybe it means the next social outing she is invited to she cannot attend due to her behaviour the last time. If she has a play date scheduled call the mum in her presence and say "unfortunately we will have to cancel as DD is having trouble sharing or whatever" this might embarrass her and give her some sort of idea as to the consequence of her actions. I'd say point blank for now that she will not be attending other parties & events until she can learn to behave - once you do go again, if she mucks up, take her home immediately.

On the other hand, give her opportunities to get better at sharing and experience how this can also feel good ie. let her pick a special treat for her and a friend to take on a play date and help her by saying something like "DD picked this out just for you - she knew you would like it" and let her hand it over herself. you could also encourage her to give up some old toys she no longer plays with to smaller children or charities. My sister sponsors a child on her sons behalf and he has to help choose small gifts to post and write letters, he has lots of questions about the way this sponsor child lives and its helped him have compassion for others.

Also speak to her school teacher and ask about the way she interacts with other kids in class and at playtime, maybe there is other power plays in place or even bullying etc?

Good luck!


I don't think any of that would work with a lot of kids with asd. My 6.5yo doesn't "get" the loss of privileges. He's not acting that way by choice, he's acting that way because he's overwhelmed and doesn't know how to control himself. So punishing him gets us nowhere, except more upset. What we need to do is to specifically teach him how to behave in that scenario. Taking things away doesn't teach him correct behaviours or how to control his impulses. It just punishes him for something he can't control and makes him feel even worse about himself.

#17 NSG

Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE (khunt @ 16/01/2013, 05:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good advice, but behind every challenging child is a parent, a parent who brings up a child. I think the OP should get professional help, help that will focus on her and her own behaviours. Focussing on the child, or these party situations alone is unlikely to fix the underlying problems which are likely to be much deeper. But don't lose hope, there's plenty out there if you're willing to face up to your own issues.



Whoa...... I hope you didn't take this to heart OP. I doubt there is a need to "focus on your own behaviour" or "face up to your own issues". I just wanted to reach out after reading this reply and say good luck!  bbighug.gif



#18 MrsShine

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:10 PM

Sure - but I don't think OP said her child has ASD or similar?

These techniques work for a lot of kids I've cared for plus nephews and nieces though original.gif

#19 ChunkyChook

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:12 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions. She has seen a child psych in the past because of a few behavioural issues 18 months ago but they settled down and she stopped going. I might look into going again.

She doesn't deal particularly well with surprises. Not necessarily tantrums but will just shut down and wont speak if she sees someone somewhere unexpected. Where if we were to visit them she would be talkative.

I did explain to her when it happened that people wont want to be her friend or invite her to parties if she acts like that because it upsets everyone.

Madame Catty the explosive outbursts/tantrums aren't regular. The usual whinging and whining sooky tantrums appear to be dealt with now I'm using the time out in the laundry.

It's like she needs to be reminded constantly what is expected of her.



#20 ChunkyChook

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:21 PM

How would I go about getting her tested for Aspergers/Autism?



#21 KT1978

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:24 PM

I have an only child too, sometimes I have to remember to say no to her, for things like attention, because if she had siblings she would have to share, take turns, not always "win".

Do you think that has anything to do with it?

You could also start her with team sports. T helped my dd learn about winning and losing, teamwork, sharing the ball, praising others. I was surprised how much it helped her mature.

They all have their moments OP. not many parents wouldn't remember a time where their kids weren't cringeworthy in public!

#22 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

Chunky chook, your best starting point would be to see your GP and ask for a referral to a Developmental paed. If you want more information or some recommendations for good ones in your area, feel free to post in the SN section. The girls there are all lovely and very welcoming. original.gif

I'm not trying to say that she does have ASD, but there are a few red flags in your post and I have noticed a few in some of your previous posts too. That's certainly not definitive, but if you are struggling with her behaviour, then it may be worth seeking professional guidance.

MrsShine - I know the OP didn't say her child had ASD, but that doesn't mean your "tried and tested" method will work on her child. To be fair, the behaviour the child is exhibiting is typical of a much younger child, and if she was 3, those methods would probably work better. But for a 6.5yo to be displaying these behaviours suggests she simply doesn't know how to act appropriately. So instead of just being punished, she needs to be taught the correct way to behave. There are many reasons why she could be behaving like this and a possible developmental delay is only one possiblitity, but is certainly worth treating the issues from the ground up - first teach her the correct way to behave, then look at using negative reinforcers later.

Edited for random auto-corrects

Edited by ~Karla~, 16 January 2013 - 08:51 PM.


#23 ChunkyChook

Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:03 PM

KT1978 she has always had issues with sharing certain things. There is documentation of it in her childcare portfolio. In particular a doll and pram they had, she liked it and basically claimed it from day one. They ended up buying a second doll and pram. She knew it belonged there because she never asked to bring it home but no other child was allowed to play with it when she was in care.



#24 Mummy Em

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:38 AM

QUOTE (ChunkyChook @ 16/01/2013, 06:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's like she needs to be reminded constantly what is expected of her.


I wonder if it is not so much that she doesn't remember what is expected, but that she can't generalize what she learnt in one situation to another? Just a thought.


#25 iwanttosleepin

Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:52 AM

Sounds like my DS.  And TBH - Me.
I don't play anything unless I can win.  Means that I haven't done a running race since the beginning of year 1!

My DS also consistently misbehaves at birthday parties.  it's a wonder he even gets invited any more.  We have had a big talk about it and the last party was a big improvement in that he didn't just sulk in the corner.  






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