Behavior Problems?

Leslie - posted on 06/16/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 4yo stepdaughter has been having some major behavior problems recently, and I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this (because I certainly did not go through this with my son, who is now 5 1/2).
For the most part she maintains very well during the day- we do have a few instances of lying, whining, disobeying, but nothing that really seems to out of the ordinary, but the problems start at bedtime. For the last 3 nights I have asked both her and my son to get ready and get in the bed (pjs, potty, etc.) and while he complies she doesn't. If she does happen to actually go to bed she will get up numerous times to go back to the bathroom, then after that she will come into our room a few times because she "forgot to tell us something", after telling her again to go to bed she will go into a complete meltdown- kicking, screaming, crying that can last up to 4 hours (thank goodness it was only 1 1/2 tonight). If you put her back in the bed, she will get back up or lay there and scream as loud as she can. We have tried time-outs, taking things away, ignoring her tantrums, etc. and NOTHING works. This past week that we have had her she has also been overly aggressive with her siblings (pushing them down, pinching) and again it is usually at bedtime because "they were in her way". We do have scheduled naps during the day, but even with those, she will lay in the bed, but will not go to sleep. Has anyone experienced this or anything similar?

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Leslie - posted on 06/22/2011

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Jackie, I completely understand- I have 2 other kids of my own who do get spankings, but I am still weary of spanking our step-daughter, esp when her father is not around. (Step-mom has been known to go ballistic over the smallest stuff, and I just want to keep my butt covered!) Since my post sd has went home, and we have informed biomom that if she is not taken to see her doctor and be evaluated, and possibly to therapy (depending on what the doc says) we will have to take other actions. We have given her 2 weeks (only that long because they decided to pick up and move out of state, and it will take some time for hubby to change her doc with the insurance.) Until then though, as much as it pains me, I have taken a step back and told them that until the behavior problems are under control I will not watch her while hubby is out of town. It sounds harsh, but I have my 2 kids to worry about, and them being in that situation is not helpful to them!

Jackie - posted on 06/20/2011

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OMG!! It seems like she just needs an old fashion spanking! What happened to spanking our kids?? There's a huge difference between abuse and a spanking. I have only had to spank my 5 yr. old a couple times but it worked! Just a couple taps on the legs and I think it hurt her feelings more than it hurt! Then, I talk to her and explain why she received the spanking and I tell her I love her but will not tolerate the unwanted behavior. She totally got it and does much better. There's no way that a melt down should last 4hrs!!!! Either that or u need to call Super Nanny immediately! Good Luck!!

Debbi - posted on 06/17/2011

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My son is autistic and I"m starting to see some behavior problems at bedtime ~ part of his problem is that due to a change in his therapy schedule he's getting naps at daycare....this for him is a disaster as he has not needed a nap for 2 years now! He's always gone to bed at 8 after our bedtime ritual of bath, story, bathroom & then bed and always is asleep at 8:15 at the latest! Not since the change! Falling asleep is not so much of a problem - he's calling me in there time and again...needs to go pee, needs a drink, has a secret. For the secret I tell him it has to wait until tomorrow. Otherwise I'll let him go to the bathroom but if it gets excessive I threaten to close his door {have had to do this once and OH BOY! the meltdown!}. Our big problem is the waking in the middle of the night! He wants to come in my bed, he wants a hug, he wants attention ~ when it started I'd go in and lie with him until he started to doze off and then leave, worked my way to sitting by the door then leaving and now I go in, reassure him I'm still here and then I go back to bed ~ telling him he needs to get himself back to sleep. I can't say it's going well ~ last night lasted 3 hours and I feel like I ran into a brick wall today. But a lot of what he's doing is simply he WANTS something and he's not getting it so he's in stubborn mode.

With him being autistic and a wanderer I have to lock him in his room when I go to bed - I have a monitor on at all times but I can't risk falling into a deep sleep and him getting out of the house. So he's closed in his room ~ I also don't want him sleeping with me because it's a wicked hard habit to break AND if he's with me I can't let my guard down and go into a real sleep so we've got a bit of a problem! LOL

I started a behavior chart tonight. He fully understands how it works {he has one for at school behaviors as well} - he has 3 things to do 1. falling asleep by himself, like a big boy, 2 staying in his bed all night and 3 if he wakes up then trying to get himself back to sleep. Last night I found a little teddy bear that my oldest son gave me years ago and I gave that to him to help him get back to sleep and that is what ended our 3 hour battle. So now he has the behavior chart and the teddy bear and I've told him if he earns a certain number of stickers he gets a reward - he's really excited to try and tonight was the easiest bedtime has gone in almost 8 weeks!!! So I'm hopeful!

I hope you can find something that works to help her. Good luck!

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