My 4 Year Old is a Beast

Christina - posted on 11/21/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My daughter is outrageous. i need help. Desperately. She doesn't listen, she tells me she hates me and that I suck and that she will never listen to anything I say. I am not one of those moms that doesn't discipline and then wonders why I get no respect; she simply doesn't care about punishment. I have doled out spankings - she says "i don't care it doesn't hurt me," time outs - she just gets up and walks away regardless of how many times i sit her down and start over, ignorning - she screams louder, taking toys - "i don't care," positive reinforcement - she doesn't respond, and the list goes on. She doesn't care. It got worse yesterday. She hit a classmate so hard that he flipped out of his chair. She's never done anything like that before. Her great grandfather - who we were extremely close to and lived with - passed away last week, so I'm sure that some of this is part of her grieving, but she was like this before as well. She will just stand and scream at me; one time she screamed so hard, her nose bled. I don't know how much longer either of us can do this. I've tried calling the Florida Parent Helpline, but as of July 2012 it is no longer in service (thank you very little Gov. Rick Scott). Any advice on how to help her? I worry for our relationship and her well being. I've tried counseling, but he just wanted us to try sticker charts and time outs even though I told him she doesn't respond to that. I don't know what to do.

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Christina - posted on 11/30/2012

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I got an answer. Her teacher (been in child care for 30 years) thinks it may be Oppositional Defiant Disorder. I read up on it and it seems pretty accurate. I'm scheduling an appointment with a local family therapist to get some insight and answers.

Amanda - posted on 11/23/2012

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I know! I always feel so guilty and like I'm failing him. :-(

The token system works like this: Sun thru Friday he can earn 1 token/day. Saturdays are "double token Saturdays" that way, if he's good the whole week, he has $2 to spend on Sunday!

It takes the focus on me being the bad guy -and shows him he is in control of his rewards/punishment. Also, he learns about $$ and really values the stuff "he bought" with his $$. I can take them away if he's really bad, and I usually make holidays double token days too. :-) I got the tokens at the dollar store , they are like treasure chest coins and let him pick the bucket/cup whatever from the target $1 spot. If his teacher tells me he did extra good at his work. I usually guarantee a token for that and then the behavior token is separate. :-) it take a lot of commitment on our part as parents , but when I'm diligent , it seems to work for us. :-)

Good luck!!!

[deleted account]

Kristin,



I'm the same way, the only thing medicine should be used for is to alleviate pain or the use of antibiotics to cure illness. Tampering with hormones and chemical balances scares me. She doesn't eat sugar though, I really limit that to juice diluted with water or the occasional treat, she doesn't eat red meats or meat at all really. She eats homemade mac and cheese and veggies. That's about it.

[deleted account]

Token system is a great idea! I tried a sticker/incentive chart, but she got angry and tore it down so i decided that was a bust. It is nice to know that there are others with the same problem, and that i'm not alone and she's not irreversibly damaged :/

Kristin - posted on 11/23/2012

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Yes my son has improved 1000 percent with no meds just consistent structure and discipline as well as the reward system. I personally don't believe in medication as a solution just monitor diet and the chads program did wonders for him. He did seen better once school started and his daycare provider also did not think he was ADHD but because he had speech problem he was put into a pre development preschool and his teacher there suggested getting him checked for it so I took him to dr and he did indeed have ADHD although not a severe case he also has hyperactivity so I make sure he has positive outlets to burn his energy off we have lots if bike rides and outdoor fun in winter we go for walks or build snowmen he also helps me with shoveling snow and I give him chores to do in the house hope this helps

Amanda - posted on 11/23/2012

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Christina! I am so happy to read this. My son (who will be 5 dec 4th) does exactly the same things, and acts very much like my ex (his father). Although my son DID see his behavior. We have been away from him for a year and a half. My son has had tons of change in that year and a half, but some of the behavior was there prior. He also had some OCD traits that we struggle with. We also share our only room and live in a apt where everyone would hear if I let him scream. *sigh*. I don't have answers , but it's good to know you're out there. :-) he did a little better with a token system- good behavior equals a token a day-which are worth .25 each. Then he gets to shop. But it seems to be wearing off a little. Hope things work out for you. Keep us posted. :-)

Christina - posted on 11/22/2012

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Thank you, Kristin! I am going to try a doctor appointment. One of my biggest issues is that she and I share a room. It's a large loft and she has one side of the room and I am in the other. She has her space, but we have no door to separate us from each other, OR the rest of the house, so the screaming is heard throughout. I've talked to the teachers at her day care, and they said she doesn't seem like a child with ADHD, but I don't know what else it could be. I do notice that her behavior is almost IDENTICAL to her father's - which is the reason we split, he was abusive to me, but she never saw anything. She has visitation with him, and he says she does the same things to him. Is your son showing improvement without the use of medication? I don't want to dampen her spirit because all of the traits she possesses that drive me crazy as a 4 year old will make her a magnificent adult. Strong willed, passionate, and smart.

Kristin - posted on 11/22/2012

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Talk to your doctor see if they have any other places you can look into. Mhy son is ADHD and he was like your daughter as well and were i live in Alberta Canada i put him in a program called CHADS. They will work one on one with you and your child with behavior and listenning problems. It worked wionders for us and my son who is now 6 is 10000 times better than he was at 3 4 and 5 years old. His schoool alsoe worked with us and had some ideas of what can be done at hime in a postivie manner. But I would look into taking her to the doc first and see if there is anytnhing medically wrong with her. If it is ADHD than they will be able to help you through meds or counselling. I didnt medicate my child i put him in CHADS and speech therapy as well as monitored his diet. All red foods are gone as they promote hyperactivity and agressiveness. When he was extremely bad I would say nothing and put him in his room where he would proceed to throw things bang the wall etc. when he calmed down we talked it out and he had to clean his room and any toys that got broken he threw in the garbage and new ones were not bought. I also explained to him that bad behavior equals a bad consequence and i took awaya trip to the park or swimming etc.(which is what he loves to do) if he is good we do something fun together. Stay consistent though and it does eventually get better. When my son said he hated me i used to say thats fine you can hate me but mommy loves you and you need to listen and respect mommys rules. Spankings never work just makes the child more angry. When your daughter is bad put her in her room and hold the door knob so she cant get out ( I did this with my son) once she is calmed down than klet her out and let her tell you why ashe was mad and have her explain to you why that is not acceptable behavior. ie my son hit his sister so i guided him to his room he sat there until he calmed down and was able to talk. He said he was sorry and I asked him if it is nice to hit? He said no so i asked him why he did it and he would answer and so on and so forth At the end i always follwoed with a hug and a mommy loves you. keep strong it will get better

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