Jeannine - posted on 06/23/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )
We have a VERY high-spirited six year old girl. She is very bright, very energetic, and very emotional. Also, very persistent. She is also very loving and thoughtful and wants very much to do the "right" thing. An example of her who she is: last year she was going to run a kiddie race at a 4th of July celebration and right before it was her turn to run she got so worked up about potentially losing that she actually crossed the "finish" line last. (There were no "prizes" Each kid just got a popsicle at the end of it. I even told her she didn't have to race. It was no big deal. It was supposed to be fun, so if she wasn't having fun, she didn't have to do it. Then the choice of running or not contributed to the meltdown.) We've tried so many things to help her calm down--time out, deep breaths, happy thoughts, encouragement, count to 10/20/30. (I model that a lot!) But mostly when she gets worked up, she goes from 0-1000 in 3 seconds and it's hard to even communicate with her until the emotions run out. This makes discipline hard because when she does behave inappropriately, she melts down completely before any consequences or conversation can take place. It also ties my patience. Right now she earns a coin at the end of the day (fake, plastic) that goes into a good behavior bucket at the end of the day, if she has good behavior throughout the day. She can then use her "coins" to "buy" experiences. (Trip to ice cream store, an art day, museum, etc.) This is working fairly well & she usually knows why she hasn't earned a coin. But, she still melts down & I don't think this is "bad" behavior. She just gets worried and overwhelmed. I'm at a loss with how to really help her with this & it prevents her from learning new things. Suggestions?