Am I a bad mom, or does my daughter need help?

Barbie - posted on 05/23/2012 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My daughter is almost six, and will start school in September. She is very angry. It's to the point where she lashes out, hits, destorys things and yells, and has an attitude. Especially if we ask her to do something. She does not listen at all, she lies a lot, and is always talking to herself even though she has a little brother. i asked her why she is angry all the all the time she says she doesn't know she just feels angry. She yells she hates this house, she wants new parents. Plus there is more I cannot think of right now. We tried timeouts, taking stuff away nothing works.

What can I do?

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Pamela - posted on 05/26/2012

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Have you taken her to a child psychologist? Ask your pediatrician to recommend someone. Call any parenting or family center in your area that has parenting programs. They may have resources that can help you in your process.

Prayer is a place to start while you are seeking outside help. Sit quietly with your child's hands in yours and either pray silently or aloud for DIVINE help to assist you and her in helping with her anger. Miracles abound on this planet, you simply must BELIEVE in them and ASK for them to occur in the areas where they are needed in your life. Absolute FAITH is necessary!

The highest and best to you and yours!

JESSICA - posted on 05/25/2012

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Have you tried have you tried having her evaluated by a pediatric therapist to see if she has ADHD or bi-polar disorders? I had my then 6 yr old evaluated and it turns out he has ADHD(attention deficit disorder). I also had him tested for Bi-polar cause I have it & with both issues you tend to lash out & do impulsive things. My son used to do everything your daughter is doing, but he also used to cuss, and bite his older brother. We control his ADHD with diet, medicine (low doses, we don't want to overmedicate him), and with discipline. Please try this and see if you can resolve it, it made a world of difference for my son & us! Good luck! Keep us posted! Jessica-fremont, ca

Anna - posted on 05/23/2012

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Have you talked to her doctor about it? She could have a medical conditon I can't think what it's called, but she isn't to young to have it. Try also researching conditions in children, she as you said may need help for a medical condition. Talk to your doctor about childhood ADHD.

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Christine - posted on 07/06/2012

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Hey Barbie! There are a ton of great posts on here but honestly just start with the basics and go from there. Make a doctors appointment for her. Start keeping track of all of her behaviors that are concerning you and when, where and what was going on around her at the time of each incident. This information will not only be useful to the doctor but also to a child Psychologist since she should probably be evaluated as far as mental health goes. Good Luck!

Natalie - posted on 07/05/2012

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My nephew was exactly how you explain your daughter is, my sister in law was never sure of why he would do this and he would only mainly do it, if he felt he wasnt getting my sister in laws full attention. One day he even told her and her husband that he would make sure he split them up. So my question is, does is she emotionally attached to one of you more than the other?
Its so hard to know what children are thinking and thats the hard bit for us parents and every child is different. x

Natalie - posted on 07/04/2012

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I didn't think about abuse, but it is a possibility. A counselor will investigate that portion as well if you are uncomfortable with it, or if she doesn't want to talk to you. Good luck, this is a very difficult situation. I would love to know more and keep in touch. If you are interested, my e-mail is aliejudd@gmail.com. I am a counselar in training and hope to work with children, so this story is something I would love to follow and learn more about.

Thanks,

Natalie

Chaya - posted on 07/03/2012

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My first suspicion would be that she's being abused. Ask her point blank is someone hurting you? Sit down at her level to ask. There is nothing more frustrating to five year olds than to have to look up at adults.You need to find out who, how and when.
Barring that, get her some help. If you don't, social services will at least investigate and quite possibly remove her from the home. That may be the best solution at some point, but if that's going to happen, you'll never have a relationship with her again.( I'm a former foster child, I refused to speak to my dad's wife for well over 20 years, as she created the problem.)
You won't be able to keep it from them forever.
If treatment or therapy is in order, take her to someone she approves of, it makes the situation last longer, but she won't cooperate if she doesn't like the person. It's best she go to a female.

Shelley-Ann - posted on 06/09/2012

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Hi Barbie: Many of the posts so far highlight important issues that should be considered. For a child to be so angry is indeed cause for concern. The first thing to come to terms with is that you're not a bad mother. Sometimes we don't know what to do and simply asking for help makes all the difference in the world. I think you're a great mom because you're willing to do what's necessary to help your daughter. It is frustrating and many of us have been there, are still there from time to time. Your daughter needs help to deal with her emotions. She's not a bad child, she just needs help expressing her feelings. I'm sure she does wonderful things as well, and that it's not all bad. Maybe rewarding good behavior can help too. In situations like these it's usually an approach from multiple perspectives that helps the best. This means addressing food allergy possibilities, monitoring sugar and chemical intake (processed foods, those with coloring and other additives), getting her enough activity and exercise, learning coping strategies for anger and dealing with emotions. Consistency and stability are key in dealing with anger issues, but so is compassion, forgiveness and love.

In all of this, while you're focusing on helping your daughter and family, remember to find time for yourself too. Thirty minutes every day to find your center, to be calm, to nurture your spirit, is extremely important. Meditation and prayer have helped me, and exercise can help as well. This journey you're on with your daughter is going to be a long one and there will be moments when you will need to take a time-out yourself. That's ok. Remember to forgive yourself and love yourself throughout the process as well. Keep asking for help until you're satisfied your situation is being resolved. You're not alone. There is a solution for you and you will find it.

Shiru - posted on 06/06/2012

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I think you should take her to see a psychologist, he/she would be able to help your daughter because this kind of anger is not normal.
Lucy Muhia

Natalie - posted on 06/06/2012

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I would have her evaluated by your pediatrician first and then a licensed child psychologist. I would also have her allergy tested. A lot of behavioral problems in kids stem from allergies, and the effects they have on their brains and bodies. I have a good friend whose son would act this way and when they removed the allergens from his diet, he was a totally different child. This is not normal behavior, and you deserve help. My son has food allergies, and ADHD with behavioral issues. He is 7. We just put him on Straterra and he has been on a gluten free diet most of his life. IT helps, and makes him more successful at school and in making friends. It has been a relief to us, and I have never felt more confident about a decision after seeing the results. We also put him in short term therapy to help him deal with some anxiety and family issues. It has been an amazing turn-around this year, and we can tell when he has missed meds, or eaten the wrong thing because the behaviors return. You are not alone, and she can be a happy, typical child. Just don't give up. Contact me if you have any questions. I have worked with a lot of kids with disabilities and behavior issues. I have a degree in psychology, and worked with autistic kids. I know behavioral therapy, and taught piano and violin for years. I also worked as a substitute teacher in mainly special needs classrooms. There is no reason for this behavior. If time-outs and taking things away and other traditional techniques aren't working, I would lean towards a behavior disorder or food allergy. Sometimes they don't know why they act that way, it just happens, and you can't punish a behavior that they don't do on purpose, or with forethought because it doesn't work. You can ignore it and hope it diminishes on it's own, or focus on the behaviors you want, but giving attention to the other behaviors just feeds into their need for stimulus and attention. It's hard. You'll make it.


aliejudd@yahoo.com

Heather - posted on 06/05/2012

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My daughter went through a similar phase around 5, kicking, destroying things, and my personal favorite, spitting. I went and saw a couselor that was available through my work's EAP. It's hard for younger kids to really express their emotions and what's going on inside, which can sometimes add to their frustration. The counselor worked with my daughter on trying different ways to express that anger and frustration. It didn't happen over night and I can't say that she never throws a fit like she used to, but it has gotten a lot better. Most times now when she gets angry she knows to give herself alone time to calm down. Often she draws a picture to express her feelings, which really seems to calm her down as she loves to draw.
Get some outside help, maybe a family counselor, sometimes just a few visit can be extremely helpful. I know it helped both my daughter and also helped me in how to deal with her.

Molly - posted on 06/03/2012

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You might have your doctor look at her hormone levels just to make sure there are no issues with her pituitary gland causing early adolescence.

Jenny - posted on 05/28/2012

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Barbie it sounds as though your daughter has a lot going on. Meaning a lot of suppressed feelings that if not dealt with or addressed will come out in behavior. Parents don't realize how they respond and react contributes to suppressing feelings, which actually creates the behavior. Even if you had a child with ADD or ADHD you would still need to learn how to address their feelings and needs so that it didn't need to come out in the form of poor behavior such as this. This is behavior of a child crying out for help with her big emotions. As parents we don't realize that every time we punish, act bigger and more powerful with our children and don't listen to them (no matter how absurd and silly their reasoning is) we actually suppress their feelings even if they obey immediately, give in or give up with is in this regard. All humans from birth and up have feelings thoughts and opinions all day long as they and we experience the world and our environment. It actually can't be helped as we are wired for this. The biggest mistake for parents- is that we can't handle this and we feel a child expressing attitude, anger or their own thoughts when we expect something of them is wrong. That it means we don't have control. This creates a cycle of power struggles. Adults with younger children will usually win as we are bigger and can fight better. What we need to understand and learn is how to deal with our children in this regard so that we can better help and guide them to better self regulation, expression and hence better behavior. I would not say you are a bad mom. And you are lucky right now because the earlier you start on learning how to do this, the better off you and your daughters relationship will be with you, which has great impact on behavior and most importantly the later yrs. None of the behavior you are describing is o.k or healthy. It's also not about your daughter being bad- she isn't! When she acts this way, what she is really saying is: " Mom, I need your help, I have a lot of feelings going on and I don't know why and I don't know what to do with them, I'm scared, please help me". Most parents just don't know how to help or how they create much of the behavior. As you learn, this behavior will get less and less. Plus as soon as the attitude and behavior hits us as it's happening it makes us fearful, which turns into anger and we typically react from this state of mind. That could be in the form of permissive parenting or overbearing in the power and control aspect. These styles add to the behavior issues. If you could give a couple of examples of the power struggles, what she says and how you respond I could give you great responses to lessen the power struggle, but to where all would feel in control and most importantly you would be in control. Lies would also go down, as there is a specific reason as to why all humans lie, not just children. All children and adults lie for the same reason- fear.

Sean - posted on 05/28/2012

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You are definitely not a bad mom. More than likely your daughter needs help. My son has ADHD and once I found help he is much better. There may be combination of things going on. Everything everyone else has suggested are great places to start.

Rachel - posted on 05/28/2012

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Is her diet inflammatory? Humans follow the same rules as computer programs GIGO-garbage in garbage out. Eliminate refined sugar and starch. Get her on high quality vitamins, increase her vitamin d intake, and I would Google Krill Oil, and read up on its effects. You'll find the reviews are full of stories exactly like yours. Please rule out diet before you do anything else.

User - posted on 05/24/2012

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I am sure there is something bothering her. Kids normally don't act that way unless there is an underlying cause - emotional or medical.

I don't think talking to herself is all that bad - kids that age pretend play all the time. But it could be that she has felt neglected after her brother arrived, and could be that only way she feels she gets any attention from you is by being bad. Or it could be something else entirely.

I would surely talk to her doctor. Good luck!

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