U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 03-31-2020, 02:17 PM
Location: Raleigh
9,654 posts, read 7,228,438 times
Reputation: 13624


This might sound nuts but my wife had a kid at her school, that was so angry my wife was convinced he would have to go to a school with a program for kids with severe behavioral issues (and she has a SPED background so wasn't making things up a 3 or 4 year old that gave my wife a black eye. the parents took him to the pediatrician, long story short he was diagnosed with sleep apnea, had his tonsils out, totally normal kid.

I'm not saying it will be that easy but it's worth checking out with the pediatrician as a starting point.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 03-31-2020, 03:11 PM
8,847 posts, read 4,585,401 times
Reputation: 18125
One thing that might help is not letting her have ANY sugar (candy cake etc). Even grains and flour turn into sugar quickly. Protein and fats metabolize slowly and help stabilize moods. Google "Sugar and the aggressive child" if you're interested.

Last edited by Harpaint; 03-31-2020 at 03:20 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-31-2020, 03:43 PM
Location: planet earth
6,626 posts, read 2,752,975 times
Reputation: 14903
Originally Posted by daddy2dd View Post
We are both reviewing the comments and thanks for all the suggestions. Today has been bad. I am now 50 minutes into a bad meltdown.

We were lying on the couch together watching a movie and she accidentally kicked me in a sensitive area. I instinctively said OW, but not in an angry way. It caught her attention and I said please be careful. She started purposefully trying to kick me, slamming her cup on the table and calling me rude. I told her I would cut the movie off if she kicked me again. She did and I followed through.

That set her off. After attempting to run out of the house we are now in the spare bedroom, me sitting against the door (inside room with her) while she repetitively screams, "get away from my door stupid head.". She's not hitting me or throwing stuff, thankfully. I occasionally stop and ask her if she's ready to make good choices and calm down. She just screams louder if I talk.

Anyways, I have resigned myself to sit here calmly until it is over.

Update: It ended at exactly 1 hour. Her signal that she's ready to calm down is usually when she stops screaming the words and sort of just talks them instead. I asked if she wanted a hug to help her stop (that's our thing, see how hard she can squeeze me and I pretend to pass out). After the hug she was totally calm and we sat in the room and talked for a few minutes. She said she was angry because she wanted just wanted to sit on the couch by herself. I said all she had to do was ask and that when she throws things and tries to run outside we have to go to timeout.

Update 2: Answering some questions
-No mental illness in family. I was diagnosed ADHD as a young adult but that's it. My wife and I both medicated for anxiety attacks during college years but I think that's pretty common.
-She seems excited about the new baby (a boy due in June) and has decided that she gets to pick the name, which is cute.
-I don't think we treat her any differently because of outbursts, but my wife very obviously walks on eggshells because they are so exhausting to manage that avoidance becomes easier. I am more of a head-on person and am more ready to have it out, but that hasn't seemed to make any difference either.
-If she's gaining anything from the outbursts I'm not sure what it is.
I agree with the other poster, that you are putting yourself in the position to be her audience when you lock yourself in her room with her. I would get a big white board or chalk board, and list all emotions on it. I would have her tell you which emotions she is feeling (I think there are supports for this emotion identification chart idea online) - I would tell her, ahead of the next tantrum, that "we are going to implement a new procedure so we can all be happy." I would tell her I expect her to speak her emotion, and if she can't, that she will need to go to her room to calm down before you can talk further. I would tell her that her screaming makes you angry and that you expect her to learn to control her feelings. That all humans have to do that.

Then, with the next tantrum, take her into her room and leave her there. Make sure it is safe. Tell her you will be in the next room and that she is not to come out until she is done acting out.


Also, get her the tent and some dolls so she can act out with her dolls . . . research online for tantrum aids or take the problem to parent groups.

Good luck!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-31-2020, 04:02 PM
13,467 posts, read 21,845,418 times
Reputation: 36969
OP, I have no experience with what you are dealing with, but I thought of you when I read this article online today:
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-31-2020, 04:11 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
26,265 posts, read 16,923,469 times
Reputation: 39902
OP. I think you are handling this pretty well.

I would like mom to NOT walk on eggshells around daughter. She is being manipulated by daughter.

I wonder if daughter is feeling extreme anxiety about new baby? Did this behavior begin after she found out about new baby’s arrival?

You might begin keeping a record of when daughter becomes aggressive. You would be looking for triggers.

And IMO, both of you need to emphasize that calling people names will not be allowed in your home. She will have to abide by that rule when she starts school, for sure.

I disagree about locking yourselves away when she has a meltdown. She could do damage to herself or possessions. I get that she might like an audience, though.

These are my thoughts, as a parent.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-31-2020, 05:07 PM
Location: Central IL
16,805 posts, read 9,999,944 times
Reputation: 39786
Did I miss the timeframe on this - has it been weeks, months? And how much of her day is consumed by these meltdowns? And is it every day? Just trying to get a sense of whether this is chronic or acute.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-31-2020, 06:03 PM
Location: North Dakota
8,164 posts, read 9,832,570 times
Reputation: 12156
Originally Posted by daddy2dd View Post

I have a 4 year old daughter who is very aggressive and destructive when angry and I can't figure out how to make it stop. Anything can set her off. Yesterday morning, it was because I parked the car on a driveway chalk drawing she did a day before. Usually, it's when she doesn't get her way or if she's very tired.

Here is my dilemma. When she gets angry she lashes out on the environment. She will try to flip furniture, pull curtains off the walls, knock over end tables, slam doors. Very recently, she ran off down the street. Obviously, I can't let her do that so I have to physically stop her. As soon as I, or my wife, touch her, she will start hitting, scratching, kicking, and biting us. She drew blood yesterday on my wife's arms. As I type I this, I have scabs on the tops of both of my hands. If I try to restrain her, she'll scream that we're choking her and try to spit on us. She'll fight to free herself until she passes out. So, you can see my problem. I can't let her destroy the house, but I also can't physically stop her without being attacked myself.

We have tried everything: spanking (which only makes her angrier), timeouts (she will not stay in the timeout spot and will fight you to get out), taking things away, talking to her after when she finally gets calm. When she is in the red zone, it's like she can't even hear us talking. There is nothing that can stop her.

Lately, my only method is to take her upstairs to a spare bedroom and sit against the door so she can't leave (while inside room with her). She will repetitively scream "go away" or "stupid head" over and over for at least an hour while trying to get out of the room. It only stops when she completely fatigues herself. I don't even know how she still has a voice when it is done. By the end we are scraped up, tired and wondering why we decided bring a second child into this.

I need a new strategy but don't have any better ideas. I can't let her destroy things and I can't let her hit me. But if I stop one, I get the other.
Get a professional intervention so you're not on here when she's a teenager and committed a major crime.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-31-2020, 09:06 PM
Location: Wisconsin
18,458 posts, read 19,223,893 times
Reputation: 46302
Originally Posted by English Ivy View Post
Oy, can I relate to all of this. OP, I'm sorry you're going through this. Here are my thoughts:

Expect it to get worse when the baby comes. I'm sorry.

You can try reading some books, like The Explosive Child by Ross Greene (or any of his other books). There is also Transforming the Difficult Child, Ten Days to a Less Defiant Child, and others. None of these will give you a magic quick fix, but there are some strategies in there to help you communicate better and therefore reduce conflict. It will also help you understand why your daughter isn't giving you a hard time, she's having a hard time.

There are also lots of support groups on Facebook. In many ways, these have actually been more helpful for me than any therapist so far. Parents who have been there and gone through it.

There are also lots of books on emotional regulation for kids, that you can read to her. These are some good ones: https://www.readbrightly.com/7-books...heir-emotions/
We also like "How do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad?"

As parents, be clear and consistent with your expectations, and with the consequences, so your daughter knows what to expect. Do your best not to engage when she escalates. Your daughter feeds off of your reaction. Be neutral. Be Switzerland. However, anytime there is good behavior (this includes not behaving badly when the opportunity arises) praise the dickens out if it and reward it! Be enthusiastic in your praise, make eye contact, give her a high-five, and a hug. Be over-the-top. Anytime she does something that warrants an apology from her, teach her to not only say, "I'm sorry" but to also do something to make it all better. At this age it might be as basic as picking up the living room or making up her bed - the point is that she is learning to show a gesture to make up for it. I would recommend to not spank her or hit her - anything you do to her, she may do to her younger sibling.

When your daughter gets violent and physically attacks you, rather than locking yourself in her room with her - try locking yourself (and your wife, whoever is in the house) in your own room. When you lock yourself in her room with her, she has an audience and therefore the show lasts longer. The show will end more quickly when there is no audience.

I have been told by several therapists that because of that age, they won't diagnose her with much - it would typically just be an anxiety diagnosis. Full psychiatric evaluations take several hours over a 1-2 day period, which is challenging for a 4 year old. I'm not advising you for or against the psychiatric evaluation - just passing on what we were told. Also, SPD is comorbid with so many things.

What's most important for her now, is to get help learning to regulate her emotions. This is obviously more difficult with the quarantine going on, but a play therapist may have some helpful ideas. She needs to learn to identify her emotions (ie "I'm feeling mad") so that she can verbalize it instead of lashing out at the environment. Then she can learn healthier ways to cope when she feels dysregulated - drinking ice water, shredding paper, looking at a calm jar, being "tucker turtle", etc. Admittedly, we personally haven't found any one thing that sticks long term, that our daughter finds helpful to calm down.

Lead by example. Say to her, "I'm feeling mad because xyz. I'm going to go to my room and take some deep breaths and count to ten. I'm going to come out once I've calmed down".

You can also look into local emotional sills classes for your daughter that focus on regulating emotions, building confidence, etc. Some therapists offices offer these.

Spend quality time wither her, one on one, every day. Let her be in charge of what you play and how you play it (as long as her behavior isn't violent) - whether it's playing with blocks or playing house or whatever. Your daughter feels out of control in her environment. This will help her feel loved, safe, and in control, and to continue trusting you.

I'm sorry for the novel. I hope some of this helps.
Excellent points.

I agree that it probably will get worse when the new baby arrives. It is even possible that she may become a danger to a baby.

Originally Posted by reneeh63 View Post
Did I miss the timeframe on this - has it been weeks, months? And how much of her day is consumed by these meltdowns? And is it every day? Just trying to get a sense of whether this is chronic or acute.
Good questions.

Last edited by germaine2626; 03-31-2020 at 09:47 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-01-2020, 12:18 AM
1,454 posts, read 515,008 times
Reputation: 4784
Don't ever leave her alone, not even for just a few minutes, with the baby.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-01-2020, 07:21 AM
2,324 posts, read 761,298 times
Reputation: 5058
Originally Posted by E-Twist View Post
Don't ever leave her alone, not even for just a few minutes, with the baby.
This times a thousand.

You need professional help.

Has she been in daycare? If so, can the daycare provider give you any insight?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top