U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
 [Register]
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 04-08-2020, 10:41 AM
 
Location: planet earth
6,628 posts, read 2,754,559 times
Reputation: 14903

Advertisements

Someone asked if it is really possible for a four year old to have "mental health issues." That made me wonder at what age a person can first have "mental health issues." Can an infant have "mental health issues?"

Just an aside.

I feel for this family and hope they can find some good resources - sounds like medication might be necessary to stop the trajectory of behavioral issues - and I don't think medication for four year olds is a common thing (thankfully), so it will be really important to find the right child psychiatrist with experience and knowledge in severe childhood aggression issues.

I feel for the parents - especially the pregnant mom.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-08-2020, 02:10 PM
 
1,892 posts, read 2,348,723 times
Reputation: 2947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridge781 View Post
How is it helpful to tell the OP to get help now before his kid kills someone
Because it isn't entirely hyperbole. That doesn't mean the little girl is going to murder someone, but imagine trying to drive a car while she is flipping out. Oh, yeah, I've done that. My daughter was seven at the time, but the point remains the same.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2020, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
1,314 posts, read 1,162,478 times
Reputation: 4101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bridge781 View Post
How is it helpful to tell the OP to get help now before his kid kills someone
The OP has stated that the child kicked the family dog in the face and has threatened to hurt her unborn little brother.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2020, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
18,463 posts, read 19,228,723 times
Reputation: 46312
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
Someone asked if it is really possible for a four year old to have "mental health issues." That made me wonder at what age a person can first have "mental health issues." Can an infant have "mental health issues?"

Just an aside.

I feel for this family and hope they can find some good resources - sounds like medication might be necessary to stop the trajectory of behavioral issues - and I don't think medication for four year olds is a common thing (thankfully), so it will be really important to find the right child psychiatrist with experience and knowledge in severe childhood aggression issues.

I feel for the parents - especially the pregnant mom.
Yes, although it is rare, young children can exhibit mental health issues. As an example, reactive attachment disorder can be diagnosed by a child psychiatrist when the infant is as young as nine months old. Although it is rare, other mental health issues can be diagnosed in toddlers and preschoolers.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2020, 03:08 PM
 
237 posts, read 53,181 times
Reputation: 568
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
Someone asked if it is really possible for a four year old to have "mental health issues." That made me wonder at what age a person can first have "mental health issues." Can an infant have "mental health issues?"
Researchers have long known that genes influence mental illness. Five years ago, for example, the global Psychiatric Genomics Consortium found that people with autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder frequently share certain DNA variations.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018...g-hope-better#

An infant can have and display genetic mental health issues certainly.

I'm not a doctor just an avid googler, but it's possible daddy2dd's daughter is not the first in his family or his wife's family to exhibit behavior like this.

Hope the child's doctor can be of help relieving the stress this family is experiencing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2020, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
5,353 posts, read 1,948,338 times
Reputation: 7771
Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodysbusiness View Post
Someone asked if it is really possible for a four year old to have "mental health issues." That made me wonder at what age a person can first have "mental health issues." Can an infant have "mental health issues?"

Just an aside.

I feel for this family and hope they can find some good resources - sounds like medication might be necessary to stop the trajectory of behavioral issues - and I don't think medication for four year olds is a common thing (thankfully), so it will be really important to find the right child psychiatrist with experience and knowledge in severe childhood aggression issues.

I feel for the parents - especially the pregnant mom.

The behavior is slightly outside of normal but predictable in some situations, thats why the therapists wants to watch the parents interacting with the child. They're watching the parents.

The disturbing behavior will become a mental illness unless treated.
Unless its organic in nature, its just maladaptive behavior.
Theres a tendency in some circles to pathologize children and medicate , that may have long term adverse effects.
There is no pill that can effect the will.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2020, 10:55 AM
 
Location: planet earth
6,628 posts, read 2,754,559 times
Reputation: 14903
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonesg View Post
The behavior is slightly outside of normal but predictable in some situations, thats why the therapists wants to watch the parents interacting with the child. They're watching the parents.

The disturbing behavior will become a mental illness unless treated.
Unless its organic in nature, its just maladaptive behavior.
Theres a tendency in some circles to pathologize children and medicate , that may have long term adverse effects.
There is no pill that can effect the will.
There are medications that will sedate aggressive people. My elderly mother had to be put on them - and it was at a time when doctors were willing to do this. Without medication, she would rant and throw her food on the floor, and with it, she was like a Cheshire Cat.

But now there are rules that a person cannot be "restrained," (which includes medication). I don't know details.

This kid appears to need something to prevent her from attacking people, dogs, babies. It's not an easy problem to address because it is so outside the norms and there are such severe consequences.

Think of the stress to the mom and dad.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2020, 12:49 PM
 
Location: USA
482 posts, read 152,453 times
Reputation: 1922
The question of whether this is nature or nuture?
It could be both. Born mentally ill, perhaps? My understanding is both parents were on antidepressants before she was born. What side effects of this use can be attributed to the DNA/genes of the developing fetus, now 4 year old daughter?
I'll leave that to the experts.
I will tell you this: read most any profile of an inmate with heinous crimes against humanity, and the common behaviors begin early: defiance, manipulation, anti-social, harm to animals, etc.
This kid does not have a good track record so far, and left unchecked, could do more serious harm.
There's no way in hell I would leave her alone with any baby or animal. It appears she possesses no self-regulation.
In my opinion, psychiatric intervention is warranted, and the sooner the better. And, hard as this can be for the parents to hear, all options are on the table, to and including institutionalization.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2020, 09:39 PM
 
5,185 posts, read 4,475,939 times
Reputation: 14967
OP, I know I'm late chiming in. Pro with over 25 yrs experience. Your daughter's behavior is very far outside the norm. I feel for you, your wife. Yes, the new baby will be in danger. I do think that your daughter has a mood disorder, BECAUSE IT HAPPENS AT DAYCARE, TOO. If she were fine at daycare, and a monster at home, it would be a behavioral management issue. But they probably have great behavioral management at daycare, they're pros at it, and she's losing it there, too. This is a mental health issue, a mood disorder, and it's probably going to warrant medication for her with a mood stabilizer like Abilify (yeah I can just hear the screaming from others who are recommending cutting out sugar and putting her on vitamins), therapy for you all, and very, very careful monitoring of her around the baby. Is there anyone in the family on either side with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or severe depression, or a history of these angry rages, even if they outgrew them? We are entirely a reflection of our genetic makeup, so I'd start asking the family, on both sides. But right now, you're going to have a very hard time getting help, because of the lockdown.

I agree with the daily schedule, with pre-notifications of when it's time to change to next activity. But that's not going to solve your problem.

You need a safe timeout room for your daughter, that has nothing in it other than a mattress on the floor. Absolutely nothing else in it, other than soft things like a beanbag chair (that cannot be unzipped and emptied or shredded) or anything else that she can hit, punch, take her rage out on. You need a baby monitor with camera up high in it, or another home camera, that she cannot reach or break, so that you can see her. The longer you can keep it from her, that there's a camera in there to watch her, the better. And the room needs a lock on the outside. You see, she KNOWS that you are there, holding the door shut, as an audience for her tantrum. If she knew that no one was there to hear her, she'd calm herself much, much more quickly.

If you can make this room NOT be her bedroom, that would be best, so that she has her toys and stuffed animals and bed in another room that is not associated with rages. If you already have a room set up for the baby, I'd empty it, turn it into the timeout room, and keep the new baby in with you for a long, long time.

I think that all the behavioral management techniques in the world will not help, but here goes. You need to send a clear message that you and your wife are in charge, not her, and don't let her know that her behavior upsets you. You need to stay totally calm. It is your reaction that she is seeking. So you don't react. When she starts to rage, don't apologize or try to placate her. Say, calmly, "Daughter, you need to calm down. Do you want to calm down here, or in the calm down room?" The first time, she'll escalate. Next: "Daughter, we're going to the calm down room. Do you want to walk there, or should I carry you there?" She'll escalate more. Fortunately, at this stage in her life, you are much bigger than she is. You pick her up in a way that she cannot hurt you, probably from behind, around her waist. She'll start screaming, maybe saying that she'll walk. You say, "That's okay, next time you'll walk." You carry her to the calm down room (and believe me, if it could be padded, it should be, but you cannot accomplish that right now), you put her in, lock door from outside, say calmly, "I'll be back when you calm down", and you LEAVE, but you've got to keep an eye on what's going on in there. First time, she'll scream and kick for an hour, then cry herself to sleep. Let her. If she makes herself vomit, don't go back in. Only if she is doing REAL harm to herself, like is really trying to break the window in there, do you run in - and then you board up the window and continue. When she wakes up, it will be over. Or if she DOES calm down, go back in. NO talking about what just happened. Just unlock door and let her out and pretend it never happened. NO POSTMORTEM with her, talking about what happened, why it happened, why it cannot happen again, isn't she sorry, NOTHING. You act like nothing happened. If when you open the door she starts raging again, put her right back in and leave until she's calm, then let her out. If she falls asleep in there, leave her alone until she wakes up and comes out (but unlock door when she falls asleep).

You may find the magic 1-2-3 helpful. When she starts to rage, say, "Daughter, you need to stop. ONE..... TWO...... THREE. If you get to three, it's straight to the calm down room. Eventually, she will realize that she's going to wind up in the calm down room if she doesn't stop, and stop herself before you hit three. Woe unto you if you don't get her into that calm down room when you hit three, even for 5 minutes, because then she'll know she can get around this. Don't do, ONE, TWO, TWo and a half... Two and 3/4...., do you want to go to the calm down room? Because if I hit three, you're going to the calm down room... etc. Just slowly count to three. After the first few times, she will realize that you mean business, and stop herself if she is at all able. If she really cannot stop the rage, at least she'll have it in a safe environment where she cannot hurt herself or anyone else.

Another useful technique is offering choices, both of which are acceptable to you. It's time to get dressed. "NO!" Do you want to wear the pink shirt, or the green shirt? "NO!" Okay, I'll choose today. Green. "NO, I want to choose!" "That's okay, you'll choose next time. Now do you want to put in your right hand first, or your left hand first." You get the idea? About everything, you offer a choice, between two items, or ways of doing something, both of which are acceptable to you, and if she won't choose, you choose, and firmly but calmly guide her through it, saying, "That's okay, next time you'll choose." This gives her the illusion of control, can avoid some battles.

Pick and choose your battles. She really doesn't need a bath every night. In fact, getting a full bath once a week is probably enough, unless there's poor butt wiping, or she's been playing outside in the dirt. Teeth do need to get brushed daily, or she'll get cavities. Doesn't want to change into PJs? Fine, let her sleep in her clothes. Try to only take a stand on the things that are really important, because you want to minimize the battles.

Do NOT give her the idea that she's running the household. You and your wife are. Telling her that she gets to pick the new baby's name is not cute - it's letting her make a very important decision, that belongs to you and your wife, and she knows it. Apologizing to her profusely over and over is totally inappropriate. A simple, "Oh, sorry." and then if she goes into a rage, offer the calm down room, count to 3, and if you hit it, carry her there.

After you have the room ready, and before the next rage, you and your wife tell her in a very nice and sympathetic way that everybody gets angry, but that everyone also calms themselves down. Tell her what you do to calm yourself, let your wife tell her what she does. Then tell her that this is the calm down room for her, where she can try these things out for herself, if she starts to get so angry that she can't calm herself down. If she starts to get angry then, just drop it and walk away to another room, another activity. She'll know what's coming - she's a really smart cookie, from what you've described.

You might be surprised. She may realize after a few tantrum episodes in the calm down room, that it's not getting her the response she wants, and stop herself. Worst case scenario, she will have her tantrums for the minimal time possible (because no audience), and have them in a place where both she and you are safe.

This is not the only solution. In a perfect world, I would do this with a calm down room, AND a referral to a great child psychiatrist and a child therapist. From what you've described, I do believe that she needs a mood-stabilizing medication, although I'd probably try her on an SSRI like Zoloft first. She may also be having anxiety. I think you mentioned that you and your wife have both had trouble with anxiety to the point that you both were on medication for it in young adulthood. Yes, it's not that unusual, but it's still worth paying attention to that - it's not that common. But right now, you guys are on lockdown, and I just don't think you're going to be able to get help for her, possibly for months to come. If she's as smart as I think she is, she will quickly realize that her rages only get her right into the calm down room, and stop, if she is at all able to. And once she realizes that you and your wife are running the household, not her, she will probably be relieved. It may solve a lot of the problem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2020, 10:30 PM
 
237 posts, read 53,181 times
Reputation: 568
Quote:
Originally Posted by parentologist View Post
OP, I know I'm late chiming in. Pro with over 25 yrs experience. Your daughter's behavior is very far outside the norm. I feel for you, your wife. Yes, the new baby will be in danger. I do think that your daughter has a mood disorder, BECAUSE IT HAPPENS AT DAYCARE, TOO. If she were fine at daycare, and a monster at home, it would be a behavioral management issue. But they probably have great behavioral management at daycare, they're pros at it, and she's losing it there, too. This is a mental health issue, a mood disorder, and it's probably going to warrant medication for her with a mood stabilizer like Abilify (yeah I can just hear the screaming from others who are recommending cutting out sugar and putting her on vitamins), therapy for you all, and very, very careful monitoring of her around the baby. Is there anyone in the family on either side with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or severe depression, or a history of these angry rages, even if they outgrew them? We are entirely a reflection of our genetic makeup, so I'd start asking the family, on both sides. But right now, you're going to have a very hard time getting help, because of the lockdown.

I agree with the daily schedule, with pre-notifications of when it's time to change to next activity. But that's not going to solve your problem.

You need a safe timeout room for your daughter, that has nothing in it other than a mattress on the floor. Absolutely nothing else in it, other than soft things like a beanbag chair (that cannot be unzipped and emptied or shredded) or anything else that she can hit, punch, take her rage out on. You need a baby monitor with camera up high in it, or another home camera, that she cannot reach or break, so that you can see her. The longer you can keep it from her, that there's a camera in there to watch her, the better. And the room needs a lock on the outside. You see, she KNOWS that you are there, holding the door shut, as an audience for her tantrum. If she knew that no one was there to hear her, she'd calm herself much, much more quickly.

If you can make this room NOT be her bedroom, that would be best, so that she has her toys and stuffed animals and bed in another room that is not associated with rages. If you already have a room set up for the baby, I'd empty it, turn it into the timeout room, and keep the new baby in with you for a long, long time.

I think that all the behavioral management techniques in the world will not help, but here goes. You need to send a clear message that you and your wife are in charge, not her, and don't let her know that her behavior upsets you. You need to stay totally calm. It is your reaction that she is seeking. So you don't react. When she starts to rage, don't apologize or try to placate her. Say, calmly, "Daughter, you need to calm down. Do you want to calm down here, or in the calm down room?" The first time, she'll escalate. Next: "Daughter, we're going to the calm down room. Do you want to walk there, or should I carry you there?" She'll escalate more. Fortunately, at this stage in her life, you are much bigger than she is. You pick her up in a way that she cannot hurt you, probably from behind, around her waist. She'll start screaming, maybe saying that she'll walk. You say, "That's okay, next time you'll walk." You carry her to the calm down room (and believe me, if it could be padded, it should be, but you cannot accomplish that right now), you put her in, lock door from outside, say calmly, "I'll be back when you calm down", and you LEAVE, but you've got to keep an eye on what's going on in there. First time, she'll scream and kick for an hour, then cry herself to sleep. Let her. If she makes herself vomit, don't go back in. Only if she is doing REAL harm to herself, like is really trying to break the window in there, do you run in - and then you board up the window and continue. When she wakes up, it will be over. Or if she DOES calm down, go back in. NO talking about what just happened. Just unlock door and let her out and pretend it never happened. NO POSTMORTEM with her, talking about what happened, why it happened, why it cannot happen again, isn't she sorry, NOTHING. You act like nothing happened. If when you open the door she starts raging again, put her right back in and leave until she's calm, then let her out. If she falls asleep in there, leave her alone until she wakes up and comes out (but unlock door when she falls asleep).

You may find the magic 1-2-3 helpful. When she starts to rage, say, "Daughter, you need to stop. ONE..... TWO...... THREE. If you get to three, it's straight to the calm down room. Eventually, she will realize that she's going to wind up in the calm down room if she doesn't stop, and stop herself before you hit three. Woe unto you if you don't get her into that calm down room when you hit three, even for 5 minutes, because then she'll know she can get around this. Don't do, ONE, TWO, TWo and a half... Two and 3/4...., do you want to go to the calm down room? Because if I hit three, you're going to the calm down room... etc. Just slowly count to three. After the first few times, she will realize that you mean business, and stop herself if she is at all able. If she really cannot stop the rage, at least she'll have it in a safe environment where she cannot hurt herself or anyone else.

Another useful technique is offering choices, both of which are acceptable to you. It's time to get dressed. "NO!" Do you want to wear the pink shirt, or the green shirt? "NO!" Okay, I'll choose today. Green. "NO, I want to choose!" "That's okay, you'll choose next time. Now do you want to put in your right hand first, or your left hand first." You get the idea? About everything, you offer a choice, between two items, or ways of doing something, both of which are acceptable to you, and if she won't choose, you choose, and firmly but calmly guide her through it, saying, "That's okay, next time you'll choose." This gives her the illusion of control, can avoid some battles.

Pick and choose your battles. She really doesn't need a bath every night. In fact, getting a full bath once a week is probably enough, unless there's poor butt wiping, or she's been playing outside in the dirt. Teeth do need to get brushed daily, or she'll get cavities. Doesn't want to change into PJs? Fine, let her sleep in her clothes. Try to only take a stand on the things that are really important, because you want to minimize the battles.

Do NOT give her the idea that she's running the household. You and your wife are. Telling her that she gets to pick the new baby's name is not cute - it's letting her make a very important decision, that belongs to you and your wife, and she knows it. Apologizing to her profusely over and over is totally inappropriate. A simple, "Oh, sorry." and then if she goes into a rage, offer the calm down room, count to 3, and if you hit it, carry her there.

After you have the room ready, and before the next rage, you and your wife tell her in a very nice and sympathetic way that everybody gets angry, but that everyone also calms themselves down. Tell her what you do to calm yourself, let your wife tell her what she does. Then tell her that this is the calm down room for her, where she can try these things out for herself, if she starts to get so angry that she can't calm herself down. If she starts to get angry then, just drop it and walk away to another room, another activity. She'll know what's coming - she's a really smart cookie, from what you've described.

You might be surprised. She may realize after a few tantrum episodes in the calm down room, that it's not getting her the response she wants, and stop herself. Worst case scenario, she will have her tantrums for the minimal time possible (because no audience), and have them in a place where both she and you are safe.

This is not the only solution. In a perfect world, I would do this with a calm down room, AND a referral to a great child psychiatrist and a child therapist. From what you've described, I do believe that she needs a mood-stabilizing medication, although I'd probably try her on an SSRI like Zoloft first. She may also be having anxiety. I think you mentioned that you and your wife have both had trouble with anxiety to the point that you both were on medication for it in young adulthood. Yes, it's not that unusual, but it's still worth paying attention to that - it's not that common. But right now, you guys are on lockdown, and I just don't think you're going to be able to get help for her, possibly for months to come. If she's as smart as I think she is, she will quickly realize that her rages only get her right into the calm down room, and stop, if she is at all able to. And once she realizes that you and your wife are running the household, not her, she will probably be relieved. It may solve a lot of the problem.
Wow. Most impressive.

Hope daddy2dd reads it and heeds it.

Last edited by RubyandPearl; 04-09-2020 at 10:32 PM.. Reason: Good advice
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.


Reply
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
Message:

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