Reply Hey Mom! Learn more about the Gerber Life Insurance Grow-Up Plan!
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-09-2013, 02:01 PM   #51
SweetMamaKaty's Avatar
SweetMamaKaty
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,121
Re: Chronically Unhappy 5 Year Old....

You had me at 'chronically unhappy.' And I have so many multi-quotes it would double the length of this thread, so I erased most of them. I'm practically crying reading this, and it is comforting to know that my daughter is not the only child like this. She's three, and can be peaches-n-cream, or a train wreck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by badmisterkitty View Post
This is all good advice and everything, but it's presuming I don't do anything to correct her. I spend all day correcting her sometimes. She seemingly prefers to spend whole weekends in time out.

I'm trying to figure out how to make her more flexible, more cheerful and just more happy to exist!
Exactly this for us too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myles_104 View Post
I have an 11 year old version of your child *snip*
I've been telling myself she'd grow out of it...

leadmare;16571634 ~ appreciate your insights on this!

I don't think people can understand what it's like to parent this type of child unless they have one, or were one. Honestly, it's made me afraid to have another girl, it's common for people to tell me that's why she is this way. But I'm a girl, and had a sister, and we never, I mean never, threw ourselves on the floor screaming and throwing a fit. And I feel like I've tried everything.

I'm going to bookmark this thread for reference. Thanks for starting the discussion, a lot of great suggestions here!

Advertisement

__________________
Earning extra money for my family with Swagbucks Perk FreeEats Postloop EarnHoney & Checkpoints (code sweetmamakaty)
IHA/ISO
Feel free to PM me if you need any help getting started - I'm happy to help!
My work in progress BLOG
SweetMamaKaty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2013, 02:30 PM   #52
Kiliki's Avatar
Kiliki
Registered Users
Formerly: kr***y
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,397
Re: Chronically Unhappy 5 Year Old....

Ok, here's something I wanted to add, but couldn't at the moment (nursing newbie).

My now 6 y/o is extremely stubborn and she does some of the things you are talking about. Lately it is less and less - almost never, really - but age 5 was really hard.

I had to really keep my thumb on her (so to speak). It was difficult. Here's how a lot of our conversations went:

"Good morning Would you like oatmeal or cereal for breakfast?"

"I really want pancakes."

"Aw, I'm sorry honey, I don't have the stuff to make pancakes."

"I want pancakes."

"Ok, well I can't make pancakes. Would you like oatmeal or cereal?"

"I'll have pancakes."

"I've told you three times now, I CAN'T make pancakes. I don't have the stuff to make them. You can have oatmeal or cereal. If you don't make a choice, I'll choose for you. You have 5 seconds. 5 ..... 4 ..... 3 ..... "

Queue end-of-the-universe-meltdown.

still calm.... "2.... 1.... Ok, I'll pick for you. You can have oatmeal."

More freaking out. Maybe throwing self to floor. Maybe screaming or wailing.

Me = still calm as a cucumber (on the outside). "You can't behave that way in this house. You are being unreasonable."

Then, I would PHYSICALLY pick her up, carry her to her room (kicking and screaming), plop her on her bed and tell her, "You are more than welcome to come out and join us for breakfast when you can calm down."

Half the time, she would come out within 5 minutes. The other half, she would wail and scream and thrash around. In which case, I'd give her a reasonable amount of time to chill out, and then I'd start more consequences. I would walk into her room with a bag. I'd say, "You need to stop screaming. Someone might think you are hurt! I'm giving you 5 minutes to calm down. If you don't get a hold of yourself, I'm coming back and I'll start putting toys in this bag until you quiet down. The toys that make it into this bag will be in toy time out." (toy time out means she has to earn them back, and they are one step closer to Goodwill if the bad behavior continues.)

Leave for 2 minutes. Sometimes she calmed herself. Other times she just ramped up even more. And in I went, bagging toys, while she wailed and threw herself around. I kept bagging until she stopped screaming. Once she stopped screaming, she could come out and eat breakfast (and we would cheerily go on with our morning activities, like her tantrum never happened), but the toys stayed in toy time out, and she had to earn them all back. Sometimes that made her scream more when she realized she wouldn't get them back immediately. Once she screamed for so long about my bagging up toys that they ALL went to Goodwill. And SHE had to take them to the donation lady and hand them to her.

Anyway, we did this a couple hundred times. Eventually, it got to the point where when I offered her a choice on something, she would make the choice b/c she knew if she didn't make the choice for herself, I would do it for her. She even got better at controlling her emotions. When she started to get upset, she would turn around and go to her room. If I asked where she was going, she'd say, "I just need to go calm down for a minute. I'll be right back." She'd come back with tears in her eyes and say something like, "I know we don't have pancakes. That's okay. I'll have oatmeal, please."

I gave her commendation and hugs everytime I noticed that she was trying hard not to throw a fit. I'd say something like, "I know you're upset. I'm sorry. I really appreciate you being so good and not throwing a fit over it, though. Maybe we can get pancakes when we go to the store later... would you like to come along? ... see how much easier things go when we don't throw a fit? Now we can have a nice morning together! "

It was really difficult, and required a LOT of consistency all the time. It's hard not to argue with them! That's a play-by-play of what worked for us.
Kiliki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2013, 04:00 PM   #53
iris0110's Avatar
iris0110
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: N TX
Posts: 14,991
My Mood:
Re: Chronically Unhappy 5 Year Old....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MunkyCrazy View Post
Sounds similar to my 5 year old except he's also a grump in school and when I'm not around. He's beginning therapy soon and has an appointment with a pediatric neuro developmental behavior center in a few weeks. Wish I had some helpful info but all I can offer is
My youngest is a more extreme version of this, except he is perfect for other people (with the exception of my mother, he is very comfortable with her). He will walk up to people, look them directly in the eye and say "I hate you" we don't know why. He doesn't do it to many people but there are a select few. Normally he is absolutely perfect for everyone but a horror at home. We just don't tell people what it is like at home. He has horrid tantrums, can't separate from me (and has been like that since birth, I wore him from 4weeks-4years all of the time) and is also uber attached to his older brother, except they fight constantly. He has to argue about every little thing. The tantrums come and go. Sometimes he seems fine, then we will go through phases of tantrums that can last hours.

My son is bipolar. There are a whole list of other symptoms but OP's original post had some red flags in it for me. It could absolutely be that your dd is just used to getting her way by whining, this is what works so this is what she does. If she is truly unhappy all of the time and is always fighting with you it may be time to talk to some one about it.
__________________
ShannonInk'd, Atheist, Liberal, Part Time Large Equipment Mechanic, HS-ing, Mum to ASD Ninja Kearnan (8-4-01) & Derby Boy Tharen (12-1-05)
Always remembering Arawyn Born Silently (12-21-03)
Crocheted longies/shorties, toys and more see samples Arawyn's Garden Crochet
iris0110 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2013, 04:08 PM   #54
badmisterkitty's Avatar
badmisterkitty
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,649
Re: Chronically Unhappy 5 Year Old....

^^We have those kind of arguments ALL THE TIME! Verbatim.

I don't correlate toys with arguing, unless she is arguing about a toy. If she got the privilege of choosing her own breakfast and didn't like either option, she can skip it, though she usually comes around in time for something. However, if I had given her any choice and she didn't like the choices, I would first do my best to explain why these are the set choices and if she continued to argue with me, I would ignore her until she was ready to choose, moving on with my life while she sat there still on the previous matter at hand. I may or may not make the choice for her based on the situation. And I would later remind her how great life is when she is able to make choices herself without arguing. I'm actually quite good at handling her arguments....I just want to figure out how to help her deal with big emotions and how to be more flexible because, honestly, I don't have time for all the drama. Like literally, I don't have time.
__________________
Amy ~ Everything in moderation, WOH, glass half full, not committed to any labels, try, try again mama to 3! H 11/07 and M 8/10 and B 8/12

Last edited by badmisterkitty; 05-09-2013 at 04:10 PM.
badmisterkitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #55
Kiliki's Avatar
Kiliki
Registered Users
Formerly: kr***y
seller
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,397
Re: Chronically Unhappy 5 Year Old....

Quote:
Originally Posted by badmisterkitty View Post
^^We have those kind of arguments ALL THE TIME! Verbatim.

I don't correlate toys with arguing, unless she is arguing about a toy. If she got the privilege of choosing her own breakfast and didn't like either option, she can skip it, though she usually comes around in time for something. However, if I had given her any choice and she didn't like the choices, I would first do my best to explain why these are the set choices and if she continued to argue with me, I would ignore her until she was ready to choose, moving on with my life while she sat there still on the previous matter at hand. I may or may not make the choice for her based on the situation. And I would later remind her how great life is when she is able to make choices herself without arguing. I'm actually quite good at handling her arguments....I just want to figure out how to help her deal with big emotions and how to be more flexible because, honestly, I don't have time for all the drama. Like literally, I don't have time.
Yea, it sounds like you are doing all you can, then. If you are already being as consistent with consequences as possible, and reasoning with her, that's kind of the best you can do, IMO. The only suggestion I have if you're already doing all that is to up the ante by finding a consequence that "speaks" to her more. The rest is just "hold on tight and pray it ends soon".
Kiliki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2013, 10:39 PM   #56
LittleThingsMama638
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 950
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarchamar
I've applied similar methods of child-rearing to all three of my children, and I have two who require infrequent and very straightforward discipline. Then we have their sister. She's an awesome, awesome kid, don't get me wrong. But she's very argumentative and headstrong, and when things don't go her way she just. can't. let it go. She's been that way literally since birth. No disciplinary method EVER works the first time (or the second, or the third, or even the twentieth), so we're forever questioning whether we need to continue with it for the sake of consistency or to concede that it isn't working and try something new. And in the meantime we're turning ourselves inside out to discipline her and seeing no result. It's obviously not a lack of parental knowledge or consistency, or we'd have three kids who constantly pushed our buttons. Some kids just have more challenging personalities. Believe me, I know firsthand how hard it can be.

It sounds like you've gotten some good ideas from this thread. They dovetail well with the things I've learned through trial and error, which are that clear expectations are critical for my daughter. Surprises (sometimes even good ones) or changes in routine bring out a lot of insecurity for her, which is often a recipe for disaster. Of course you can't control every eventuality, but she deals with any negative emotions a lot better if we do spell things out clearly in advance at every possible opportunity. Anything that reinforces those expectations visually/tangibly seems to work best. She's also never been that great at recognizing cues for hunger, thirst, tiredness, etc. until they were extreme enough to cause a meltdown. So I try to be vigilant about her schedule and helping her be mindful about listening to her body before she reaches critical mass. That wasn't an instant cure, but I can definitely tell when we start to slip on that point, if that makes sense.

IMO, there's something to the idea of home as a "safe zone" too. I was petrified when she started school because I was sure I'd be getting calls from the principal's office at least once a week. Instead, she's brought home a long string of E+ conduct grades--from teachers who basically never give grades that high. However, some afternoons the car door barely closes behind her before she completely loses it over some trivial offense and cries, whines, fights, etc. for the next two hours. I know that basic self-control requires more intense effort for her than it does for most children, and even the deepest reserves will eventually run dry. So we just weather it the best we can.

My DD is 7 now, and one thing that may reassure you to know is that she has made enormous progress in the last two years. She still isn't an easy kid by any stretch, but the tough times get fewer and farther between with each passing day, and maturity-wise she's light years beyond where she was at age 5. Friends with kids who have similar personalities have had the same experience. Hang in there--even when you feel like you're stuck in a rut and don't know the right way out, it slowly but surely gets better.
This is a great post! My ds needs a strict schedule. Surprises through him for a loop and he is horrid the entire time. He also needs warnings before switching to something else. I really really recommend raising your spirited child.

Also you said she didn't react to dyes, have you cut out all preservatives? I was recently told about the Feingold diet, I would look into it for her.

I also wanted to say, make sure you are getting time for you. It is very hard to parent such a strong willed, pessimistic child. It can be very draining and make you question yourself, make sure you get a break so you can recoup.
LittleThingsMama638 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2013, 01:10 AM   #57
lookatreestar's Avatar
lookatreestar
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: az
Posts: 3,411
hugs op, I was one of these kids! when I was older it helped eating protein right before bed bc of serotonin levels (I think).
__________________
happily married mama enjoying life with my dd 4/7/07 and my ds 6/7/09

lookatreestar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2013, 07:45 AM   #58
badmisterkitty's Avatar
badmisterkitty
Registered Users
seller
seller
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,649
Re: Chronically Unhappy 5 Year Old....

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleThingsMama638 View Post
This is a great post! My ds needs a strict schedule. Surprises through him for a loop and he is horrid the entire time. He also needs warnings before switching to something else. I really really recommend raising your spirited child.

Also you said she didn't react to dyes, have you cut out all preservatives? I was recently told about the Feingold diet, I would look into it for her.

I also wanted to say, make sure you are getting time for you. It is very hard to parent such a strong willed, pessimistic child. It can be very draining and make you question yourself, make sure you get a break so you can recoup.
Yes, I do need to find more time for myself. I carry a lot of guilt on my shoulders because I WOH 5 days a week. I am actually excited to be done having kids because I will have time to work on ME again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lookatreestar View Post
hugs op, I was one of these kids! when I was older it helped eating protein right before bed bc of serotonin levels (I think).
Thank you for the tip. We often do PB sandwich, popcorn, apples or graham crackers, but lately they've been into cheese. I will keep on eye on the trends based on their night snack.
__________________
Amy ~ Everything in moderation, WOH, glass half full, not committed to any labels, try, try again mama to 3! H 11/07 and M 8/10 and B 8/12
badmisterkitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2013, 04:24 PM   #59
joslin
Registered Users
seller
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: new england
Posts: 2,271
My Mood:
Re: Chronically Unhappy 5 Year Old....

DS is killing me with his version of this argumentative,whiney, tantruming 4.75yo self. I am literally at my wits end, I have no more intellectual tools to throw at this problem. He has never been like this but I have been seeing tons of posts about this lately so it must be common to 5ish year olds. He is so sensitive so anything punitive is a no go; no time outs or go-to-your-rooms work they just escalate the hysteria. It is hysteria.

I need to vigilantly manage his blood sugar and feed him all.day.long, when I pick him up from school I make sure he eats something fruity the minute we are in the hallway or there will be he** to pay. Often times his morning tantrums over our morning routine (that has been EXACTLY the same for years) takes so long we don't make it to school until 10. Every single aspect must be argued about and tantrumed about while whining and rolling on the floor. Natural consequences fail, it is like he is in some sort of developmental state that is just so irrational and so emotional it prevents him from learning from the 1000 identical iterations of the same events. No amount of countdowns or warnings cushion the apparent hysterical surprise tragedy of having to get dressed and bush his teeth.

This all started at 4.5 out of the blue so hopefully if we all survive he will grow out of it.
__________________

joslin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2013, 05:50 PM   #60
EmilytheStrange's Avatar
EmilytheStrange
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Mountain Home, ID
Posts: 7,418
My Mood:
The introvert comment stuck out to me. I am grumpy when I haven't had my recharge time. Which is first thing in the morning and used to be after work - now its about 930pm when I'm all touched out by the constant nursing. Literal fits from a 34 yo woman who just wants 10 minutes.

You might think about giving her a bag of nuts or some crackers to eat first thing in the morning. Put them in after she goes to bed or let her keep some by her bed. That little time waking and munching might help in the mornings.

Then after school, whatever she likes for 30 minutes to unwind. Maybe running around the back yard, maybe reading... Something.
__________________
SAHM to Magnolia May (09/10) and Luke Russett (04/13) and wife and best friend to my airman.
EmilytheStrange is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Copyright 2005 - 2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.