Yes, I need help. I've always believed that if we got to my sister and later my niece early in their development that their lives would have been better: productive, happy, pain-free. I want to help break this chain of pain. Maybe I'm putting too much history on this child, but damn, she scared me tonight.
If you could help me to know what to do: do I keep her engaged in classes, activities, prevent her from watching television, not allow her to eat anything with sugar??? What do I do when a time-out is only going to make it worse? I'm exhausted at the drag-outs we've been having and she's freakishly strong, so when she hits and kicks - it hurts. The trouble always comes when I tell her to do something. Example: Susie, clean-up your art project and get ready for dinner. Reponse: No, you do it. I explain to her at that point that she must do it or there will be a consequence and she has one chance to do it. She then crosses her arms and says, No - you do it. So, I tell her I'm counting to 3, then it's a time-out. Then she gets a taunting smile on her face and I can see her tense up as I start to count. 1. she does nothing. 2. she leans in. 3. she does nothing. So, I try to lead her to the time-out place and she throws herself on the floor, then starts to kick. I've managed to out-muscle her a few times, but it's really hard, and it hurts, and I really, really, really hate fighting with her or anyone. And this is the escalation part, but I find I'm nearly always frustrated or angry and that my days are filled with coming up with activities and strategies to put her energy into something productive only to be irritated most of time b/c she challenges nearly everything I ask of her. The 1-2-3 works sometimes, but she always waits for 3 and this wears me down. In addition to all of this, she yells at me telling me she'll call her mom on me to call the police (if she can't have an ice cream, play late, has to brush her teeth, etc., etc.), and reminds me that her mom will come back for her and I'm nobody. I once cherished this child as the daughter I never had. She was a joy in my life and something snapped or I just suck as a stand-in Mom.