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David H.
David H., BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 166
Experience:  Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
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My child gets very upset when things dont go her way with

Resolved Question:

My child gets very upset when things don't go her way with her friends and lashes out at them. I am concerned she will alienate herself and experience social difficulties. How can I help her overcome this behavior?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  David H. replied 2 years ago.

DuddyH :

Welcome, I'm a professional counselor and behavioral-consultant. I'd like to chat with you for a few moments to better understand your question.

DuddyH :

Hello.

DuddyH :

Do you have a few minutes to chat with me now?

Customer:

i don't now, probably won't for until about Noon MST. would that work?

DuddyH :

MST I'm in EST. Do you happen to know that time difference?

Customer:

yes, it would be 2pm for you.

DuddyH :

Ok. I may be answering another question right at that time. I do get a message a few seconds usually after you log into chat again. I could return within about 15 minutes of that time. Does that make sense?

DuddyH :

I've worked as a school board behavior consultant and as a treatment program psychotherapist and program developer for children and teens. I think I might be able to provide a strong practical answer to your question once I have more details. I hope to chat with you this afternoon between 2 and 2:15 PM EST.

Customer:

sounds great. thanks!

DuddyH :

No problem.

DuddyH :

Wow I was able to make it back at 1 minute past 2.

Customer:

perfect timing.

DuddyH :

Yes. Now would you mind telling more about your daughter's situation? For example, how old is she? What does here negative behavior look like in a typical play by play scenario?

DuddyH :

What are her most common triggers?

DuddyH :

Where is she most likely to get upset i.e. mainly at home, mainly at school etc?

Customer:

She is 8 years old, in 3rd grade. The behavior typically presents if she wants to do something different from what her friends want to do. She will sometimes just retreat, and other times throw a tantrum, and tell them they are mean or wrong. She seems to have difficulty owning her behavior and acknowledging that she might have been wrong, and apologizing. Also, should note, she is an only child.

DuddyH :

In what environment(s) or situation is she most likely to act out in this way?

DuddyH :

Thanks for the detailed info so far and I did catch the only child part too and the getting her way theme.

DuddyH :

Those are important points.

DuddyH :

For example is this mainly happening during shared play activity or would it also tend to happen at school during group learning/sharing activites?

DuddyH :

Are teachers noticing this kind of pattern too?

Customer:

It has occurred at recess at school, and I have seen glimpses of it during playdates. She seems to do fine during learning activities. Her teacher has never expressed concerns about this, but I have a meeting with her tomorrow and will be asking about it. I have never had any concerns brought up about this by her teachers.

DuddyH :

Thank you. Now would you mind giving me a clear sense or picture of how she gets into a tantrum typically? Would you mind providing an example or 2 in simple play by play, descriptive terms?

Customer:

She was very upset recently about a friendship that has dissolved somewhat. I decided to ask the friends mom if she know of anything that happended to cause this, as my daughter couldn't think of anything. The mom explained that her daughter and my daughter had an argument about not wanting to do the same thing at recess with her and another friend. My daughter screamed at both of the other girls and threw her jacket at one of them, and then continued to be mean to the friend she grew apart from over the past couple of months. i know there are two sides to the story, but have a feeling this version is pretty accurate as i've seen my daughter behave similarly during playdates.

DuddyH :

Thank you..I'm just going to read and respond..

DuddyH :

I see you're typing again. I'll wait for your response.

Customer:

My daughther and her friend want to work things out, and we are going to get them together to talk, but i'm concerned that my daughter will only become defensive over the incidents as we discuss them and throw a tantrum, making things worse. i know that she cares for her friend and her other friends very much, but can't seem to help her understand what it means when she treats them poorly.

DuddyH :

reading again...

DuddyH :

Great example. Very clear....

DuddyH :

One last question. What is your daughter's academic performance like?

DuddyH :

Does she do good in school work?

Customer:

she is a good student, gets good grades and has a lot of respect for her teachers and school administration.

DuddyH :

The first least intrusive one would be to put aside some real quality time with her and read a couple of well written kids books about sharing and cooperation http://childrensbooksguide.com/manners/sharing

DuddyH :

The more it's really fun active teaching and learning the more she will get that cognitive understanding to guide her behavior. You may also want to read some books that teach age appropriate relaxation response and self calming. It can really, really be fun, and relaxation can be great for sleep too.....

DuddyH :

I think given how smart she is, the knowledge she gets from learning together from you should generalize with minimal direction and environmental support.....

DuddyH :

Another great teaching and learning tool is something called Skills-Streaming....

DuddyH :

This is a process that actually teaches targeted social skills steps and strategies. Through practicing steps for each "social skill" on cards....

DuddyH :

For example, there is a self calming card and active listening card and many skills cards for cooperative interaction with others...

DuddyH :

When you see a problem behavior you can actually teach and reinforce the positive replacement behavior. That new "pro-social" skill then self-perpetuates naturally in the child's behavior because it gets great natural results.

Customer:

this is great info, thanks! where would i find more on Skills-Streaming?

DuddyH :

You can actually do little skits together after you memorize the 4 or 5 steps for each target social skill, by drawing them out in cartoon etc. Again fun learning makes for strong likelihood of natural generalization.

DuddyH :

I'll get you a link....

Customer:

Okay, thank you. I think this sounds very helpful.

DuddyH :

Well it sounds to me like a positive parenting intervention would be really good. I would suggest a 2 step approach.....

DuddyH :

You can usually find a good copy second hand here - but make sure it includes the book and all the cards: http://www.amazon.com/Skillstreaming-Elementary-School-Child-Perspectives/dp/087822372X/ref=pd_vtp_b_1/182-5433174-2335011

DuddyH :

You're very welcome. The skill streaming book is great. And as a caring and smart parent you will quickly catch on to how fun and creative you can be together in learning a few of the skills. Again fun and lots of love makes the skill generalize fast and for life!

DuddyH :

Have I answered your question ok today?

Customer:

Perfect, thank you!

Customer:

Yes, you have been very helpful. Thank you!

DuddyH :

You're welcome. Please don't forget to press the green "Accept Button" so I'm paid for a good answer. I wish you and your family the very best.

David H., BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 166
Experience: Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
David H. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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