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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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My 9 yr old daughter use to throw the biggest tantrum with

Resolved Question:

My 9 yr old daughter use to throw the biggest tantrum with me at random times to the point she makes herself sick and is nothing i can do to stop her she screams so loud and if you approach her she acts like we hit her yes she has had a smack but the way she reacts is like we are going to beat her which has never happened. The kids dad never understood me as she was always really good with him (we are separated). It has been along time since she has done this with me i changed her diet and watched sugar intake and talked to her when she was rational.

Her father is now experiencing this just got off the phone with him and i couldn't hear anything but her screaming i had asked what had set it off and it was to do with him saying to her if you don't want your desert throw it down the sink.

This is not constant i have not had a problem with it for over a year and she only started with her father last weekend any idea what is happening?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi good morning.

Customer:

Hi

CoachJenK :

I can see that you are in a rough space again and you have tried many things.

Customer:

yes and want to try fix this before it goes on for months again

CoachJenK :

you also say this hasn't happened for a bit which lets me know that some sort of change has occured for her and this is how she is communcating her needs

CoachJenK :

Often when kids tantrum it is due to some change in events, environment or responding to some other stress. it can also come out when they are trying to assert their independence and test the limits and boundaries.

CoachJenK :

When the tantrums occur they are attention seeking and although it can be maddening I would move to completely ignoring it and her without engaging at all. Assuming she is safe and cant hurt herself I would go on about your business without even glancing in her direction.

CoachJenK :

Over time she will begin to see that these tantrums have no power in getting you to respond to her.

CoachJenK :

The explanations afterward don't really help because she doesn't understand them either and those talks really wont have much staying power

Customer:

Yes has been many big changes in the last two weeks my work hours have changed and i can now spend more time with my children, they have had to become more independent and walk to school of a morning she seems very keen to do this she seems to be my responsible child on this. So what do i do to stop it other then ignoring her? I cant change my work hours again and like i said she is not doing this to me this time its her father? and he has not changed anything

CoachJenK :

ahhhh. makes sense now as she is having a reaction to all of the changes. Doesnt matter that nothing has changed with her father it is just about the big changes in the last few weeks. When you are with them give them as much quality time as possible which i am sure you are doing.

CoachJenK :

She is defintiely behaving in a way to get your attention that she feels is now different.

CoachJenK :

and gusss what it is working...she has a tantrum and everyone focuses on her. you want to shwo her that she doesnt need to do this in order for you to pay attention to her.

CoachJenK :

I know you want a faster fix but the ignoring will go a long way if you and your husband are both on board and handle it in the exact same way. Then when it is time try and give each child special time with Mommy. go for a walk to the park together, hold hands, be silly. That is what she is longing for due to the change in schedule

CoachJenK :

just know you havent done anything wrong!

Customer:

understand. one thing i am really concerned about is her acting like we are going to hurt her when we approach her to try calm her down, what is that?

CoachJenK :

Because kids dont have great access to their feelings and abilities to articulate those feelings, this is how they respond

CoachJenK :

Do not try and calm her down, ignore it.

CoachJenK :

i can see that it bothers you but it is all just part of the tantrum

Customer:

ok and if she is demanding something threw out it all? we ignore it and it gets worse

CoachJenK :

she feels out of control at that moment and doesnt want anyone near her.

Customer:

scares me she feels that way and makes me sad

CoachJenK :

imagine yourself if you are so very upset and didnt have the ability to really communicate it and someone came to you and wanted to calm you down, you might react strongly too.

CoachJenK :

I know it does.

Customer:

that what bothers me i feel so emotionally shut down when i feel like that

CoachJenK :

it will absolutely get worse for a bit because she is going to be like whoa i used to get attention for this...maybe i need to scream louder, maybe I need to throw things, etc. Unless she is going to get hurt you must ignore her. Safety first always, but she will try and push your buttons for sure.

CoachJenK :

Hum to yourself while it is going on and do not react.

CoachJenK :

this will take practice for everyone and it is NOT easy and she will escalate and do whatever she can to get you to react!

CoachJenK :

negative attention is still attention and that is what she is seeking and it is your job to show her you give her attention when she acts in an appropriate way. right now she is learning again that she tantrums and everyone focuses on her. BINGO!

CoachJenK :

show her dont tell her....falls on deaf ears.

Customer:

yeah i do hope all it is is a tantrum

CoachJenK :

can you hear anyone when you are so upset? and you are an adult...so imagine her space..not easy for her.

CoachJenK :

and if you continue to have concerns then you can always take her to see someone

Customer:

ok thank you for your time not sure what more i can do we painted toe nails when i got home from work and had a laugh together then she went to her dads which is normal for a friday night will talk to her dad and advise him on what you have talked with me tonight

CoachJenK :

based on the changes that you have told me about I believe it is all due to that and her backsliding to behaving in a younger way.....that is what kids do when they cant speak it and even if you ask her to speak it , it could be hard for her and that is why the conversations afterward have not helped in getintg the behavior to stop

CoachJenK :

yes more of that stuff. mommy and daughter time is great. yes and you both can always come back to get more support.

CoachJenK :

it will be best if you both are consistent and respond in the same manner even if you are in different homes.

Customer:

ok once again thank you makes sense helps to see a little outside input to pick up the things we miss from everyday life sometimes really appreciate it

CoachJenK :

my pleasure. I am a mom too so I get it for sure. and even though mine are younger it is no different because I practice it every day. I have 3 year old twins and I do this day in and day out and yes they try to work it but it has gotten so much better cause they see there is no woggle room with me and no reaction

Customer:

at her dads last weekend was the first one for him, her two brothers and her dad wanted to watch the car racing she felt left out and had her first tantrum with dad and tonight again with the boys watching football

CoachJenK :

be consistent, clear, firm, loving, gentle and dont react in the tantrum. React to the good behavior and give love and higs during nail time, etc. You are doing great. give yourself some slack too

CoachJenK :

exactly...she wasnt getting the attention so what better way than to start that behavior and get all the focus on her

Customer:

yeah

CoachJenK :

thoughts?

Customer:

was just talking to her dad and i totally agree with what you had said unfortunately when i looked at it i was worried it was a mental health problem or a food reaction

Customer:

when now i look at is she is feeling left out and yes she is telling us in a bad way

CoachJenK :

go easy on yourself.

CoachJenK :

How does Dad feel?

Customer:

hrm he is annoying me at the moment makes a joke out of everything

CoachJenK :

yes and she doesnt know that it is the wrong way, it is just the only way she knows how so it is your job to SHOW her the right way by only reacting to positive behavior and not the negative behavior.

CoachJenK :

thanks for the laugh on that one. but is he on board?

Customer:

i will need to talk to him again after work tomorrow

CoachJenK :

no long explanations about it she wont get it. no attention to it whatsoever unless she is in physical danger or puts someone else in physical danger and then you place her in quiet time in a safe spot

Customer:

but i have made my point and i am sure when he stops his warped sense of humor he will look at it with sensibility and see what i have said

CoachJenK :

ok. I am sure he will come aroud because he wont enjoy dealing with it now that it is happening at his place too. please keep me posted. I am here to support you. You can ask for me directly anytime. If you feel our time has been helpful please click accept and provide feedback too.

Customer:

Thank you again, you have really helped me. Have a great day i need to head off to bed got to be up in 5 hours. Good night :)

Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K.
Social Worker, Professional Coach
143 Satisfied Customers
Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.