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earthsister
earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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My 6-year old daughter seems to exhibit real issues with dealing

Resolved Question:

My 6-year old daughter seems to exhibit real issues with dealing with anger. Many times when she doesn't get her way, she gets angry and says she wishes she were dead. Tantrums where she will leave a room and go hide in the closet can last for up to an hour and she'll scream and say everyone is mean when I try to calm her day.

This is so disconcerting. I am guessing I need to get her some help to build better coping skills but I don't know where to begin. Help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.

earthsister :

Good evening. Have you had your daughter evaluated by her pediatrician recently?

Customer:

She had her "well kid" check up in April for her birthday. My husband took her to this routine appointment and did not ask about behaviorial issues.

earthsister :

Your daughter's doctor would be the best place to start. He or she would be able to give you a referral to the appropriate professional that you need, and he or she can also evaluate your daughter to ensure that your daughter's anger isn't a result of some other physical condition.

Customer:

She is currently experiencing a real spike in her allergies, and this has caused us to give her over the counter medicines like benadryl, claritin ready tabs and eye drops with antihistamines. Could any of those be impacting her behavior?

earthsister :

I would definitely think that medication can have an effect on the moods and behavior of children (although I am not a health professional). Again, your pediatrician can best help you here. He or she can also give you the best recommendations of how to deal with your daughter's asthma.

Customer:

Thank you. The appointment with the pediatrician is on the to do list (just moved up on the list), but might you share any tips on how to (better) handle these emotional outbursts while we are in the moment? She seems to completely come unglued and then the simplest acts (asking her to get out of the tub after bath or to get herself dried off and put on her pajamas) become long drawn out negotiations because she refuses. I end up saying I'm going to count to three and if she doesn't act, then I'm going to have to help her do these simple tasks.

Customer:

Hadn't even thought about asthma. We confirmed allergies, but maybe there is some underlying asthma that's completely unchecked and untreated. That's helpful!

earthsister :

My recommendation is to not give her so much attention when she breaks out in those tantrums. Give her firm instruction about what needs to be done, and when she breaks out into a tantrum, don't make it that bi

earthsister :

excuse that last comment, it was incomplete

earthsister :

but don't make that big of a deal about her tantrums, or give her that much attention. Give her praise when she does do as you tell her, and when she does not, don't give her the attention that she is requesting by those outbursts

Customer:

OK, so check my thinking here: What started the downspiral tonight was over a cupcake. We were at a neighbors house celebrating their 5-year old twins' birthday with simple cupcakes on their deck. There was a mix of vanilla and chocolate, and when my daughter didn't get the chocolate one she wanted, she stormed across the yard and went back in to our house. I did not follow her and let her stay in the house for a good 20 minutes. When I returned home, she was in the closet in her room, and when I asked her to come out to discuss the issue, she began to be defiant, and said I was a mean Mom, and that the twins' Mom was mean, and that she wished she were killed, etc. Was I right to ignore her initial reaction? Should I have not engaged her about it at all when I came home?

earthsister :

What's really important about approaching children about these kinds of things is our attitude when we speak to them. We have to ask ourselves, am I angry, did I look upset, was I being demanding, was I too nice, etc. Our children know us well,and what our moods are by the tone of our voice and our body language. I think that you did very well in not chasing after her initially; and when you did engage her, calm and supportive, maybe even using a smile, or an inside joke between the two of you could have helped to break the ice. Children,just like adults, don't like being told what to do; so the way that you approach her plays a big part in how she will react.

earthsister :

Here is an article that should help with more of how to handle temper tantrums in your 6 year old:http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/temper_tantrums_how_deal_meltdown

Customer:

You have totally earned your fee tonight. I think your last response will help me with a less urgent but related issue with my 10-year old daughter. She continually is telling me that I am butting in to her plans, ideas. And I think what you've helped me to discover is that no one likes to be told what to do. So in my mind, I'm engaging her by making suggestions--not directing her (although I often use the words, "you should . . . " as I would say to a friend in a supportive idea generating way)--but I think I finally understand that she's probably hearing me say: "You should" as in, do as I tell you, which undermines her sense of independence and ability to think of things on her own. Who would have thought that parenting would require less talking. Thank you again. I will read the link that you sent me.

earthsister :

Exactly, you have to set the rules. But be sure to give your 10 year old choices as she is getting closer to that age as independence. Not just, "You have to do this",but "You can do this, or that or something else." I am glad that I have been of some assistance. If I can help you again with this, or any other issue,please do not hesitate to message for me: earthsister.

earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience: Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
earthsister and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.
Hi


I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?


Let me know,
earthsister

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earthsister
earthsister
Parenting Counselor
141 Satisfied Customers
Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.