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DragnHeart posted 8/18/2013 10:58 AM

Both wh and I have been very consistent with both kids regarding discipline. They lose an activity. This seems to have been working well except that the kids HATE being kept inside (losing outside time is a big one).

So dd and DS got up, came downstairs and made a mess. I was asleep. Wh came home from work, found them, cleaned up and put both back in their room. (this was at 6am).

Fast forward a couple of hours. I got up, brought kids downstairs, did the breakfast thing (which they already had at 6). Shortly thereafter BOTH began acting out. One warning each. Behaviour escalates to full out screaming. Both are sent to their room for a five minute time out.

This is where my patience is tested. Dd is told: Sit, quietly for five minutes and you can come back downstairs. DS understands this and will (for the most part) do as told.

Dd just doesnt seem to understand. Instead she Screams. At. The. Top. Of. Her. Lungs... I cannot let her back downstairs of she's still screaming after the five minutes so she will stay up there longer, which leads to more screaming...The circle
of frustration goes round and round.

Wh suggested getting them a timer so they can see how much time they have left and maybe if dd has a visual way to see how long she has she might change the behaviour.

Does this sound like a good idea?

PurpleRose posted 8/18/2013 11:00 AM

How old are your kids?

hexed posted 8/18/2013 11:13 AM


I stay off your threads for the most part b/c it seems as though you start out consistent but then cave in and thus the behavior escalates over time.

My DS was a champion tantrum thrower. Literally screaming for 4 hours at a stretch. Hell he threw and broke the timer I got for him to know how long he had in time out.

Part 1 - verbally my DS was slow. He never has been much of a talker so when he was frustrated he didn't have a way to express himself. Too bad, so excuse for the behavior but it helped us find a way to avoid the behavior. We worked on naming the feelings he was having when we could see him start to lose it.

Once the losing it was in full swing. We did NOT cave. Yep hours and hours of screaming on his part and ignoring on ours. At one point he started throwing toys against the door of his room so I picked all the toys he'd thrown, put them in a laundry basket and dropped them off at the Salvation Army donation station. DS was hysterical all day but he never threw toys again. When people tell you to be consistent and stick with it they mean threw the whole tantrum, yes even hours of it. It took at least 6 months of NEVER caving in before DS 'got it'.

It has served me well over the years. He KNOWS I mean 'it' no matter what.

During the tantrums. I would check on him every 30 minutes. Offer a hug and nothing more until he calmed down. It ruined a lot of plans but in the end its been worth it. I left full carts of groceries in the story b/c he lost it over a balloon. Left restaurants mid-meal b/c he had lost his fool mind in the middle of dinner. We skipped many activities we had planned while he was in that phase. It was incredibly hard and sucked to all ends but it was the only thing that worked.

DragnHeart posted 8/18/2013 11:55 AM

Dd is five. DS is three.

Yes I admit it's been hell trying to remain consistent. At the IL's it was impossible.

Here it's been a challenge with wh. But the last little while has been great! As parents we are finally on the same page. The kids have been fighting alot, biting especially. So they haven't had any time outside. And when they escalate they go to their room. I give one warning. If the behaviour doesn't stop off to bed they go, no questions no talking just straight to bed. Actually wh and I had to keep from laughing the other night. Dd was throwing a fit. DS was good. Dd wouldn't stop after her warning so up to bed she went. DS then says to her "night night".

I ask about the timer because dd is very visual. We had books made up for her for the start of school, going on the bus, toileting etc. at school they used many visuals for her so she could see the daily schedule.

Then again her tantrums have begun to include throwing anything she can so perhaps it's not a good idea

hexed posted 8/18/2013 11:59 AM

I might find something besides time outside but that's just me. I found DS's overall behavior was much better with outside much as possible.

DS's tantrums started at age 3.5 and were really bad until age 4 and then tapered off significantly.

I'm not saying it wasn't brutal but when we caved in ...even if it was after an hour more it just got worse and worse.

Something else we tried was using a corner instead of his room for time outs. I could find a corner just about anywhere. It was tough at first. I would physically have to stand behind him to keep him in the corner. Nothing to throw. Nothing to do but stand and stare. I started small. I would count to 20 and if he could be quiet he could come out of the corner. It gave him a chance to compose himself and a small reachable goal. It was a baby step. Maybe 5 min is too long for DD and you're setting her up to fail? Obviously you have to stick to it if you said it but maybe you could try two minutes and see if she can achieve that. If she's calmed down for a little bit then you've both succeeded?

[This message edited by hexed at 12:05 PM, August 18th (Sunday)]

DragnHeart posted 8/18/2013 12:09 PM

I also wanted to add that wh and I were set on letting d have her screaming fits as her home nurse suggested back when dd was very young.

We would allow her to cry it out, check on her, make sure she was safe then just let her have her tantrum. I don't want to give in to her ever.

It was then that my mil and SIL freaked on us saying we were horrible parents and shoulnt have kids if we were going to allow her to have a tantrum and not do something about it. Right then we should have left. Their constant beating down everything we did caused me to feel so unsure of everything. That plus the "other stuff" going on has really affected me. I so need IC!

Outside time seems to be the big thing for them. Toys, not really. I told DS to clean up his cars or I was going to throw them out. Little bigger said "ok" and started putting them in the garbage.

We also have a "issue" with the new neighbour. It's not so much a problem. Just something we have to make clear. Their youngest is 8. Dd will act like a baby and get her to carry her around, etc. I have had to explain that dd doesn't need to be carried around and that she's capable of doing things.

This issue was brought up by DD's teacher. Because dd is so small everyone would treat her like she needed help and dd totally took advantage of this. It wasn't until I said that dd can dress herself etc that the other students and staff stopped helping her. Dressing is just one example...

sullymeishadomi posted 8/18/2013 12:17 PM

Listen to hexed. She speaks the truth.

My kids are 5.9 and 7.5 yrs old. Wh used them against me for a long time. Let them get away with xyz as abuse toward me. I caved out of stupidity and fear

I have no issues throwing out toys. I finally reached me limit, ignored wh, and dragged three 33 galon bags of toys, trash and clothes from dd's room and half a bag from ds.

Im pulling long, crazy days at work. I cant deal with fighting. My kids end up in their rooms. They wanna scream. Hey do it louder bc they cant hear you at your friends house (where we used to live).

Try the timer to see if it works. If not, you have to find other avenues.

As for going to your in-laws? I remember reading about them when you lived with them and just after you moved. I wouldnt take my kids there.

Please listen to hexed. Get them in line now. It gets harder as they get older

When she starts screaming and its getting to you remember: no pain, no gain.

Cally60 posted 8/18/2013 12:36 PM

Dd just doesnt seem to understand. Instead she Screams. At. The. Top. Of. Her. Lungs... I cannot let her back downstairs of she's still screaming after the five minutes so she will stay up there longer, which leads to more screaming...

It seems to me that a punishment is ineffective unless it is understood. Since she's so little, she probably has no concept of time, so yes, a timer might help. But not a digital one, because if she's too young to understand time, numbers counting down won't mean anything to her, either. It would need to be one where the knob physically moves towards the Stop point. Or if you have a large analog clock and it's 6:05, you could stick a piece of tape from the center to the 2, and tell her that she'll be able to see the big hand moving very slowly. And that if she stops screaming NOW, you will come back and bring her downstairs when the big hand gets to the tape (and it is 6:10. Might as well take advantage of the opportunity to do a bit of teaching, too. )

BUT, I know that you've had a lot of family upheaval and have only recently relocated - to a much larger house. She is too young to understand time and continues to scream even though it makes you angry. So.... I think it may be that being left alone upstairs scares her. Especially if she can't hear you moving about downstairs.

It sounds as though your children are physically very active. Do you think that simply making your daughter sit still might be an effective punishment?

You might perhaps try keeping her downstairs near where you are, but making her sit silently on a chair for five minutes. Without any conversation with you. Make it very obvious that being ignored by you is part of the punishment, or that strange behavior on your part might also scare and upset her. This, again, would be counterproductive.

[This message edited by Cally60 at 12:47 PM, August 18th (Sunday)]

DragnHeart posted 8/18/2013 12:43 PM

As for going to your in-laws? I remember reading about them when you lived with them and just after you moved. I wouldnt take my kids there.

Sorry. I meant when we did live there. We were under constant scrutiny for how we wanted to parent.

My only concern here is that letting either of the kids have their tantrum and scream will disturb the Neighbours. I'm sure they think I'm wacko already since I let dd scream it out the other night.

Five minutes could be to long. I will start off small with each of them. I like the corner idea. Infact when DS knows he's done something wrong he'll usually stand off by himself staring at the floor like he's putting himself into a time out.

I just read the other reply...

Dd has anxiety so yes maybe being upstairs alone freaks her out. Took us four years to get her to sleep in her own bed and it was a gradual process.

She understands clocks. Digital and analog. We use it for her feeding issues. She will demand milk constantly. Doctors said no more than 8oz/day. So she has to wait until specific times to get milk.

As for active, yes. Both are
Constantly moving. Even if dd is working at her leapfrog computer or drawing she's still standing and moving about. She has only started to sit at the table for a meal since we moved. Usually she refused to sit at all. This has been a huge accomplishment for her and she's eating better too.

DragnHeart posted 8/18/2013 12:49 PM

Also, having been apart of a local parent support group we tried redirection a lot with dd. sometimes it worked, most of the time it didn't. She gets hooked on an issue and it's like it's replaying constantly in her head.

hexed posted 8/18/2013 13:23 PM

DH --

Maybe you could have a preemptive discussion with your neighbors. "we're having XXX issue with dear daughter. we are going to let her scream it out for a while. We apologize if it disturbs you." Most people with kids understand parenting struggles.

Can you get the kids in any organized sports? Getting my DS involved in soccer was a big help.

I liked the corner for a time out b/c I was right there. Because there wasn't an actual clock involved, if I could sense a calming/improvement/better attitude, I could stop the punishment before the tantrum flared back up. That way we could find a positive place much faster sometimes.

My mom used to send me to my room and tell me not to come out until I could be nice. Sometimes I'd come out and still be moody and she'd send me back. There was no set time but I knew if I weren't nice I was going back. It was a great way to teach me to be responsible for my own attitude. That might also work for your DD if setting an exact amount of time is becoming a sticking point.

sullymeishadomi posted 8/18/2013 13:50 PM

I think "time in" works with younger kids. It worked with ds for awhile when my house was in constant upheval.

There could be a lot going on in their heads. It could be a lot going on. Prior to moving their lives were a bit drama. Maybe they need more time to adjust.

As for your neighbors, if they dont understand kids and melt downs screw them. Im tired of this new way of being of walking on egg shells bc of what my neighbors may think. Your kids having a meltdown is not the same as teenagers screaming. Its a sad state when adults have no concept or patience of young children. Quit worrying about them and focus on your little ones.

tushnurse posted 8/18/2013 15:06 PM

Don't worry about your neighbors.
Start Off with 1 min timeouts and build. Make sure they are quiet and calm for 1 min. The timer doesnt start until that happens.

I would also suggest organized exercise. Your kids are at the minimum high energy. They need to be worn out. Make them run laps in the yard. Do calesthenics. Work on stretching. Usually at the young age the more active kids embrace tumbling.

Be consistent. Remember what I said about smart kids. If they are allowed to get away with something one time you will have a fight for the next thousand times. It may seem easier in that moment but you only create more difficulty by giving in.

(((and strength)))

DragnHeart posted 8/18/2013 16:18 PM

It's funny. Before we
Moved I had come to talk with both sets of Neighbours to let them know that dd likes to scream. I did have a short talk with the new ones. Time for another I guess.

Activities/sports: I want both kids into some sort of marial arts. I was in karate before moving to university. I was in better shape mentally as physically.

I would Love to put dd into gymnastics. The local programs start at six years old. And I want to check with her doctors about her delayed bone growth and lack of absorbing nutrients. Can get body actually take the work out?...

Theres a process to DD's tantrums. All start off with her whining. I want to nip it in the butt there so it doesn't escalate to a full blown screaming fit.

I think there's a ton going on in their little heads. When dd starts to tell me a story she can be very detailed. She sees everything. Understands more than she should at her age.

The problem isn't the kids. The problem is me. I can't handle stress of any sort at all. They start up and my first reaction is to yell at them. Heck. I have had a yelling match with the damn parrot lately...

Bird: squawk
Me: be quiet
Bird: you shut up!
Me: don't tell me to shut up!
Bird: squawk, shut up, bark bark, go to your room!

Ugh! Dragon has lost it....

I know I get a better response
From the kids when I am calm. I think mommy needs a time out.

sullymeishadomi posted 8/18/2013 16:57 PM

Your bird is funny!!!

Yes you need a mommy time out. Is there a possibility your parents can take the kids for a couple days to give you a break?

A thought: my kids arent dumb. They know when I get stressed out (a constant state of being btw work and home, these days) they will act out thinking I will get so desperate I will give in. I used to give in. Now they pay.

Please stop worrying about the neighbors. Your kids are babies. If the neighbors get their panties in a twist, too bad. Focus in your house, not out

DragnHeart posted 8/18/2013 17:23 PM

I have had to tell the kids that mommy is very upset and needs a time out. Dd usually responds with "take a long time" meaning:

I want to get into the cupboards so take as long as possible so I can get what I want without you catching me

The bird has his moments. We have to treat him like a child too. He goes into a squawking fit he gets ignored until he quiets down. Only then can he come out of the cage...he had wh laughing because I was sitting with my back to the bird. He said something nasty (I think it was "shut up"). I told him be nice. When I wasn't looking he did this head bob dance thing. When I turned around he stopped. Not looking he repeats dance. If I cough or sneeze he does it too...non stop lol.

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