Some advice needed on DD (long, sorry!)

Some advice needed on DD (long, sorry!)

Joined: December 2nd, 2005, 3:49 pm

September 9th, 2011, 4:58 am #1

Sorry I've been somewhat MIA. I started my new job, became a board member of a new non-profit, and DH started his new business. DH's young cousin visited for a week and I was her tour guide. Had one twin assessed for early intervention and going to assess his brother now, too. So...here we are and the dust has nowhere near settled but I have some concerns about DD and am not sure if seeing a therapist is a good thing to do or if I'm jumping the gun. I imagine Susan OR will have some good advice!

So...you guys might remember that she's a pretty intense girl and is 4 1/2. She has always been very bright, verbal, precocious, strong willed. She tends towards pretty deep thinking (about G-d, heaven, death/rebirth, where she was before she was "made" in my tummy, etc). Lately she has been showing some really perfectionistic behaviors and has been calling herself "stupid". Not all the time, but often enough that I'm taking pause. She has also long had this problem with saying goodbye to friends. She vascilates between refusing to even look at them and grabbing and hugging them like she'll never see them again. Then, if the hug isn't "enough" for her, she freaks out and has a fit (sits on the ground and cries). If she feels the slightest bit criticized or misunderstood, a fit. If plans change unexpectedly she has a very hard time readjusting. Last night her friend next door said she would stop by after her bike ride but never did (the mother ended up coming home early and meeting the father and the kids so their plans changed). DD was so distraught that I kid you not, she cried major tears for over 20 minutes. I was on my own with all 3 and getting the boys ready for bed. I gave her a hug and told her I understood how disappointed she was, but she just went on and on. She kept insisting I call the family so she could say good night to the girl.

Now that I'm working 3 days a week (and DD hasn't been in preschool but will start next week thank goodness) the nanny told me she really needs me to set up play dates for DD for the after school hours because being with DD is simply too exhausting. I love our nanny and I completely understand as I have the same experience with DD. I'll never forget our old nanny telling me that one Talia is like 5 other children. She talks non-stop and needs a great deal of attention and does not recover easily from set-backs. When another kid is around she does much better. I have talked to the classroom teacher about this as she started seeing some of this last year. But at this point, I'm wondering if I should consult with someone. I'm worried that she just isn't developing the inner resources to recover from being upset. I know she's very young and some of this is typical, but enough people now have commented that I don't think I'm just being an overly worried mom.

I keep asking myself (re: self help parenting books), "Is she a 'spirited' child or a 'sensitive' child?" Oh, and she needs/craves a great deal of physical touch and contact as well.

Thoughts? Sorry so LONG!
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 9th, 2011, 12:02 pm #2

You always inspire me with your decisiveness and how quickly you get things done.

My ds was/is also very intense, and 4 is a super-intense age. I used to be shaking by his bedtime almost every night. He did not need a lot of physical contact with me, but he wanted it from df, so maybe it's a mother/daughter, father/son thing.

I think I did take ds to meet my therapist around that time, and another time to a child psychologist. I don't know if it was the same year. My concern was that he was too unempathetic, but my therapist decided he was not scary unempathetic (no cruelty to animals, etc.). I took him to the child psych b/c of the control battles. She told us to de-emphasize our authority and make it more universal. I think it sounds like T. is having control issues.

I haven't read those books about spirited or sensitive children so I can't comment. I need to. I think it could be possible for T. to be both. Are the books giving conflicting advice?

I believe Alfie Kohn and John Rosemond would advise parents of kids like T. not to feed the child's anxieties by justifying or indulging them. Act benignly unconcerned and kindly and mildly set a limit and stick to it. Rosemond would say, "If you want to cry and be upset about this, you must do it in your bedroom and not disturb the rest of us." (Rosemond is pretty snarky, but if you can get past that, it comes down to boundaries.)

Since being around other kids defuses some of T's anxiety, I think you need to use that as much as possible. It can be hard to set up playdates and go back and forth, and with the twins, this would complicate your nanny's job and divide her attention further. What about a regular, daily after-school program or a full-day program? I don't think a therapist is going to try to change this. I doubt if it's even possible. If being around other kids makes her behave better, the therapist is likely to advise you to find ways to make this happen.

DS was/is a talker, too, but it does taper off with time, esp. after they learn to read (assuming they enjoy reading).

Is T. getting enough exercise?

I know you've mentioned that dh has some mental health issues (OCD? bipolar? I don't remember). You could ask a ped. or a child psych when this begins to emerge in children and how to recognize it.

Gl. I understand how hard this is.




Keiki's Makuahine (Keiki's Mom) 50, dh 50
Keiki: b. 2002 after 3 months bedrest
Natural conception following ZIFT/chem. pg

Olivia: b. 1999 d. 1999
28-week preemie, ptl cause unknown
Natural conception after 1 mc

ttc since 1998
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Joined: December 2nd, 2005, 3:49 pm

September 9th, 2011, 1:46 pm #3

Exactly, maybe she is both (sensitive and spirited!). That's what I have come to. She was a very confident toddler and able to play on her own and soothe herself (she had a little stuffed duck as you may remember but no longer even cares about the duck) and starting around 2 she used to give herself time outs. She used to take deep breaths when cued to do so (and even remind me to take deep breaths!). The "if you continue yelling you'll have to do so in your room" can't work most of the time. She won't stay in a time out, period. We don't have locks on our doors. I can't sit with her when I'm on my own with the boys. Maybe she needs a replacement for the duck, meaning maybe some other "go to" toy or activity to calm down. Right now, I'm the replacement duck. If I can, the only thing that calms her quickly is to hold her for a few minutes and talk gently to her (not about what happened). She calms down right away and moves on. But that is not always possible AND she needs to internalize those ways to soothe herself. And I don't know how to help her with that since she is so resistant to anything. She could use more exercise, but took swimming and gymnastics this summer and there is a daily trip to the park/playground or our indoor play park, a bike ride, etc. She'll start ballet next month as well. She normally does not melt down in a structured setting and is very good at listening to her teachers. And, her dad has ADD and some OCD, which has an emotional component as well. I see some of the OCD, but lots of kids have some of those behaviors. I don't think ADD is what's going on with her, but believe me, I am keeping an eye on it! Then there's me with a history of anxiety and depression. Poor kid!
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Joined: July 7th, 2009, 1:19 pm

September 9th, 2011, 4:57 pm #4

She sounds a lot like my DD. My DD is great in school and listens to teachers and does what she is asked without issue. She is also a wonderful helper in school and I always get complements on her behavior.

Lots of kids can keep it together while in school but when they get home they melt down and let it all hang out.

Look for times during the day when it's happening and see if there is a pattern. Also, she might be hungry, thirsty or just tired and not know it until it's too late. See if food helps.

My DD also has had an issue with transitioning from one thing to the next, it's gone through phases and I have her struggle with the easiest things and then do great other times.

One thing that does help is to tell your DD in advance that in "X" minutes she is going to take a shower, or eat dinner, or whatever it is that she will need to transition to. You might start it a 1/2 hr. in advance and then tell her you will give her another reminder in 15 minutes, and maybe a final 5 minute reminder. This will help her prepare for the transition and hopefully make things flow easier. It might help. You have to be consistent and keep a few timers around. My DD likes to set the timer on my iPhone and select the ring herself - and we use this with her tutor as well. I think part of it is a control issue so this is a win-win.

I'm sure you know that ADHD is a blanket name that covers many issues and people can have many or all of the symptoms. Look into executive functioning skills and working memory. All very interesting reading and might help you figure out what is going on.

Also how is her sleep? Does she fall asleep easily or does she become oppositional? She many need more sleep. You can try to use a hot pack or a cold pack around her neck - it help bring the melatonin naturally into the body and can help induce sleeping.

The other thing could be a sensory issue. You mentioned she talked a lot - does she like the TV really loud? Is she loud?

Look online and read more about that.


Hope this helps....

Last edited by 1234Fleur on September 9th, 2011, 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 2nd, 2005, 3:49 pm

September 9th, 2011, 8:13 pm #5

...I seem to be able to guide other parents but not myself! She is SUPER loud (her father is too) and likes the TV loud. She likes her classical music loud, too. I HATE anything loud (and yet here I am with 3 young, loud children, G-d help me!). Anyway...I have thought about the sensory stuff as if she gets even a drop of water on her she screams and has to change (but, she loves swimming and taking a bath). If the seam of her sock is not quite right she can't wear them. Gets cold and hot really easily. I do think that's part of it for sure. And her regulation with hunger, sleep, emotions is not so great either. I don't think she'd get a diagnosis, but I think it's something for me to help her with. Thanks!
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Joined: July 7th, 2009, 1:19 pm

September 9th, 2011, 11:01 pm #6

I've been reading quite a bit and have gathered lots of info over the past few years. You don't need a dx unless - you need accommodations for school, or if you think trying medication might help her. (I'm thinking she might be very young and not sure you want to go that route, but it's nice to know it's an option if you need it.) I'm sure you already know all this since it is your field - but if you can find out all the issues she is struggling with you can pinpoint the specific areas and then work on them with her... that's why I mentioned being loud and liking things louder than normal, the seam on the socks are classic sensory issues. Does she have a hard time sitting still, getting out of her seat many times, like a wiggly worm?

DD is excellent in school but sometimes has a hard time at home, but it's getting better now --- I know what areas she needs help with. After school can be a tough time - "witching hour" as many things are happening with limited time frame all at once, HW, dinner, bath/bed... I try to keep to a timetable and a routine as much as possible, but it's not easy. I also try to watch for possible meltdowns in advance and try to deal with one before they happen - also not easy. Redirecting or using the timer, or letting her know in advance of whatever....like for bedtime, shower, whatever. It's much more mental work for you, but it will be worth it.

We also try to be flexible bad times of the day and let her make some decisions like what HW to do 1st - I think I mentioned some of it is control issue and some of it she can't help. ADHD can make you wired and you are going 100 mph and like multitasking all at the same time, not sure what to first, the same with sensory issues and overload. Lots of kids with these issues talk loud, and like everything loud and are just energizer bunnies!!
She gets her 2nd wind about now (7:00) and has a tough time winding down, they also don't need a lot of sleep , which is pretty funny as the parents are the ones who are exhausted!!!! Having a high maintenance child is not easy, but you are ahead of the game now --- Good job!

Oh, You can get her seamless socks, I think stride rite or nordstroms sells them. (We don't have that issue, but she prefers sandals/flip flops over socks and shoes, doesn't like long pants either.) She's also very picky about clothes in general. With the exception of her school uniform I take her with me when we go shopping so she can try it on and be sure its comfy before I buy it. I also don't take the tag off anything new until she tries it on again at home and it positive she will wear it.

Hope this helps more...

hugs....

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Joined: June 25th, 2006, 2:32 am

September 10th, 2011, 11:33 am #7

Sorry I've been somewhat MIA. I started my new job, became a board member of a new non-profit, and DH started his new business. DH's young cousin visited for a week and I was her tour guide. Had one twin assessed for early intervention and going to assess his brother now, too. So...here we are and the dust has nowhere near settled but I have some concerns about DD and am not sure if seeing a therapist is a good thing to do or if I'm jumping the gun. I imagine Susan OR will have some good advice!

So...you guys might remember that she's a pretty intense girl and is 4 1/2. She has always been very bright, verbal, precocious, strong willed. She tends towards pretty deep thinking (about G-d, heaven, death/rebirth, where she was before she was "made" in my tummy, etc). Lately she has been showing some really perfectionistic behaviors and has been calling herself "stupid". Not all the time, but often enough that I'm taking pause. She has also long had this problem with saying goodbye to friends. She vascilates between refusing to even look at them and grabbing and hugging them like she'll never see them again. Then, if the hug isn't "enough" for her, she freaks out and has a fit (sits on the ground and cries). If she feels the slightest bit criticized or misunderstood, a fit. If plans change unexpectedly she has a very hard time readjusting. Last night her friend next door said she would stop by after her bike ride but never did (the mother ended up coming home early and meeting the father and the kids so their plans changed). DD was so distraught that I kid you not, she cried major tears for over 20 minutes. I was on my own with all 3 and getting the boys ready for bed. I gave her a hug and told her I understood how disappointed she was, but she just went on and on. She kept insisting I call the family so she could say good night to the girl.

Now that I'm working 3 days a week (and DD hasn't been in preschool but will start next week thank goodness) the nanny told me she really needs me to set up play dates for DD for the after school hours because being with DD is simply too exhausting. I love our nanny and I completely understand as I have the same experience with DD. I'll never forget our old nanny telling me that one Talia is like 5 other children. She talks non-stop and needs a great deal of attention and does not recover easily from set-backs. When another kid is around she does much better. I have talked to the classroom teacher about this as she started seeing some of this last year. But at this point, I'm wondering if I should consult with someone. I'm worried that she just isn't developing the inner resources to recover from being upset. I know she's very young and some of this is typical, but enough people now have commented that I don't think I'm just being an overly worried mom.

I keep asking myself (re: self help parenting books), "Is she a 'spirited' child or a 'sensitive' child?" Oh, and she needs/craves a great deal of physical touch and contact as well.

Thoughts? Sorry so LONG!
Hey Renata,

Most of what you describe I've experienced at one point or another between my 2 kids....BUT if you are concerned (and you do have a professional "gut" for such things!), bring her to meet with a psychologist a few times. It will either ease your mind or lead to strategies you can help implement prior to DD starting formal school. Either way, win-win (apart from the $).

As for the sock thing (my DD is totally intolerant to seams/tags/etc too), the easiest solution is to turn the socks inside out! My DD when from a wiggling fits-over-wearing-socks mess literally instantly when I realized this! Even "frilly" socks look fine inside out, just turn down the cuff to expose the outer surface.

hugs & gl!
Minna

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Joined: December 2nd, 2005, 3:49 pm

September 10th, 2011, 3:14 pm #8

Once upon a time, a close friend asked me if I was a HSP (highly sensitive person). I remember reading a bit about it but don't really remember too much. So I started reading on-line these past few days about sensitive kids. I believe I was definitely this kind of child. I so clearly remember feeling things more deeply than other kids and really suffering inside when I saw someone else suffering (animals, too). It was like a physical pain. When I was an older child I used to handle these feelings by reading about religion and philosophy, writing a ton, praying/meditating, drawing, taking walks in nature. I retreated, in other words. I remember trying to talk to my parents, but they absolutely had no idea what to do with me and would just give me advice like, "Don't think about it". Maybe DD is more "out there" with her feelings because I am not discounting her. There is room for her to express her feelings. Anyway, all something to think about.
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Joined: March 3rd, 2006, 12:37 am

September 10th, 2011, 8:35 pm #9

You always inspire me with your decisiveness and how quickly you get things done.

My ds was/is also very intense, and 4 is a super-intense age. I used to be shaking by his bedtime almost every night. He did not need a lot of physical contact with me, but he wanted it from df, so maybe it's a mother/daughter, father/son thing.

I think I did take ds to meet my therapist around that time, and another time to a child psychologist. I don't know if it was the same year. My concern was that he was too unempathetic, but my therapist decided he was not scary unempathetic (no cruelty to animals, etc.). I took him to the child psych b/c of the control battles. She told us to de-emphasize our authority and make it more universal. I think it sounds like T. is having control issues.

I haven't read those books about spirited or sensitive children so I can't comment. I need to. I think it could be possible for T. to be both. Are the books giving conflicting advice?

I believe Alfie Kohn and John Rosemond would advise parents of kids like T. not to feed the child's anxieties by justifying or indulging them. Act benignly unconcerned and kindly and mildly set a limit and stick to it. Rosemond would say, "If you want to cry and be upset about this, you must do it in your bedroom and not disturb the rest of us." (Rosemond is pretty snarky, but if you can get past that, it comes down to boundaries.)

Since being around other kids defuses some of T's anxiety, I think you need to use that as much as possible. It can be hard to set up playdates and go back and forth, and with the twins, this would complicate your nanny's job and divide her attention further. What about a regular, daily after-school program or a full-day program? I don't think a therapist is going to try to change this. I doubt if it's even possible. If being around other kids makes her behave better, the therapist is likely to advise you to find ways to make this happen.

DS was/is a talker, too, but it does taper off with time, esp. after they learn to read (assuming they enjoy reading).

Is T. getting enough exercise?

I know you've mentioned that dh has some mental health issues (OCD? bipolar? I don't remember). You could ask a ped. or a child psych when this begins to emerge in children and how to recognize it.

Gl. I understand how hard this is.




Keiki's Makuahine (Keiki's Mom) 50, dh 50
Keiki: b. 2002 after 3 months bedrest
Natural conception following ZIFT/chem. pg

Olivia: b. 1999 d. 1999
28-week preemie, ptl cause unknown
Natural conception after 1 mc

ttc since 1998
mentioned to me that my younger DS may be SI. Sensory Intergration I think. She also told me to find a Occupational Therepist that they could help with the sensory issues. Yoga, stress balls to squeeze and calming techniques. I didnt realize that an OT would deal with sensory issues. Also some of it is behavorial....age 4 is a tough age in some respects. They realize that they have become more independent from you yet are scared to be independent. I remember reading that when my older was 4 and my younger was 2 years old thinking GREAT NOW BOTH WILL HAVE TANTRUMS. Anyway, I know you are very informed in these areas but look up S.I. and see if it fits. Hope this helps!
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Joined: November 4th, 2006, 7:32 pm

September 11th, 2011, 3:16 pm #10

Sorry I've been somewhat MIA. I started my new job, became a board member of a new non-profit, and DH started his new business. DH's young cousin visited for a week and I was her tour guide. Had one twin assessed for early intervention and going to assess his brother now, too. So...here we are and the dust has nowhere near settled but I have some concerns about DD and am not sure if seeing a therapist is a good thing to do or if I'm jumping the gun. I imagine Susan OR will have some good advice!

So...you guys might remember that she's a pretty intense girl and is 4 1/2. She has always been very bright, verbal, precocious, strong willed. She tends towards pretty deep thinking (about G-d, heaven, death/rebirth, where she was before she was "made" in my tummy, etc). Lately she has been showing some really perfectionistic behaviors and has been calling herself "stupid". Not all the time, but often enough that I'm taking pause. She has also long had this problem with saying goodbye to friends. She vascilates between refusing to even look at them and grabbing and hugging them like she'll never see them again. Then, if the hug isn't "enough" for her, she freaks out and has a fit (sits on the ground and cries). If she feels the slightest bit criticized or misunderstood, a fit. If plans change unexpectedly she has a very hard time readjusting. Last night her friend next door said she would stop by after her bike ride but never did (the mother ended up coming home early and meeting the father and the kids so their plans changed). DD was so distraught that I kid you not, she cried major tears for over 20 minutes. I was on my own with all 3 and getting the boys ready for bed. I gave her a hug and told her I understood how disappointed she was, but she just went on and on. She kept insisting I call the family so she could say good night to the girl.

Now that I'm working 3 days a week (and DD hasn't been in preschool but will start next week thank goodness) the nanny told me she really needs me to set up play dates for DD for the after school hours because being with DD is simply too exhausting. I love our nanny and I completely understand as I have the same experience with DD. I'll never forget our old nanny telling me that one Talia is like 5 other children. She talks non-stop and needs a great deal of attention and does not recover easily from set-backs. When another kid is around she does much better. I have talked to the classroom teacher about this as she started seeing some of this last year. But at this point, I'm wondering if I should consult with someone. I'm worried that she just isn't developing the inner resources to recover from being upset. I know she's very young and some of this is typical, but enough people now have commented that I don't think I'm just being an overly worried mom.

I keep asking myself (re: self help parenting books), "Is she a 'spirited' child or a 'sensitive' child?" Oh, and she needs/craves a great deal of physical touch and contact as well.

Thoughts? Sorry so LONG!
that she will grow out of. My DD is 3 and always Cries and throws tantrums when something does not go exactly how she wants it. She yells, " I can't do it or I have ruined it!!! I hug her and say, it is okay. you do not have to get it exactly perfect. I notice that she gets less frustrated.

tell the nanny to be more patient. I would also set up play dates too. hope this helps.
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