I am at my wits end. My son throws terrible fits every time he doesn't get his way or something he wants (at a store for instance). He will jump up and down and scream and cry. We've taken almost everything away from him and then he has to earn them back but he loses them almost immediately.
He will also get anxious about school and start to cry and say he doesn't want to go. He just says he wants to stay with me. This happens about 1 a month. He is fine once he gets there. The dr wants him to see a shrink but I don't know about that. I don't know if he would even talk to anyone and I really don't want them to put him on medication. I don't think that is what he needs.
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?? I hope I'm not the only one with a child like this.
Are you and your husband willing to make some changes in discipline?
I have a 12yo daughter and a 7yo daughter. The older dd has been a pill from day one and I have developed my HUG THERAPY for her.
If you give me specific situations you need help with I could try and help. Also I am sure others on this board could give you some help that you need.
2 daughters, 7 & 12
Suffer from allergies & other aliments
Quit smoking June 3 2003
Will be 39 in Feb.
Scared to turn 40
I do think that you may need professional help but not from a Psychiatrist who would tend to consider medication. I would ask to see a child Psychologist. I have a daughter with anxiety and OCD. She is only 4 and she sees a psychologist. The first visit involved her talking to me and my husband alone. My mother watched my daughter in the waiting room. She only talked to my daughter for a few minutes at the end. She has given me fantastic parenting tips for the anxiety issues.
It sounds like your discipline is getting very negative. A positive-reinforcement program may work better. We are doing this with my daughter. She earns "tickets" and with these tickets she can purchase various rewards. Some rewards might be worth 2 tickets, some 8. We don't have big tantrum issues generally but in general I have always ignored tantrums in the home-setting. If either of my kids threw a tantrum in public I would tell the child that she can't go shopping with me again until I feel that she is "old" enough to not have a fit. After awhile, I would try to go shopping with her but give her a warning such as, "now I don't want you to have a tantrum at the store or it will make me not want to bring you here for a long time." I use that line a lot when we are go to a public play-type area because my 4 year old use to cry or hide so that I wouldn't take her home. It really works like a charm to warn her ahead of time that I expect her to leave when I say it is time to leave "so that I will want to bring her back again soon". I have never had to climb into a McDonald's playland tunnel to pull out my child!
I'm not sure if you are thinking about ADHD when you refer to medication usage. I think it is really important to find out how your kid's brain works. I have another daughter with ADD and all the yelling and punishment kept making her worse. One day I realized that she was really trying her best and she needed "tools" to deal with some of her neurological glitches. She didn't have a behavioral problem. It took her a hour and a half to get ready for bed at age 7 for example. All the yelling and pulling her back on task wore us both out. All she needed was a written list of bedtime tasks and a timer. Now she is proud of herself and I am able to get the dishes done etc... She is not medicated and she is doing way above average in school. What you are doing with your son is obviously and it is good that you can see this. I would advise you get the psychological help and pick the doctor's brain. Decline medication if you would like. No one can force you to give it too him. The doctor can also recommend books that could help you with your childs specific issues.
When my kids were younger and threw a fit in a store, I'd tell them, "I know you're (frustrated, upset over not getting something, etc.) but you can't act like this or we'll have to leave," and sometimes we left--once I was in the middle of grocery shopping so I took the half-filled cart to the customer service desk and told the woman that my child was having a meltdown and I was taking her home. The woman told me she understood and would take care of putting the items back. Then she actually thanked me. We left several restaurants and a couple of stores, with nothing. At home I would tell my kids to go have their fit in another room, and when they could get themself under control they could come back. Please understand that these times were when they were being obstinate or mad because they didn't get their way. If I thought they were hurt, sick, exhausted, or sad the situation was handled completely different.
I'm so sorry you are having these problems!! It sounds like your son may be caught in a cycle of deprivation. I am not a parent yet so you can take what I say with a grain of salt, or several. First off I would stop taking him to stores for the time being until you feel this behavior has abated a bit. Maybe try taking him out to public places where it is a positive experience for him - like to one of his favorite restaurants. He'll be less likely to misbehave there. After a couple of times, sit him down and tell him that you would like him to behave in shopping centers etc. the same way he behaves when he goes out to his favorite restaurant. If he does, tell him you'll keep going out to dinner at his favorite places, because you know he can behave himself in public. Get him to associate 'being in public' with not only places he doesn't like, for instance the store, and places he does like, for instance his favorite restaurant. Also, do you have to take him to the store all the time, or can someone else watch him? Going shopping with someone else is boring to a kid, and if there's no other way to do it that's one thing, but if you don't have to subject him to it then maybe try to avoid it.
Regarding school, I think you should be firm. Tell him that he has to go to school, whether he likes it or not. Don't be afraid to tell him that you are the mommy and this is because you said so. I wouldn't try to reason with him or try to convince him it will be great. He has to go and that's the end of the story. Remember you are the parent and you make the rules, not him. Good luck and please keep us posted.
I agree with Tilly that going shopping with parents is really boring for most kids and as Tilly suggested to you, I usually make arrangements to go shopping while my husband stays home with our son. Tell your son before you go into the store with him, that you are only buying the things that you need. Or if you ever see another child acting up like your son sometimes does, carefully and discreetly point that child out to your son and let him know, that this is exactly how it looks like when he is throwing a tantrum. Tell him that he is going to be a big boy now and that he needs to understand and learn that he cannot behave like "the little kids." I did that once with my son and I guess he was never aware of how this made him look like and he was very embarrassed about it. Tell him that you understand that he is angry or disappointed, but that you would also like to buy a lot of things in the store for yourself, but can't do it for various reasons. Hope this helps.
Another idea for grocery shopping I did as my kids got older (and I still do it if they're with me if I'm there to get a lot of food): They are each allowed to pick out two food items they'd like--but no candy--that I don't normally buy, or one magazine. That's it! If they already have two items in the cart and see something else they want, they can put one of the items back and get the other thing. The first time I did this my son switched items at least 10 times before he settled for the two things he wanted (turned out to be junky cereal and a certain kind of cookies). This has made grocery shopping much more pleasant.