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Please Help! 6 year old DD with sudden rage!

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM
  • 10 Replies

Hi...I'm new to this website but have heard good things about it and just today (about a couple of hours ago to be exact) I ran into something I could use some advice with.

I have a 6 year old DD. She's incredibly well-mannered (we started the pleases and thank yous as soon as she could talk!), very imaginative, shy, very cautious (doesn't like playing very active on swings/playgrounds, things like that), very smart (3rd grade reading level), does very well in school, and shes just an all around great kid, I've been very lucky. Such a sweet, cuddly, loving girl.

Of course, she isn't the most perfect kid in the world (to me she might be lol) she does have an occassional tantrum, I'd say once a week or so she has one, not very often. It's usually about something like not wanting to go to bed, or not wanting to brush her teeth, or something thats not earth shattering.

Tonight however, was different.

I put a computer game on for her to play (a barbie one she really enjoys) and we did that for a while with the understanding that when I tell her we're done, that there's no whining. When I told her enough was enough and lets move on to cleaning our room, she had a pretty big tantrum. I gave her a warning and asked her to calm down or we wouldn't be making our chocolate chip cookies tonight. After she calmed down I assumed all was okay, then we went to her room to pick up.

She knows by now how her room should be kept (as her mom is a neat freak), but she said it looked clean to her. I pointed out her pajamas on the floor, a few books that needed to be put away, and a remote control car on her floor that should be in her toy basket. She kept telling me her room was clean to her and it looked fine (very snippy) so I told her if she didn't want to pick them up, she must not care about those things very much and I would get rid of them. (As per the rule in our house, if you don't pick it up after several attempts to warn you, it gets thrown away, I haven't had to do it yet as she always picks it up right away or after 1 warning). So I went and got the garbage bag and picked those things up and said they would be gone now. 

Then the A-Bomb went off.(Anger of epic proportions). She screamed so loud she was gagging and almost threw up, she said "THIS IS THE WORST DAY EVER!" and "IM SO ANGRY" and things of that sort and I came back in to have a discussion with her (calmly) I don't spank or scream at her, that's not my style. I sat down next to her on the bed and calmly asked her what she thinks happened, and why her stuff was gone. She said she knew she had a bad attitude problem and was whining and seemed to grasp the punishment. It seemed like she was calming down and definitely understood why she had a time out and was going to be on better behavior. I then proceeded to tell her the cookies were definitely out of the schedule for tonight and we would wait for a better day to make them when we had better behavior. 

Then she lost it again. She cried, she screamed, she hurled insults at me. SHe said "I hate you" and "you're the worst mom ever" and "I guess I'll never love you ever again." She then grabbed my arm with extreme anger and squeezed it hard and pinched me with her fingernails so hard I'm bleeding in a couple small spots. The places where her fingers squeezed and scraped me are swollen and bumpy, and you can see where every finger was on my arm. I was astounded. I CALMLY told her it was bedtime and just left the room, thats all I could figure out to do i was so shocked. I went to sit on our porch in amazement and just cried. I've never seen her behave like this. I just dont know what to do. 

I called my husband so upset in tears to tell him what happened and he was astounded as well. She really is a great kid. And her dad and I have a great marriage! We do not argue, scream, or get angry with each other or at our daughter. We love each other more than anything, and anyone who knows us knows that we are such a great match because of how easily we get along with each other. Her home environment is not one of anger, yelling, or constant bickering, so I dont even know where she could have learned this!

Any advice or help you have is greatly appreciated.

I feel like I should just tread this very carefully as I don't want this to become a snowball effect to where she resorts to this kind of behavior everytime she is mad or angry. I want her to know how mad I am and hurt by what she did without screaming at her or punishing her to the extreme, but I don't want to be too soft. 

My husband (who works until 12:30 AM) isn't at home to deal with it right now. His take on it is as amazed as I am. He thinks it merits some serious consequences since we've never seen her act like this before, and I am at a loss of what to do. 

She screamed in her bedroom for about an hour, I didn't say anything. She was gagging and hyperventilating. Screaming so hard, It hurt my throat to listen to it. I just froze. I didnd't know howo to respong. Near the end, she started screaming "EVERYTHING I DID WAS AN ACCIDENT" and I didn't say anything and then she said "IF YOU DONT COME IN HERE YOU"LL JUST MAKE ME MADDER!"

Please....help!!!

She's finally alseep...so I just assume let her sleep it off for the night and discuss it tomorrow, but how so? Anyone have any experience with something so out of character in a child like this?

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
frndlyfn
by Platinum Member on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM
1 mom liked this

Hmmm I would be talking to her doctor since this is not her usual reaction to losing privilege of those belongings.  Be proud that you did not get angry and yell back at her since some of us fall prey to that during hte heat of moment.   Is she able to write sentences?  That is one consequence you can use for the next time of not following instructions.

ladybirds_momma
by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 10:59 PM

I would normally I guess, I'm just still so hurt by what she said. I know shes only 6 but somehow I thought I wouldn't have to worry about hearing the occassional I hate you, or you're the worst mom until at least 10 or 12ish! 

She can write pretty good, so maybe that would be a possible punishment. If I have her do it tomorrow morning, is that too late after the incident to be a proper punishment? I'm concerned since it lasted so long and shes asleep now that anything we may want to do tomorrow is inappropriate. Is the morning after a good time to discuss/punish do you think?

What would you have her write, or how many times? I've never used sentences as a punishment so this is all new to me, thanks for the help btw! 


HelloooooNurse
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 1:51 AM

Lol! I can't honestly say that I think you did anything wrong, and kids throw tantrums. I'm not sure what changed. It could be she saw someone doing that behavior and thought she'd try it. It could be she was just tired. It could be she was hungry. It doesn't really matter. The best thing to understand is that kids test to see what's going to happen. Parenting is hard. Sometimes kids can leave us speachless. When that happens, there is nothing wrong with saying we'll talk about this another time. (My boys have thrown tantrums on the way to the car as we were leaving, and I gave consequences after we got home.)

You're in luck. She's 6, and not 16. You can experiment with different parenting styles. Looking in to different books, CD's and videos doesn't mean you're a bad mom, it just means that you are like millions of other moms that secretly look into these things. They wouldn't have a parenting section in the book store if it wasn't successful. When my boys were younger, I was having trouble and looked into Love and Logic Parenting books. I ended up checking them out from the library because they're expensive. Here's the best part, someone else might have a great idea that you can incorperate now, and another idea that you incorperate if it ever comes around. I, personally, would have given lots of empathy while I was throwing away her things.

I know this doesn't directly address what you had to deal with earlier, but honestly, I am not you. You have to find your flow. I'm different. I don't give warnings. I think they can cause problems in their own way.

You're a great mom.

bamababe1975
by Gold Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 8:47 AM

 I agree with this.

Quoting frndlyfn:

Hmmm I would be talking to her doctor since this is not her usual reaction to losing privilege of those belongings.  Be proud that you did not get angry and yell back at her since some of us fall prey to that during hte heat of moment.   Is she able to write sentences?  That is one consequence you can use for the next time of not following instructions.

 


Reina13
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Hmm. Any changes in environment or schedule?

Honestly, it just sounds like a really bad temper tantrum to me. I think you did the right thing by remaining calm and walking away. When she wakes up, definitely sit her down and talk to her. Talk to her about 'hurt words' like 'I hate you' and 'worst mommy ever'. Explain to her that her behavior prompted the loss of priviledges and that there will continue to consequences for her actions. If you havent already laid out the behavior expectations and consequences, now would be a good time to do so. Whatever you decide are consequences, going forth, be consistent with it. I'd love to say, she'll never have another tantrm, but she will, she is only 6. When it happens again, make sure you stick to the consequences you decided on. She will learn, it may just take time.

Good luck.



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KimmyShaw
by Bronze Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:23 AM

First off if you havent already, I would sit her down today and calmly chat about what happened and how her behavior was unacceptable.

After reading a study about electric devices causing an "addiction reaction" I am a believer! I have seen the outbursts with my DD (6) like that (she never said anything mean like that or gotten physical) but when it happens its after her playing on the computer or her Ipad. We limit any electronic use to nothing during the week through the school year and only 2 hours a day on normal days.

frndlyfn
by Platinum Member on Jul. 17, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I would just discuss what happened and how she can better react to the emotions she was feeling.  I would save the new discipline method for the next occurrence but let her know a, b and c will happen the next time she has such an outburt.  For this age i would do 20-25 times as you dont want her to hate writing and also understand the reasoning.

Quoting ladybirds_momma:

I would normally I guess, I'm just still so hurt by what she said. I know shes only 6 but somehow I thought I wouldn't have to worry about hearing the occassional I hate you, or you're the worst mom until at least 10 or 12ish! 

She can write pretty good, so maybe that would be a possible punishment. If I have her do it tomorrow morning, is that too late after the incident to be a proper punishment? I'm concerned since it lasted so long and shes asleep now that anything we may want to do tomorrow is inappropriate. Is the morning after a good time to discuss/punish do you think?

What would you have her write, or how many times? I've never used sentences as a punishment so this is all new to me, thanks for the help btw! 



fivegirls333
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 2:13 PM

sounds like you finally stopped something she was REALLY enjoying.  i thought most of the rant was good.  she yelled, but she used good words and explained herself appropriately.  i don't know what turned it into the pinch and grab, totally unacceptable, but i think you handled it quite well.  there should be NO consequences the next morning.  a new day? a new opportunity to be better and have a great day.  but i would go over the whole evening, honestly, and see where it went sour.

ladybirds_momma
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Oh my gosh, thank you so much ladies. I was torn over this all of yesterday evening and this morning. My husband and I discussed it at length last night and we decided that it definitely merited next-day punishment as it was a unique and (in her case) out of character tantrum. We sat her down today and calmly went over the issue. We asked a lot of questions, went over the whole situation from beginning to end and explained where things were not acceptable and discussed alternative behaviors. I have noticed that something that works well with her is involving her in some decisions so we asked her to come up with some ideas of how to better deal with her anger and we all came up with counting to ten and taking a few deep breaths next time she feels that angry. We also asked her what else she thought was a good idea and she said "just telling you that I'm really angry" lol so hopefully that will be what she does. I still have marks on my arm from yesterday and she saw them today. You can see three finger marks and a scab from her fingernails where she scratched me. She felt really horrible and said she didn't know she hurt me that bad and got a little teary and hugged me and apologized. I truly believe she feels horrible. Needless to say, we weren't all soft. We let her know that not only can you hurt someone physically, but what hurt me the most were her words. We also stressed that none of those behaviors will ever be tolerated in this house, and she must respect her parents, and listen the first time when given directions. As per some (great) advice we also had her sit down and write some lines (I will not hurt people) on one page of a notebook and then asked her what it meant to her. 

I just wanted to also say thank you to all the help and support. I know in the grand scheme of things it might not seem so bad or out of control, but at the moment it shocked me since it was so unlike her. I usually deal with a mild whine at bedtime once a week or so, so when this happened I panicked. And I didn't know what to do since all I'm used to are the standard one warning and then timeout kind of punishments. 

In addition to all that (gosh, I feel like maybe I was too hard, but I wanted to make a point)

The toys I bagged up are gone -- completely, and she is aware of it. 

She lost access to her Kindle (which she received for christmas) indefinitely. My husband and I are discussing if/when to give it back and what she would have to do to earn it back (suggestions would be appreciated from all you experiences mommies out there )

She wrote her lines

Computer access was taken away

Other than that, we don't really watch tv in our house. We occassionally pop in a movie but we don't even subscribe to cable/satellite or anything so that is pretty much moot.

I did have one other concern though if any of you would be able to help...again :)

While we were discussing it she appeared to get more pale and quiet as the talk went on. About halfway through our discussion she started gagging and went to the bathroom and threw up a little (not a full blown vomit or anything just a lot of phlegm). She seemed fine, I checked her temperature. She told me her tummy felt tight and weird. 

After that we continued our talk and as my husband started talking over a few more points with her she looked more upset again and was getting sad over the talk and she started gagging again and threw up more phlegmy stuff. 

Is it possible that she was actually getting sick over the incident. I mean, the nervousness of facing her punishment, rehashing the incident, being stressed out etc?

I was just curious since I know stress affects me that way. If situations get really stressful, anxious, or I'm really nervous about something, I actually get heartburn, stomach knots, and throw up on occassion, so I was wondering if kids might manifest it in that way as well.

Thank you so much for all your help, it's much appreciated :)

Bieg9093
by on Jul. 17, 2013 at 11:03 PM

Don't worry about where she learned it.  Kids don't need to learn stuff like this from others.  Some kids just do this.  They've got immature liitle nervous systems and are learning everything from self-control to communication skills to their places on the totoem pole. 

You might avoid a zero-to-sixty tantrum by avoiding zero-to-sixty expectation.  What I mean is, a video game is uniquely satisfying.  To go straight from video game to room cleaning is pretty abrupt...even if you offered a 5 minute warning.  It would be my style to put a bumper activity between the two...a snack, a walk to the mailbox, maybe "let's read that book you like so much" before room cleaning begins. 

This is not to say that you did anything to cause the tantrum...that behavior is nonsense.  But if she's in the process of learning to control herself, it might be best to set her up for success as much as you can. 

That said, if you tell her to do something and she responds with a tantrum, don't back down.  It's too late to amend your expectations.  That way lay madness.

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