The Crew - Miss Fabulous, Lil Bro, Big Sis and Mr. Man

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Trotting with Trepidation Toward Tantrum Town

Schoolgirl Dorothy Gale lives in Kansas, but dreams of a better place "somewhere over the rainbow."  - Virgin Media . com
Yeah so Miss is pretty P.O'd about that Chinese food apparently. The morning was filled with tantrums and even verbal rage. She did not get aggressive which is good. But things like getting dressed to go outside in cold weather was a "trigger" for her this morning. I love how the mental health community throws around that word. Well lets see some days the "trigger" would be that Mean Mom would not allow her to eat the entire contents of the gummy vitamin bottle. This is not PC but sometimes in the Loo Loo house on bad days under our breath to another adult we might say something like, "Sometimes crazy is just crazy, kay?"

Anywho, she seems to be in a down mood or depressed state right now. After months of her fingernails growing out nice and pretty she has bitten them all off again, she is pinching her face again and leaving marks, and she is pulling her hair. These are all things that we see when she is experiencing anxiety and depression, that and tantrums let us not forget the tantrums.

Something at school is bothering her. I am not sure what yet. Maybe just all the love stuff going on during the week at school this week. She is complaining about certain kids again. It is hard to know. I have to maintain this balance of being available to her but not letting her feed me full of stories about school either. I try to have the policy of letting school handle school stuff but that isn't always easy. She legitimately has a hard time understanding reality. In her reality when she does something mean to another child and then they tell on her THEY are the mean one for ALWAYS TELLING ON ME. She feels totally hurt and betrayed and afraid and angry when in reality she was wrong wrong wrong all along.
Thanks to Jeri for the positive feedback on the last post. Truly the things we have learned have come from both the Attachment Therapist and the Certified Behavior Analyst. This guy has been an amazing gift. He has never once told me to put up a stick chart lol! We do use tracking systems for specific behaviors though.

We had spoken with Mr. CBA about Miss earning consequences for her yucky behavior. She has the snarly mean way of talking to her family, aggression, trashing belongings, and general disrespect that would not be tolerated from the other kids. It is difficult because she doesn't care about something enough to motivate her behavior. Mr. cares about that Wii time. But Miss cares more about feeling that she is getting her fair share of whatever, not the whatever itself. She has openly admitted that she is jealous of Mr.'s earned Wii time, likely because she views it as him receiving attention.

She likes a few computer websites like Littlest Pet Shops more so than the Wii. So ... with the stinky tantrums that were flying today Mom informed her that she had failed to earn her computer time. That was not a hit with Miss and so she had herself another tantrum.

It is kind of funny how the other kids know how to ignore her tantrum and move on with their own activity. We give her a few minutes to putter out or take herself to her room and if she doesn't do either of those and is escalating then she is directed to her room where she may banshee scream from now till the cows come home if she so chooses. Miss was not going to get her act together so she was directed to her room with the option that Dad would take her if she could not go on her own. Dad had to take her. Block and redirect technique was used and then she got control. He stepped away but stayed close. She was mad as a hornet and just not in a good place mentally. When I was able to go in we talked. (see yesterdays post)

I have learned (with the help of Mr. CBA) that I have to wait to go in until she is calm. Sadly when she is enraged my presence is like gasoline on a raging fire. I am able to be more involved during a tantrum than before so we are working toward a point where she can tolerate my handling her during a tantrum, she isn't there yet. But on the RAD parenting note I am the one that does the greatest majority of care giving and loving nurturing Mommy stuff with her and she can tolerate that stuff now without sabotaging it with inappropriate behavior. In fact she seeks it out/initiates it.

When we were able to talk I asked her if Mr. had behaved like she did would he have earned his Wii time? She said no. I asked would it be fair for her to behave that way and earn computer time. She said yes. I said let's try that again. She admitted that no it was not fair for her to earn a privilege for behavior that other children would not earn a privilege for. No she doesn't really believe that, she believes that she is entitled to what she wants and that when the universe does not comply with her wishes the universe is mean. But at least the message is being presented.

She did not tantrum the rest of the day so we must have hit upon something good somewhere. Either that or she was done anyway. Ha


FAScinated said...

I hope it's OK that I linked to your blog from my blog (

:-) Kari

Mom 4 Kids said...

I am glad that you have stopped by Kari! I really loved the info shared on your FAS site and I'm digging thoughtspreserved too, linked to both now. :-)

Corey said...

Yes! (re: triggers) Vivi's "trigger" is almost always "Mom asked me to do something that I don't want to do." So I am going to be oppositional about it. Times 2-9 days.