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Help please: aggression in 6yo

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    Help please: aggression in 6yo

    My 6yo DD has been getting more and more aggressive and I’m at a loss as to what to do until her appointment next month. Any time she’s mad/disappointed/bored she becomes aggressive. She throws toys, mine/my husband’s belongings, punches siblings in the back, pushes desks/chairs. We never give in to her demands when she does this so she knows this isn't going to get her what she wants but she keeps doing it.

    We’re working through the Total Transformation program and it says to disconnect from abuse and remove the child from the situation but if I put her in her room she begins to throw everything in it, tries to break her sister’s belongings, etc. We’re going to clear out the room, but I honestly think she’ll just leave it and go somewhere where she can find stuff to throw. If I try to keep her in her room she'll just gets a kick out of the “game”. She won’t stay on a chair or stair step. My only remaining option is to hold her on my lap to keep her from throwing/hitting other people but then she kicks, head-butts and scratches me — she’s broken my skin before when doing this. She's very intentional during these outbursts -- you can see her looking for/considering ways to hurt things or people. When she's done with an outburst, she gets cuddly and/or acts as if nothing is wrong.

    My husband is going out of town for three days at the end of the month and I’m getting worried about having to handle this myself. She does this whether he's here or not but her behavior is almost always worse when he isn’t home -- whether he’s just running errands or out of town.

    Is there anything else I can do that I’m not seeing? She's already done this three times in the past two hours.
    Last edited by jen1134; 04-21-2018, 10:03 AM.
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    DS16
    MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
    MPOA: High School Comp. II
    HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

    DS15
    MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
    MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
    HSC: Modern European History

    DS12
    7M with:
    Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

    DS11
    SC Level 4

    DD9
    3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

    DD7/8
    Still in SC Level 2

    DD 4/5
    SC Level C

    #2
    Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

    Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
    When she's done with an outburst, she gets cuddly and/or acts as if nothing is wrong.
    This is telling.

    Have you mentioned any of this to her pediatrician? Or have you considered a developmental behavioral pediatrician?

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
      This is telling.

      Have you mentioned any of this to her pediatrician? Or have you considered a developmental behavioral pediatrician?
      She has an appointment on May 7th. Not sure what to do in the meantime. What are your thoughts when you say it is telling?
      Jennifer
      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

      DS16
      MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
      MPOA: High School Comp. II
      HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

      DS15
      MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
      MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
      HSC: Modern European History

      DS12
      7M with:
      Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

      DS11
      SC Level 4

      DD9
      3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

      DD7/8
      Still in SC Level 2

      DD 4/5
      SC Level C

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

        Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
        She has an appointment on May 7th. Not sure what to do in the meantime. What are your thoughts when you say it is telling?
        At this point, just that it might be worth mentioning. I should have said, "This might be telling." It could mean that she is not fully aware of what she has done, which would be worth exploring perhaps even neurologically. For example, would she stop herself if someone walked in the room or if you videotaped? If not, this may be more of a "switch flipping." Hard to say from here, of course. It could simply mean that she doesn't want to admit what she has done or that she is sorry for -- ashamed of -- what she has done. I would just mention it in your appointment.

        In the meantime, yes, when TT suggests disengaging, this is only to keep yourselves from unwittingly fanning the flame. We had the same situation with our son, and this helped but if we sent him to his room further destruction ensued!

        Instead, we sent him to sit in a spot in front of the closed front door with no access to other people or objects. When he calmed himself AND when we agreed he was visibly, sufficiently calm, we released him and followed this with a factual recap of what happened. When he acknowledged his role -- apart from blaming someone else -- we forgave him.


        Though we stopped using the front door years ago, we still do this factual recap today (as in, this morning), with his eventual apology and my, "I forgive you. Go in peace." Full restoration is important.

        If our son continues to express concern my husband often adds, "We'll get through this. We always do." This seems to let my son know we're a "team," and we're on his side.

        In those days of sitting him by the closed front door, which was the safest spot far from objects and where we 1) could see him, 2) calm ourselves, and 3) allow himself to calm down, the process was long and trying. But it worked.

        Today the episodes no longer involve destruction but, rather, our seeing the signs, knowing the triggers, and "nipping things in the bud." It is much shorter but still trying.

        However when he is reasonably stable, the repentance and forgiveness comes much more readily now. His humility and self-awareness are far greater than before and, in many ways, far greater than that of most adults. For this I am very thankful.

        It is good, Jen, that you are getting help for your daughter. For those three days your husband is away, consider giving yourself permission to take the kids to a park, or a friend's, or to grandparents', or swimming each day, or church, or wherever she seems more relaxed and calm. If you cannot accomplish this yourself, maybe the older child(ren) who can manage her most effectively can spend extra time with her. Or maybe you pop some popcorn and watch a gentle family movie or read favorite read-alouds. Keep things as easy as you can on yourself.

        Of course avoid caffeine and processed foods, make sure blood sugar is stable with regular meals, and give her only healthy foods with plenty of water to drink, good friends, art or crafts or music with time to relax, and plenty of outdoor play.

        None of this is easy, I know!

        Keep us posted --

        Cheryl
        Last edited by cherylswope; 04-21-2018, 12:18 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

          Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
          At this point, just that it might be worth mentioning. I should have said, "This might be telling." It could mean that she is not fully aware of what she has done, which would be worth exploring perhaps even neurologically. For example, would she stop herself if someone walked in the room or if you videotaped? If not, this may be more of a "switch flipping." Hard to say from here, of course. It could simply mean that she doesn't want to admit what she has done or that she is sorry for -- ashamed of -- what she has done. I would just mention it in your appointment.

          In the meantime, yes, when TT suggests disengaging, this is only to keep yourselves from unwittingly fanning the flame. We had the same situation with our son, and this helped but if we sent him to his room further destruction ensued!

          Instead, we sent him to sit in a spot in front of the closed front door with no access to other people or objects. When he calmed himself AND when we agreed he was visibly, sufficiently calm, we released him and followed this with a factual recap of what happened. When he acknowledged his role -- apart from blaming someone else -- we forgave him.


          Though we stopped using the front door years ago, we still do this factual recap today (as in, this morning), with his eventual apology and my, "I forgive you. Go in peace." Full restoration is important.

          If our son continues to express concern my husband often adds, "We'll get through this. We always do." This seems to let my son know we're a "team," and we're on his side.

          In those days of sitting him by the closed front door, which was the safest spot far from objects and where we 1) could see him, 2) calm ourselves, and 3) allow himself to calm down, the process was long and trying. But it worked.

          Today the episodes no longer involve destruction but, rather, our seeing the signs, knowing the triggers, and "nipping things in the bud." It is much shorter but still trying.

          However when he is reasonably stable, the repentance and forgiveness comes much more readily now. His humility and self-awareness are far greater than before and, in many ways, far greater than that of most adults. For this I am very thankful.

          It is good, Jen, that you are getting help for your daughter. For those three days your husband is away, consider giving yourself permission to take the kids to a park, or a friend's, or to grandparents', or swimming each day, or church, or wherever she seems more relaxed and calm. If you cannot accomplish this yourself, maybe the older child(ren) who can manage her most effectively can spend extra time with her. Or maybe you pop some popcorn and watch a gentle family movie or read favorite read-alouds. Keep things as easy as you can on yourself.

          Of course avoid caffeine and processed foods, make sure blood sugar is stable with regular meals, and give her only healthy foods with plenty of water to drink, good friends, art or crafts or music with time to relax, and plenty of outdoor play.

          None of this is easy, I know!

          Keep us posted --

          Cheryl

          The front door is brilliant! Now, how did you initially get him to stay there without getting hurt yourself? Jen, we had these episodes with my oldest. Thankfully, we have not had them for a long time. My son, has reached this now. We can take him to his room though. He screams, but is safe. I like the front door so much better. I think back to my daughter and she would not have stayed, which is why I was asking if you could share the initial stages to this idea! (Age 5-6 was especially hard with her)
          Christine

          (2019/2020)
          DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
          DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
          DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

          Previous Years
          DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
          DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
          DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

            Originally posted by howiecram View Post
            The front door is brilliant! Now, how did you initially get him to stay there without getting hurt yourself?
            Yes, that was my question, too!

            We went through this with one of our older children, but he didn't really try to hurt me. He would throw everything around the room while I sat, in the room, with my back to the door so he wouldn't go into the main part of the house. Our family/the other kids can't go through that again.
            Jennifer
            Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

            DS16
            MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
            MPOA: High School Comp. II
            HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

            DS15
            MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
            MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
            HSC: Modern European History

            DS12
            7M with:
            Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

            DS11
            SC Level 4

            DD9
            3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

            DD7/8
            Still in SC Level 2

            DD 4/5
            SC Level C

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

              Jen, did your older child ever receive a diagnosis and/or learn ways to calm himself?

              Christine, I used "tricks" from my days with children who struggled with dramatic behaviors & emotional disturbance:
              1. Most important -- Do not be "handsy" with such a child. (Touching, nudging, or wrestling escalates and over-personalizes instantly.)
              2. Matter-of-factly, almost apathetically, announce that he must sit at the door, legs crossed, to calm down. "We will talk about this after we are both quiet for a time. I will let you know." Explain that the time to calm begins now, but if he speaks or gets up, his time "starts all over."
              3. Know that this is for his good. Admit that it is also for your good. "We all need to calm down for a little bit."
              4. Pray for the child as he sits there.
              5. Do not say any more words than are necessary.
              6. If it helps, use an audible timer. I often said, "Sit by the door. Your time starts now," and set the timer to a specified or unspecified time that he could hear ticking quietly.
              7. Introduce this idea when all is well. For the verbal child you can say with compassion, "_(child's name)_, we both know that you have been having trouble calming down sometimes. You agree with this, correct?" If agreement, proceed. If no agreement, then say, "You might not have noticed, or maybe it is hard to admit, but your father and I have noticed and we are concerned." Then proceed with your own wording something like, "We want to help with this, so we have a new plan. Sometimes we will tell you to sit here like this." (Show the spot. Have him sit cross-legged there.) You will sit here in this safe place. This will give you time to calm down. When I see that you are calm, I will tell you to get up. Then you and I will talk."

              Model with a stuffed animal, especially if the child is young or has weak language abilities.

              Of course there are many, many ways to approach this, but this is what worked well for us. I was never hurt. I had three rules at the door:
              1. No getting up until I say, or the time starts over.
              2. No talking, and this includes no name calling of himself or others.
              3. No harming himself or others.

              If he somehow managed to still have something in his pocket or otherwise found something to throw, I ignored it at the time. I did not engage him when he was calming down.

              Only later, when all was over, did I have him go back and retrieve anything he had thrown, repair anything he had damaged, apologize to anyone to whom he had been rude, and otherwise "make things right."

              Consistency was critical in the beginning. The temptation was to get drawn in while he was at the door, but that place had to be a not-emotionally-engaged zone for it to work. I reserved it for the most egregious behaviors (tantrums, throwing things, being clearly out of control), and I waited probably 5 min longer than necessary to be sure we did not re-engage.

              I also taught my daughter that when her brother is in trouble ...
              1) She is not in trouble.
              2) This is his problem right now.
              3) She can pray for him and for us.
              4) All will be well in the end.
              5) We love him and we love her. People who love each other work things out.

              We taught her to give him a wide berth when he is "in a mood." Like "the rings of Saturn," she should walk in a large area around him, not coming too close.

              You'll find your own familial ways of managing everything, and some of your own ways will work better than ours. Just sharing what helped here. Mainly this:

              1) preventing,
              2) having a safe, supervised place for the child to calm while I calmed too,
              3) not engaging until everyone could think clearly again.

              I hope something here helps.

              Whether accomplished this way or in your own way, the fruit of trusted acceptance, stronger bonds, more mature self-control, and greater insight is lasting, impactful, and well worth the effort.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

                Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                Jen, did your older child ever receive a diagnosis and/or learn ways to calm himself?
                No, we weren't able to seek a diagnosis at the time. A combination of maturity (he's a teen now), our learning about executive function issues -- especially black & white thinking -- and the long, intentional rebuilding of our relationship have all helped. He rarely throws a fit anymore but still has a hard time with some things when he's upset. He said he's interested in seeking a diagnosis; he wants to see what the process is like with his younger siblings.

                Thank you so much for all of the specific guidance here!
                Jennifer
                Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                DS16
                MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                MPOA: High School Comp. II
                HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                DS15
                MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                HSC: Modern European History

                DS12
                7M with:
                Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                DS11
                SC Level 4

                DD9
                3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                DD7/8
                Still in SC Level 2

                DD 4/5
                SC Level C

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

                  Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                  Jen, did your older child ever receive a diagnosis and/or learn ways to calm himself?

                  Christine, I used "tricks" from my days with children who struggled with dramatic behaviors & emotional disturbance:
                  1. Most important -- Do not be "handsy" with such a child. (Touching, nudging, or wrestling escalates and over-personalizes instantly.)
                  2. Matter-of-factly, almost apathetically, announce that he must sit at the door, legs crossed, to calm down. "We will talk about this after we are both quiet for a time. I will let you know." Explain that the time to calm begins now, but if he speaks or gets up, his time "starts all over."
                  3. Know that this is for his good. Admit that it is also for your good. "We all need to calm down for a little bit."
                  4. Pray for the child as he sits there.
                  5. Do not say any more words than are necessary.
                  6. If it helps, use an audible timer. I often said, "Sit by the door. Your time starts now," and set the timer to a specified or unspecified time that he could hear ticking quietly.
                  7. Introduce this idea when all is well. For the verbal child you can say with compassion, "_(child's name)_, we both know that you have been having trouble calming down sometimes. You agree with this, correct?" If agreement, proceed. If no agreement, then say, "You might not have noticed, or maybe it is hard to admit, but your father and I have noticed and we are concerned." Then proceed with your own wording something like, "We want to help with this, so we have a new plan. Sometimes we will tell you to sit here like this." (Show the spot. Have him sit cross-legged there.) You will sit here in this safe place. This will give you time to calm down. When I see that you are calm, I will tell you to get up. Then you and I will talk."

                  Model with a stuffed animal, especially if the child is young or has weak language abilities.

                  Of course there are many, many ways to approach this, but this is what worked well for us. I was never hurt. I had three rules at the door:
                  1. No getting up until I say, or the time starts over.
                  2. No talking, and this includes no name calling of himself or others.
                  3. No harming himself or others.

                  If he somehow managed to still have something in his pocket or otherwise found something to throw, I ignored it at the time. I did not engage him when he was calming down.

                  Only later, when all was over, did I have him go back and retrieve anything he had thrown, repair anything he had damaged, apologize to anyone to whom he had been rude, and otherwise "make things right."

                  Consistency was critical in the beginning. The temptation was to get drawn in while he was at the door, but that place had to be a not-emotionally-engaged zone for it to work. I reserved it for the most egregious behaviors (tantrums, throwing things, being clearly out of control), and I waited probably 5 min longer than necessary to be sure we did not re-engage.

                  I also taught my daughter that when her brother is in trouble ...
                  1) She is not in trouble.
                  2) This is his problem right now.
                  3) She can pray for him and for us.
                  4) All will be well in the end.
                  5) We love him and we love her. People who love each other work things out.

                  We taught her to give him a wide berth when he is "in a mood." Like "the rings of Saturn," she should walk in a large area around him, not coming too close.

                  You'll find your own familial ways of managing everything, and some of your own ways will work better than ours. Just sharing what helped here. Mainly this:

                  1) preventing,
                  2) having a safe, supervised place for the child to calm while I calmed too,
                  3) not engaging until everyone could think clearly again.

                  I hope something here helps.

                  Whether accomplished this way or in your own way, the fruit of trusted acceptance, stronger bonds, more mature self-control, and greater insight is lasting, impactful, and well worth the effort.

                  4) Pray for this child as he/she sits there....so important. We recently began this. It is a game changer!
                  Christine

                  (2019/2020)
                  DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                  DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                  DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                  Previous Years
                  DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                  DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                  DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

                    We went through this last year with my son. I would never physically restrain my child. I think that would encourage more negative behavior. They literally are getting ALL of your attention.

                    I used a timer. My son was sent from the school room to sit on the stair steps. If he left the stairs, moved stairs, climbed on the banister, banged on the steps, etc his time started over. If the timer went off and he wasn't calm enough to rejoin the family without further disturbance, it was re-set. This might go on all day.

                    It was a very difficult time for us as a family. The key is to not engage with her. Stay very matter of fact and short. "Your behavior is disrespectful and unnacceptable." "You are not allowed to yell at others." "You are not allowed to throw things." This is not a time for discussion. This is a time to stay calm and disengage. Make sure she is in a place that no one needs to walk past her. My son tripped me once when I had to walk past him in one of these moods.

                    It took months of daily, sometimes many times a day, practice with this. But, we did come out the other side. This year has been better. It's not butterflies and roses over here, but it is better. I no longer use a timer. We have graduated to "When you are calmed down and ready to be respectful, you may rejoin the group." He must apologize and say what he could have done differently. This is staying factual, just like Cheryl said. My son often devolves into blaming someone or something else. He must focus on HIS behavior and what HE could have done differently.

                    One difficult aspect of this behavior is that I found myself walking on eggshells around this child. I was desperate to avoid an explosion. I think he used this to his advantage. He used it as a way to manipulate. You have lots of other little people needing your attention. Throwing a tantrum, looking around to see what else she can destroy / hurt, forcing you to hold her in order for her to calm down. Sounds like manipulation to me...she gets all of you to herself. Be very aware of when and how she may be manipulating you or her siblings. My other children lived in fear of my son's explosions. They would literally hide in the bathroom with the door locked.

                    Make sure you are taking care of yourself. I started taking walks in the morning BY MYSELF! I walk for 20 minutes nearly every morning.

                    We also started going to talk therapy once a week. All of these things work together to address the issue, there wasn't one magic bullet.

                    Hang in there. This is a very difficult thing to discuss. You feel alone and isolated, manipulated and angry. You are not the only one to struggle with this. <hugs>

                    ETA: Cheryl and I were typing at the same time. I ditto all that she said! Its important for the siblings to know to give them a wide berth.

                    Also, while typing this I discovered my darling daughter was drawing on the wall instead of completing her cursive work, as assigned (she has had a very rough week behaviorally and she was trying to catch up). She is now on the stair step, howling loudly. The timer will not start until she is quiet. Just saying...not butterflies and roses over here
                    Last edited by Colomama; 04-21-2018, 03:15 PM.
                    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

                    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
                    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
                    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

                    We've completed:
                    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
                    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

                      This is very helpful to me with our two boys. We had an explosion today from one and the other is a pro at being manipulative. Cheryl, could you put this description of how you worked with your son into the updated Simply Classical book? Lillian

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

                        Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                        We went through this last year with my son. I would never physically restrain my child. I think that would encourage more negative behavior. They literally are getting ALL of your attention.

                        I used a timer. My son was sent from the school room to sit on the stair steps. If he left the stairs, moved stairs, climbed on the banister, banged on the steps, etc his time started over. If the timer went off and he wasn't calm enough to rejoin the family without further disturbance, it was re-set. This might go on all day.

                        It was a very difficult time for us as a family. The key is to not engage with her. Stay very matter of fact and short. "Your behavior is disrespectful and unnacceptable." "You are not allowed to yell at others." "You are not allowed to throw things." This is not a time for discussion. This is a time to stay calm and disengage. Make sure she is in a place that no one needs to walk past her. My son tripped me once when I had to walk past him in one of these moods.

                        It took months of daily, sometimes many times a day, practice with this. But, we did come out the other side. This year has been better. It's not butterflies and roses over here, but it is better. I no longer use a timer. We have graduated to "When you are calmed down and ready to be respectful, you may rejoin the group." He must apologize and say what he could have done differently. This is staying factual, just like Cheryl said. My son often devolves into blaming someone or something else. He must focus on HIS behavior and what HE could have done differently.

                        One difficult aspect of this behavior is that I found myself walking on eggshells around this child. I was desperate to avoid an explosion. I think he used this to his advantage. He used it as a way to manipulate. You have lots of other little people needing your attention. Throwing a tantrum, looking around to see what else she can destroy / hurt, forcing you to hold her in order for her to calm down. Sounds like manipulation to me...she gets all of you to herself. Be very aware of when and how she may be manipulating you or her siblings. My other children lived in fear of my son's explosions. They would literally hide in the bathroom with the door locked.

                        Make sure you are taking care of yourself. I started taking walks in the morning BY MYSELF! I walk for 20 minutes nearly every morning.

                        We also started going to talk therapy once a week. All of these things work together to address the issue, there wasn't one magic bullet.

                        Hang in there. This is a very difficult thing to discuss. You feel alone and isolated, manipulated and angry. You are not the only one to struggle with this. <hugs>

                        ETA: Cheryl and I were typing at the same time. I ditto all that she said! Its important for the siblings to know to give them a wide berth.

                        Also, while typing this I discovered my darling daughter was drawing on the wall instead of completing her cursive work, as assigned (she has had a very rough week behaviorally and she was trying to catch up). She is now on the stair step, howling loudly. The timer will not start until she is quiet. Just saying...not butterflies and roses over here

                        Thank you so much for this, Michelle. I think you are right about the manipulation side of things; I've been wondering about that as she starts laughing when I chase her around the room trying to keep her from throwing things. We're going to be watching more closely that we're not feeding the fire in that respect.
                        Jennifer
                        Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                        DS16
                        MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                        MPOA: High School Comp. II
                        HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                        DS15
                        MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                        MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                        HSC: Modern European History

                        DS12
                        7M with:
                        Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                        DS11
                        SC Level 4

                        DD9
                        3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                        DD7/8
                        Still in SC Level 2

                        DD 4/5
                        SC Level C

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

                          Originally posted by LillianinAl View Post
                          This is very helpful to me with our two boys. We had an explosion today from one and the other is a pro at being manipulative. Cheryl, could you put this description of how you worked with your son into the updated Simply Classical book? Lillian
                          Good idea, Lillian. There is much here -- and elsewhere on the forum -- that could be condensed into the updated version.

                          My responses above were sent rather hastily and not worded very well, but we could certainly reword, improve, and include.

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                            #14
                            Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

                            Just dropping in here to raise my hand: yep, been there! My oldest is the one who is generally my tantrum-thrower. His next-younger sister gets second place. They are also my children with the most struggles. While I agree that many times tantrums can be brought on by attention-seeking, manipulation or just plain boredom by children, my Boy throws the most fits when he’s anxious.

                            We had a blow up at 6AM this last week in which, basically, the second he opened his eyes for the day, he hit his little brother, yelled at his sisters, and hurt one of them. I was on the phone with my husband — 1400 miles away — at the time, and I was HOT. But Coolheaded Hubby walked me through what he wanted me to do — put the Boy in his room for a few hours with no toys or other distractions — and to matter-of-factly deal with the issue. He reminded me that our son does not respond to, and is not motivated by, taking toys away, corporal punishment, yelling, guilt or blame. He desperately wants to be a good boy and he despises himself when he doesn’t behave in line with what he envisions a “good boy” to be. He also needs to have responsibilities — he needs a job to do that he values as helpful — in order to feel fulfilled and peaceful. I wanted to deck this kid, but I didn’t. I went the Jesus route instead.

                            I asked him to kiss every boo boo that he had inflicted, hug and kiss each victim, ask forgiveness from his siblings, receive forgiveness from his siblings, and then pray to Jesus for mercy and help. He did, and then we all prayed a rosary together over breakfast. He cried the whole way through it. He was so sorry, so pitiful, so contrite; it was edifying and heartbreaking. He then had to do penance in his room until lunch.

                            It came out in the next few days that the reason he had been so agitated was that he was worried about when school was going to start. We’ve been living in Colorado now for about two weeks and are almost completely unpacked. But it takes awhile to get everything organized and “just so” in order to begin school. I was also — I am! — just plain exhausted from the months leading up to the move, the move itself, the unpacking, all the adjustments (including a two hour time zone change) moving to another state, and setting up house, while my husband works on the east coast.

                            This is a LOT of work for us. Doing it alone is a lot of work for me. Of course, my son doesn’t understand that. He’s just anxious that he doesn’t know where anything is, what’s going to happen next, and that we don’t have a fixed schedule yet.

                            So the next morning, I had clothes on, dishes unloaded, breakfast on the table, and an immediate work plan. It was like night and day compared to the previous day. He was a darling all day. I made sufficient head-way on finding and organizing curriculum and enrichment and we are now on track to begin school tomorrow (Monday). I showed him where all his books were and discussed briefly what the plan was. He was pleased and went back to playing outside and being his normal self. He is excited about school tomorrow (and I’m talking myself in to being ready ).

                            POINT: For anyone reading along who has a child on the Spectrum who throws tantrums, consider their anxiety, diet, sleep, schedule, recreation, down time and the levels of affection and affirmation they receive. My Boy does not respond to negative reinforcement. He responds best to an appeal to goodness; affirmation; hugs, affection, meaningful work, independence (to the extent he can handle) and routine. If something is severely lacking or disruptive in any of those areas, we see conduct take a dive.
                            Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                            Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                            Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                            Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                            “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                            ~Pope St John Paul II

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                              #15
                              Re: Help please: aggression in 6yo

                              Thanks for this, Anita. We see similar things here when things become a little less predictable.

                              My husband often says, "He just wants to KNOW."

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