Child Behavior Expert Forum
4 1/2 yr old girl
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4 1/2 yr old girl

I am concerned about my daughter.  We recently received a letter from our teacher and she was very concerned about my daughter.  She is having difficulty keeping any friends at school, mostly due to her behavior.  She is very moody and will often be aggressive with words (not physical) when she does not get what she wants.  On the surface it sounds like she is spoiled and gets her way all the time but this is not really the case.  I do admit that my wife and I need to improve our parenting but there are other issues.  There is mental illness on both sides of the family (schizophrenia), and our teacher recently filled out a questionnaire concerning our daughter and there are several symptoms related to ADHD.  And the most devastating check was she had little to know friends.  I also went through a checklist myself based on her behavior at home and it was pretty scary.  One recent behavior that scared me was she noticed a girl she knows was wearing a a crown in a picture.  When she was told she could not have one she threw a fit.  Later on we found the picture ripped up in shreds.  She is going to a children's hospital in a couple of months to get a evaluated. But  in the mean time I am looking for some advice on where to begin to at least create discussions with her about her emotional instability.  
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There's no point in talking with a four-year-old about her mental stability. Instead, focus on the behavior. That is, set clear expectations, including limits on inapparopriate behavior, and follow through on those expectations and limits. You mentioned that you need help with parenting. Take a look at Lynn Clark's book SOS Help for Parents - it is very useful (see sosprograms.com).
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