My daughter is 7 years old. She's always been very sensitive and always needed reassurance. She recently started to have anxiety about going to school (having bad separation anxiety). She has problems getting dressed and gets extremely nervous about time constraints like getting to school on time she keeps repeating how late we will be but won't get dressed to go. She hates socks (they have bumps in them, and hates panties because they don't feel good "they're not in the magic spot") She has lately been running to the bathroom saying she has to urinate and then tells me she just can't get up because she still feels like she still has to go. She's been asking her teacher to go to the bathroom alot too. We have not allowed her to miss school although she has been late. I will have to have her pediatrician look at her but she refuses to go to the dr and is too big to physically make her go. She has tantrums mostly at home and usually only in the presence of family members. She has had only one recently in the presence of a psychologist which I tricked her into seeing. She flipped out on me and I told her I would always tell her next time and how I lied because I was afraid she wouldn't go. The woman told her to leave (exactly what she wanted to do, as she shouted mommy I want to go! and kicked and screamed at me). She's been having tantrums since she was young but they are getting worse. She's extrememly attached to me and I have let her get away with her demands due to exhaustion or embarrassment. I know I am partly to blame and that as I put my foot down it'll get harder. My other kids 9 and 2 are starting to get afraid at the noise level and outbursts in the middle of the night with her demanding I sit with her in the bathroom until the "feeling" goes away (I have stopped sitting with her thus more bad tantrums). The other children do not behave this way. My husband and I are seeing a psychologist and will be starting with behavior mod. I can't stop thinking she is manipulating me with her actions (granted I have thus far set it up like this) but I am also terribly worried that there is something more wrong with her. She has agreed to see this psychologist. She saw her a little last year when she was just having clothing issues. I would hope we can resolve these issues with behavior mod techniques. Do you think we can? I am not for medication and so far it has not been brought up in her case. Can you tell me a range of time before we can expect to see a difference if we continue to set limits and not "give in" to the tantrums? Can you give me some books that are recommended for demanding children? Thank you in advance for any insight.
As you sense, your daughter's behavior is in part due to habits of interaction you have created. The good news is that you can change your behavior, and in the process yopur daughter will change as well. As I often say to parents, your child will change to the degree that you can change. Most, not all, parent-child interaction problems are fundamenatlly the result of choices the parent makes. Now, it also sounds like your daughter may have components of her behavior and emotions that are not principally the result of flawed parent/child habits. She may well display some sensory integration problems, and she should be evaluated by a pediatric occupational therapist. Also, she may display some biologically-based emotional disorder, and the child psychologist can help you with the evaluation of this. Of course you are not going to look immediately at medication as part of the solution, but don't be stubborn about this. In many instances, medication can be a great benefit. You want to be sure that the diagnosis is correct and, if a biologically-based emotional disorder is present, then medication may be a useful part of the treatment plan. Two books you might like are Lynn Clark's SOS: Help for Parents, and Stanley Turecki's The Difficult Child. These will help you with the behavioral component of your daughter's situation.
My daughter also has an issue with going to the doctors. A couple of months ago I suspected that she might have a bladder infection (saying she had to go to the bathroom 5 min. after she was just in there, getting up in the middle of the night, etc.). When I told her I needed to take her to the doctors, she of course got very upset. I called the doctors, explained the situation, and they let me run over to the office to pick up a sterile cup for her to go in, which I brought home. (It was a little inconvenient for me but much easier than dragging a screaming kid into the office.) When she went in the cup, I then ran it back to the doctors office and they did some kind of quick test which showed that it probably was a bladder infection. Gave me a perscription and called a couple of days later to tell me that it was confirmed. The doctors were very understanding and willing to work with the problem. Try and give your daughter's doctors a call, they might be willing to do the same for you.
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