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What could be the cause of a preschool nightmare

So my daughter who is 4 has recently been kicked out of a daycare that she was enrolled in for 2 years now because of her bad behavior and tempers. She has an older brother who does live with us sometimes I share joint custody with his father her father and i have been together since birth. The behavior she displays in school we do not see at home. Her tempers are not consistent but when they happen last up to 45 minutes (they consist of screaming, kicking, throwing things, and trying to run out of the school) she has now been in her new preschool for 2 weeks and already have been getting bad reports. She also tends to have some regression she will pretend to not know how to do things to get attention and goes into baby talk (only around her grandparents) We have tried punishments (time outs, taking toys, corner, no tv,) then we tried the award system give me a day with no tempers and you can get an ice cream or a sticker all were temporary fixes. Her first daycare thought she had ADHD so we had her tested and even had an evaluation done by the school district for any other causes and they all came back fine and normal they said she just seemed to do better with one on one time rather then a large group but unless i quit my job one on one is just not an option this left me with no answers and no ways to correct this behavior any ideas?
1 Responses
189897 tn?1441126518
     Wow, this has got to be really frustrating.  And yes, there are things that really can be done that will help.
     First, you need to realize that to punish a child of this age for something she has done hours ago will not work.  They do not have the cognitive ability to link the punishment to something that happened hours ago.  
    All experts say that to change behavior, the modifying action has to be immediate and consistent.  In other words, if the school, is not trying to modify her behavior - your chances are slim.
   And that is one of the other problems.  You are apparently only trying to change her behavior through punishment.  What you need to do is to work on replacing her behaviors with more acceptable ones.
    But, first, you really need to find out what is triggering her outbursts!  If this is really only happening at school, then you must take some time off work and find out what is going on at school.  Until, you know what is happening, it is difficult to know what to change.
   You said she was tested for ADHD.  For something to be ADHD, it must be present in two different locations and you said it only happens at school.  HOWEVER, things like SPD - Sensory Perception Disorder or Autism can be more noticeably present in only one location.  And these things should be looked into.

  And it is very possible that her daycare places are the problem and you just have not found the right one?

  So what to do?   As I earlier said, you must visit the day care and observe her.

  Second, you must teach her ways to deal with her anger and you need to find better ways to deal with her anger.

   Essentially, the rules for behavior modification are that there must be immediate, short, consistent consequences.   Do not expect overnight miracles.  It has taken her awhile to get to this point and it will take a while to relearn control.  But she will.
   I would also look into buying "Cool down and work through anger" or "When I feel angry". This is part of a series of books aimed at 4 to 7 year olds and meant to be read to them at night (several times) and then practiced.  Kids do need to be taught how to deal with anger.  You do not try and use these techniques while she is screaming.  But once she stops or later on in the day - you can refer back to them or pull the books back out.
You can find them here -  http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Through-Anger-Learning-Along/dp/1575423464/ref=pd_sim_b_5

this is a good link on dealing with tantrums.  While it is for adhd kids, the ideas are excellent.

   Finally, here is an overall look at anger.

   I hope this helps.  Please feel free to ask questions.

I am sorry you are having trouble! It is so frustrating to see your child having a hard time and not knowing the cause. I would start out by having the staff at the school record the times of the tantrums and - this is a very important part - what was happening in the 5 - 10 minutes before it started. Is there an aid that may be able to make your little one a priority for a couple of weeks? It is definitely curious that she just does it at school and not at home.
After you have about 2 weeks of records, see if you can identify any similarities in the situations that triggered the tantrums. Was she interacting with a particular person, in a certain area, or playing with a certain toy? That could give you a clue as to what is happening.
I'm sure you have tried this, but just in case you haven't,  what does she say when you ask her why she acts that way at school? If you haven't, I would suggest doing it at a time when she (and you) is calm and doing something she likes. Then, in a very pleasant tone, not angry or disappointed, say that you heard that she had a hard time on XXX day and that she did X (pick one behavior in the tantrum so her 4-year-old brain can focus). Ask her "Can you tell me why you XXXX? I am not angry, I just want to know what made you so upset so we can fix it."
You never know! She could give you a little nugget that will give you insight into her mind.
Hope this helps :)

Also, you may want to look into her diet. If she has a lot of sugar or processed foods, these have been shown to cause behaviors like you are describing.
Korwell, has some very good points.  Identifying the triggers is very important and Korwell has given a very good way to do so.
Thank you, Sandman2. I hope everything works out! I have been amazed at how much influence diet has in circumstances like these.
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