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Old 05-21-2018, 07:41 AM   #1
rainangel85
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Default Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

Hi ladies. I really need some wise input. I have no one to turn to. THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR READING THIS!

I've decided (again) to do a parenting makeover. NO yelling, etc, which is what I had reverted to. How much I should expect from my antsi 6-year-girl? When she is talked to by a parent, she blinks her eyes incessantly, stamps her foot repeatedly, suddenly yells or throws herself over, or makes the weirdest screwed up faces, etc. She keeps doing a variety of these while she "tries" to listen. It's so weird I considered Aspergers since she likes repetitive stuff, but she doesn't qualify in other ways, and she does NOT act this way at school.

I've figured out that if we practice directly she can contain the crazies. (I count to 10 or 30 while she keeps herself calm and she CAN but only with GREAT CONCENTRATION). At school she sits still fine all of the time. At home she CAN NOT sit normally or still in her chair for more than 30 seconds. We've been correcting her--only when irritated--since she was four but maybe I haven't drawn a consistent/hard line?

I feel like the problem may be that we've let bad habits continue for too long, so I've been taking a no-tolerance approach with her. (If I talk to her, she HAS to remain still and not do all the weird stuff. I'll say the thing repeatedly until she can listen without acting crazy and she'll redo her response until she can say it with a normal voice and body.) This is very hard for her right now. I'm afraid it is too hard for her, but I also feel like she *CAN* do it, and she won't be able to do it unless we draw a firm line and are ALWAYS consistent.

But I worry her strange body movements is to cover up anxiety because of past harsh parenting. She often tries to literally hide herself when corrected, even now after I've stopped yelling. Her body movements/wierd voices/laughing may be an attempt to dissociate? When she feels anxious or scared she tries to hold her breath or she burst out laughing (in the LOUDEST most obnoxious deep voice). She cannot handle disappointment/things not going her way. She can't handle her emotions. What if my no-tolerance approach to teach her "normal" responses does more damage? REALLY need some Wise Mama help for my active daughter!!!

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Old 05-21-2018, 08:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

So first, great job on seeing issues and wanting to change them. Also great job on seeing some behavior as a result of the situation/environment rather than a 'bad attitude/kid'

Next, consider that while she 'can' do those things at school, they might be taking a great effort.

So, something to consider is that gentle might not always be 'quiet'...it can be a real hoot. Try some humor. She stomps when you talk to her, then both of you 'march' while you talk. Make a game of it 'ok, we need to move our feet. Let's be soldiers and march...and sing.. (if you know any marching songs, this is the place to change them and roll with it) ' I can see us doing "I don't know but I've been told..(in the Army, this would be repeated) My legos on the floor is getting old'. Finding rhymes becomes a game.

If my kid yelled and fell on the floor, it would be asking for some serious humor. 'OH NO, X has fallen ill to the VAPORS (make it odd sounding). She needs rest, run off to bed, X.' x does not run off to bed 'Oh dear, she is too weak. I'll just put a blanket over her'. The trick is that she doesn't get to go back to playing or whatever until she is 'well enough to listen to what you need to tell her.'

Faces, If you really think it is just avoiding listening, I would honestly get on her level (physically) and make faces with her (make sure they are silly) and after a bit just ask 'ok, are we done with this, because I need to talk to you now'.

The important thing here, imo, is to 'team build'....working together. Some of this will depend on what you are trying to get across, so examples would be good.


As for the chair, I would not find it 'ungentle' to remove the chair and let her stand for whatever she is doing. I've seen too many chairs break under the twisting and pushing for 'chair gymnastics' to not see it as a safety issue. You just have to make sure she knows she is welcome to the chair if she want to sit and not make it a punishment.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:07 AM   #3
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

It sounds like a fear response. The best way to ease the causes of fear response is to consistently parent without harshnes and with grace. If it were me, I would ignore the moving and laughing, as bringing attention and focus on it makes it worse. I would tell my kiddo what I needed them to know, have them repeat it back so I can be sure they heard, and move on. I am a huge fan of TBRI which is an attachment parenting trauma healing approach. One of the biggest points they make is leveling the correction to the behavior.

It takes years to re-establish trust. You are doing a great job by changing your parenting, but your kiddo needs to see that this is permanent. They need to feel safe and that they trust you. At this point, I think focusing on your own behavior is key. In time your kiddo’s fear response should diminish.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

Question: is she physically advanced and competent or does she have some clumsiness going on?

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Old 05-21-2018, 08:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

Oh! You also say she cannot handle her emotions. What have you done to teach her emotional regulation? We do lots of role play and practice using our calm down techniques at times before we need them.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

MudPies has good tips. I would ignore anything that can be ignored. Moving around or laughing innaprpriately would just mean I ask her to repeat what I said. My 6 year old doesn't hold eye contact when I'm talking to him and he often moves around during a conversation. I make sure he stays close by ("comer over here while I'm talking to you, don't walk away") but he doesn't have to be still or look at me. I say "what did I say?" Or ask what he's meant to do and he almost always can repeat it back to me. Practicing proper behavior is very helpful, so in the moment you can refer to what you've been practicing so you're not trying to teach something AND address something else. Two lessons at once is too much. I also agree with Celtic, maybe consider that these behaviors are a result of keeping it together while in school. Perhaps she needs to find another way to express all this so that she can pay attention to you when she needs to. I have a child with an anxiety disorder, so I know this is a lot easier to say than to do, but I think ignoring as much as possible and finding better ways to express these feelings/desires/needs will really help you both.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

There may be a discomfort in being corrected that she genuinely feels with her entire body. I mean even as an adult being corrected in anyway is uncomfortable.

I would give her an opportunity unity to get the muscles sorted before trying to speak to whatever the issue is at the moment.

“I see you are having a tough time controlling your body while we talk. Let’s take a minute to stretch really high to the sky get up on those tippy goes. Great. Let’s now push our feet hard into the floor and bring our body down into a tight ball. Ok think we can slowly stand up and fold our hands now to talk?” Something like that. Or if movement would make it worse I’d invite her To go to a safe calm place until she has calmed her body herself then invite her to talk after a few moments. Note I am not advocating a time out! It’s a pause to collect their emotions and muscles not a punishment. When correcting I’ve found fewer words are better too. Over explanation can cause wiggles even after they’ve gotten them sorted out because the emotional discomfort can increase the longer you over explain why you are correcting the chosen behavior.

Minor Hints like rocking back and forth on heals or safely swinger her arms I would ignore. Bigger stuff like screaming and throwing herself on the floor would cause me to try the examples above. Like I said even adults have their little tics when being corrected. Think about the head co k the shoulder shrugging, wringing it hands, wiggling toes in your shoes or bobbing knees up and down if sitting. And we’ve had years and years to sort out how to manage uncomfortable moments.
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Old 05-21-2018, 11:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

Early birddoesstuff like this.

I need to come back and read this when I can think about it more.

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Old 05-21-2018, 11:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

Would also not - most def not - make sitting still a home thing. It may be all she can do to try and sit still at school all day. Kids are just not wired to sit still.And also agree that the facial expressions and other things may be a response from past harsher parenting - no judgements here. At school she has not had that to factor in so may be able to relax in that respect? I agree that continuing to change the way you want to parent and if a yell comes out be quick t let her know you are sorry and dont want to be a yelling mom.In fact I would talk to her about how you dont like to yell and you know she doesnt like yelling so you are really trying not to yell. Also remember that kids may or may not bottle things up at school best and worst big feelings
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

It may be too soon to consider this possibility, but it sounds quite a bit like ADHD behaviors. In girls especially, many times they will hold it together in school, and by the time they expend that much energy doing that all day, they have none left for self regulation when they get home. It sounds like you do have some questions about diagnosable behavioral issues, if you have already considered Asperger's. It may not hurt to get an evaluation for her, if you are questioning these things.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

My ADD 8 year old was VERY much like this at 6. She has, without any intervention, pretty much grown out of it (the behaviors when she is being talked to, not the ADD) in the last 2 years. So much so that I forgot how much she was like that until reading your post.

My not ADD 6 year old son is also a little like this, but not to the extent that she was.

And with all of my kids, I've seen that 6 is just an age of BIG EMOTIONS. They grow out of it. Even my 8 year old, who is still a pretty big emotions person, is nothing like the CANNOT HANDLE LIFE meltdowns all day person that she and her siblings all were/are at 6.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

Six is still so little. Others have given great advice but I wouldn't read too much into these things unless there's more to this picture. It sounds like, more than anything, this is annoying you. One thing you could try is that you close your eyes when she starts this. You could say, "The faces you're making are distracting me so I'm going to talk with my eyes closed for a bit." And just see what happens.

I don't allow chair gymnastics as a safety and budget issue.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:40 AM   #13
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

We got a small home trampoline (like three foot across) and Nathan is allowed to jump quietly or sit and bounce while we have a conversation. He goes to therapy and she has TheraPutty (like silly putty but doesn't get caught in fabrics and such) - he's allowed to pull and play with the putty 100% of the time he's there, and she rarely asks for any eye contact. Nathan is 11, but he's been like this FOREVER. I think it's some version of ADHD - he is demanded to be still during school, so he's gotta get his wigglies out somehow - at home it's the trampoline most often. If it's not the trampoline, it'll be my furniture or his bed.

Taking a hard-nose line at "SIT STILL" is the worst thing for this kind of issue with Nathan. It's a bit like kids with tantrums - they can hold it together at school, but when they get home they fall apart because they know their family will still love them. Well, he holds it together all day at school and rarely disobeys directions to sit still or stay in his seat... and when he gets home he has no. more. sit. still. left. to give me.

I also saw that at six (he's 11) it wasn't as obvious what was going on. He tried harder to keep it together at home as well, and sometimes was successful. That led me to think he wasn't trying hard enough or I wasn't expecting enough. It was the opposite - I was already expecting too much.

This was our experience ... I hope it helps you a bit.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:51 AM   #14
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

Yes to the mini trampoline and having her sit on an exercise ball. My son liked to move and stand when younger. As a young adult he works at a computer part of the day and has no trouble sitting still. Like Mrs. Hutch shared he grew out of that somewhere along the way when much younger
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Old 05-22-2018, 12:35 PM   #15
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Default Re: Unreasonable expectations for CRAZY 6 year old?

Kiara: I haven't noticed clumsiness, though she still has pee accidents from time to time. Getting her potty trained took years and I never really sure when we "arrived." Now she is 95% potty trained during the day. [Not sure yet how to direct the response to a specific poster ]

---------- Post added at 03:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:58 PM ----------

THANK YOU ALL for your advice. I feel encourage to lighten up on her, work on myself, and take a closer look at what is going on. I'll keep everyone's advice in mind. I appreciate every response. I love the advice about letting her fiddle with something and other ways to get the energy out. I also agree it is partially a fear response. I need to cut down on the length of my addresses and practice working on one simple thing at a time. Boy this will be hard for me.

I feel most encouraged by the idea that it could still be age-appropriate and/or grown out of. I'll have to work on grace to not crack down too hard on the annoying behaviors. It's so hard to feel like I'm getting through; I just want her full attention and an obedient response that feels respectful.

QUESTION: She very periodically likes to belt out songs or some sort of annoying yell in PeeWee Herman or worse type voices. VERY loudly. She does not seem aware of how intrusive this is, as she is just being herself. Instead of yelling at her, I came up with a volume button. I get her attention gently and mime turning down the volume. She responds instantly. But with all the comments about letting it all out at home, I wonder if this is wrong of me, as it seems to be an ongoing drive in her to let out loud noises and this is yet another constant correction coming her way. Should I get imaginary earmuffs...or consider it gentle training in socially appropriate behavior? It REALLY bugs me, and I don't want my two-year-old twins to learn inappropriate behavior.

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Soli Deo Gloria
To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 16:27 (KJV)

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