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My daughter will be three August 1. In the past 6 or 7 months, she has become completely out of control. I am a in home daycare provider and I actually had a parent remove her 1 year old because she was worried that Natalee's behavior was becoming too aggressive. It hurt so bad. I feel like the worst mom, but at times I just don’t know what to do. I know there is the "normal" toddler behavior, but I fully believe that this has gone way past that. She is such a smart child and talks beyond her years.
She refuses to listen to me, screams, kicks, hits and now she has started biting. If something doesn’t go her way she falls into these horrible tantrums where she throws herself to the floor bangs her head repeatedly, cries and she has even bloodied her nose on several occasions. When she gets frustrated (whether its from another kid or a toy not working the way she wants it to) she throws things or pushes people down. She has no fear of anything... which really scares me because she will climb on anything that she can. We have had to remove all play tables, baby doll strollers and limited the number of blankets in her because she will climb and jump off of everything. Its almost impossible to take her into public for fear of what she will do. She doesn’t follow even the smallest instructions or tasks such as picking up toys, staying in bed, even sitting at the dinner table to eat is a struggle now, I can't get her attention long enough to even read a book that is only 5 pages long. We have tried everything we can think of to help her, but I find myself crying more and more because of her behavior everyday. We have tried time-outs, taking toys away and I have even had her in her peds office and nothing is helping. It has gotten to the point that even my close friends or ladies from my mommy group have stopped inviting us to do things with them. I feel like I have completely failed as a mother.
Here is what happened tonight...
We went to the grocery store, just me and her. She wanted to walk like a big girl and carry a basket, so I got down on her level and said "You may carry this basket, but please do not put anything in it unless mommy tells you its ok. Show mommy how you can act like a big girl!" We made it about a minute and then all hell broke loose. She was throwing anything she could reach into her basket, when I asked her to stop she yelled at me and just took off running from me. I finally caught up to her (now that everyone in the store is starring at us) and made her put every item back in the correct spot. I then picked her up and she started hitting me, so I put her in the basket part of the cart turned around to grab something off a shelf and she started throwing everything out of the cart. I was so embarrassed, upset, crying, mortified and I felt like I was going to have a panic attack! I picked up as many broken items as I could and paid for them but left the rest of the food in the cart and walked out.
I probably worry more because I was diagnosed with Adult ADD at 19 and I have a very strong history of mental illness on my moms side. I have my ADD under control thanks to a wonderful regimen of medications. Do you think this is just "normal" behavior or do I have legitimate reasons to be concerned? Everyone in my family, including my DH, thinks I am just over reacting. I, on the other hand just feel like I am losing control of my child and that to me is the worst feeling ever.
Holli... Wife to Allen 11/25/06 and Mommy to Natalee 08-01-08
3 is a hard age to decide ADD or typical 3 year old. My 3 year old is a holy terror, she throws THE biggest fits I have ever seen! And I mean trashing her room, breaking her bed, hitting spitting, she is awful has me in tears half the time, but that is her personality, she has always been high maintenace.
I knew with my boys pretty much right away, tyler was dx'd in kindergarden and Austin when he was 7. Their teachers are the ones who really helped me get things started with them. It might be hard to find a DR to even diagnose a 3 year old.
I would find a really good child psychologist that specializes (or at least is very well versed) in early childhood. Many will not see patients under the age of 5-6. So it takes some digging and searching. If you can get someone good, they can give you a good diagnosis and and insight into what is going on, and therapy to help.
Play therapy might also be really good, (and a little easier to find ones that do early childhood). My daughter has had some somewhat similar issues. She started going to a play therapist at age 3, we just recently took her to a psychologist (she is 5). The play therapy has been very good.
My daughter has sensory processing disorder, and just recently got diagnosed for ADHD by a psychologist, and also through a social skills group she's been going to this summer. Since she is so young, i wanted to be very sure before we went the medication route. It has been very beneficial so far, and no bad side effects.
At her young age - it's probably too young for meds, or at least may want to give some therapy a chance to make some improvements first. The good news is is that she is so young and pliable, you have all the time in the world to help her out!!