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I yell a lot

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My dd is a whiner not a yeller and responds to most things with an initial negative whine or explosive emotion. Probably drives me just as crazy though. It's usually a clue that she is not feeling well so when it ramps up I try to pull out my hat of ideas to get her to feel better. Mostly I try to stay calm and not get mad which is really hard and I try to remind her to use a quieter voice, big girl voice, etc.....



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My son is 5 and started with difficult behaviors last fall. He now flies off the handle at the drop of a hat - immediately engaging a flight or fight reaction. Recently, we've found it very helpful to calm him by repeating back what he's said. I continue repeating until he's calm enough to work to a solution.

Yes, doing this you have to temporarily suspend dealing with the inappropriate behavior to help him get to the root of the problem. But then you come back to it at a calm time and discuss what he could have done instead.

It's been interesting b/c I've discovered that he's not as irrational as I thought. His concerns are usually valid and reasonable. He just isn't able to properly express them.

Ex: he freaked out at a friend b/c she picked up a plastic slinky he had brought to play with. Previously, I would have gotten into it with him about sharing, etc. By repeating his words, I discovered he was concerned b/c she was eating strawberries and he doesn't like strawberries and didn't want any on his toy. Another was he was not cooperating for a picture on a lion statue with Nana. I asked a number of times for him to take the pic. He snottily said NO. Previously, I would have dealt with the rude responce and non-cooperation. By repeating, I discovered he was playing that he was riding a real lion on a safari - reasonable for a 5 year old. I took pics and got some really good ones.

I also done this with my 7 year old who is generally relaxed and had some good interactions. I found that I am much more enjoying my kids than thinking they are not cooperative and difficult to be around.

You certainly should discuss the inappopriate issues but not in the heat of the moment - at a calm time and have them help find solutions. It's a long-term learning process - sometimes feels very long term but tantrums and fights were getting us nowhere.

You're boy is older and may catch on that you're repeating so maybe you could just repeat one word or nod.

I knew engaging with him wasn't getting anywhere but didn't know what else to do.

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Hi, I am new here also. Both my 5 year old twin boys have PANDAS. They showed symptoms within two weeks of each other starting last May. It has been a roller coaster ride ever since. Both boys presented with completely different behavior changes. One had extreme facial tics, saw a big black ball in his eye, was uncharacteristically hyper and suddenly was afraid of many things such as planes crashing into our house, fires, getting locked in somewhere etc.. The other began having raging tantrums brought on by any small disappointment such as getting only one cookie instead of two. He also had eye disturbances and was often pulling at his eyelids. Both boys have issues with separation anxiety. They have been on Augmentin since June. They both responded well although the behaviors continue with less severity. We just finished a 5 day course of steroids. Things seem marginally better, but not gone.


I am curious to know how you "repeat" when your son is having a tantrum. I have noticed that my son is not as out of control of his behavior as I first thought. It is almost impossible to get thru to him when he is in the middle of an "episode", but it seems that when he decides it is over, he is suddenly his normal self. Sometimes I am able to say something that strikes a cord with him and he is done. Can you give me an example sentence so I can understand exactly what you mean. I would like to try it.



Thanks so much.


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Hi Kari. i sent you a pm with examples of the nitty-gritty repeating. it's based on the book the explosive child by ross greene. i've found it very helpful.


daniel also has the tantrums you describe of one cookie vs two - we start taking the game out of the box when he was walking into the room as opposed to him already sitting down, etc.


we've also started a "good things i've seen" list on the refrigerator. you make a list of 20 qualities you'd like you're child to have as a person - cooperative, flexible, kind, patient, helpful etc. whenever they do something of those qualitites, you write it on the list and emphasis the positive. we're doing it with 5yo PANDAS and 7 yo not. both boys eat it up! i think they are becoming more aware of these behaviors and wanting to display them.


the major difference, however, is that i can look at the list too and see the wonderful things that they do actually do in a day instead of being so frustrated with the negatives. generally, daniel may have 1-2 tantrums a day for 20 minutes or so. they can be bad and it's easy to think the day has been made up of that. doing this, i can realize there is a lot of other time that is good.

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