How do you solve a problem like B?

I’ve mentioned B’s wild behavior before. Tomorrow morning she has her annual physical with a new doctor. I spoke with her main teacher yesterday about this, who had offered to write up some things to bring with us, but she never got the chance (which I totally understand). The thing is, I’m not sure how to describe her to someone else. Her teacher did say that she is not being affected cognitively, meaning she is on track developmentally and her behavior is not interfering with her learning. “But I could totally see in first grade, second grade the teacher wanting to meet with you.”  I don’t want to wait till then!!

I do think B would behave differently if she were an only child. She does (usually) respond well to one-on-one attention. The sad thing is, she rarely gets it. I am only one person, and I have two children. The teachers at school have many children to deal with. For myself, I worry that her behavior has caused me to want to spend less time with her – that we’re in some sort of downward spiral – she acts out, so I avoid her, she acts out because I’m not giving her attention, I avoid the acting out….and so on, and so on. So much of the attention she gets from me is negative – “Stop jumping on the furniture!” “Stop banging on the wall” “We write on paper, not <whatever>.” Her impulsiveness seems to be more that of a younger child – I feel she should have grown out of a lot of it by now. She can also be very oppositional, for no good reason. She can scream “NO!” at the top of her lungs, at the smallest request. Her teacher has described her as having a short fuse. She acts out far more at school than at home, and I suspect that is due to sheer numbers. Yet they say she has grown and made progress since September.

Now, when she wants to be, she can be sugar sweet. Sometimes, when you ask her to pick up a toy, she does so with a huge smile. Other times she reacts by stomping no and with a smirk that says, “you can’t make me”.

She frequently uses taunting phrases and tones, even for benign statements, such as “Mommy’s driving the car” in that “Nah nah nah nah nah nah” sing-song that I hate.

I’m mostly writing this out to remind myself of everything, so I have thoughts formulated to relay to the doctor tomorrow.

4 responses to “How do you solve a problem like B?

  1. Bless your heart. I’m right there with you, too. In fact, I had to stop reading this post 3 times to get the Queen to stop tormenting her brother. I may have recommended this book to you before (like you have time to read it), called “Raising Your Spirited Child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. I know I recommended it to someone, but I can’t remember who. So far I haven’t found it as much helpful in dealing with her, but certainly in understanding her. Hope tomorrow goes well.

  2. Oh, OK, hope TODAY goes well.

  3. Pingback: Update on B’s Evaluation « Ragtop Day

  4. Pingback: Belle Redux « Ragtop Day

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