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Old 01-11-2018, 10:53 AM
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Pestle Pestle is offline
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Default 20mo DCB With 'Roid Rage

Okay, not ACTUAL 'roid rage. But basically.

I've had the little guy since he was 3mo. He's on the cusp of talking--has about six words, uses them appropriately, babbles with lots of intonation. He's a serious kid who prefers to play alone, but he smiles and chuckles and laughs, gives hugs, participates in circle time and wedges himself into the bigger-kid activities, and likes to snuggle up to me.

All that to say, I think this is just standard frustrated-kid-who-can't-quite-talk behavior. But it's a problem. This is my best family and I won't be terming, so I've got to figure out some better coping skills to ride out these behaviors. They started at around 18 months and have escalated to the point where they're pretty extreme. Here's the deal:

-When frustrated, he immediately goes rigid, flings himself onto his back, and screams with balled-up fists and a beet-red face.

-He gives ZERO warning that he's getting frustrated. There is no time to redirect.

-The things that frustrate him are never the same from day to day. Yesterday, he flipped out (and tried to flip over) while I was diapering him in the bathroom. It was our regular routine, up until the moment he tried to brain himself on the tile floor. Yesterday, he also freaked out while riding a trike. No other kids around. It didn't look like he got stuck or rolled over his foot or anything. He suddenly just started screaming until he could hardly breathe, stood up off the trike, slammed it into the ground over and over, then doubled over with his palms on the pavement, discovered that he'd just covered his palms with grit, and, while screaming in rage about the grit, LICKED the grit from his hand. Which made things worse. So he screamed louder and came running to me to wipe him off. Last week, he climbed up the first step in our playroom, waved his arms above himself like King Kong while screaming in frustration, and did a swan dive onto the carpet. He wasn't happy when he landed! I'm not so much worried about this--if he wants to fling himself all over the place, he'll do it until he figures out that he hates the hard landing. At least he's not hurting anybody else.

-But if there's somebody within arm's reach, he goes for the bite instead of the flip. He's started biting hard, pulling hair, and slapping. He bites and slaps me, too. When he does that, I immediately put him on the other side of a gate and let him scream until he's calmed down. I'm keeping him away from the other kids most of the time. It's usually in response to either another kid touching his toy, getting close to him, or having a toy he wants. Today, he stood at the kitchen gate to watch me prep his lunch; when he turned and noticed another child watching me, he reached out and grabbed her cheek and PULLED as hard as he could.

-He does this at home, too, and the parents are freaked out (only child) and also immediately separate from him when he's aggressive with them.

-Between myself and the parents, he's on a healthy diet, with plenty of sleep.

-I managed a previous kid who bit by giving him toys to gnaw on, but that kid was doing a lot of oral exploration and also gave plenty of warning before he bit. I'm not seeing the cues here to jam a chew toy into this guy's mouth before he tries to take a chunk out of my knee.

So. . . just keep on keeping on?
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:15 AM
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Ariana Ariana is offline
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My first instinct is a nap first thing in the morning and see if it helps. Also, is his belly full at those times. Since there is very little rhyme or reason for the outbursts this would be my guess even if the parents say he is getting enough sleep.

I had a little guy that was apparently getting 12 hours of sleep at night but always needed an hour nap here. He would then take the regular nap for two hours too. He was the whiniest kid on the planet without his naps.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:33 AM
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Pestle Pestle is offline
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Yeah; we've reverted back to two naps. In the morning, I say, "Oh, bummer. You hit me. We do not hit. Nap time!" And sometimes he naps, and sometimes he doesn't. I also try to give him a snack, but he's breakfasted right before he arrives and he's still pretty full.

He eats at 9am, 11:30am, and 2:30pm. He usually does seconds at both snacktimes but leaves some on his plate at lunchtime.
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