How Can I Handle My Daughter's Out of Control Behavior?

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"My daughters behavior is starting to interfere in our daily lives. She is 4 years old and her behavior is becoming overbearing. She will backtalk, hit, scream, and just not listen at all. We have took toys, whooped her, done timeouts, tried to sit her down and talk through her emotions with her. Nothing helps, she goes right back to what she was doing as soon as she is disciplined. For example yesterday we had guest over and she ran over and hit them, I took her out of the room and whooped her. She started crying and told me she was sorry. Not even 3 minutes later she ran back in here and started pulling my hair and went and smacked dad in the face. And this is a all day cycle with her. She has never been exposed to hitting or violence so I’m not sure why the hitting is a issue. From the age of 18 months she would bang her head against doors, headboard, etc. being frustrated, then started pulling her own hair. Her doctor said it was just how she dealt with her frustration, so I think maybe the hitting could also be the same? She will not listen to a word we say, for example we take her outside and she makes a run straight for the road. When we remind her everyday before we go out the dangers of running towards the road and why we don’t do it. I’m frustrated at this point and really just need some guidance on what we can do different being that no other punishments faze her."

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"Shes never been exposed to violence?? You’re hitting her!"

"Bring it up to her doctor. my daughter was so extreme at a young age and turned out she had adhd. Now I know this may not be your case which is why I suggest explaining these behaviors to a trained professional because there definitely could be something more going on."

"You're teaching her it’s ok to hit outa frustration. You can’t do that to her and think she won’t do it…"

"She’s 4 she’s still in the I can’t sit still or stop phase. At 6 become concerned."

"Behavior therapy or maybe autism. But instead of listening to us I would continue seeking until you get an answer. I work with behavior and autistic kids and this is a trait. I wish you and your family the best."

"I mean…use some logic. You’re trying to teach your child not to hit…but you’re hitting your child because they hit someone else?"

"In my area they offer in home early intervention and work with behavioral therapy! My youngest has going through similar mood swings and not being able to properly communicate and she’s on the spectrum. I’d ask your doctor for a consult to see a behavioral therapist and ask about in home early intervention."

"Take her to a behavioral specialist she might be on the spectrum or have an issue you haven’t caught."

"She has been Exposed to violence you hit her"

"Have you had her tested for autism? I have two boys on the spectrum and this immediately made me think of them from what you described. It may be worth looking into"

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Look into her diet. Are you giving her red dyed juices, cereals or other red dyed foods? Red dye Lake 40 is detrimental to kids with a sensitivity to it, which MOST kids do. Research this. It has devastating effects on their chemistry. It effects adults as well. It causes headaches, hyperactivity and digestion problems. Also, lower her sugar intake. Stop feeding her processed foods. Research has shown that red dye and processed foods actually CAUSE ADHD.

She hasnt been exposed to violence? You are literally the violence. You cant teach a child something by demonstrating the behavior you want to change. If your husband “whooped” you after you did something he didnt like, that would be abuse. My first suggestion would be to stop hitting your child. Thats abuse. My second suggestion would be to explain to her why she cant do things and using relating consequences. When you take her out to play, if she runs into the road, get her and tell her (calmly, dont scream) how dangerous it is. Tell her if she does it again, you have to go inside. If she does it again, go inside. Kids should be able to cry and have feelings without you punishing them. If your boss screamed in your face and hit you wverytime you messed up at work, that would be wrong. Why is it okay for you to do to a child???

I agree, avoid all food dyes and chocolate. They altrr behavior. Also, get her tested. May be on the spectrum. Her behaviors sound similar to my son’s. See a behaviorist as well.

Pick her up, carry her to her room, sit her on the bed and tell her she can’t come out till she can be nice. DO THIS EVERY TIME WITHOUT FAIL or she won’t take you seriously. My kids threw only 1 temper tantrum each. This is what I did. However they were between 18 months and 2 years old. Sometimes kids do need to be spanked, but obviously this is not working. She is learning violence with those spankings. When you take her to her room don’t be all lovey dovey. She needs to know your serious.

Because children need punishment. A spanking/whooping as it’s called in the Midwest is NOT abuse. Might wanna learn what actual abuse is before your consider telling someone that they are abusive.

I had a child just like this. I would even go to work with black eyes and bruises because of her tantrums. Nothing seemed to work. She would throw things at people, have tantrums where she would turn so red it was unreal. I even was denied WIC because they could not get her weighed or measured. She was only 3 when it started and come to find out, her issue was when her dad left and we got a divorce. It affected her in a big way. He barely seen him and when he did it would, she was given whatever she wanted. Children feel and dont know how to deal with their emotions yet at that age and some will act out. It took her almost a year to get out of it and a lot of patience on my end. My daughter is older now and we joke about how much of a hellion she was. Many times there is something going on and they just dont know how to express it yet. I was so frustrated back then and I bet you are as well. The doctors tried to help and give me advice and would do it but many things just would not work. Be patient and Good luck to you!! Be sure to give yourself a break because it can be very trying going through this.