Temper tantrums, a spectacular display!...

The kids're off school this week so of course i'm feeling off kilter anyway (you may remember that B goes to his dads during school break), not helped by the fact that everyone else seems off kilter too. R is really feeling it, we've had a couple of crying sessions today, one quite major as we descended from slight disagreement to the screaming banshee from hell! She wasn't happy either! No, really, most of the time i can keep calm and as she gets older the 2 second warning has extended so much that most of the time quick thinking on my part can avert disaster - not today! To be fair i wasn't as calm as usual, i'd had a bad night and was in a lot of pain and wasn't very mobile at all. I was supposed to go shopping today but that went out of the window much to R's displeasure. She had it in her head that she wanted a tuna sandwich so of course we didn't have any tuna. This was thankfully resolved by going to Kayleighs house for a tin of tuna - problem solved! Actually , no, she got back armed with her tin of tuna and a smile which quickly vanished when we discovered that there was no bread! How much bread can we go through? I'd bought 2 loaves less than 48hrs ago??!! I tried to suggest tuna pasta (a firm favourite generally) but that wasn't going to satisfy today. She disolved into a wailing wreck, made worse of course by the fact that she's now hungry. I really did try to stay calm but ended up yelling that it was tuna pasta or nothing, which didn't help. On the positive side 'cos we'd been arguing so long the pasta was actually cooked and presented on a plate so the argument that it would take too long no longer counted. A few more tears and sobs later, followed by a kiss, cuddle and apology from mam for shouting and the first crisis was over.

A couple of hours later the main event started. R is 7 years old, i remind you of this 'cos i think sometimes she forgets and therefore expects everyone else too. She has never been allowed to walk to the village postoffice alone, nor will she be allowed to for quite some time yet. She wanted some sweets from the shop and wanted to go and get them for herself, which i obviously refused, i explained (for the umpteenth time) that the road wasn't safe and that no matter how sensible she is she can't make bad drivers driving improve just so she could go for sweets. The siren went off at this point, BIG time. It really was a spectacular display, the full screaming, kicking, i hate you(ing), you're the worst mam ever , you hate me, i'm sick of being treated like a baby i want to do it mineself (she used to say this as a baby all the time, it still slips out sometimes when she's angry). Her face actually went purple almost. At this point, of course, there's no point in even trying to speak to her as she's far beyond rational thinking. A few years ago this would have descended into a general demolition of anything in her path, she used to pull drawers out and fling toys across the room, throw herself onto the floor and much more besides. I used to be terrified that she'd hurt herself in her rage but i learned to let her get on with it. Once she'd reached that point the best thing to do was to walk away from her and let the hysterics run their course, if i tried to intervene before then it would just fan the flames causing them to burn for longer. It was really difficult to do this, all my instincts were screaming at me to go back and hold her -or yell right back!! - but i've had to learn that it wasn't the best course of action. If i leave her to get on with it the it burns down far quicker than if i'd intervened. It usually ends with her having stomped up to her bedroom until the shockwaves have passed and then she comes downstairs absolutely shattered and emotionally drained and all she wants is a cuddle. I really do worry about her, none of my other kids have had a temper like this, she has told me that she gets a feeling in her tummy, it gets sort of hot and bubbly and then she knows what's going to happen. It's so difficult, over the years shs has actually lashed out at me a number of times, at her siblings too. It had got to the point that when she lashed out at Brandon a couple of times he did actually hit her back. When i told him not too his answer was that it's not fair that she keeps on hitting him and nothing ever dets done about it. I explained that i did tell her off about it and it's not the right thing to do. His theory? He doesn't mind if i speak to him for hitting R, it doesn't hurt him like R hitting him does, i always talk to R about it but she carries on doing it so why shouldn't he? What do i say? He's right. All the talking to her in the world hadn't stopped her from hitting him and it is grossly unfair that she hits him when she doesn't get her own way. I must confess that i really struggled - and still do to a degree - with this one. My mums answer is give her a good hiding, that'll sort her out. I don't want to give my daughter a good hiding, I've had enough of those over the years to know that it wont solve the problem and those memories would blight our relationship for many years to come. So, what do i do? Both R and i know that her hitting out and eruptions of temper are not acceptable behaviours, talking doesn't /hasn't helped, i'm not open to giving out 'good hidings' and i don't know what else to try.
Next on the agenda is removing of priviledges but what is a priviledge? Do i let the others do something that she wont be allowed to do? Do i stop her from having friends over? How do i do this in a way that she'll understand? She already knows that she's not supposed to hit people, she understands what is and is not acceptable behaviour and most of the time she can stay within these guidelines but sometimes she just can't do it. Any suggestions?....

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