Member question:

My 7-year-old daughter slapped me on the face tonight. She was really upset because she lost dessert. I try to say if you do this first you can have what you want but is soon as she hears that she can’t have it right away she gets really angry. It’s bad now because of the quarantine and my husband‘s been in the hospital since Monday due to emergency surgery she’s a physical kid and when she gets angry she hits and kicks but I am exhausted caring for by myself.


Member 2 response:

I understand what you are going through. It is so hard. Visual reminders maybe to help you and the order of when dessert comes- I can even help you with pictures. My son is like this. And my husband and is a firefighter –
And there are times between that job and teaching I’m on my own for almost a week. And I’m afraid he will have to go into quarantine. I have learned it’s okay to just survive and prioritize when I’m by myself for long periods. I feel like a virtual happy hour is due- or something because lack of adult contact makes it all worse.


Member 3 response:

I had a similar incident with my son tonight over dessert. I told him he could have dessert after dinner. We were in the (parked) car and he started screaming and pulling my hair. My husband works out of town so most of the time it is me with my two boys.


Original member response:

Whoa, thank you so much. I just realized that I changed the order on her. She usually gets her treat right after dinner but I decided to try something different because the house was driving me nuts. And I told her to bring her clothes to the hamper, then realized immediately that she’d moved her hamper to my room and that I’d locked her out of my room during dinner. Then she got super frustrated because I wouldn’t unlock the bedroom right away because I was still eating dinner and didn’t want her messing around in my room. Now that I write this I’m seeing it from her side, which is what Rachel advises to do when developing a behavior road map. Thank you. I just had a virtual ladies night with some friends which helped. I agree the lack of adult interaction is hard too. You must be so worried about your husband too.


Rachel’s response:

I think one of the things that you all have in common (and I’m so glad you’re sharing because I think it helps to know that you’re not alone in something, even when it’s hard) is that you’re probably stretched to your limit right now.

Kids do have a hard time with their emotions — ESPECIALLY during this time when they already feel like things are changing and then the order of something else changes — and they don’t act mature. Hitting or aggression are NEVER acceptable. And they are also signs of how hugely our children are struggling. Especially because I know you’ve taught them that aggression is wrong, the fact that they are still doing it shows how deeply in Yuck they are.

I’m incredibly impressed that you were able to see this from your daughter’s side. You are struggling right now and it’s excruciatingly difficult to see someone else’s point of view when we are struggling.

Ultimately though, we do need to see the other person’s point of view because that’s how we solve the problem. When we recognize that negative behavior comes from a lack of tools + Yuck, then we teach kids tools (in this case, to respond differently to their Yuck so they are not aggressive) and address their Yuck, that’s when we see long-term behavior change.

And all of this requires us to have some of our deposits first. We cannot give our kids what they need when we are in Yuck/struggle/survival.

I love the idea of a virtual ladies night!! So glad you did that!