Help outfit Michael, Sarah, and John

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Help me out, here

So Keith & Kristina are adjusting really well (thus far) and so that's good, but my daughter, Anna, well, she's not doing so well. She has been having meltdowns almost daily...I'm not sure what to do. She can be extremely overemotional and be upset about very minor things. We're not sure when to coddle her and when to expect more from a 6 (almost 7) year-old. We give her affection and praise every day. We make a point of doing things with her, for her, extra snuggle time, etc. At times I feel like she may be using the adoption as an excuse to get out of doing undesirable things or to gain extra rewards for "having a hard time." I'm not sure what to do. Anyone out there have any ideas? I have considered finding a counselor to talk with her - what are your thoughts?

9 comments:

Bethany said...

I was going to suggest having date night with just her and you or just her and your DH. Also, maybe letting her take on more of a helper role with the other two kids? Maybe that will give her some satisfaction? I'm sure it is harder when you have been the only child. Good luck!

mixednutsblog said...

Consistency. Don't change how you treat her. If you wouldn't have allowed a behavior before the other kids came, don't allow it now. If you wouldn't have given her a toy before the other two came, don't do it now.

On the flip side, I know she is used to the weekly daddy nights with Tyler, so make sure that time is kept sacred (at least for now). Also try to find special things for them to do together to build the relationship there and help her realize that there will be bonuses to having siblings.

It is hard for any kid when a sibling comes along. Being an only child at her age and having two new siblings who require a lot of extra attention is going to be tough. It will take a lot of understanding, but you'll still need to keep that consistency.

Diana said...

My daughter, who was an only child for 8+ years really struggled with this - and still does! Keep the consistancy and give her as much individual attention as possible. It ISN'T going to be the same amount you gave her before, but do whatever you can to not let her get lost in the shuffle. It's a tough balancing act, for sure!

Liz said...

Sydney was four-years-old when Isaac was born and had had a lot of time with me. She started hitting kids in preschool and having meltdowns at home for a few months after he was born. Over time it all worked out but at the time it was happening it was very frustrating.

Tami said...

Its tough at any age to go from an only child to one of three, but I agree with mixednuts...don't do anything different than you did before. She is craving the consistency, the familiar.
Hang in there...she should get better with time. If not, then I wouldn't hesitate to call in a professional.

Charissa said...

When we were foster parents we had good success with family counseling. I think that would be a good start. I also think it would be great to give her her opportunities to talk about her feelings, maybe some one-on-one daddy/daughter date nights, etc. She may be sad, jealous, insecure about all the changes she has recently experienced, and it's important for you to acknowledge that it is OK for her to feel the way she does and give her a name for those feelings. I highly recommend the books Siblings Without Rivalry, by Faber/Mazlish, also How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen so They Will Talk, by the same authors....in fact it was the family counselor who recommended these. Good luck!

Kathey said...

Consistency is important, but I suspect that Daddy-Daughter dates would probably help a lot.

"Respectful Kids" is an excellent book by Dr. Todd Cartmell that may help a lot too. I heard about it on the "Focus on the Family" radio program. (I ordered it from Amazon.) Good stuff. It's not only about how to train your kids to do what you want them to, and do it quickly, but also how to teach them problem solving skills.

The two books that Charissa mentioned are excellent also. I realize that getting another book right now might not be high on your priority list. Perhaps praying about what would be the best one to get right now might be a good way to go. They all have excellent things to teach.

Love, Kathey

Suzanne said...

I would also visit with her teacher and see how it's going at school. She may have some recomendations that are working there, or she could be pulling her hair out too. She might have some resources to suggest. You've been given a lot of great advice. Consistancy is huge. Her world has turned upside down and she needs lots of encouragement when she is doing things right. Staying up later than Kristina and Keith and spending an extra hour (or 30 min) of alone time WHEN she has met your criteria for the day of being a good big sister could be a very good reward for reinforcing good behavior and no "meltdowns"! She has to EARN some priviledges that they don't have. Good luck. Such a difficult situation. I know your heart is breaking. Catch and reward good behaviors just as you are Keith and Kristina! Love you sweetie.

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