Marissa and I have been really struggling for about the past three weeks. She is throwing almost constant temper tantrums. I'm talking running away screaming, slamming doors, throwing herself down on the floor, yelling, crying, writhing, flailing, thrashing like a crazy person. She saps all my energy and has me in tears by about 10:30 am every morning.
The most ridiculous part is she throws a temper tantrum over everything. EVERYTHING. Even the things she has asked for and I am in the process of giving to her. Example: She will ask for a cracker by saying "I want cracker, please.", which is great! Polite and everything! I get a cracker for her and as I am handing it to her, she throws her hands up, yells "NOOOOO!!!" and runs away screaming! What in the world am I supposed to do with that?
She also throws tantrums just for the sake of throwing them. Example: Yesterday she was throwing a fit because she wanted her rag (started out as a burp rag when she was younger and has turned into an attachment item). I told her I wanted her to ask nicely for it and then I would give it to her. She did, so I gave it to her. She then threw a fit (because I gave it to her??) and started flailing around, whipping her rag around in the air. She then said "I want ra....", realized she had the item she was about to demand, stopped dead in her tracks for about a second, and threw herself on the floor, crying. WHA??????
I have been feeling lately that she is here for the sole purpose of driving me insane. I think she is accomplishing her mission.
I have tried so many things: talking rationally and calmly to her; time-outs; spankings; taking toys and privileges away for a short time and giving them back when she has been tantrum free for a period of time; giving her choices when I can; ignoring the behavior; mimicking her behavior back to her. I try to be consistent but I will use different methods if one is not working. I know I probably don't handle every situation as well as I should every time, but I am at the end of my rope. It has gotten to the point that I don't enjoy my time with her anymore. This makes me very sad. She is going to have a major, life-changing surgery in less than a month and I want to cherish my girl right now. She makes it so hard.
I understand that she is trying to assert her independence and she is trying to figure out her place in this world, separate from me. I understand that she is still having some issues with communication and it is frustrating for her. I understand that it is in her nature to fight. She was born fighting for her life and she maybe still feels that is the only way she will survive. I understand that much of her behavior is typical but I do wonder if we are looking at a true medical behavior problem. I understand that she lives in a world where she has historically had very little to no control. She has been forced to do this or that, forced to comply with people poking and prodding her for the entirety of her life thus far. That is why I try to give her choices when I can. But even giving her choices sends her into a tizzy most times.
I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up. Please pray that I can endure her constant tantrums, that she will change her behavior soon and we can go back to being loving and kind to each other. I really miss my sweet girl and I want her back.