Sigh...I'm here again seeking some input on my 5 year old's behavior. It has really deteriorated over the past month or two and I'm not sure why; she turned 5 at the beginning of June. I will try to keep this as short as possible, because I could probably write a whole book about her and what could possibly be causing her issues, but that would take too long. She has meltdowns at least once a day, sometimes several, often over very ridiculous things. She's started screaming/screeching...and I mean screaming at the top of her lungs screaming, mostly at me it seems if she can't have what she wants or I try to get her stop playing and come eat dinner or brush her teeth, stuff like that. She's gotten very defiant and literally seems to want to be 'the boss' and for every conceivable thing to go her way, and if it doesn't, she gets angry and frustrated. She seems to act her worst whenever I'm around, which makes me feel even worse. And the past few days she's hit me and thrown things a couple times. My mother in law lives with us and watches her during the day while DH and I are at work, and she says she doesn't act like this at all while we're at work, that she starts up after we get home. :-( She just seems to be slowly worsening over time, not improving; although there certainly are days when she seems to do well. She can also be very clingy and needy much of the time. There've been major changes in the past two years in her life, but the only recent change was taking her out of her pre-school for a few weeks since she'll be starting Kindergarten in a few weeks. I don't have much experience with kids, but her outbursts are what I might expect from a 2-3 year old, not a 5 year old; I'm pretty sure this behavior isn't considered normal at 5, is it?
Her eating is another big thorny issue that worries me...I could write a whole other post on that actually; she's extremely picky and rejects new foods and seems to have traits of selective eating disorder if I had to guess. Which is also very frustrating because I'm sure healthier eating could improve her behavior and emotions, but I have been unsuccessful thus far in changing her eating habits. She started off life a very good eater and now all she wants is carbohydrates, chocolate, and snack foods such as Goldfish. She doesn't even like chicken nuggets anymore; I have never heard of a kid not wanting chicken nuggets, ugh.
Yesterday I took her for her first appointment with a 'play therapist'... I don't know what to expect from play therapy or whether it will help, but it's what the pediatrician recommended right now.
I said I wouldn't go into what possible causes are, but I think she does miss me and DH a lot since we both have demanding jobs; and I'm a nurse so I work long hours and my job is really stressful and exhausting; I also have thyroid issues and anxiety/depression issues so sometimes it's hard for me to muster the energy to play and be positive/upbeat around her. And I'm not dealing with her very well anymore; I've started crying in front of her a lot more, mostly after she screams at me, and I know that's not good, but sometimes I can't help it. I feel like I'm relying more and more on my mother in law to take care of her because I don't feel emotionally equipped to handle her when she's acting up :-(