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Caring for the High Maintenance Child
By Kate Andersen.

Child with Short Fuse. February, 2018.
Dear Kate:
We have a 5 1/2 year old daughter that has been chronically inflexible and easily frustrated.....
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 B-DI News
A Newsletter About Caring for the High Maintenance Child

by Kate Andersen, M.Ed.
Issue Theme: Children with a Short Fuse-Negative Mood & Inflexibility
Volume 20, Issue 6, February, 2018.

Letter to Kate
by Kate Andersen, M.Ed.

Dear Kate,

We have a 5 1/2 year old daughter that has been chronically inflexible and easily frustrated that seems to be getting worse instead of better. This is usually home-based, shown against the parents only. The child will easily go into a "vapor lock", usually w/no apparent triggering event. We have tried various skills in trying to back out of this "vapor lock" but it usually ends into "brain melt-down" where all her comprehension and reasoning is replaced by explosive behavior (i.e. screaming, kicking, hitting).

Time-outs, as you may have guessed, are not effective and only exacerbate the situation. We have tried the compromise method but it's usually not about the child getting her way but rather not answering her question in the correct way or not being concrete (i.e. telling her it "might rain" enrages her - she wants to know if the answer is "yes" or "no"). We know that this is frustrating to her and is not done because of a control issue (she is otherwise a loving child) but can't find any technique to calm her down at the "vapor lock" stage or even to avoid it. We answer all of her questions by holding our breath, not knowing if the answer will trigger her.

Thanks for any advice,

Parents at wits end!

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