The past month or so I've been beyond frustrated with Hannah's behavior. She's growing more defiant and deliberately antagonistic by the day. She's growing stronger as she gets bigger and her kicking and hitting hurt a lot more now than they used to and she's getting much harder to restrain to keep her from hitting us. At a loss for what to do about her behavior (having tried about every trick in every parenting and medical book out there) we decided to consult a pediatric psychologist for some family therapy hoping he would be able to shed some light on what we were doing wrong and help us out of this downward spiral we seem to be in. Those sessions have pretty much been a complete waste of money. So far he hasn't given us any strategies we haven't already tried and has now swung 180 degrees from his initial recommendation that we use a sticker chart to motivate good behavior to recommending a partial hospital program for Hannah! I about freaked out on the psychologist yesterday when he suggested this. It sounds awfully extreme to me and awfully expensive! When I think of a partial or full hospital program I think about kids that are dangerous. Hannah's not dangerous, she's just extremely challenging. If we don't put a halt to some of her behaviors she could be dangerous once she's older and bigger, but right now she's not dangerous and so I think a partial hospital treatment program is way out of line. Have any of you out there had any experience with programs like these? Am I totally off base here? Needless to say, I'm in the market for a new psychologist because we do desperately need the help. What would be the most helpful would be some sort of therapeutic Super Nanny type person who could come to our house and simply observe what goes on for several days in a row, maybe a full week, and then help us develop a plan to better manage Hannah's behaviors. She doesn't display many of her most challenging behaviours at school so I feel like the same thing would happen at the partial program since it's run very much like a preschool. The herd mentality, or maybe it's just that she's not completely comfortable there, whatever the reason she saves up everything for home. The moment I pick her up she lets it all hang out. I need someone to see her in action like that, not in the structured school/therapy environment. Does a therapist like this even exist? If so, what would they be called? I'd love to know so I could google them and see if I could find someone in our area that could help us out.
Another question for all you veteran parents out there, when is it no longer considered an annoying, but age appropriate stage for a child to get into lotion, chemicals, etc and smear them all over themselves and anything else they can find? This is what Hannah did on Monday. When she was supposed to be upstairs getting her pajamas on she instead went into our bedroom, climbed up to Kyle's dresser (which she can not reach without climbing) and got his Nivea lotion, hydrocortisone cream, and the fish tank chemicals-all things she KNOWS she is not allowed to touch- and then proceeded to smear the lotion and cream all over her body plus the carpet, her bedsheets, a book, and some toys. She then dumped out all the fish tank chemicals on the floor (thank Jesus she did not swallow them!) and then lied to me when I called upstairs and asked what she was doing by saying, "I'm just looking at my books" The next day, after now being banned from our bedroom, she snuck into our bedroom and got my package of birth control and hid it under her bed. The next day she went through my purse (which she KNOWS she's not allowed to do) and took my cell phone out while I was using the bathroom and hid it from me. Then today, right in front of both Kyle and I she decided to smear chapstick all over her face! She ground it into her eyebrows so hard that Kyle had to really scrub to get it all off before taking her to school! Is this something that all kids do at her age? If so, how long does this stage last? I'm getting multiple gray hairs from this new behaviour. I've ordered some medicine and chemical safes to put everything in to keep her from getting at any more medicine or chemicals since putting them up out of her reach obviously doesn't do the trick so hopefully that will stop that part of the problem from a safety standpoint, but what do I do about this taking things and hiding them? What about the other less noxious chemicals such as hand soap and shampoo. When will it be safe to put them back down where they are convenient?