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Kids Acting Out

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Faith is three years old and adopted from China at age 14 months. She is bound to have had some trauma in that first year. In fact, for one thing, she came to us with a huge scar on her left hip and no real explanation for how it happened.

Lately she's been acting out at daycare. Pulling out chunks of other kid's hair, hitting kids in the face with toy trucks. Biting. Pushing.

We've had issues at home. Dave on occasion can't control his temper (this is the brain swelling and the decadron at work) and will scream, LOUD, at both Faith and I - loud enough it scares me. She always cries and I cry half the time. I admit I'm too easy on her, probably trying to make up for the screaming. therefore she pushes and pushes me.

We made an appt. with a child psychologist and Dave and I met with her on Tuesday. we got alot of good tips, some thoughts on how that first year could be affecting her, compounded by the unrest in the house, etc. We left there feeling pretty good about it, but then I went to pick her up from daycare and was told she had a horrible day with her bullying.

Is anyone else having trouble with their kids, especially young children?

Just wondering, and again sort of venting.I'm really worried about her, but I think we're on the right track with the psychologist, if only daycare won't kick her out before we get things worked out.

Dave and I, though, are both committed to changing our behaviors and already I think it is helping.


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Karen -

We have had a lot trouble with our youngest. Abby has had similar behavior issues as Faith and in fact used to be referred to as "that biting kid" :oops: . She has now gone from phycially acting out to verbally acting out - she often mimics my husband, who is a soccer coach and tends to coach the girls rather than talk to them.

Seeing a child psychologist is a great move. We have seen one for Abby for the better part of 3 years and have made tremendous progress but we still have a long way to go. Abby is borderline ADD and we have to work closely with her to help learn to regulate her emotions or things are just horrible.

I guess I am not giving you any advice because I think you and Dave are doing the right thing but I can tell we are on the same path, just a little further down and I would be happy to "compare notes" maybe your phsycologist has suggestions ours hasn't thought of or vice versa. PM me if you want.

Meanwhile, hugs and prayers coming your way. It's no fun to have to deal with this on top of everything else you have on your plate.

Have you used the massage yet?

Much Love,


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My son was in Kindergarten when I was diagnosed. Now -- he had certainly seen more than his fair share of 'change' in his 5 years up until that point. His father and I divorced when he was 2, and he and I moved about 3 times in the next 3 years. His one 'constant' was that no matter where we moved, he stayed at his daycare/school, which he continued on at for full-day Kindergarten. He had always been prone to wanting things his way, and pitching a fit if he didn't get what he wanted, but after my diagnosed, WOW. He cried at the drop of a hat, threw temper tantrums, and developed a temper unlike I had ever seen. Fortunately --when I was first diagnosed, I called his teacher and let her know what was going on and that he would probably start acting up.....which he certainly did! He would pitch fits so bad I could see the veins popping out of his neck. So much anger in such a little body.

Unfortunately, I let it go on for about a year until getting him into some sort of counseling -- mostly because I was so focused on getting myself well. When I got remarried and we moved to the house we are in now, we sat him down and told him that this was his house....and there would be no more moving. I wanted him to feel SECURE. We started counseling to work through some of his issues. Think about how scary cancer is for us as adults. I can't even imagine trying to comprehend it as a child who doesn't even understand what cancer is! One thing I realized over time was that he was better when I was calm. When I didn't feel good, I was short tempered and had little patience for typical childlike behavior. When I made an effort to not yell and speak calmly, he seemed to react in kind and things went much smoother!

He seems a little better these days (he's now eight) , but we still try to see the counselor at least once a month, just so that he has an outlet to talk to -- someone that he trust, that he can talk about ME with. It really has seemed to help. He still has outburst and angry moments, but they seem to be lessening. I have had a really bad cold this week and have been laying in bed coughing for the past two days. He has been sweet as pie to me, coming over and kissing my forehead, saying he wants to take care of me. But I can see the fear in his eyes as he watches me laying there in bed. It reminds me of my chemo days, and I am sure he is remembering as well.

Cancer is a scary thing. I guess we all need some help dealing with it in one way or another. Hang in there, she'll get through it. And so will you!

I think you are doing the right thing by getting Faith into counseling. Some things really are beyond our control and require some outside expertise!

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(((((Karen))))) , I really applaud you and Dave, Hebbie, Amy, and others for being caring and humble enough to go for expert help. What great loving parents you are!!

Take it from a former kid who has been there; it's hard when all of the adults around you are sick or overwhelmed themselves and acting "odd", and you are scared and don't have the ability to communicate any of your feelings because you don't even know what they are.

I'm sure Faith will be just fine because she has so much love and affection in her life now. BTW, my daughter is named Faith also and she is the light of my life also :)


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Boy do I hear you!! My girls are 8 and 13, but I have seen behavior changes in them this past year. Since my Dad lives with us, my kids never get to "forget" about cancer.

My oldest is very emotional at times. She cries sooooo easily these days. Of course puberty plays a part, but sometimes I get to missing her in the house and find her in her room alone a crying. When I talk to her, she wants to know how long "Papa Bill" will be around. She wants to know EVERYTHING that the doctor tells us. Of course I don't tell her everything, but I don't lie to her and make things up.

My youngest daughter just last night was sitting on the sofa with my husband and started crying. She was rubbing his face with her hand. Whe my husband asked her what was wrong, she replied that she didn't know what she would do if her Daddy got sick like Papa Bill. She said that she would cry more than Mommy does now. :cry: Boy, that made me feel terrible. I try not to cry in front of the kids, but sometimes it just happens. She has also been lashing out at us. Really snappy.

I have spoke with the school counselor and my children's teachers. The counselor has talked with my girls also. I have spoke to a friend who is a counselor. I have tried to do some things that she advised. I don't have any good advice for you as I am struggling with my kids. I think you are on the right track. Every night we say our prayers together. My youngest daughter said a couple of weeks ago, "Mommy, what would we do if God wasn't helping us?? It would be bad wouldn't it Mommy?" All I could say was, "Yep, it sure would baby."

I hope things improve with Faith. Hang in there. It's a shame these little boogers don't come with an instruction manual, huh?

In my thoughts and prayers~~~


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Hi All,

I was just reading your post about little Faith. She's such a sweet kid and is dealing with so much. No wonder she feels mad, sad, etc. There is an organization called CancerCare, based in NY. If you go to www.cancercare.org they may be able to direct you to someone who can help you deal with specific childhood issues associated with cancer. I believe they could do it over the phone, even, and their services are free. Maybe they can guide you. In the mean time, know I'm thinking of you all and wishing you health and peace.


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