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In this episode, pioneering child psychologist Laverne Antrobus meets mum Lacey and her three children in Essex. It’s Lacey’s younger daughter, 8-year-old Rayne, whose outbursts of aggression and physical violence have brought their relationship to breaking point. Diagnosed with ADHD and excluded from school, Rayne behaves “like a wild animal,” according to her mother. However, Lacey doesn’t want to give her the prescribed ADHD medication, feeling it turns her into a zombie. Laverne makes a home visit to experience Rayne’s shocking behavior at firsthand. When Lacey reluctantly agrees to take Rayne to the park to burn off some energy, it’s clear that Rayne’s continual demands for her mother’s attention have made Lacey shut down to her daughter emotionally. Laverne can see that Lacey is just waiting for the next meltdown and needs to find a way of getting the pair to engage differently. The first step is to set aside 20 minutes every day for the two to play together. Bedtime is always a trigger for Rayne’s meltdowns. Laverne witnesses a battle that both mother and daughter are desperately trying to win. Rayne wants to speak to Laverne on her own and confesses that she doesn’t like herself at times and finds her anger overpowering. Surprisingly, from what Laverne has seen, even in the depths of her rage, Rayne just wants her mom to give her a hug. Laverne chats to Lacey about her own emotions: her strategy of meeting rage with more rage clearly isn’t working, and if she can keep herself calm, Rayne will respond differently. Lacey seems unconvinced but tries a whole new bedtime approach: more fun at bathtime, followed by a story. It goes unbelievably well, but Lacey doesn’t believe changing her behavior has had such a positive effect on Rayne. As Laverne leaves them to put into practice the new parenting techniques, will Lacey be able to master her anger in order to help Rayne conquer her own?
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