What happened to my wonderful, kind, thoughtful DD?

(19 Posts)
OohMrDarcy Tue 12-Mar-13 09:26:31

DD is just recently 6. Before christmas (for her whole life) she was this wonderful, kind, thoughtful girl - so loving and generous with herself. When I was ill she'd be offering me drinks / cuddles / all sorts - so so lovely.

Ever since Christmas, she has been getting more and more selfish and uncaring... its getting so bad I'm running out of ideas. She doesn't listen to a thing I say most of the time, and when she does - she ignores it and carries on with what she was doing. She doesn't seem to care about anything other than what SHE WANTS - all the time, not caring who she upsets, what the consequences etc.

I am torn between thinking there is some kind of hormone surge going on (and hoping it goes away soon) or wondering if she has suddenly become spoilt.

I have tried talking to her about her behaviour at times when her brother is in bed, and she seems to understand and says she will change it etc, but then come the morning its back to normal.

At the moment I am at the point of wanting to stop her going to the afterschool clubs she wants next term, and half the time I feel like 'sending back' her main christmas present as she doesn't deserve treats!

Someone please tell me this too shall pass? Or give me some tips on how to get my wonderful girl back! I am dreading parents evening next week at school in case her behaviour has translated through into school too ....

BalloonSlayer Tue 12-Mar-13 13:34:20

Is she jealous of her brother?

I presume she is in year 1 . . . it is a bit harder than reception (I was told reception is 30% work, 70% play but in year 1 it is the other way around), maybe she is feeling the strain a bit.

When my eldest started school he was awful when I picked him up and when he got home. it seemed to me that he had had to be on his best behaviour all day and by the time I picked him up he had used all the good behaviour up and didn't have any left. grin

Rather than dreading parents' evening, use it to your advantage. Tell them about the changes in her character. It may very well be due to unhappiness at school, or that she's made friends with someone with that sort of behaviour and is copying them . . . it's your chance to find out!

Aranea Tue 12-Mar-13 13:39:16

I think it's a normal stage of development (I hope!). My 8yo DD1 used to be painfully empathetic to the extent that I really struggled to conceal it from her if I had hurt myself, as she would be so distressed. From about 6 she stopped being like that and is much more wrapped up in her own world. If you point things out to her she has all the right responses, but she no longer notices other people much if she is thinking about something else. I suspect it is a stage on the journey to being an independent person, and I would be very surprised if you find the behaviour is a problem at school.

OohMrDarcy Tue 12-Mar-13 14:15:01

I don't think she is jealous of her brother, he's 3 and she gets more of 'me' than he does, due to doing her reading with me / chatting when he's gone to bed (she goes to bed 15 mins later to give us some time to talk ).... I will keep an eye out for that though

she loves school - really loves it, she does have a friend who is 'difficult'.... has been on and off friends since the start of reception so I don't think thats the change - though she did have problems with her for quite a while. Will definitely be mentioning it to her teacher (who is lovely) fingers crossed she has some idea whats going on!

oh the other thing is she's always been a tryer - we always taught her the old addage 'if at first you don't suceed, try, try again' and until recently she has always tried her best at things.... again since Christmas, if she thinks she is the best at something- say her swimming group.... she just doesn't bother trying. To the point she has been moved group in swimming lessons because she was just pissing about for the whole half hour - not listening at all... luckily for us- her teacher knew what was going on and has moved her into a group with a girl who is the same level but a year older, so has that additional maturity / willingness to work - thats helped hugely with swimming (gone from no progress for months - to going up 2 levels, and doubling the length she can swim - to 100m) , but I get the distinct impression she is the same with reading / maths type stuff at school lately... will bring it up with teacher too

Thanks for the thoughts Aranea, I guess it could be her starting to find her way - just hope she gets a bit better soon!

Watching with interest as my 6yo DD is exactly the same at the moment. I feel like we're always clashing. She won't do anything she's asked and has reverted to toddler tantrums when she doesn't get her way.

Watching with interest as my 6yo DD is exactly the same at the moment. I feel like we're always clashing. She won't do anything she's asked and has reverted to toddler tantrums when she doesn't get her way.

OohMrDarcy Wed 13-Mar-13 22:32:12

hi choppy, glad its not just me!

so yesterday we had confirmation that dd had a space on the two clubs she asked for for summer term (jump rope and dance clubs).... adds up to over £40 for the two so I waited for a 'good' moment and spoke to her... said about it and that I wouldn't be happy paying that kind of money for clubs (this is on top of rainbows and swimming) so if she wanted me to confirm the place she had to improve her behaviour ....probably a bad parenting decision but hey confused confused

so far, since then she has been the wonderful girl I love so much again.... she's done her homework ( reading, and afew maths q's) , not fought with her brother, helped me putclothes away grin I don't expect her to be perfect, but even if she can keep up halfway back to normal I will be happy.....

fingers crossed for the next few days

topsmart Thu 14-Mar-13 20:49:25

Watching too as my 6 yr old is the same. Choppy, funny you've noticed this thread too smile
Glad to hear you've seen improvement. We had horrid play date today - well, they had fun half the time but my DD was just so awful at sharing it was embarrassing. She was mean to her friend's toddler brother, talked back to me and encouraged her friend to be naughty... I'm so sleep deprived with DD2 that I can't tell what's normal silly 6 yr old behaviour and what I should tackle.
I've told her she has to share nicely with friends on Saturday else no school pals round for a month. Not sure if I'm setting her up for a fall or if it'll work!
We seem to be tackling other unacceptable behaviour (eg getting ready and out of the house in the morning) with a tick list and marble reward jar - working a treat. But it's her friendships I worry about. She's so bossy!! I've ordered a book recommended in another thread, will let you know if it helps. Chin up everyone grin

OohMrDarcy Thu 14-Mar-13 21:33:30

Back to not listening / rudeness tonght.... sigh

Goldmandra Fri 15-Mar-13 09:54:51

Back to not listening / rudeness tonght.... sigh

You might want to have a think about how you responded to her making an effort up to this time.

Did you greet her renewed efforts with praise and enthusiasm, telling her how lovely it was to have the old her back? Or were you a bit reserved because you knew she was doing it for her own ends?

It is quite possible that you did respond showing pleasure and offering encouragement but if you didn't perhaps that explains why she has reverted. She won't be able to sustain the effort of she feels that you don't appreciate it, even if it is in order to get something she wanted.

Could you start afresh today, reminding her of how lovely she was for some of yesterday, expressing disappointment that it fell to pieces in the evening and agreeing a target for maintain the wanted behaviour for longer today?

OohMrDarcy Fri 15-Mar-13 14:39:40

tbh if anything I praised too much, at the end of that day I said how wonderful it was (as well as specifc praise during the day) and she agreed if was much nicer not being told off all the time.... in her defence she managed nearly two full lovely days, it was the last hour or so yesterday that the rudeness came back so maybe it was tiredness? ! i do try to start afresh each day .... we'll see what she is like after school today!

Goldmandra Fri 15-Mar-13 15:02:51

Hopefully that was just a blip then. Maybe she's just testing the boundaries. No matter how firm and consistent they are all children will check now and then just to be sure they haven't moved smile

I would still be open to the possibility that there is something causing her difficulties in school. A lot of children express school problems in their behaviour at home while putting on a marvelous front in school.

OohMrDarcy Fri 15-Mar-13 16:28:03

yes, she has been known to do that in the past.... difficult one as she tends not to open up when like that

Goldmandra Fri 15-Mar-13 16:41:25

As a parent of two children with communication difficulties I find it really helpful to find a very quiet time when we are shoulder to shoulder, rather than face to face, e.g. travelling in the car with the child in the front passenger seat, working on a craft project together, even peeling and washing potatoes, and some gentle leading questions or comments about times I have found things difficult can help my DDs open up.

Is this something you have the chance to do with her uninterrupted?

OohMrDarcy Fri 15-Mar-13 21:16:36

I can certainly give it a go, thanks for the tip

OohMrDarcy Sat 16-Mar-13 21:24:41

ok gave this a go tonight - went well, she did talk, but didn't throw up anything to work with really

she is enjoying school, finds it more fun and interesting than yr R, happy with her friends (reeled off a reasonably long list), I asked what she thought of the work now - if it was harder than last year or what and she just said it was much more interesting.... seemed really happy with everything so think I can rule that side out for now at least!

Goldmandra Sun 17-Mar-13 08:56:55

Well that sounds positive smile

Could you use something similar to give you a non-confrontational debrief when you feel that her behaviour is becoming unacceptable? It can be a good way to hear about each other's feelings in small doses and perhaps understand the other person's point of view. You might find out about some things that she sees with a different slant and she might be able to get a bit more of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of her rudeness.

I hope the good days outnumber the bad now smile

OohMrDarcy Wed 20-Mar-13 11:58:41

Some good news at least

Had parents evening and generally all good there

progressing fantastically
friendship issues from last year pretty much gone (much happier, playing with more people)
Listens well
Contributes in class
Ocassional silliness, but just silly faces nothing major
Confident in her work

So on the good side I can safely say that a) its not transferring to school, and b) doesn't seem to be caused by school

She is doing better at home - much better really, but I have to keep reminding her all the time to think about her behaviour and show examples, for example at bedtime last night she was dancing around the bathroom instead of brushing her teeth, I reminded her 3 times what she was meant to be doing, by which time her little brother (3) had stopped brushing his teeth and started copying her angry so I got down to her level, held her hands and got her to look at him - showed her that she was setting a bad example, then asked her to brush her teeth properly whilst watching him, he magically starts brushing properly again grin so at that point I praised them both and encouraged the good behaviour which continued..... think I am going to need to just put a lot of focus on it really for a while

daytoday Wed 20-Mar-13 12:43:33

I think it is a natural step on the road to independence. Think of it like puppies and kittens. They are so cute - but then they stop being so cute (metaphorically) and they start questioning and pulling and making more social/emotional mistakes. Their world is much more complicated. They can see what happens in other families, listen to their friends, they challenge things out at home. It is to be expected at some point.

Its an awful loss - the toddler munchkins goes. I felt sad when my eldest boy was at this age. Like he'd gone! But then, these children start to appear and they are more amazing - in a totally different way.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now