im finding dd (5) infuriating!

(56 Posts)
familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 22:07:45

i dont know if its me being really intolerant or dd being a nightmare but im struggling to keep my cool.

when we go upstairs to get ready for school, i put their clothes on their beds and ask dds to get dressed. dd2 is 2 and will take her pjs off run to bathroom as ask for help washing, which i do. dd1 sits on her bed and stares about doing nothing. i offer help, she sits there. i end up nagging and nagging. she will make silly comments "i cant get dressed as im in my pjs" so i say get your pjs off get a wash and il help if you struggle with tights or whatever. i end up shouting and removing whatever toy she is aimlessly fiddling with and forcing her to get washed.

i have tried no nagging, just getting on with getting myself ready and helping dd2 a bit, i looked in after 15 mins hoping she would take it on herself to get dressed. she was stil sitting looking at an ornament hmm

at dinner, we ask her to sit on chair, facing table, eat with cutlery. every day she kneels up, sits down, kneels up, sits down, swings her legs, sits sideways, eats with her fingers, swings her arms round, sings loudly, asks for pudding when noone has finished so dd2 then starts wanting pudding. at least once a week at dinnertime she falls off her chair. at least once a week she spills her milk everywhere. every day she drops food all over the floor as she eats while facing sideways/kneeling up.

today after being reminded to sit down, she knelt up, leaned to fiddle with her shoe, slipped off chair and smashed her face/nose into dps chair causing a massive bruise on her nose and her screaming.

last week she wobbled off a chair while watching tv and smashed her mouth off the tv unit. she doesnt learn.

bathtime, every night she runs off and hides and is hysteriacl laughing, despite us telling her its naughty behaviour and just get in the bloody bath. tonight i left her hiding and just bathed me and dd2. after we got out she came in demanding a bath, i said she was too late so she screamed the house down.

i know she wants the attention of being nagged, told to stop petty stuff, found at bathtime, but its past a joke and she gets plenty of attention.

am i being intolerant? is this normal for a 5 yr old?

familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 22:09:39

she also fiddles with everything and tonight has picked at the page of her schoolbook while i listened to her read despite being told not to pick it and picked at her gym badge that i just took her to receive and paying for and has frayed all the edge.
i am fed up of telling her off.

What is her co-ordination like generally?. The things you describe could be true of a child with dyspraxia on the other hand they could be true true of any five year old just playing up. I'd try an experiment. Try and put dd2 to bed 20 mins earlier than dd1 and give dd1 some "big girl time" - may be reading a book together or playing a boad game or something. If she is doing all this for attention, you may find that just doing this solves a lot of the problem.

TwoKidsAndCounting Tue 11-Dec-12 22:17:31

Ooh totally empathise with all of that so watching this one, would love to know how to control dd behaviour and my intolerance of!

emalushka Tue 11-Dec-12 22:21:59

I am having lots of problems with my 5 year old too at the moment - it's wearing me down! She's very defiant and always does the opposite of what I ask.
To cope, I ignore as much as I can, unless she is hurting her sister or being dangerous and get her to bed early every night. I've also just taken her advent calendar from her, so I'll see if that works.
It has got a lot worse over last couple of weeks, so I'm just hoping it is related to tiredness/a long term at school and she will be better after a good rest. You have my full sympathies though. I'm finding it very hard.

familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 22:22:20

dd1 actually falls asleep before dd2, but at least 5 nights a week, dp puts dd2 to bed and i read/listen to dd1 for half an hour on our own so she gets one to one attention.
she is quite coordinated, rides a bike no stabilisers, scooter fine, started gym and walks beam easily etc.
i can put her milk down and tell her its there, remind her its right there, remind her not to wave her arms, then she waves her arms and knocks it over.
when she reads, her legs fling up and down constantly, she literally cant stop moving.

familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 22:24:16

i have seen lots of children playing up more outside school this week so tiredness/end of term is making things worse.
she is well behaved at school but has fallen off her chair several times and teacher says she doesnt learn from it. she also often doesnt have time to finish her work (cos she is gawping out the window)

familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 22:25:10

im not sure on ignoring, cos if i ignore her not getting dressed she would happily stay in room in pjs all day reading.

LaTrucha Tue 11-Dec-12 22:26:17

Yup. Sounds like a five year old. In my wide experience of one.

I find humour, backed up if necessary by a no discusion countdown of two warnings and then to her room on the third help a lot. The 1,2,3 thing is a last resort in my house but it comes from a book called 1,2,3 magic. I don't adopt his ideas wholesale. It helps me because it requires no discussion. She knows what I mean when I say that's a 1,2,or 3 so I avoid the wind up of 'I did, he didn't, you did yeah but no but yeah' that my five year old goes for.

If I find myself at the point of having to tell her off all the time I either give her a big, big cuddle (llike a couple of epsodes of Peppa Pig kind of time) or if I'm not able to do that I go and do something that needs to be done somehwere where she isn't in a pointed fashion. She soon comes running to show me how amazingly well she's done the thing I wanted her to do.

That and what educating says.

emalushka Tue 11-Dec-12 22:32:40

Just read the pyjama bit again - you really could be talking about my daughter! Could you say, 'okay, you've got 5 mins. If you're still not dressed, you're going to school in your pyjamas.' Then carry the threat through - I'm sure you'd only get as far as the front door. Or if not, just take her to school! My mum once did this with my brother and he was mortified.

familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 22:34:26

what happens if you get to 3 and they havent moved? is it like time out? i need to get to school and believe she should be on time but im tempted to let her be late and get in trouble.
she sits on the bottom step till i tell her to put her shoes on. she steps over her coat and has to be told to put it on. if i pass her her hat, she holds it and it never enters her head to put it on. its like she cant think for herself.

familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 22:39:43

i have threatened school in pjs before, but we walk and she would freeze at the moment.
i am thinking of doing like a reward chart with, wash, get dressed, eat breakfast type headings and giving her a star for every one she does without nagging and then giving her a treat if she manages it.
there are lots of school fates/xmas things coming up which i could use as incentive but if i dont take ehr then dd2 misses out too.

Melmagpie Tue 11-Dec-12 22:42:32

agree good to rule out any dyspraxia or similar. But I also find myself nagging and feeling exasperated by my dd 5 and have just started reading this which helps with the parental approach to tackling things. I've only got as far as "descriptive praise" so far but I'm already really noticing a positive difference so really recommend it - so far anyway.
Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting

familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 22:48:29

thank you, will look at the library.
i think she needs to relax at xmas, she doesnt sleep much 8.30 till 6 and often wakes in the night with nightmares so is always tired.

Melmagpie Tue 11-Dec-12 22:50:51

I think most five year olds are knackered around about now. It's a long hard term with every virus around being thrown at them. Roll on Xmas hols and good luck with the book.

YouCanBe Tue 11-Dec-12 22:58:19

DD is just the same. I think (hope) it is this end of term tiredness making it all slightly worse right now.

familyfun Tue 11-Dec-12 23:00:37

i need to stop telling her off so much as it must be miserabel for her and dd2 now says"stop it dd1, that naughty, go on step" so it shows what she hears all the time.

Melmagpie Tue 11-Dec-12 23:10:12

that's what the book helps with. teaches you to praise very specifically when they behave well rather than tell off when not.

LaTrucha Wed 12-Dec-12 07:21:34

On 3, she knows if she doesn't go I'll take her but often getting to 2 will stop her. I also have very small consequences, so if she wants to jump on my bed instead of getting her pyjamas on, she can but she then has no bedtime story (I coould also take away bedtime song and me staying with her for a while while she settles down, but it usually doesn't get there). It almost always works.

We also talk in terms of natural consequences. E.g. Dad is leaving for work in two minutes. If you haven't got your coat on, you'll have to walk to school instead of going in the car. She hasn't yet realised that means mummy will have to get herself and little bro ready too and that would be a way to get everyone running rings round her grin

I should also say, she is open to a lot of explanation, including understanding what other people want. Quite often she genuinely doesn't know why she's not gettig her coat on etc. I have no idea but the instant 'no' reaction seems so automatic it's like a developmental stage she has to go through so I try and roll with it.

LaTrucha Wed 12-Dec-12 07:23:19

What sort of things does that book say. I'm all for calmer more confident children, and I don't think by any means the way I do things is ideal. It's just what has grown up over time with DD.

My 5 yr old DD did this from about Feb (4.9 yrs) to June (5.2 yrs) in reception year. Defiance, refusal, angry.
If it's any consolation, from July to now, she has been lovely, happy, willing to please and a proper mummies girl.
what am I saying, how to tempt fate

It's a phase. Grit your teeth! It will pass.

Melmagpie Wed 12-Dec-12 07:40:14

I do that natural consequence thing too, which works sometimes.

The book so far zckkkcf4runhyrpft56rtf r7t46rtyerftrreeerfgfygdv fvvrjkkkknccccccccccccccc fuvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvctz5grfffdd

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Melmagpie Wed 12-Dec-12 07:42:06

OMG I'm so sorry that was dd (3)!!! back later when he's not around!!! blush

YouCanBe Wed 12-Dec-12 08:10:11

Mel Haha!

familyfun Wed 12-Dec-12 13:43:04

ok, im trying praise and ive done a reward chart.
just for doing everyday things without being nagged/refusing.
this morning we had 45 mins to get ready, dd1 sat on bed/hid under cot/hid in my room, i ignored her completely and got me and dd2 ready and went downstairs at which point she shrieked and got washed/dressed in 5 mins including tights that she claims she cant do. i then just praised her for getting ready and we walked to school. so she had no attention for faffing but praise for doing. is that right??

arista Wed 12-Dec-12 14:20:19

I have a white board with number 1, 2 and 3 on it and I write every time my daughter does not do what she is told to. But only after having given her a warning that she'll go on the board. If she has nothing on the board at the end of the day she gets to choose 2 stories that we read to her. If she has only d to she gets only 1 story at night time. If she has twice not done what she was was told to she gets no stories and sfter the 3 times she goes to bed 5 minute earlier and if she keeps on not listening or doing what she is told to we just increase 5 minutes every time. She once went to bed at 6.30. Also we have a jar and she gets a plastic coin in everytime she does her homework or is good at school or help around the house. when she gets a certain amount she gets to do something she wants to. Right now she can't wait to go and see the new tinkerbell. She is 5 also.

familyfun Wed 12-Dec-12 14:55:45

im trying to think of things to remove as sort of punishments. i dont want to remove stories as i think they are important and i always listen to her read. i dont want to remove trips to park cos exercise is important

swanthingafteranother Wed 12-Dec-12 15:11:49

sounds like encouragement/praise/noticing the good stuff might be a much better tack than punishment.

Read How To Talk So Kids Will Listen by Faber.

My daughter aged 10 still does a lot of the fidgeting, and falling over, and she has no dyspraxic issues. I wonder whether it is to do with tiredness and just generally growing...not judging how tall you are etc. All her friends are equally fidgety, so it may be a natural stage rather than your daughter being especially tiresome.

In our house, telling off did not work AT ALL. Btw your daughter sounds lovely, all that reading to herself is very good.

First thing in the morning is a badtime in our house, sugar low for dd, needs a lot of coaxing to get into the routine, but then once she has slowly surfaced she is v organised... When you chivvy children they have a tendency to switch off. When you encourage them, they want to engage.

swanthingafteranother Wed 12-Dec-12 15:12:37

Btw the board thing sounds absolutely horrible. Like some Victorian schoolroom shock

Bramshott Wed 12-Dec-12 15:17:10

DD2 (also 5) is horrid at the moment and it's mostly down to sheer exhaustion - she is SO ready for the end of term! I am getting her dressed in the morning for now to save meltdowns (she has never been a morning person at the best of times) and save the battles for after school. Also trying to get her into bed half an hour earlier than normal. Lots of chanting "only 7 more school days to go" under my breath...

Melmagpie Wed 12-Dec-12 17:07:57

sorry about earlier.

so i've only read the first section of the book which is about descriptive praise, but it's basically that old argument that children want attention and if you give them negative attention that they'll behave to get that and if positive they'll behave to get that, so it's about giving them positive attention whenever you can, but avoiding phrases like brilliant! wondeful! amazing! and instead using very specific, descriptive phrases like, I noticed that you used your knife and fork really sensibly at dinner. That was polite. Or I noticed you walked down the stairs without whingeing. That was helpful. etc. In other words giving the child very specific cues about behaviour that pleases you, even if you are struggling to find the examples, it helps you to look closer. She argues that within two weeks of descriptive praise you will see cooperation about 90% of time. There are four other strategies that i haven't read yet but looking forward to it, as so far i've been impressed by what she says. SHe lists all those things we all try that don't really work: distraction, bribery, etc. She says it's about getting your child's cooperation because actually without that you can't MAKE a child do anything!

peeriebear Wed 12-Dec-12 17:17:27

Your DD sounds exactly like my DD1 was at 5. I had her assessed for ADHD in the end but she sat good as gold for the doctor.
At age 11 she STILL has to be told, told, told, told countless times to do something like getting dressed. Often I will creep back upstairs after the familiar call "I AM getting dressed!" has rung down the stairs and she will be standing there in PJs, playing with lego angry then she will just look at me as I rend my clothing and gnash my teeth.
The biggest motivator here is discomfort; if she doesn't get ready in time she misses her lift to school with a friend and has to walk a 20-25 min walk instead. A month ago she was ambivalent but now it's freeeezing and she gets her arse in gear!

tigersmummy Wed 12-Dec-12 17:22:25

My DS 5 in Feb is very similar. Has good coordination and balance usually but sometimes runs or wanders around as if almost in a trance, tripping into things etc. He is horrendous at getting dressed for school, it's a daily battle. What I have resorted to doing, against my better judgement as I don't like him to have it in the morning, is if he is dressed by 8am and not a minute later he can watch a TV programme before we leave for school. He rarely helps so i end up dressing him to stay on track but I'm sure he doesn't realise that I will stay true to my word and not let him watch it if he's late. The mean mummy in me almost wants him not to meet the deadline so he will learn natural consequences. We have take him to school in his pjs (screaming all the way) then dressed him in the boot - whatever you threaten you must be prepared to carry through.

At school he has trouble sitting still without fidgeting, concentrating and listening/doing as he's told so school have designed a token reward system - at the end of the day how ever many tokens he has correlates with what 'thing' he can play with. If he gets dressed in time he can take a token for the teacher at the start of the day and we also have our own reward chart - for every 5 stickers he gets something, usually some time playing cbeebies games on my laptop.

I agree that negative attention is still attention and so although its difficult to ignore sometimes, it really is the best thing to do. Good luck!

UrbanSpaceMum Wed 12-Dec-12 20:51:42

That's soooooo familiar I wondered if in a moment of exhaustion I namechanged and wrote that post.

But I have news. I have found something new that worked at least twice.

After a particularly wretched morning I came back from school sobbing and swore I was going to stop yelling at my lovely little girl who is quite magic really. This is what I came up with: instead of saying "get your pajamas off by the time I count down from five" I just talked about the day ahead. "So, when I've dropped you off at school, you've got your play rehearsal, have you got PE this afternoon? And you're having a school dinner - it's macaroni cheese today. Does best friend have dinner or sandwiches today? oh that's nice, you can sit together. And while you're at school I'll put on a load of washing and mend the cupboard door. Think I'll have macaroni for my lunch too. And I'll go to the shop and get milk and eggs before I get you from school."

At that point, she interrupted me to show me how she could do up her own tie. Bedtime, similar tactic, similar result. The trance was broken.

Please please please let it keep working...

familyfun Wed 12-Dec-12 21:55:21

i am trying to praise lots and have promised a trip to a xmas fate tomorrow if she listens and does as asked.
i have seen her at school in assembly and she sits still and listens and sings along. the teachers have no problems with her sitting and listening and behaving at school, just general slowness.
even at the weekend, as soon as you mention getting dressed/getting out to do a fun activity, she runs off or goes and plays and ignores me?? she has missed events before and then cries but does the same thing again.

familyfun Wed 12-Dec-12 21:57:14

oh and ive tried talking about the day and fun events coming up while getting dressed myself hoping she will also get dressed, she just sits there.
this morning she was stood in the porch in her uniform and coat and i said shall we go now, yes she said, are you sure youre ready, yes she said, she had no shoes on.

YouCanBe Wed 12-Dec-12 22:22:00

I think my DD is the same at school. Her teacher has commented on the way she has to think for ages before acting on instructions, needs a lot of encouragement to start any child-led-activity, and is strangely not at all keen to be independent.
Sometimes I do worry.

CoffeeChocolateWine Wed 12-Dec-12 22:29:46

I have trouble getting my DS (4) moving in the morning and eating rather than messing around at mealtimes. We use the kitchen timer a lot to get him going (also from 1, 2, 3 Magic) as making anything into a game works well with him. So each morning task he has a set amount of time for. If he beats the timer he gets a sticker for his chart and if he gets a full set of stickers he can have a reward. If we're late his punishment is usually not watching his fav programme in the evening. Similar at dinner time, he gets 20mins to eat his dinner, if he doesn't there's no dessert.

FunnysFuckingFreezing Wed 12-Dec-12 22:32:02

it's the end of term everyone esp 5yo'd are exhausted. She'll be fine after the Christmas break

CoffeeChocolateWine Wed 12-Dec-12 22:34:34

Oh and bad behaviour gets counted and 3 counts means time out or if this isn't practical some other punishment - no TV in the evening, earlier bedtime etc.

FunnysFuckingFreezing Wed 12-Dec-12 22:35:33

TBH DS1 would much rather spend his whole weekend in his PJ's faffing about on the computer and watching telly than actually do stuff. Give her a break!

overbythere Wed 12-Dec-12 22:40:22

My 5 year old is exactly the same - can't/won't get dressed, always spilling things, falling over. Her elder sister aged 9 has dyspraxia & has recently been diagnosed with ADHD so I suspect my younger daughter has the same conditions? Add to that end-of-termitis and you have this daily routine which is exasperating & exhausting so I do sympathise.

familyfun Thu 13-Dec-12 14:10:32

6 more school days to go, 6 more school days of sorrow grin
this morning, while me and dd2 got dressed, dd1 lay under her duvet saying she was cold. i checked, she wasnt ill. she kept shouting dd2 to get in with her. as we went downstairs to go, she ran round and quickly got washed dressed and got her hair done.
it seems she likes to chill and then get ready at last minute.


I think you are doing exactly the right thing by ignoring the negatives and then praising her when she does get ready (just!) on thime.

I'd also second the thing about children ( and reception children in particular) being shattered at this time of year. They are so ready for a rest but everything at school is exciting and christmassy and out of routine

Lavenderhoney Thu 13-Dec-12 23:58:13

Its been interesting reading all these. My ds is 5 and is currently driving me crazy. He speaks to me and dh in a very short way, and it's his tone. He doesn't do it to his friends and he doesn't at school, and his younger dd doesn't get the treatment either. He also makes faces at me and rolls his eyes about if I insist on him saying please - I get an eye roll and a bad tempered "please"

When he is being ok he is fabulous company but when he is in this mood, it's horrible. I know to take him food after school, but whatever it is, even if i discussed with him what it would be, gets moaned about in a really grumpy and ungrateful way, for example.

He knows he is doing it, but doesn't really care. It really upsets me he reserves this for me and dh- who says he has no respect and gets really angry. I am hoping it's a phase until a few months he wasn't like this. It is really only when he is tired and stressed, but everyone gets like that and it's not ok to behave badly- its not an excuse - at what age is good to expect it?

I praise all the good stuff, ignore the bad as much as I can, but It carries on. Perhaps after school hols it will get better.

familyfun Fri 14-Dec-12 13:19:49

had a lovely morning and dds got ready together smile
dd1 is year 1, one of the younger ones as only 5.5 as struggles emotionally sometimes.

CarefulUpThere Fri 14-Dec-12 13:40:10

Hi there, tricky 5 yr old dd here too. Although we have different flash points, she is good at getting ready but rubbish at mealtimes.

We also found the descriptive praise thing fab. I suggests you just do that for 2 weeks then bring in other techniques. The next bit of that book is getting them to talk through things in advance ie you ask at a calm moment when no rush questions like
"what will you do when it is time to get up?"
"how will you get ready?"
"where will you get dressed?"

The idea is to use lots of question words (where, why, what, who, how etc) and get them to talk through in advance in detail what they need to do.

Also your comment about liking to chill and getting ready at last minute rang a bell with me, my family are all like that! Dsis has elevated it to a fine art...

CarefulUpThere Fri 14-Dec-12 13:40:47

It suggests not I suggest!

familyfun Fri 14-Dec-12 13:51:57

careful, this morning before they got dressed i said quietly to dd1, what are you going to do now, and she said get washed and dressed, and she did smile
we were all singing and laughing and having fun, feels like we havent done enough of that lately, we have been rushing about oo much to school plays, fetes, church, parties and need to just be.

orangeandlemons Fri 14-Dec-12 14:47:14

This was my dd at 5. Everything was a battle, I was exhausted all the time. Don't ever ever remind me of those evenings when she wouldn't get ready for bed. <shudder>

I found: asking her why she behaved like she did was helpful. But most helpful of all was praising good all the time. Really bigging it up, and ignoring bad. This was the most helpful.

When she turned 6 the fairies bought me another child overnight hmm. This coincided with her starting to sleep through the night at last. I often thinks she was chronically sleep deprived despite everything we did

familyfun grin

colditz Fri 14-Dec-12 18:38:43

Sounds like my six year old son. Horrible, aren't they? Let me know if you fix this. Ds2 is always a LOT better behaved if I can spend a couple of hours just with him, and him alone.

Lavenderhoney Fri 14-Dec-12 19:44:25

Well, I tried a different approach today. It's lots of detail, sorry!! Ds didn't go in for tantrums at all when younger, so I havent had any practise with a 5 year old going into meltdown. ( dd is calm and gets on with it, she is 3)

Served food, ds went ballistic as he was expecting chips. I did home made chips. He knew this beforehand. He thw himself about, screamed at me, marched to the freezer and threw open the door pointing out the perfect oven chips etc. he sat at the table bashing his cutlery and shouting about the injustice of it all. Dd and me calmly ate and chatted. She did blow him a raspberry but I was very calm. I said " if you can't calm down and sit and eat quietly, you will have to eat alone in the kitchen( we were in the dining room)
He shouted some more about how horrible I was as a mum not cooking the right sort of chip and how i ruined hs day. So I picked up his plate, and put it in the kitchen with a quiet" you can sit in here, because you can't talk to me like that. It's very rude"
. More shouting then calm. He asked to come back, sniffed and moaned for a minute, but after a stare from me asked dd about her day and was so normal it felt like nothing had happened.

The only thing was he rewrote a bit saying I had shouted. I normally would have escalated really fast but I didn't! No idea how I didn't though. I didn't shout either.

I gave him loads of cuddles as well, and love. I think he is exhausted. I certainly am. It's one for our memories book anyway. It's not all feeding the ducks you knowsmile

grin at the "wrong" sort of chip!

BabyGiraffes Sat 15-Dec-12 19:26:11

OP I could have written your post sad. Dd1 is 5.6, also in year 1 and dd2 is coming up to three. With us dd1's behaviour seems to have got worse in the past few months and I think it's her age, more demands being made in year 1, and the fact her sister is getting much more assertive and will not be bossed around any longer smile. I am hoping for a miracle over the Christmas holidays...

UptoapointLordCopper Sat 15-Dec-12 19:45:49

DS2 is 6 and I'm still trying to convince him that his bottom and the chair are best friends. Honestly. It's like they are the same magnetic pole and cannot possibly adhere to each other. hmm

He has said before, though, that he doesn't know where to start when faced with a "big" task (like tidying up and changing - I have a very articulate 6yo hmm) and things tend to only get done if it's broken down into smaller tasks (by mutual consent). Sometimes he and DS1 make a plan and then it goes like clockwork. Yes, miracles do sometimes happen. smile

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