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Horrible 9 year old dd(29 Posts)
I lost it again this morning and screamed at dd.
She is just so surly all the time. She has always been difficult - terribly shy and prone to tears - but recently it's moved up to a new level.
After school yesterday I said I'd bought ice creams. "probably boring ice lollies" snarls dd. I ignore that, and said I'd also bought some cookies. "How big?" comes another snarl. I ignore that.
This morning I've made her a special packed lunch for a school trip. "I've made you salad nicoise!" I say brightly. Dd shrugs.
Then I went mad. It's all the time. Looking so miserable and making monosyllabic sneery comments.
They're just big toddlers really.
They need to sleep and have water and food.
Also they need to be told that whinging and being grumpy isn't on.
Maybe have a family meeting so you can sort out levels of strop that are acceptable (none here) and ask them to go to a quiet spot and draw/ write some stuff down if they're feelings are overwhelming them. They can dance on their angry mat too, and you can get yours out and dance around as well!
We did this with our toddler, and now with our preteen. It works well (fingers crossed)
We all live in our house: no one is allowed to go off on one and slam doors, swear, shout and be in a huff. Rules and guidelines are important: meetings get buy in on these points.
We also have a lot of talking time: we eat together most nights, and we have a family game night at least once a week, when we all get down in the floor and play a fun board game!
Basildonbond, today I had a similar experience because I took 9yo dd to my friends party and she had one of usual shy kickoffs but she got a little annoyed because all the grown ups kept being all soft with her and, to be honest, I got sick of it as well, but dd just suddenly started to run round the garden, screaming and shouting and everyone stared at her and she remarked, What are you looking at?! And everybody started muttering about how she is ' crazy ', apparently. It was very tiring on the whole, and I now know that I shouldn't of really taken her...
My 9 yro son is driving me crazy. He just doesn't listen to anything I ask him and has an allergy to the word no! If I say he can't have or do something he just answers back and goes on and on. I try to ignore him when he's going on and on but he knows how to wind me up, then I flip and start shouting and grounding him. He becomes apologetic then the next day he's the same horrid child. I am reduced to tears everyday and I don't know what to do.
I don't agree that losing it is the best course of action. As parents we do all lose it occasionally because we're fallible but I don't see how it teaches a child anything useful tbh.
It boils down to the fact that we can all be moody and miserable and it's not fair to expect your child to be lovely all the time because they too are fallible like us!
but sometimes losing it can be the best course of action
the other weekend dd (10) who's normally absolutely lovely in pretty much every way you can think of was utterly foul. we'd been to a BBQ and we stayed just a little bit too late and she'd tipped over into that horrible tiredness where everything was wrong and she was pushing every button.
All the way home I was being reasonableness itself and she just got worse and worse - by now it was way past the time she'd normally be fast asleep and she'd reached critical horribleness point ... eventually after two hours of not reacting and being calm and rational blah blah I snapped and shouted. It was like someone had turned off a switch - dd immediately stopped huffing and being hideous and came over to me, gave me a hug said 'I'm sorry Mummy' and went to bed without a murmur...
My dd is 12 and has started behaving like this since Y6. She was a lovely, level headed girl til then, but she's been doing the surly, can't show she's pleased about anything gig for 2 years now.
I did lose it a few times, but we had a discussion a while ago and she said she feels like she couldn't do anything right. Since then, I've tried to scale back off on the tellings-off, which had started to escalate beyond reason. I've also turned things round on her slightly by reminding her that I don't feel like I can do anything right when she's being particularly whingey/contrary.
I do think it's all down to the hormones. I try to remember to tell dd that I love her every single day, even when she rolls her eyes at me. She's a lovely girl, but she's definitely not a child any more. She's starting to be a young lady instead and, part of that means disagreeing with me over pretty much everything!
I wish you luck and strength because it's really really hard. I defy anyone not to snap and yell at a contrary pre-teen. If you can do that, good on yer, but I am not that strong and I don't think many of us are.
I think it depends what they are upset about, as to whether they need more love. I have a very difficult 7 year old dd.
She would insist that blue is red just for the sake of it. Contrariness is her middle name. She gets plenty of love, but she is just. Plain. Awkward for the hell of it
I'm not going to 'act normally' with someone being horrible to me. And yes, sometimes the horrible behaviour pushes me over the edge and I shout and get upset.
But you shouldn't go out of your way to be particularly nice or nasty! Just act normally. Yes of course dc shouldn't get away with being rude and should be pulled up on it each time, but just responding in a tit-for-tat sort of way is just childish imo. There's a difference between letting them know you're upset with their behaviour and behaving similarly yourself!
Agree with Arcticwaffle. I've been known to point out, rather icily, that I'm not going to humiliate myself Being Nice. I hear this pleading voice and feel 'ffs, this is wrong'.
Actually I do think it's important to feed back how they are impacting on your and other people's emotions, so if my dc are horrible or upsetting I do tell them I'm upset or angry. I think it helps them to be aware of the effect their behaviour has.
ok I don't totally approve of stropping back but I don't think it hurts them either. To see and understand that adults have emotions too and even if we're their parents we do not need to tolerate rude (or abusive) behaviour.
Just remember something a very experienced counsellor once told me: the the more angry/upset your child is, the MORE they need love. So don't fight back or challenge the bad moods, just be there for them and later when they're calm again offer a cuddle. Growing up is a hard time.
Completely disagree arctic although I hope you meant that tongue in cheek!
YOU have to be the adult and not let their behaviour get to you. Don't get into a fight or power struggle. Your dd still needs you very much although she may not realise that at the moment! Wait for it to pass.
My normally quite tractable preteen dds (11 and 9) are struggling at the moment at the end of a long term in hot weather. They're not at their best. They're hot and bothered and tired. So maybe it's partly that.
My strategy would be to stop being nice and accommodating. Ostentatiously. "Oh, I would have bought you an ice cream but I know it would have been the wrong one" etc.
Sometimes I just strop back, rather than let them be sneery, but then I can still outstrop any pre-teen dd.
She's probably hormonal - cut her some slack. Although it's making you feel bad that she doesn't seem to appreciate the nice things you try to do for her, her behaviour really doesn't sound all that unusual tbh!
I also think it's a bit strange that you feel she's always been difficult because she's shy. People don't choose to be shy you know - it's a personality trait.
Have you tried talking to her and asking her why she is like this? You could say 'I've noticed you're not yourself recently, is everything ok?'
My dd who is also 9 is quite open with me about how she's feeling and I explained to her about hormones so she'll say 'Mummy I feel angry for no reason' or 'I feel grumpy - do you think it's my hormones'. Hormones can make you miserable and down and a preteen wouldn't necessarily understand that.
I would say while she's like this, maybe stop trying so hard to engage with her, you might just be setting yourself up for a fall...? By all means, be warm and polite, but sometimes there is a temptation to be overly cheerful to help them snap out of the mood and it just doesn't work. I would try and ignore the moody behaviour but at the same time, pull her up if she's rude. I make it clear to my 10 year old dd that it's ok for her to be in a bad mood but I won't tolerate cheekiness or rudeness.
Kevin is an interesting idea. Might try it!
Sounds like my 9yo DD.
I looked up the clip of Harry Enfield's Kevin mutating into a teenager and watched with DD and she laughed at it. We also found the one of Kevin cleaning the car and taking 24 hours to finish the job - it's like DD when she's asked to clean out the hutch.
She could see herself in the behaviour a bit and laughed - now when she is being vile I tell her she is being a Kevin, which sometimes defuses things and sometimes doesn't but at least it doesn't involve me shouting
Me too - DD's 9 in December. Honestly, nothing I do or say is the right thing.
Also watching and hoping to pick up some tips.
I have this. 9 year old ds is surly and negative. Drives me mad. Watching, hoping to pick up tips.
That hits the nail on the head: "Default setting is moody sarcastic muttering". [Virtual glove punch]
Are you me? My nearly 9yo DS is exactly the same. My responses to it vary between overt annoying cheerfulness (which irritates no end ), me ignoring him him but childishly and passive aggressively talking about him to DS2, losing my temper and getting shouty and demanding unreceived apologies.
I'm not proud, but it's been going on for ages.
We do also have nice moments, 1 to 1 time etc but the default setting is moody sarcastic muttering right now. It's wearing.
OP sorry to hear about the hard time. I'm afraid I haven't got any advice. Mine sometimes goes like that. Once I had to ask him to repeat something and he snapped at me and I lost it and told him how when people get older their hearing get worse and was he going to start practising treating me like how he would treat me when I'm old. He did go quiet for a bit.
I think perhaps in your shoes I'd just stop doing nice things for her. (Easier said than done, I know...)
Thanks for replies.
It is very wearing and depressing. Yesterday I pointed out a girl who looked like ICarly and she just rolled her eyes and looked in the other direction. Every mortal thing i say seems to be wrong. This morning I said, "Morning, darling!" in cheery voice and she replies, "Don't call me that."
Dh decided to have a day out with just dd and they had a lovely time. Yet the next day she threw a massive strop because of some triviality - I think she thought ds had had a bigger portion of pudding or some such. She stormed off and was slamming doors and dh was so upset and disappointed.
I have tried to ask her if she's unhappy or what is making her cross but she just snarls at me.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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