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to not really enjoy spending time with my 6yr old dd?

(47 Posts)
traceface Thu 09-Dec-10 21:10:05

I don't know if this should be in AIBU or parenting or mental health...or even just kept safely in my head...but I'm struggling with this.
My dd1 is bright and full of energy, she enjoys school and is popular - and headstrong! She loves the normal 6 year old stuff (dancing, rainbows), but also is very emotional and has a massively active imagination. She cries at the slightest thing and having friends round for tea usually ends in her crying because they won't play what she wants. She always wants to 'be' a cat or a dog or a dragon or a chipmonk, and I know this sounds so petty and like I'm a terrible mum, but I just want her to stop acting. She is being difficult about lots of things and seems to need to be nagged or have me raise my voice before she'll do as she's told, even with really mundane stuff like getting in the car when I ask her to, getting changed etc. I'm sure she's a normal 6 yr old, but I feel so bad that I can't be bothered with her at the moment and I look forward to when she's in bed. I really don't want to take her out to her clubs or even pick her up from school, but I think that's more the freezing weather, but I feel like I should want to be doing stuff with her. But I don't.
other info:
I have a dd2 who is almost 2 yrs and, although revealing her strong will too, quite chilled and very cute, and I enjoy spending time with her.
I had PND very badly with dd1 when she was born and again (but not so bad) with dd2. I'm still on Antidepressants and have been struggling more lately.
I do have my lovely moments with her and know she's a wonderful, sensitive, loving girl.
So, thanks for reading. Any advice gratefully received...

redrobin Thu 09-Dec-10 21:15:07

oh traceface, i dont really know what to say, just wanted you to know that someone had read this. if it helps, my dd1, who is 5, is SO irritating sometimes. it will pass, its jsut a stage, hopefully, you'll both get over it. not much advice but hopefully someone will come along to help!

ShanahansRevenge Thu 09-Dec-10 21:15:34

We all look forward to when they're in bed. They ALL do the things you're finding in not doing as you ask them..."being" weird things and wanting heir mates to go home as soon as they arrive to play.

Well mine does anyway...she's also 6 and sounds VERY like yours.

I also have a DD who is 2.9 and very easy.

Funny that. I don't think you're unusual at all...and I don't think there's anything wrong with getting pee'd off with them.

Do you have any help at all? Do you DO things for yourself?

LeninGrad Thu 09-Dec-10 21:17:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

guyane Thu 09-Dec-10 21:19:50

Traceface - the very fact that you are struggling with this means you care deeply about your DD. She will know this, however much time to spend actively with her, you are there and you care. Don't fret, as redrobin has said, it is just another stage... try to go with her imagination - join in her world if you can. She'll appreciate it, and probably stop "being difficult" about it. "She' a wonderful, sensitive, loving girl" and no doubt you are too!!

MerryMarigold Thu 09-Dec-10 21:21:44

Maybe dd1 is acting up more because she senses you enjoy dd2 more. (I was your dd1 so I know where she's coming from!).

I think it's great you're not keeping it in your head and dealing with it. Changing things now can make a big difference over the rest of your time with your dd1 until she leaves home.

I would recommend a couple of books. Siblings Without Rivalry and looking up something on high need children. My ds1 has a friend who sounds a bit like your daughter and tbh, I find him a bit trying. I think he is 'unusual' and VERY demanding (I've never met another 5 year old like him!), but there must be other kids like your dd out there. And people who have learnt the best ways to handle them.

I'm sure it is harder work, but it can also be really rewarding. I think a book about these kinds of kids would help you to know there's other kids like that, and give you some strategies of how to deal with it.

MadamDeathstare Thu 09-Dec-10 21:27:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerryMarigold Thu 09-Dec-10 21:31:07

article to read

I like this bit of the article:

Ask yourself, how would I be treating my child if I thought this “higher needs” was not so ingrained within them? Would I be able to be calmer and patient because I was guiding them, teaching them? Maybe not, but interesting food for thought. Your child may be a much, much different person at 7 or 8 than even at 4, 5 or 6. Seriously!

traceface Thu 09-Dec-10 21:31:43

thanks. lenin the PDA stuff is interesting but I don't think it's her - she gets a glowing report from school and certainly seems to know when she has to control herself and when she's safe to let it go! merry I'm really aware of the sibling thing and try hard to be the same with them, but I think you're right that she probably senses that I find dd2 easier at the moment. Last night I had to leave dd2 to to cry in her cot for 30 mins and ignore her, so I could have an uninterrupted cuddle with dd1 before bed - and it nearly killed me! I think I'll try to get that book. Thank you.
red, shannon and guy that's very reassuring thank you. I'm actually crying now sad. Was so worried I'd get flamed on here but you're being nice to me!

traceface Thu 09-Dec-10 21:38:33

thanks for that article merry.

begonyabampot Thu 09-Dec-10 21:49:36

How did you feel about her before no 2 came along. Read a very interesting and surprising article in the Mail (I know, I know) a while ago about how many mums are so caught up in the new baby, they suddenly have no time, patience, interest in no 1 who had been the apple of their eye before no 2 came along. This woman had been so in love with her daughter and worried how she could love baby no2 as much. Then when the baby came along - DD1 suddenly seemed so clingy, big, annoying etc and it took her many years to build a strong relationship with her again. Wish I could find the article for you.

MerryMarigold Thu 09-Dec-10 21:51:39

Just found another book called Playful Parenting which looks good on Amazon here. You can read the first chapter...looks like a way to start having fun again!

traceface Thu 09-Dec-10 22:21:47

merry that playful parenting book looks really good thanks!
Begon There are 4.5 years between the girls so I guess dd1 had a lot of time just for her. She was also very prem and very poorly at birth, so I've often felt very guilty for any moments when we 'fall out', because a) she might not have survivied but she did, and b) I worry that my PND affected our bond. I guess she was generally 'good' and we didn't really have terrible 2s or 3s. She became harder work at 4, then had a baby sister at 4.5, so I imagine there's a link there. DD2 however was full term and healthy so her whole life so far has been easier (and also 2nd time around is a bit easier too). I spend my hald my time feeling bad that we allowed another child to invade our family of 3 and upset our lovely dd1, and half the time thinking how great it is that she has a sister and that she has to get used to it and accept that she has to share us now. Am I making any sense?!

Teela Thu 09-Dec-10 22:25:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PartialToACupOfMilo Thu 09-Dec-10 22:27:52

My niece used to do the acting like an animal thing and it used to drive me mad. I didn't find it cute at all - just really stupid and annoying blush. Her mum and grandma used to encourage it and pretend to feed her as she pawed their laps, crawled around the kitchen etc and I would just sit there and try to ignore it. Anyway it got to the point where I thought I didn't like her as I just got irritated with her whenever we saw her, but it was just a phase and I was being a bit 'childless'auntie' about the whole thing. She's nearly 8 now and she never does this anymore - she's back to the delightful girl she was as a toddler, only now you can also have a great conversation with her too - I'm sure your dd will also turn out fab grin

MerryMarigold Thu 09-Dec-10 22:30:51

Definitely making sense. I had twins when ds1 was just about to be 3. When I found out I was pregnant I was thinking of ALL the ways I could minimise the impact on him, and then it was twins and I knew I wouldn't be able to. He was really awful for a year. Has improved, but I'm realising how he has suffered in certain areas. I look at the other kids in school, especially those who have older siblings, or just one sibling, and they are a lot more developed, basically their parents have poured more into them whereas I have left ds1 to get on with it! In the long term I know this is our family, and I can make it work. I think I need the playful parenting book too, tbh!

Sounds like it was a very difficult start with your dd1 and the emotional stuff to do with it will affect things. But sounds like you understand it and that's most of the work done. I'm sure the bond thing with the PND didn't affect her, not as much as you worrying that it affects her IYSWIM! I think it's great you had another child, and 2 girls as well, they can be great friends when they grow up. I have a sister, we are very good friends, and I feel a bit sad that my dd doesn't have one!

traceface Thu 09-Dec-10 22:31:45

thank you milo. One of the hard/annoying things is that I do join in, but as soon as I say anything I get 'told off' because I've said the wrong thing, then I get given my words to say so I don't get it wrong!

tryingtoleave Thu 09-Dec-10 22:36:03

You could try 1,2,3 magic to deal with the having to ask everything a billion times. I find it works with my 4 y o ds - although I do feel like I'm counting all the time.

traceface Thu 09-Dec-10 22:40:01

I do the counting to 3 thing, which works (although i'm not sure what happens if we reach 3!). In fact we have rules on the wall and she knows consequences for bad behaviour (eg loses bedtime story/ goes to time out) so the framework is there - it just feels like a hard slog at the moment and I feel I've not got the energy or motivation to be a good mum at the moment, for the discipline or the playing.

begonyabampot Thu 09-Dec-10 22:41:23

this was the article I was talking about - if the link works - crap at this. her-dares-admit-hard-love-child-second-born.html

isitmidnightalready Thu 09-Dec-10 22:43:24

Yep, traceface, I have trouble letting my DD(4) be the boss and avoid playing those kinds of games. I guess (in my kinder moments) tht she just wants to have a part of the world where she was comletely in charge.

My eldest DD was like ths as well and always played with loads of plastic animals so she could make them do what she said. She's turned out lovely and very well-adjusted, so not joining in these games can't be too bad.

traceface Thu 09-Dec-10 22:50:09

begon that article is amazing. Thank you.

begonyabampot Thu 09-Dec-10 22:52:46

you're welcome - I found it very surprising and touching.

Joolyjoolyjoo Thu 09-Dec-10 23:02:45

traceface I do think they go through phases, and I can sympathise, as I also have a 6yo dd1 who has always been far more demanding than her younger sister (5)

In some ways, dd2 was, for a while, easier to love- she wasn't always clamouring for attention like dd1, and I felt horribly guilty about it. I knew I loved dd1, she just..irritated me a lot of the time.

But recently, as she's nearly 7, she has changed again, and become far more independant, and is such a good, sweet girl that I can't believe I found her annoying blush She loves her little sister and brother to death, and is fantastic at thinking up games they can all be involved with while I get on with MNetting housework.

dd2, otoh, has recently gone through a really shouty, angry phase, which thankfully she sems to be coming out of. Just in time for ds (3) to arrive at a right whingy stage. Sigh.

Now dd1 loves to have me read books to her, and she gets to sit up with me on a Saturday night and watch the X-factor, which she loves. She seems to be embracing her position as eldest now, and not fighting against it, and things between us are so much better, so don't worry too much about it smile

Iwasthefourthwiseman Thu 09-Dec-10 23:28:46

'How did you feel about her before no 2 came along. Read a very interesting and surprising article in the Mail (I know, I know) a while ago about how many mums are so caught up in the new baby, they suddenly have no time, patience, interest in no 1 who had been the apple of their eye before no 2 came along. This woman had been so in love with her daughter and worried how she could love baby no2 as much. Then when the baby came along - DD1 suddenly seemed so clingy, big, annoying etc and it took her many years to build a strong relationship with her again. Wish I could find the article for you.'

This is exactly how I feel about dd1 at the moment. I have no patience & little inclination to indulge her toddler whims. Have just had dd2 and tbh am enjoying her much more than dd1 at that age. Finding managing her really hard. Sorry, that's not much help but you are not alone.

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