To be mad with DD over this?(143 Posts)
DD is 6, and although generally an ok sleeper, she still tends to wake early at weekends etc. The issue I have is that when she has woken up, she pretty much won't give up until I get up too. Not unusual in kids I guess, but I'm kinda wondering when dd will entertain herself or not make such a dramatic entrance into our room in the mornings. She literally 'runs' into the room as though someone's chasing her and invariably whacks the bedroom door against the wall, which generally means I get woken pretty unpleasantly. If she wakes in the night ( she has episodes of waking at least once a night for weeks at a time), it will also be a running/whacking the door entrance which scares the shit out of me tbh)
If I send her back to her room, she will come back in EVERY 5 minutes, literally will not give up, so getting back to sleep is impossible and weekends usually start with one of those groggy headaches.
This morn she woke up at 6, and did her usual of 'bursting' dramatically into my room. We have visitors who she loves and wanted to wake them up as well- I refused to let her, so said she could either get in my bed for a cuddle or go back in her room, she stood there sulking demanding to be allowed to go up and jump on said visitors. I saw red at her standing there pouting and whining, and having to deal with a potential tantrum before even opening my eyes so I shouted at her to get back to bed, waking up my OH beside me.
Since then, DD has now burst back into my room on 10 minute intervals, (the last one dressed in Santa Claus outfit (funny!). I lost my rag though and physically frogmarched her back to the room, shouting.
She's in there now sobbing, and I've woken the visitors anyway because I can now hear them upstairs. It's now also time to get up so technically she got what she wanted - just took a bit longer than she would have liked. I know was BU shouting and reacting, but sometimes I feel my DD is a classic only child (sorry- usually hate that term) in that she refuses to entertain herself and sees me and my needs as completely irrelevant. She bursts into the bathroom when I'm on the toilet, and if I send her out, she will stand outside laughing into the gaps in the hinges about 'what I'm doing on the toilet' etc. If I'm eating something she wants she will try harass me til I give it to her, or she will 'monitor' what I eat, so if I give her one biscuit and I have two, she has her eye on my other biscuit the whole time she is eating her own, commenting on why I have more than her.
Writing it down - I think she doesn't know she is a child or at least that I'm an adult!
I kinda figured I would get a little more personal space as she got older and I'm resenting the fact that I don't.
Am I being unreasonable? Unrealistic maybe? I feel guilty now that she's upset but sometimes I wish I could make her see that it's ok to be awake on her own, or that it really isn't ok to not allow me personal space at times.
Do you let her play alone even if you're in the house? Like, give her something to do while you get on with housework or mumsnet? Some kids need to be taught how to play alone. Maybe tell her she's not allowed out of her room until say, 7am, and before then she can get up and read or play quietly so long as she doesn't leave her room.
your not alone, ds is 6 and very much acts sometimes like he can't understand why he's treated differently re bed times, having a drink late at night. the amount of times I have said the sentence because you are a child and im not is unreal. I don't think there is a certain way to deal with it other than sticking to what you say will happen if she continues to do x with ds the sticking point is his games. if he is rude to me or nags at me like a mini adult then he loses game time it seems to improve it slightly
Get her a clock and teach her that she is welcome in your room quietly after whatever time you want her to get up.
Make a big thing of it being all grown up to have a clock.
You have to take back control. Get a lock for your bathroom door and tell her if she stands outside while you're in there she will have xyz confiscated.
If she bursts into your room in the morning, she will have xyz confiscated.
Get her a clock she can read and understand so that until the time you say, she must stay in her room and play/draw/read quietly until that time.
I don't think you did anything wrong. She's ruling the roost with her behaviour.
I would look at increasing her interactions with friends, invite her mates over to play so you can have some peace and lay down firmer boundaries with consequences.
Thanks for the replies. Mario- 'mini adult', you are so spot on. My de doesn't seem to have a clue that she's a child. She is going through an awful phase of answering back right now and the stuff she says is eye-watering. Last week for example I was nagging her to hurry up for a hol or she would be late. Her response? 'You're the adult, if I'm late, you'll be in trouble, not me. I saw red about that comment and literally ranted at her all the way to school, but did nothing to follow it through. I always feel a bit crap about issuing punishments hours after the crime as she says she can't remember/doesn't understand what she did wrong. There was nothing I felt I could so there and then as we needed to get to school.
I feel as though I've developed at habit with my own DD (just as my mum did) of ranting and raving and just shouting. She doesn't take me seriously- or she says the shouting upsets her which makes me feel absolutely terrible.
If she wants something, it seems to me that she will get it eventually, even if she has to go around the houses, hence the repeatedly coming back into my room in the mornings. She isn't afraid of my reactions - because she will return ('burst in') even if I've shouted at her to go back to her room). Of course I don't want her to be afraid of me but I wouldn't mind being taken seriously!
If I'm cooking etc she will watch TV in the next room, but she won't play in her room (ever, literally, never). Toys are largely ignored and she won't w even learn to turn the TV over, says she can't do it so shouts at me to come change her channels every 5 minutes. It's like she is the adult and I'm the child, attending to her every whim! Even if she has a playmate over, they will play downstairs or want me to entertain them- there would be no question of an independent game in her room!
All that would drive me mad. My 4 year old does all those things but to a much lesser degree, and because I pull her up on it every single time, and stick to the punishment I have warned her of, she is getting better.
If she was still doing it at 6 I would be tearing my hair out. The laughing at the toilet door is such blantant disrespect its unreal. My worry is that she would do that to someone in school.
Sorry but I think you are pandering to her. She is telling you that the shouting upsets her because she knows it will make you feel terrible and you will stop telling her off.
You need to get firm. The only thing she is scared of is losing her personal servant.
My friend has a 5year old son who was like this in the mornings, he wasn't being naughty he was just up and raring to go! They ended up getting him a clock (sorry dont know what its called) where you set it so the face changes colour at a certain time. He now knows not to come out until it changes.
Each night they also get him to pick a 'morning toy' eg, build his train set up/get out paper and crayons, then he has things ready to occupy him in the morning without banging about waking everyone. It took maybe about a month to 'retrain' him, but now he happily stays in his room playing. Good luck!
You absolutely have to start following through on the consequences, she is old enough to learn the things that she's saying she doesn't know how to do like change the channel, and unless you start work on it now, you are going to end up with a little nightmare.
Make a list of rules, write it down and stick it up somewhere for easy reference, and follow through.
I would find a time during the day to speak to her about it. Sit her down and tell her that the waking thing has become a big problem, you're getting tired and grumpy during the day because you are being woken too early. Ask her what she thinks would help the situation (and listen to her solutions, even if they aren't practical they'll give you an idea of where she's coming from). Maybe choose some toys/books with her that you can set out the night before for her to play with when she wakes up.
From my experience of being a child with a very active imagination, the running into your bedroom could be because she's scared of any number of imaginary baddies chasing her down the hall
Yeah the toilet issue is bonkers. I don't want to give the impression that I let dd walk all over me- far from it. I think I'm quite strict but I seem to have developed a pattern with her where my interactions with her are negative and I'm stern all the time, 'anticipating' situations so issuing warnings in advance to ward bad behaviour off before it starts. I don't like the way I am interacting with her, but nor do I seem to be able to get her to respect personal boundaries and remember she is a child.
Btw if my dd was gently creeping into my room and whispering for a cuddle (which is very capable of ) I would be far more receptive than the almost aggressive and disrespectful pounding down the landing, and throwing open my door at 6am. I really can't tell you how much it gives me the rage to be woken like that! (I'm not a morning person though )
My DS has a digital radio clock in his room so that he has no excuse not to be able to read the time correctly. He is an early bird and has been told that, weekdays he can go down at 6.30, and weekends he can go down at 7.00. (I get up at the same time on weekdays but sometimes might have a bit of a lie in on a weekend) He also knows that if its before 6am he has to try to go back to sleep, but after that he can read in his room (and he has been doing this since he was 6 quite happily). (I must say, however, that we've just broken the habit of creeping into our room to ask 'can I go downstairs now' at the allotted time!). I would also set up a reward system for this - if you read in your room until x then go downstairs quietly and watch TV from y, I will give you... If you don't wake mummy and daddy up first thing in the morning we will go...
As for changing the channels? If she refuses to learn how to do it, fine, she can stick with the same channel - that will be one way of her learning to change it pdq. Similarly, getting ready - clear timescale, clear requirements (get dressed and clean your teeth now please - you've got 10 mins and we are leaving then) - if not she goes out in whatever degree of clothing she is in and if she's not dressed its her fault. Of course its not your fault - don't let her get away with that. My DS used to be really slow at getting ready etc - daydreaming, lost in his own little world - but, having got in the car for the school run in just his pants, with everything else put on the seat beside him, he knew that I was not kidding when I said that he needed to get read by by ... and that we would be leaving then, come what may.
Juat want to say that most only children are fantastic at entertaining themselves from a young age - so I don't think it's fair to say that that is what is making your daughter like that.
I seem to have developed a pattern with her where my interactions with her are negative and I'm stern all the time.
This struck a chord with me. I think you need to reconnect with her, perhaps all this irritating behaviour is attention seeking on her part.
Can you spend time with her, playing a game or cooking whatever she wants (within reason!) for a while?
Then she may be more accepting of you needing adult time alone. Perhaps in her head you are her friend to play with, and she genuinely may not understand your irritation or may just thrive on any attention whether or not it's positive.
I still think you need to have consequences that you carry through for bad behaviour.
I'm sorry but she sounds like a spoilt little girl. Like u say, you are the adult, set down some rules now, good idea to get her a clock, stick to say 7am, be firm and she will eventually get it, she can play with toys, books in bed until then. Maybe use a sticker chart with a reward if she stays in bed for a week. She will only get worse believe me! unless you lay down some firm rules now.
Does she go to bed ok?
And it IS disrespectful - that is what you have to sort out. At that age she is capable of understanding this
She will happily tell me if she's had a bad dream or bad thoughts -so the bursting thing I really don't think is caused by that, although I appreciate she night not be able to vocalise herself.
Good suggestions re: the clock and choosing toys, will do that, and I will also sit her down for a chat when I'm calmer. I've always been a shouter to be honest and I'm not proud of that, and I've made her cry over it. She isn't faking it in those moments- I can see that she has been shaken by it and i feel ashamed. My OH (not her dad) thinks I have a 'long fuse' in that I will try to hard to reason with dd/issue warnings, but when they are invariably ignored, I will blow and it is this 'blowing up' that he says is disproportionate to the crime. He believes that I need to act on the infraction immediately then I won't start giving off when she defies me. He is a very calm sort and I always feel worse when he points this out.
She does sound spoilt - you need to curb this for her sake as well as yours.
I agree with your OH. My dh does this, he'll capitulate and reason and discuss and explain and then POW! He'll shout and it's come from nowhere in the dc's eyes, but in his mind he's reached the end of his tether.
It would be better if you said "No because..." and stuck to it.
Disagree about the classic only child thing. It doesn't mean they're incapable of playing on their own at all.
Get the tv out of her room, and you need to ignore some of the whining. I don't go running every time DS wants something doing - he does it himself or he waits. (almost 6yo)
If DS slammed into my room like that at 6am he'd be dumped straight back in his room with a telling off.. he's also got a clock in his room and knows not to disturb before then. If he wants to get up at 6am, whatever, as long as he doesnt wake me up
"If she wants something, it seems to me that she will get it eventually"
Do you mean that you give in? Never give in or she'll never take you seriously.
For some perspective OP, my 4 year old has been up since 7am, playing in her room. She has tidied it, got her uniform on herself, brushed her teeth and brought me the hairbrush and a pony to tie her hair up.
I still have to pour her breakfast, but watch this space with that one.
Teaching her to be more independent doesn't have to be a negative thing, it can be done through encouragement and praise.
Re the school comment. I would have taken her into school late, and told her teacher exactly why she was late. Just the shaming would probably stop her doing it again.
As to the rest. Stop giving in to her. Ignore, ignore, ignore when she shouts you, tell her which room you're in and if she wants something, to come to you to get it.
Don't keep reasoning, once you've given her a reason, that's it. Do you negotiate? At that age they need to be told, not reasoned and negotiated with. Keep telling yourself (and her) that you're the adult.
And get a lock for your toilet.
I bet she's absolutely lovely when she wants to be.
I feel for you OP. I'm in a similar situation, with an only DS. In my case, I finally realised that the shouting was part of the problem, not the solution. Yes, I needed to set firmer boundaries; yes, I needed to make clear who is the child and who is the adult but the shouting wasn't doing that. If anything, it made me feel guilty and less able to set firm boundaries and institute punishments.
FWIW, my advice would be to work on giving up on the shouting and concentrate on building a better atmosphere between you and your DD. And, at the same time, work out which rules really matter you - and my answer is any rule that really affects your feelings and quality of life. So, for now, give up on the small things and concentrate on the biggies: privacy in the toilet, and space to wake up gently, for example. Do what it takes to institute those changes. And remember that only you can make those changes. That will communicate much better to your DD that you are the adult than any shouting or arguing.
Also remember that it IS a change, that it WILL take time for your DD to adjust and have compassion for her in the adjusting - that doesn't mean backing down or letting her rule the roost. It means doing what one does in the workplace: anticipating and understanding that change is hard and planning for a period of adjustment. But I found that calmly sticking to the boundaries and rules was what made the difference. The shouting can become a drama of its own - a distracting one that leaves you both exhausted and upset and right back where you began.
Hope that's helpful. And best of luck. There are many of us battling this one!
I'd be interested in how she comes across at school. Does she accept the structures there? If she does, is that happily - or with such difficulty that she is particularly challenging after school?
Some of the stuff you have said about mini-adult behaviour/always having an answerback/meltdowns not wanting to be alone etc reminds me of my charming but challenging stepson - who turned out to a high-functioning autist. (This tends to get underdiagnosed in girls.)
This isn't that likely - but if by any chance it did happen to be the case - treating it as 'naughty' behaviour would be off the mark, and the ways in which you'd need to try and get through, impose structures etc would be rather different.
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