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.
Hello OP - went through similar stuff with DS (he's an only).
For the morning thing, we got him a clock for his room. He has a chart where he 'earns' screen time - each smiley face is worth 10 mins of either watching TV or playing on the computer. He gets a 'morning smiley' if he doesn't wake us before 7am, eats breakfast nicely, and gets himself ready for school with no reminding. Then we do a big deal with lots of praise when we give him the smiley on his chart. If he hasn't done it, no smiley. We don't make a big deal if that happens, but later in the week when he wants to go on his DS I'll say 'Well, do you have any smileys to use?' I don't tell him off, it's just a consequence.
We found it worked better if he 'earned' rather than taking it away as a 'punishment' - I was having the same problem of feeling that our interactions were too negative and this made it positive. Also on his chart he gets smileys for doing homework etc and then he can get 'bonus smileys' for speaking nicely, being helpful, doing chores etc etc. It works out that he usually can earn quite a bit of screen time if he's behaving well. Every time he wants to watch TV/play on DS or computer we see how many minutes he's earned, he decides how many 'smileys' he wants to use on that day and we cross them out as he uses them.
It works well because he was wanting to be a 'little adult' and this was a way of giving him responsibility and independence - a way of him being 'grown up' and earning things for himself. And it's a positive interaction instead of a negative one.
For the toilet I sat him down and gave him a 'Wow, you're so grown up now' talk that included 'Now that you're getting grown up, part of that includes privacy. Is there anything that you feel private about?' (We agreed then that he'd like me to knock before I come in his room, which I have stuck to.). Then I explained that he couldn't come into the toilet when I was there because he's not a 'little boy' any more, he's a 'big boy'. He forgot the other day and started to unlock the door from the outside when I was in the toilet, I told him 'no' and he stopped. Then I came and found him and said 'You forgot that you're a big boy now, didn't you? Remember, babies can come in when their mummies are in the toilet - I used to bring you in with me all the time when you were a baby - but you're so grown up now that we give each other privacy.' He hasn't done it since.
We also do family meetings once a week, and get DS to add items to the agenda that he wants to discuss (people do laugh at us for this but it works!). Again it's about letting him be 'grown up' but in a positive way. The sort of item he adds is 'Can we have pasta next week?', 'I'm worried about something that happened at school' and DH and I add items like 'Let's agree a rota for chores that includes everyone in the family', 'What should our 'family rules' be?'. DS has equal talking time to us. That seems to help with the 'little adult' thing too.
Just seen that while I was typing that mammoth post you got lots of similar replies! In which case I'll just add that the tactics you've said you'll be adding in (sticker chart, clock etc.) will really help - DS is now 7 and his behaviour is MUCH better since we did these things.
Becs that's a great bunch of idea, thanks for taking the time. I love the idea of the family meeting!
Takes me back- I don't think its an only child thing at all. My eldest dc went through a phase at 7-ish of just pushing the boundaries, in particular banging up the stairs and slamming her door. I gave her fair warning, then removed the door and told her she could have her door back when she earned it ( I was a little embarrassed when I found out they do this in american boot camps). Another time I told her she couldn't go to brownies and told brown owl why. The minute I followed through, her behaviour changed.
we have a a gro-clock in dd/ds room. Ds is 6 and may well be near to be being able to reliably tell the time, but tbh I prefer the bullet proof reasoning of the gro-clock. I bloody love it it has transformed mornings in our house. BUT... you HAVE to reinforce it... ours is set to 7.00 a.m and the kids know they will be sent back to read/look at books, chat quietly etc until that time (when the sun comes up).
Gro clock. Set the timer for 7. Reward for staying quietly in her room till then
Set up audio stories in her room? She can listen first thing.
She's only repeating the behaviour because she knows eventually and will get her own way. Don't give in. Stand firm but be calm
Make her earn screen time/pudding/sweets. Early waking equals no screen time/pudding/sweets whatever for her.
Wow. I would hate being woken like that. My DS is 6 and would not dream of doing that. Shows a lack of respect for you and your needs. I think you need to get serious about following through w consequences so she knows you mean business. So, a star chart or punshment - time out, asking away tv time - fr being naughty/not listening to you. Also get a clock for her room that you can set an alarm in when it is time to wake you.
What is she like at school?
She sounds terribly spoilt and badly behaved. Get locks for your bathroom and bedroom doors and impose some serious consequences for waking you before your approved time.
Consistency is the most important thing for any age (my experience is toddler, brownie, secondary) for positive and negative consequences.
We had a brownie with no boundaries who knew she could grind her mum down on anything. It didn't work with us. It didn't take her long to realise that we meant what we said, and we had the patience to stick to our guns all weekend. She ended up being really good with us, because she knew exactly what was acceptable and what wasn't.
Ds is also 6 and is quite a lot like you describe your dd. he will only play upstairs if someone else is up there, has started answering back and being stroppy etc etc. I don't have any magic cures other than being consistent and following through works fairly quickly for my ds. He isn't an only child though. He's just quite highly strung I guess and quite demanding, he always has been, even as a little baby he never slept, he didn't cry much but he squeal and shout an wriggle until he was entertained all day and all night....
Oh but ds does at least know that unless there is a life threatening situation he doesn't leave his bedroom between 7pm and 6am. That isn't to say he doesn't shout through for us....
yeah Holla and she should get some chains and hang her DD up on the wall of her bedroom every time she squeaks that'd soon shut her up FGS woman.
One thing that helped me was the "headmistress impersonation". Basically, I found I could avoid getting drawn into long arguments and rants if I pretended to be this terribly experienced and compentent person who simply couldn't be thrown by the behaviour of a 6yo. Think twin set and pearls and sensible shoes. Plus that special way of looking at you under slightly raised eyebrows. Somebody who had seen it all before and just knew they would get their way in the end. The more I channeled this person, the less hurt and worried I seemed to get, and the less hurt and worried I was the more effective I was, so the less I had to be hurt and worried about. Of course it didn't work every single day, but it helped on many days.
I appreciate all the pp saying she shouldn't be rewarded for things that she should be doing already, but that's the point isn't it? She isn't doing those things.
She shouldn't be rewarded forever for getting dresses nicely etc but for now? I think it would really help.
My ds (6) isn't too bad but constantly has to be asked to do the same things over and over and over.
I got fed up with the sound of my own voice so dp and I sat him down for a chat (no tv/radio etc to distract him) and we told him of 3 things we wouldn't constantly remind him of anymore.
There are more than 3 things but picked the 3 we were most fed up with.
We went on to say that if his ears couldn't hear us saying " time to get dressed" then our ears wouldn't be able to hear him when he asked for tv time.
For the first week, I reminded him of this after breakfast and it has worked really well.
I have said "oh my ears seem to not be hearing children asking for treats very well today" when he has had a wobble with it but have never had to say it more than once.
DD is six and an early riser, luckily a quiet one. We got a digital clock for her room. If she takes too long in a morning then she gets up half an hour later. Makes her very cross as its tv time that's being eaten into. She can change channels and put on a dvd (we have three remotes) She has had to learn as we refuse to do it for her. Our biggest threat is no dancing-luckily we havent had to use it very often. I do the count to three thing as well, these days I rarely get past two.Sticker charts dont work with dd she just shrugs and says "oh well". If she has a paddy I send her to the hallway in a calm voice,she knows this means I am very cross. I have to remove her before I start shouting as we can shout as loud as each other. We have had the "I will always love you but sometimes I dont actually like you" chat,she agrees somedays she doesnt like me either. DD is an only and we joke she used to be my little stalker. She has grown out of this, Im obviously not as interesting as I used to be. Maybe your DD will too. It is a boundary thing at the end of the day. Set clear boundaries and stick to them whatever, much easier now than when shes thirteen.Good luck!
Just a small point, but have you tried something like putting a cushion behind your door so that if she does the thing of banging it open it won't actually bang? Or maybe putting one of those spring closer things on so she can't actually shove it open so dramatically?
I was thinking about this and had a eureka moment! how long have you been with yr new partner? Has yr DD been used to him for a long time or is it that she feels pushed out?
(You may have done it very sensitively BUT if she FEELS that she has lost her beloved mummy who she used to have all to herself then of course she won't be able to SAY it clearly but the morning crashing into the bedroom is saying it isn't it?).
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