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to think I'm failing as a parent

(31 Posts)
BitsinTatters Sun 23-Feb-14 09:29:51

Dd1 is 7. Eldest if 3.

She is battling everything. If I ask her to go and get dressed she scowls at me and is grumpy etc. Every thing results in storming around slamming doors, shouting at people.

Refuses to wash / brush teeth / brush hair. Everything is a battle.

Or she can be really teary. I make sure we do stuff alone so she's got time to talk if she needs but it doesn't seem to be helping.

What am I meant to do ? I'm getting really down and tired with all the grumpiness. I have tried talking to her about it and she agrees she's grumpy but doesn't know why. The only way to get her to do any thing after asking a few times and getting nothing but sulky faces or shouted at is to say right I will count to 3 and if you are not doing X then you won't be watching TV today / going to the park / going to party today etc

It's destroying me sad

brettgirl2 Sun 23-Feb-14 09:35:04

yabu. You sound like a lovely caring mum. Is it possible that dd needs to go to the gp? I just know my sil was apparently moody for years when she had depression probably.

harriet247 Sun 23-Feb-14 09:35:24

I have heard this about aaaalot of 7yo's!
Fwiw my dsis was like this until she waa about 19, but has finally grown out of it and is one of the kindest loveliest ladies you could hope to meet. It was just the way she was, complete mardy bum.

BitsinTatters Sun 23-Feb-14 09:38:57


Fuck I'm moving out.

Marylou62 Sun 23-Feb-14 09:40:00

Oh lovie, this sounds just like normal family life. Has something happened at school that she is worried about? My kids all grown now but oldest (Now a sweet, hardworking man) was a pain. A much older family friend did take me aside once and gently pointed out that the way I talked to him wasn't nice so I did try with better tone of voice etc. But we were a busy family and I just wanted it done NOW. Could you have a girly day out, just the two of you? I did find if I could have a little time with just him, we got on better (for a while). Above all I would say don't put up with any rudeness. Make it plain that these things have to be done and she has a choice to do them when asked or you will get shouty. Chin up and don't take it personally. x

NigellasDealer Sun 23-Feb-14 09:43:16

* Make it plain that these things have to be done and she has a choice to do them when asked or you will get shouty*
bit hard to ask a child to stop shouting then? surely.

BitsinTatters Sun 23-Feb-14 09:45:06

3 weeks ago we went on the train to the cinema had ice cream etc
Yesterday we walked the dogs across the fields for about 5 miles just talking... then we played in the garden on the trampoline. Then she turned into the mood mare from hell when I told her dinner would be ready in 10 minutes.

Her father is having a baby with his partner. I was wondering if this was bothering her but she seems totally happy about it.

She's had issued at school with a friend and her falling out but her teacher is on the ball big time and are looking at the situation constantly.

How else can I discipline the rudeness ?

Blondieminx Sun 23-Feb-14 09:46:07

You're worried about it and seeking advice to help improve the situation, that means you are NOT failing, you are being a lovely caring mum!

I borrowed this book from our local library and it's helped a lot.

Wishing you strength, it's hard work being a parent some days eh. Have a [cuppa] and a few deep breaths then onwards and upwards!

Blondieminx Sun 23-Feb-14 09:47:39

Apostrophe autocorrect fail blush

Jinty64 Sun 23-Feb-14 09:54:57

I would try lots and lots of praise. Things like "it's great now your older and can help me with ..." works with ds3. Little rewards. Giving extra for good behaviour rather than punishment for bad. What happens when you count to 3 and she hasn't done as you have asked? Do you stop her going to the party, are you following through?

Giving warning of what is going to happen ie: in 5/10/15 minutes we will need to get dressed as we are going to do (whatever). Then ok, 2 minutes followed by time to get ready. "See if you can get ready quickly and we will have time later for a DVD/an extra story etc.

Ds3 can be quite teary at times, my other two weren't really. I think it's just his nature but check all is well at school. Is it worse if she is tired or hungry, ds is.

You are not a bad mother. It's the hardest job in the world!

Jinty64 Sun 23-Feb-14 09:56:51

Cross posted with a dozen other posters as usual - fast I'm not!

Davidhasselhoffstoecheese Sun 23-Feb-14 09:59:41

My third is a bit like this. Lots of fun activities together without other children makes things more positive - so cooking together, art projects together, exercising together (swimming, cycling), Playing board games together. Ensuring you have time alone daily even if its half an hour after the others have been in bed. Are you expecting her to look after your younger children lots when she doesn't want to? That in itself can get a child's back up and create stress.

Davidhasselhoffstoecheese Sun 23-Feb-14 10:02:03

I think she needs time with you, without the others

parakeet Sun 23-Feb-14 10:03:41

It sounds like you are doing everything right - the only advice I would give is to make sure you DON'T shout yourself. You have to be the grown-up here and set the example. Stern voice, yes. Shouting, no. I am getting similar myself from my 8-year-old and I know it's maddening when she has been so sweet and lovely all her life. I think she is just growing up and testing the boundaries.

I think we need to have zero tolerance for delays, rudeness, etc. When you ask her to do something, watch to see it gets done straight away. If not, I say something like: "I hope I'm not going to have to ask again." They know that me asking again = time deducted from their evening's TV. If says anything rude I say "I BEG your pardon!" with a very surprised/cross expression and she has to say sorry.

Davidhasselhoffstoecheese Sun 23-Feb-14 10:04:38

Does she respond to reward charts or treats for doing things? Screen time, pokey money, special activity etc

Joysmum Sun 23-Feb-14 10:05:52

Try doing those things with her, such as,

'DD I'm going to go and do my teeth, shall we do out teeth together?'

Davidhasselhoffstoecheese Sun 23-Feb-14 10:07:53

I would also suggest asking her to do something but ensuring you have eye contact and she has registered the request. Then stand there waiting for her to complete the task.

chesterberry Sun 23-Feb-14 10:09:44

It sounds like she has a lot going on in her life, even if she is happy her father is having a new baby it wouldn't be unusual to feel some uncertainty or jealousy around that.

My DD is still a baby so I don't have personal experience as a mum but I am a primary teacher and have some strategies I would use in school. Do you give her lots of praise and focus on the good behaviour rather than the moodiness? If she is feeling a bit insecure she may need you to go a little bit overboard on the praise and positiveness for a while, so lots of praise when she does listen to you first time, thanking her when she does something helpful, she is still quite little so maybe even a reward chart with stickers or something similar would work with the things she is really refusing such as brushing teeth.

I know when I was younger I was quite moody and difficult and my parents getting cross or taking away privileges often just made me worse because it would make me angry with them and see them to blame. I wonder if you could even just put a positive spin on things, so instead of 'Come and make your bed or you won't go to the park today' you phrase it as 'Come and make your bed and then we can go to the park later' so that she isn't given anything to push against in the same way? Perhaps you could also introduce clear rules regarding how many times you will ask her to do something as it may be that at the moment she knows you will ask her several times before getting cross and doesn't have to listen to you right away, I would ask a child to do something once and ask them to repeat it back to me so I know they have heard and then if appropriate give them a minute or two to do it - I don't always expect children to do something right away if they are doing something else as I know I hate being made to drop what I'm doing immediately. If after a couple of minutes it hasn't been done I give my final reminder and that time I would include a possible sanction if they don't (eg: you need to get your maths book now or you will have to stay inside for 5 minutes at playtime). I don't generally ask more than twice. Obviously I appreciate a household is very different to a classroom and children act differently with their parents, my DD is only a baby so I have all that to come, but perhaps some of that could help?

greenfolder Sun 23-Feb-14 10:14:55

my oldest went through this, no doubt the others did to, but I didnt notice!

a couple of things made a difference

Pick your battles x 100.

Make sure the punishment fits the crime (my favourite was taking her bedroom door off for her continually stamping up the stairs and slamming it)

notice her doing things right and praise them- not in an ott way but in a i am noticing when you do things right kind of way.

also, see above- she is your eldest and lets face it we put far more pressure on them just for being the eldest

HumphreyCobbler Sun 23-Feb-14 10:19:36

I have similar with my seven year old son. It is knackering, isn't it?

I have just started trying not to up the ante when he is in a strop by deliberately being mild and lovey dovey back at him. It can sometimes take the heat out of the situation and make him smile. This technique will not solve all you ills but it can give you a few nicer moments. SO when he declares he hates me I just reply "Oh but you are the most precious thing in the world! Come and kiss me" and chase him round making kissy noises.

The other thing I have tried is whenever he says something horrible to or about his sister I just silently give HER a smartie. It worked straight away.

SauceForTheGander Sun 23-Feb-14 10:19:44

I recommend the book Blondie linked. DH went to one of her talks and said she was honest, sensible, likeable and made total sense.

We try to follow the guides but its like being on a diet - sometimes we all slip up and forget but her principles work and remind me that sometimes all my DCs hear are instructions.

Jinty64 Sun 23-Feb-14 10:21:22

The other thing I would say is pick your battles. Whilst you have to be consistent and if you ask her to do something she needs to do it, I would try to not constantly be on at her.

Ds3 (7) has just eaten a biscuit and had a drink. The bottle and wrapper are lying at his feet and he is sitting on his bean bag playing a game. With ds1(18) or ds2(16) I would have been asking then to take the bottle to the kitchen and put the wrapper in the bin and they would have been cross at me interrupting their game whereas when ds3 is finished his game and moving onto the next thing I will ask him to do it if he doesn't do it without being asked.

I am much more selective in what I battle over. I have a much more peaceful life and I don't think ds3 is any the worse for it..

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 23-Feb-14 10:22:44

When you say 'dinner in 10 minutes' what happens and how do you respond?

starlight1234 Sun 23-Feb-14 10:26:11

Getting ready in a morning and bed times have always been flash points in our house...

We did reward chart for mornings..worked for a we do world records for how fast he can get ready...

Timetoask Sun 23-Feb-14 10:33:40

Google "Love bombing "
I have a son with special needs, very demanding! Getting him to do stuff is exhausting. He is 9 now and I think I am finally getting results. These are my tips
-There is no easy solution, but you need a lot of patience, don't lose your temper (when you are about to lose it, take a deep breath and think about something else for a few seconds, it works for me).
- Don't ever give in to any demands done by her, you can only listen to polite requests, not to screams. Even if you are out and about feeling embarrassed, even if you want some peace.
- If you ask her to do something, don't expect her to do it right that minute. I was making this mistake and was getting upset because ds wouldn't comply immediately. Tell her for example, after that tv program finishes we need to xxx, or while i take a shower can you please xxx, etc
- even if you feel you want to throw her out of the window, give her a massive enormous hug when she calms down, it works so well.

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