How can I have fun with my daughter again?(25 Posts)
Actually I'm not sure if we ever did have fun. That sounds awful - I have a 7 year old DD and two younger boys. Somehow I manage to laugh and joke and have fun with my younger boys, and they are confident and self assured. With my daughter she is self conscious, and more and more lately she is moody and jealous of her brothers getting attention from myself of my husband. When my daughter was younger I was always either taking everything too seriously (nervous new mum), or tired and pregnant with younger ones.
Really I just want to know how to have a more fun relationship with her. I can't make her laugh - or I don't actually know what makes her laugh. Really genuinely laugh.
When I do try and have fun with her she always wants to take it too far - almost like she can't stop and will continue to force her laughter or start acting really silly, for example copying her 2 year old brothers antics by saying something like "poo" and think we will find it funny. But we then have to explain to her it's not ok for her to do that and she is older and it's not appropriate, and the fun goes out of the situation.
I know she's feeling self conscious, and maybe she is just built that way, but I also know if I can have a good laugh with her and lots of fun it will help enormously.
Has anyone else gone through similar with girls, or even just have a suggestion?
We do have time alone together and I will take her for days out etc. I know she doesn't get as much of me alone as she would like as I am often busy with her younger brothers who need more of my supervision for example if we're at the park. Suggestions, insights welcome! Thank you
I don't have a lot of experience but is there something you could do together that would be too 'grown up' for her brothers? And you could make a point of that? What does she enjoy doing?
I think first of all you need to lighten up. It sounds like you can have fun together, but if she's not doing it exactly as you want her too you become critical 'she's taking it too far \ forcing laughter etc'. I think you need to switch off that critical voice and just take her at face value rather than over analysing, because you're actually adding to the self consciousness. The truth is you're both out of practise so its bound to feel a bit awkward at first. Don't worry so much, just go with the flow, be as silly as she wants and resist the temptation to psychoanalyse your 7 year old as you go.
She's at a good age for a joke book or knock knock jokes.
She would probably still enjoy a I'm the cuddle-monster coming to get you type of game or any other chasing game.
Dancing games on a games console or just doing the moves from a just dance session on YouTube is fun.
Just include her when you have fun with the boys.
I get to experience the 'taking it too far' with my eldest (also a girl, but based on friend's ds not relevant). She's 9. It is (for her about some insecurity etc over being the elder / attention seeking. I thus give her focused attention. Just for her age etc. But, the behaviour still does appear from time to time. I have to accept she is quite silly in a way I don't 'get' so my focus is restricting it to more suitable contexts. To be honest even her best friend comments on the silly, but she shrugs it off.
I think you should stop trying to 'have fun' and just be with her. That might mean that you don't have huge laughs but over time you will get to know her a bit better. Perhaps she's not a jokey person but that doesn't mean she can't be a really lovely companion.
Some children also don't like teasing, one of my dd's hated it and was rather po-faced for a few years, but now she's older and doesn't feel 'laughed at' and can laugh at me, she is much more relaxed.
Children change a lot over time, just spend some time with her hanging out and see where it goes.
Also, you do rather seem like you are forcing the 'older sister' thing- seven year olds think poo and wee are hilarious! Sorry, but you are expecting a maturity that simply isn't there as she's a little girl.
I agree HP - we're always teasing my now 8 yr old being obsessed with bums and poo etc.
you can be silly without teasing.
Toilet humour is popular even for many adults. If you want to hear her laugh more often, say "poo" from time to time - and don't tell her off for saying it either!
I've struggled a bit this week with my DD who is nearly 6. She's been very moody, weepy, 'bored' and generally unimpressed with me over half term.
Something I've tried today is to act silly myself. Eg. Put clothes on back to front, walk backwards, make up silly limericks. Despite her best efforts to remain moody, she has been laughing along and making up daft things too. I've seen her giggling for the first time in a while. When it got a little out of control, I got DH to step in and say 'that's enough' so I wasn't just Bad Mummy all the time.
I also let her sit in the front of the car (in booster seat, short local journeys) and we belt out some songs from the CDs she chooses and is in charge of. That usually gets us laughing.
She might not find those things very funny. Just find nice things to do with her. You can be very very happy without laughing!
Spend some 1-on-1 time with her. Make an effort to get to know her and what makes her tick. You sound quite critical of her 'taking it too far' really, she is only young and 'pop' is quite funny. Careful that you don't expect too mic because she is the oldest and probably seems really grown up compare to her younger brothers, she's still very young really!
Ask her? My DD loves time with just me - swimming, shopping, having lunch or afternoon tea, walking the dog, cinema etc especially if she gets to choose. She chats away, especially in the car and it is fun or both of us - not laugh out loud larking just really good time together. Every now and then she will ask me to read to her in our bed and chooses favourite books from years ago - she is 13. I value every precious minute as she is changing so fast and our busy, busy lives easily take over. Perhaps set aside some time and give her a few options?
Erm, 'poo' is hysterical to a 7 year old. (I have two)
I have very high standards of behaviour in general (MN often tells me too high) but toilet humour in a 7 yo is totally normal.
It's not appropriate if she's yelling it out in church maybe but having a giggle at home with the family? <shrug>
She probably seems very old to you in comparison to her brothers but she's not really, 7 is still very wee.
Maybe lighten up on the whole 'older and inappropriate' attitude a bit. She doesn't need to spend her whole life being a good example to her brothers.
My DD tends to take things too far too. I've learned she's better in situations without DS around and also where we let her lead things. Whilst she adore her little brother and understands they should play and share, sometimes she just wants her own time and things. When we can facilitate this she behaves better.
Today she decided we would all play eye-spy in the car. It ended up being hilarious for us all for many different reasons, mainly stemming from a complete lack of understanding of how eye-spy works!
I often felt like you and still do from time to time, she is the eldest and my learning platform, I've suffered ill health recently so I'm not the wonderful mum I wanted to be. But you need to let that go. Your DD probably doesn't want that perfect mum, she just wants you and if she can have some time on her own with you doing what she wants (within reason) you'll probably find it all comes a lot more naturally. Not that flare ups wont happen, but give yourself a break
Hmm.. She sees that you're laughing at her brother's antics and copies them, because she wants approval from you, like you give to them. I think this is what she is emulating.
I think you (and her dad) need to spend some time alone with her, it sounds a bit like you've put the boys needs above hers, sorry, that's how it comes across.
Find out what she is interested in by having a conversation. Leave the younger ones with a sitter and make her feel all grown up by the two of you going for pizza or ice cream. Stop yourself from making the conversation all about the boys, let her tell you about her life and listen xxx
Allow me to tell you the joke that had two 8 year old's guffawing while I was watching them for a bit.
"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
"Why did the cow cross the road?"
"To do a big poop!"
Seriously. Lighten up about the poo or a rule against it for all the kids. If it's not ok for her, it's not ok for the two year old either. You need to have fair rules. Right now she's being sidelined because her brothers can do no wrong, but she gets criticized when she does the same thing. You can fix this by treating them fairly, not manufacturing fake laughter to pretend you had fun and are therefore doing nothing wrong in your parenting.
DD can be moody and negative. I have found that her behaviour is a direct reflection of how happy/insecure she is and how much attention she's getting from me.
One thing I found that really helped for us was going back to reading a bed-time story. Even though DD had been free-reading for years, it made a big different because it gave her the feeling that she was getting my undivided attention and quiet, one-to-one time that gave her the opportunity to voice her fears/hopes.
I have an 11 year old who was in stitches over a poo joke the other day.
Tbh it sounds like she feels she is competing with her brothers and trying to copy them.
It can be quite difficult to juggle one on one time with kids. But I really think you need to try and get sometime with her on her own. Don't try to make it funny, ask her what she wants to do together.
It's easier now my youngest is older. But there are certain things me and dd always do. I always take for her hair cutting at my friends salon. She loves spending time with me and this friend. At Christmas we always have a day out together, just us.
Me and the kids share a hobby. So sometimes I go with one or both.
When the kids were younger, I would just go sit in her room with her. Or late her stay up a bit later at weekends and watch a movie of her choice and have some popcorn. Or play a game on the play station, when ds was in bed.
I know dd felt pushed out in the early days with ds, most of it couldn't be helped. But she is much happier in herself in general now she has 1 on 1 time with us. She usually cooks with DH. Dh is always really good with school projects too, so he does those things with her.
I am not judging you btw, just trying to give some ideas.
Am nearly 30 and a 12 year old tutee and I were in stitches over a talking dog who was obsessed with poo (as you would imagine if a dog could actually talk).
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