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To be worried about 6 year old's behaviour

(11 Posts)
mydogeatsnutstoo Thu 29-Oct-15 21:02:57

My dd is 6, nearly 7. She has always been a strong willed child but recently her behaviour has been very difficult - just to clarify at outset she is a model child when at school and at friends' houses and can be lovely at home when she chooses. She is quite sociable and outgoing and has lots of friends.

She has always been very stubborn and demanding of her own way all the time though, and I think this is getting worse. Of relevance she has two younger siblings and I think often would like my one to one attention - she can be v clingy wanting to sit on my knee at meals etc. I think that perhaps my expectations of her as the eldest maybe are too high at times, and especially as she is v able and articulate compared to her middle sibling, who is more reserved and has been slower to talk. She is quite often nasty to her sibling, will say she hates him, which upsets me as I want them to get on - and at other times they do though they are very different.

Part of the problem is if I try to tell her off in a stern (not shouting) tone of voice she will say things like 'I don't like it when you speak in that angry voice' and 'I know you don't love me' - even though I have said lots of times that I love her even when I am cross with her, that I love her I just don't like her behaviour etc.
Examples of said behaviour in last couple of days are refusing to take her shoes off in house when asked then throwing a shoe at me from the stairs in angry fashion. Another is taking a bar of chocolate from cupboard, secreting it in her leggings and then trying to get away when I asked her to put it back, again culminating in anger, you don't love me etc. - and turning away when I tried to explain I do love her hence not wanting to let her eat lots of sweets!
I am concerned about the not loving her thing, I don't know if this is genuine or possibly to make me feel bad. She is so clingy it seems like she is insecure but she has always had a lot of love and attention - at least I hope, though I do work part time and have the other two who take a lot of my attention. She is, I would note, also very good when she has undivided attention!

I really want to enforce clear boundaries with her but it is upsetting when this leads her to accuse me of not loving her! I have shouted at her and got angry at times especially when tired but in general make a big effort not to. I am a bit guilty of making rash, empty threats that I don't follow through on so am trying to have real sanctions that get acted on and have implemented one today saying she can't go to am event she was invited to. I also make an effort to reinforce and comment on good behaviour.

I suppose what worries me is her anger and the not loving her thing. I have read that 6 can be a difficult age, they are more articulate and independent but still emotionally immature - just wondered if other people have experienced similar and had any advice?
Sorry for essay!

Purplepoodle Thu 29-Oct-15 21:08:57

it's a difficult age but you need to have set consequences for her bad behaviour. when she screams you don't love me just calmly tell her you love her but you don't love her behaviour and carry out the consequence. I use time outs but not everyone's choice.

Set same rules for all kids - they all take off shoes, sit at the table ect.

You could add some positive rewards in. Every thing she does first time when told, she's gone whole day with out saying unkind stuff to her brother say gets a pebble in a jar. Then when it full she gets a whole day with just mum or dad by herself to do an activity of her choice.

noblegiraffe Thu 29-Oct-15 21:09:28

What was the sanction for throwing a shoe at you or stealing the chocolate?

IguanaTail Thu 29-Oct-15 21:12:59

She's trying to make you feel bad to avoid being ever told off. She knows full well you love her.

noblegiraffe Thu 29-Oct-15 21:13:31

My suspicion is that 'you don't love me' is a sure fire tactic to stop you focussing on her misbehaviour and start you fussing about her instead.

In which case, you need to ignore it and continue to firmly follow through whichever sanction is appropriate. Removal of screen time, being sent to her room, whatever.

laffymeal Thu 29-Oct-15 21:18:36

She's manipulating you with the "you don't love me" nonsense. Stay calm and ignore it, implement sanctions consistently and clearly explain what will happen if she behaves inappropriately again.

IguanaTail Thu 29-Oct-15 21:18:46

Also do not worry about the anger. It's just an attention-seeking thing. She is picking up on your doubt and doing her 6 year old best to over power you. Be confident. Lavish the praise and attention when she's being nice and deal with the bad behaviour when she's not.

goodnightdarthvader1 Thu 29-Oct-15 21:19:57

Agree with noble.

Notimefortossers Thu 29-Oct-15 21:24:07

My 4 year old does the 'you don't love me' thing. Hits ya right where it hurts, but that is their intention! Continue to enforce boundaries and consequences for bad behaviour. As long as you shower love upon her when things are good, she knows you love her really

waitingforcalpoltowork Thu 29-Oct-15 21:26:54

my six year old hates everything he tries to say everyone but he cant lie easily he was told by his other family he should say he hates me but again fortunately he cant get those words out

its a difficult age

mydogeatsnutstoo Thu 29-Oct-15 21:42:18

Hi, pebble in jar is a great idea thanks - one thing she does really like is if we have some time with just me and her.
Sanction for throwing shoe was being sent to room though not sure this was v effective. Sanction for chocolate incident which was culmination of an evening of generally difficult behaviour was to be told she is not going to a birthday party (following through this time on a previous threat - although I think this one is a bit harsh and won't be repeating it or she may lose her social life! May do the screen time thing instead!)
Am reassured that everyone so far thinks the not loving her thing is manipulation!

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