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Does anyone find it hard to "be the adult" with their kids?

(16 Posts)
tigercub50 Sat 28-May-16 16:20:09

My 7 year old DD is extremely strong willed & at the moment also very argumentative. I am trying my hardest to keep calm but often I can hear myself retaliating & I sound like a petulant child myself! I guess we clash because we are quite similar although I am not as strong willed. The holiday has just started so any advice on how to handle it all would be gratefully received. Pretty fed up of every conversation turning into a row!

VioletBam Sun 29-May-16 04:56:16

Remember the old MN adage "No is a complete answer"

Limit yourself to one word responses until she has a tantrum or whatever. I find it helps to say "It doesn't matter what you say, my answer won't change and if you carry on, then you're going to your room"

And stick to that.

Just5minswithDacre Sun 29-May-16 06:03:28

Pretty fed up of every conversation turning into a row!

With a 7 year old? I bet you are. That sounds immensely hard work.

Violet is bang on. You need to be more confident in saying 'no' and sticking to no.

How did it come to this, though?

What does she argue about?

tigercub50 Sun 29-May-16 08:57:34

Pretty much everything which is why it's so wearing. Arguing, not listening, not doing as sh's told, answering back & generally being contrary! I love her to pieces but hate being in a battle to get sometimes the simplest things done

Just5minswithDacre Sun 29-May-16 08:59:59

Does she respond the same way to their adults?

Just5minswithDacre Sun 29-May-16 09:00:18


EquinoxBloom Sun 29-May-16 09:00:46

Urgh sounds like hard work!

Draw a line in the sand and have clear consequences for overstepping it. I have limited patience and can't be fucking arguing every point all the time. If you want her to do something, try:

Give a forewarning, so X in five minutes, then X in one minute
Then ask
Give one reminder
Count down from three
Punish if not done.

Mine are a bit younger but this routine is clear and done every single time. I can't be arsed with toing and froing.

peggyundercrackers Sun 29-May-16 09:02:13

Why would you argue with a child? say no once and that's the end of it, no arguments nothing. If she answers back disengage, if she continues then she goes to bed.

tigercub50 Sun 29-May-16 09:15:23

Must admit, I do tend to engage with her far too much. Reckon we both have a strong sense of wanting to be right. She doesn't behave like this with other adults, just me & her Dad although he doesn't get drawn in so much

EquinoxBloom Sun 29-May-16 09:16:30

But you know you're right, so why argue?

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Sun 29-May-16 09:19:36

Could have written this myself OP.

I also end up trying to reason with her, explain why her behaviour is unacceptable etc. but often end up shouting at her (particularly when I've asked her to do something uncountable times or she's been particularly cheeky) which I hate. I also do the "no" is a complete sentence which rarely results in anything but persistent pleading, asking why, getting angry etc.

There are occasions when I'm successful (although I get the occasional "you're the worst parents in the world" or similar - not that it bothers me in the slightest) but it is a hard slog.

It is extremely tiring.

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Sun 29-May-16 09:21:10

(My DD is also 7)

Joolsy Sun 29-May-16 09:26:21

A good thing to say if she keeps whining after you've said no is "I'm not going to argue with you about this" and start doing something else. If you've asked her to do something & she isn't doing it, say "once you've e.g. put your shoes on we can go to the park" etc

ritaconnors Sun 29-May-16 09:45:19

I was in IKEA yesterday with my dc and on the table next to us was a family where the kids just argued and fought the whole time. Which table to sit on, which chair was best, who was getting the sauce, who had the most meatballs. On and on it went and I was exhausted by the end and I wasn't even involved.

The parents were almost scared of them I thought. Wheedling. On every single tiny little matter.

Kitsandkids Sun 29-May-16 10:09:59

My 7 year old can also be quite argumentative and I have to stop myself arguing back with him. I find myself ending arguments quite a bit by saying 'stop being cheeky!'

Lara2 Sun 29-May-16 11:26:48

Great advice so far. You have to remember that you are the adult - not her. If possible give 2 choices and stick to them - no bargaining, wheedling. It's choice A or B. Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you say she can't do something don't be drawn into the "If I do this can I do it?" conversation. Ignore the wheedling - she's 7, you're the adult - it's noise. Work out what you want to change first (something that she always argues about maybe?) and focus on changing that. Notice when she's doing what you asked straight away and praise her for it, no matter how small. Tell her what you want her to do and be very specific - generalised instructions leave too much leeway for arguing. And have consequences that are appropriate to the crime and stick to them religiously. That goes for her dad too - you need to be singing off the same page.
She will,push the boundaries (I suspect she has Year 2 itis - they all do it just before they start year 3!) probably worse than ever, but keep going and she will realise that you really mean it.
Walking away when she goes on and on sends a powerful message and a calm one too - once you have given her the choices and made it clear that it's not a democracy.

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