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How do I get the power back?

(30 Posts)
MadJeffBarn Wed 01-Mar-17 18:20:21

Not really an aibu but posting for traffic as I'm utterly at my wits end.
My 5 year old rules the roost. Its taken s long time to admit it and im ashamed. She doesn't listen to me, at all. I ask her to tidy and she just says 'no'. That's it. She's mean to her brother, she's mean to us. She has an absolutely stinking attitude. But I don't know how to claw back the power. It's easy to say 'you're the grown up she's the child' but whatever measures I put in place doesn't affect her. Time outs, throwing her stuff away, groundings, punishments, bribery, sticker charts... Nothing. My mil is a social support worker and she tells me to pick my battles which is good advice, except she let's her get away with everything and to be honest, working full time with two young kids, I don't have time to be diplomatic on every battle we have. Today I just sat on the sofa and watched while she threw baby wipes everywhere, ripped up tissue and harassed her brother because I'm so tired and sick of fighting, fighting the will to just walk out and lock the door behind me. It's her deadpan face whenever I try, it winds me up no end!

ImperialBlether Wed 01-Mar-17 18:22:16

Does she have special needs, OP?

FreeNiki Wed 01-Mar-17 18:22:56

Dont feed her.

She'll get no dinner until she picks up what she.threw. unless she wants to starve....

Rhayader Wed 01-Mar-17 18:22:59

You have to be consistent, she's confused about the barriers because sometimes she can do something and sometimes she cant. Everyone will have to be consistent with what is and isn't okay and what the punishment is. That means your MIL, school etc

andontothenext Wed 01-Mar-17 18:25:18

Oh OP you're raising a horror of an adult if you let this continue.

MadJeffBarn Wed 01-Mar-17 18:27:08

and on which is why I'm trying my hardest to rein it in now sad no she's not special needs. Just a very strong willed, strong minded little lady who's thinks she's older than she is.

DevelopingDetritus Wed 01-Mar-17 18:42:10

Oh, they don't half test you don't they OP, she sounds very bright.
When You say no, do you really mean it and stick to it at all costs?

DevelopingDetritus Wed 01-Mar-17 18:43:16

*she must not win the battle.

DevelopingDetritus Wed 01-Mar-17 18:46:59

I've just read your OP again. Have you sat down quietly with her and asked her why she carries on like this?

OpalFruitsMarathonsandSpira Wed 01-Mar-17 18:47:03

When you pick your battle, then physically anchor yourself to something. Door handle, chair, washing up liquid bottle... Focus on the anchor and ignore all the shit she throws at you. Intermittently and robotically repeat your instructions/rules. Don't let go of anchor!

MadJeffBarn Wed 01-Mar-17 18:49:23

opal that sounds like great advice! I'm finding it harder and harder to hold my temper. This sounds like a good coping mechanism!
It takes a long time. Alot of arguing, alot of shouting. Today was a slight victory, she actually tidied her bedroom without too much fuss. I told her her friend wouldn't stay again if they leave the room in that state again!

Ohyesiam Wed 01-Mar-17 18:52:15

Google Hand in Hand Parenting courses, it's a really really different approach and get amazing results. It totally changed our family dynamic, so much better.

SpeedyBoots Wed 01-Mar-17 18:56:30

It sounds really tough. Our three year old was similar and at the time i also had a four month old to deal with. I found the 123 Magic book to be really helpful. It goes into a lot of detail but the main ideas are being consistent and not getting emotional or angry. It involves counting to three then sending them for a time out. We've been using it for about four months and while he still pushes the boundaries a lot, I feel much calmer and in control. I would definitely recommend reading the book as all the details and examples made me more confident to carry it out.

ems137 Wed 01-Mar-17 19:19:05

My 9 year old DD can be like this and none of the "usual" punishments worked. I have found thinking of things that she loves doing/having and using the restriction of those as a punishment has worked wonders. E.g. She loves to do crafts - I take them away. She loves walking to school on her own - I go with her and she can't walk with friends.

I also don't let small bits of bad attitude and answering back slide either, she gets a warning and is told ahead of time what the punishment will be and I 100% follow through. It will never work if you let things go sometimes or don't follow through on punishments etc

I also try and do lots of things she enjoys doing together like baking and art stuff when she's being well behaved x

andontothenext Wed 01-Mar-17 19:21:41

Sorry OP I just read my post back and it sounds a bit off.

I feel for you. It must be stressful dealing with that behaviour. I think you need consistency and firmness like she's never experienced

weebarra Wed 01-Mar-17 19:25:28

I've done an Incredible Years course through my local sure start and I'm now doing a How to Talk so children listen course. I was referred by my health visitor when I took my 2 year old for her two year check. It wasn't her that was the issue it was her oldest brother.
I have found the course massively helpful with regards to my parenting and my house is a nicer place to be for all of us now.

NinkyNonky Wed 01-Mar-17 19:39:35

I can second hand in hand parenting. Takes a bit of a mental shift as it's quite different to standard parenting techniques. But - there's lots of stuff about setting boundaries which I think children really need to feel secure.

krustykittens Wed 01-Mar-17 19:45:29

My youngest was like this at her age, there seemed to be nothing we could punish her with that made her change her behaviour. She didn't care if she was sent to her room, she would just go to sleep, she didn't care if we took her toys away from her, she would just sing to herself, it was maddening. We never did find a silver bullet but she did grow out of it all and become more empathetic. She cares much more about what we think and doesn't like anyone to be upset at her now. She did have glue ear when she was little, which made her live in her own little world and meant that she didn't really register the existence of other people. try the other parenting techniques others have mentioned and if they don't work, try something else. But it is NOT you, because you so obviously care about how your daughter turns out. You will get through this. In the meantime, there is always wine

MrsKoala Wed 01-Mar-17 19:49:40

it's so hard OP isn't it. My 4.6 yo is a total terror. We also struggle with no punishment affecting him. I am going to follow this thread with interest.

flowers for you tho. (no helpful advice - i'm sorry)

RandomMess Wed 01-Mar-17 19:51:58

Have you considered trying the

"I' disappointed you aren't showing me how helpful you can be by tidying up"

replace that with

how kind you can be playing with your brother

how good you are following instructions

You may have to switch disappointed with sad and other similar things occasionally.

Lots of recognition when she does act in the way she wants.

"I see you've been wonderfully with your brother, are you proud of yourself?"

Focus on making it about her feeling good about yourself?

"I see how cross you are feeling by throwing those baby wipes everywhere, shall we pick them up whilst you tell me why you are so cross?"

EnormousTiger Wed 01-Mar-17 20:10:12

I don't think any of mine at 5 ever tidied a room. Do you think your standards and expectations of her are too high?

I find that giving 5 bits of praise to every negative comment to children helps. Also they tend to mirror your mood so if you are really happy, genuinely, laughing having fun they are. If you're not they aren't.

Is she getting enough sleep and is she eating really good whole foods?

EnormousTiger Wed 01-Mar-17 20:10:44

Also where is the father in all this? If you and she clash then let the father deal with her for a month or so. My father and mother eg divide us up at bed time and one put 2 of us through bath, stories, songs, bed and the other the other child.

NannyR Wed 01-Mar-17 20:22:01

I've had huge massive behaviour improvements with several children using the 123 magic book. It gives you a "method" for dealing with all unwanted behaviour in a very calm, consistent way and it also talks about how to engage with your children, how too much talking and explaining and emotion does not work. Well worth reading.

OpalFruitsMarathonsandSpira Wed 01-Mar-17 20:28:37

I don't think any of mine at 5 ever tidied a room. Do you think your standards and expectations of her are too high?


I don't think that is an unreasonable expectation of a 5yo at all.

NannyR Wed 01-Mar-17 20:32:30

I agree opal - even toddlers in a nursery will be encouraged to "help" tidy up, it's never too early to instill it as a good habit.

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