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Can anyone offer any advice on how I should be dealing with my DD (4)

(8 Posts)
docket Mon 08-Nov-10 13:21:47

DD is 4. We also have DS1 (6) and DS2 (11months). DD was angelic up to a year or so ago, since then her behaviour has been trying to say the least.

She screams constantly, won't do anything without a fuss. Getting out of the house in the morning is ALWAYS a nightmare because she won't get dressed / won't stop screaming. It's very rare indeed that a whole day passes without several screaming incidents. Often I feel as though she is going out of her way to make things as difficult as possible. Worse, she just doesn't seem very happy. Since starting school in September she has started talking in a strange voice the whole time. She doesn't seem like 'her' IYSWIM. She doesn't really seem to want to engage in anything either. We've tried taking her to activities specifically for her, spending time with her 1 on 1, massively praising her good behaviour etc. She's so good at talking but is really unresponsive in conversation (usually she just starts talking in the 'voice' and what she says doesn't make a lot of sense).

I'm at a loss as to what to do. I'm ashamed to say that I often feel like I don't want to spend any time with her. I'm sure it's connected to the arrival of DS2 (who she often hits when she thinks we aren't looking) but I find it hard to believe it's just that. She seems to want attention but I'm not sure we're giving her what she needs.

Could all this be down to jealousy of a sibling? Can anyone offer any advice? Recommend any reading? I just want my lovely, happy girl back sad

IntergalacticHussy Mon 08-Nov-10 13:41:24

i'm in a very similar boat. DD1 is 4 and dd2 is 9 mths. Don't really have much advice but we're also experiencing the hitting thing (when she thinks i'm not looking).

Have you tried having a word with her teacher to see how she's getting on at school? might shed some light.

Dd1 also occasionally talks in weird 'syrupy' voice, but i think its something she's picked up from friends at school, as i hear them doing sometimes. Kids do these things i suppose; sometimes i ignore it, and sometimes i say 'speak in your normal voice please.' which seems to work.

docket Mon 08-Nov-10 14:39:39

Thanks Intergalactic, it's good to know that I'm not alone (not that I'm glad you're experiencing this too IYSWIM!)

I had thought about speaking to her teacher, will do this.

Oh, it's so difficult (sigh)...

purplepidjin Mon 08-Nov-10 21:59:45

If she won't get dressed in the morning, take her to school in her pyjamas. I highly doubt she'll let that happen more than once!

Can you do a reward chart based on helping you with the baby? For example helping to change his nappy. Obviously I wouldn't expect a 4yo to change a nappy, but she could hold his hand while he's changed, put the bagged nappy in the bin, put cream on etc. There must be loads of other little jobs she could help with that would help her see him as someone to be loved and cared for instead of something that takes attention away from her?

5 stars for helping with the baby = a new hair clip/soft toy from the pound shop?

docket Tue 09-Nov-10 08:53:39

Thanks purple. The baby-specific reward chart sounds a great idea.

I can't imagine taking her to school in her pyjamas. But you're right, it's not the sort of thing to do twice!

purplepidjin Wed 10-Nov-10 12:33:00

Tbh, they're probably used to it! I'd suggest you have a spare uniform in a bag for when you get there though wink

welshandproud Wed 10-Nov-10 12:50:26

Her behaviour changed around about the time the baby was due? Sounds a little like she feels displaced. There has been been some varied and non conclusive research into 'middle' child syndrome.I don't know much more about it than that, other than friends who are teachers swear they can identify middle children in their classes!Sorry to not offer any help but you have been given some great advice here that's worth a try.

LooL00 Wed 10-Nov-10 13:07:27

We've just got through this with dc2.She is 4, dc1 is 5 and dc3 is 4months. When she started school in sept she went from being reasonably well behaved to talking in a constant shout, screaming a lot and losing it frequently. We put it down to being massively overtired and excited/stressed. The problem was she was being so awful that we were treating her as being annoying the whole time. So we decided to be really tough on rudeness and shouting and talking in stupid voices and weather the screaming. DH didn't like being tough with his little girl but it's better than being grumpy with her the whole time. She finally calmed down over half term and we now have a charming little 4 year old again.dc1 was pretty bad when he starte school too.

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