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Appalling behaviour towards another child

(24 Posts)
marykat2004 Fri 24-Dec-10 09:06:22

My DD is 6 and an only child (just for a bit of background). The last 2 days we have looked after a friend's daughter (age 5) one day, and the friend took my DD to the panto yesterday. When the child arrived Wednesday DD was rude to her, not letting her play with her toys etc. I made cookies with both of them which distracted the situaion.

yesterday the friend took my daughter to the panto. DD refused to speak to the other child. The other child is really well behaved, even when my DD is being really horrible to her. She didn't understand why DD wouldn't speak to her.

On the way home I tried to explain that you can't be so cruel to people, or you won't have any friends. (I dropped her and then picked up from panto, I wasn't there to see but asked the mum how DD was, and she said DD wouldn't speak to her or the child).

Should I take away her Christmas Presents? Or what? It seems wrong that DD is happily skipping around after behaving so badly.

seeker Fri 24-Dec-10 09:07:59

What does she say when you ask her why she is behaving like this?

marykat2004 Fri 24-Dec-10 09:17:31

She says she "doesn't like" this little girl. I can't see what there is not to like about her.

She is a friend's daughter, not at the same school.

In the past the 2 girls have played together, and even requested to see each other.

The only thing I can think is that since it was the mums' arrangement, and not DD's idea, that DD is being contrary. She tends to always want the opposite of what DH and I plan.

But still. it is appalling. DH and I don't fight and I don't think we are cruel to each other. I don't even know where DD has learned such awful behaviour.

SkyBluePearl Fri 24-Dec-10 11:08:17

Maybe a TV ban or hold back some gifts. She was very rude and its good to put your foot down.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 24-Dec-10 11:11:29

Maybe DD just genuinely doesn't like this girl - after all just because you are friends with the Mother does not mean that the kids will automatically be friends. Maybe not a good idea to "force" them together. And maybe the fact the other girl is so perfectly behaved is actually making DD feel like misbehaving to goad the other girl into letting her halo slip....

allnightlong Fri 24-Dec-10 11:12:51

Your DD is 6 old for to old for the 'distraction method' it's time you started discipling her for rude behaviour.

BubbaAndBump Fri 24-Dec-10 11:18:19

Taking something away and letting her earn it back by being polite next time will be a good lesson for her. Good luck.

allnightlong Fri 24-Dec-10 11:19:18

That should have read: Your DD at 6 old is far to old for the 'distraction method' it's time you started discipling her for rude behaviour.

ScarlettWalking Fri 24-Dec-10 11:21:02

I would come down on my DD quite hard for behaviour like this. esp when they were taking her out for a nice treat shock

I would absolutely take away some gifts until she apologises. Even if she doesn't like the totally girl fair enough stop the playdates but basic manners and are needed.

Besom Fri 24-Dec-10 11:24:03

You need to ask 'how would you feel if someone treated you like that?' and also have a discussion about the consequences for her - i.e that she will lose friends if she behaves like that.

At six I would have thought she will be able to begin to understand these things.

marykat2004 Fri 24-Dec-10 21:59:28

"You need to ask 'how would you feel if someone treated you like that?' and also have a discussion about the consequences for her - i.e that she will lose friends if she behaves like that."

I said exactly that and DD burst into tears...

perfectstorm Sat 25-Dec-10 02:32:42

I don't think punishment is going to be helpful here, I think more quiet talking about how she would feel would be. She needs to have a good think about how unkind it was, and about how when someone is being kind enough to take her to a treat being ungrateful is also going to make the person supplying the treat feel bad. The problem with a punishment is she will focus on that and possibly (probably?) resent the child more. It's my opinion that she needs to be thinking about why what she did was wrong, not how much she dislikes the punishment, or you may as well train her just to be unkind in secret next time. This is social skills and the best way to reinforce that is by talking, I think. The fact she burst into tears is perhaps a good sign - she's very young for empathy to kick in without you reinforcing/reminding her about it, but it's plainly there!

She doesn't have to repeatedly play with someone she doesn't like, but she does have to be kind to them when she sees them, is I think what you're saying? And talking that through would be my way of getting that into her mind. A homemade thank-you card for the friend's mum, and a sorry for being rude, might be a good idea as well.

Good for you for taking the friend's word on her behaviour, too. Lots of parents would get defensive about that I suspect.

Besom Sat 25-Dec-10 18:03:55

I agree with everything perfect storm has said.

What do you think yourself MaryKat?

marykat2004 Sun 26-Dec-10 09:09:32

I agree with all that as well. Thank you. I wouldn't have asked the other mum if I hadn't also seen DD being rude the day before as well.

DD has had plenty of good times with this little girl. That is what baffles me. It's not as if the parents have shoved them together against their will since they were born. DD just seems to have this idea that since it was mum's idea (and the other girl's mum), and not DD's idea, therefore DD is being told to do something she doesn't want to do. DD will pretty much oppose most things suggested to her by her parents.

On another thread I have read about "PDA". I had never heard of this. Is it real or just medicalisation of a personality type? DD refuses to join group activities, refuses to follow instructions (like ballet, etc, we don't even try), has a tantrum if we arrange to do anything that isn't HER idea. She decided she didn't like this little girl because it wasn't her choice.

Or maybe that is overcomplicating? I'm not sure if I can believe all these "disabilities". I was painfully shy as a child, rarely played with anyone and preferred books to people. I was also very imaginative with toys, as is DD, giving names and personalities to toys. But is that really an illness?

Not that that gives any excuse for bad behaviour either. But I have talked with DD about it as suggested.


CuddlyNotFat Sun 26-Dec-10 09:20:51

Do you think that at 6, she is just seeing how far she can go and what gets an interesting reaction? My 6 y.o DD can be pretty challenging but does get 'told off' by her big sis too, which I think helps her to see when she's being reasonable and when not. Your DD is maybe channeling all of that into her relationship with you and this friend of hers.

Not sure if that helps - just a few thoughts. Don't be too quick to label her though. She is still young and with your love and guidance, I'm sure she'll be fine.
( Hard for you, though!)

oldandgreynow Mon 27-Dec-10 12:24:50

I would just tell her she won't have friends who will takeher out for treats if she is rude to them.
HOWEVER it sounds as though your child didn't really want to go out with this other girl to the pantomime.She knows what she likes and what she doesn't and maybe you need to talk through with her whether she WANTS to do something before committing her to it.
Sorry that has come out wrong andsounds critical and harsh, which wasn't what i intended

marykat2004 Mon 27-Dec-10 22:31:08

Well, the thing about choice is maybe the heart of the problem. I think we give DD far too many choices but I guess we didn't know that you aren't meant to give children choices because it confuses them. Often we all make decisions together, though sometimes I make a decision that DD doesn't like, and she makes a fuss about it. Quite often in fact. If I say "we are doing this" I am likely to met with conflict. Example: "we are going swimming." "NOOOO." But if I say "there is this pool with waves..." the response is "I want to go there!"

Before xmas it was very hectic and I took the other child for a day, and her mum offered to take DD. DD was not keen on the idea. I see that. And I see that it is a mistake that sometimes DD has a choice and sometimes she doesn't, and that confuses her. And this time she took it out on the other little girl which was totally unfair.

All down to bad parenting. I am sure I would have failed the test if people were forced to take parenting tests before getting pregnant.

Poppyella Mon 27-Dec-10 22:50:16

that's such a sad thing to say Marykat. I have no words of wisdom about yr daughter, but don't be too hard on yourself about 'bad parenting'.

Remember her love is unconditional.

My 6 yr old daughter is also what we call manipulative in that she often does/doesn't do stuff we want her to do because we suggest it. But if it was her idea, it would be fine! It's frustrating and annoying but as long as you instill good manners into her and talk to her about how her behaviour might affect the other girl, you are doing fine.

Good luck


perfectstorm Thu 30-Dec-10 20:00:38

You don't sound a bad parent at all! You sound a loving, engaged and concerned one who is doing her absolute best.

I think some kids are just contrary. DS was, famously so according to his family - and he wasn't given lots of choices, he was just that way because he is stubbornly independent. He grew out of the contrariness, and the independence is a lovable and useful quality. It's just who he is, and that's fine.

I don't think kids come blank slates. They have their own temperaments, and we can screw 'em up, and guide them well, but I seriously doubt we can create. Your dd is who she is, and you sound like you are doing everything you can to help her grow up well. There's no magic answer, I don't think, and no one perfect way to parent.

I've been reading a book called Dream Babies, on childcare advice through the centuries, and it's staggering how all the advice-givers unite in their faith that any other method will be a disaster.

sleepingsowell Thu 30-Dec-10 20:59:17

I think it's very easy to forget that childhood can include times of real anger and misery! Being a child means that you don't have control over your life and you don't get to say what happens to you most of the time. It can result in feelings of burning anger - I remember my whole body burning with anger sometimes as a kid!

It's ok for her to be angry and feel oppositional, ALL kids do at some times in their childhood.

I think you have dealt with it perfectly by discussing with her how her actions have made others feel. If you trust her to be the nice person she is, then that knowledge alone is consequence enough ~(and her tears show that it is enough). I wouldn't be tempted to medicalise this into any kind of oppositional disorder. I think it is perfectly natural and normal and with your concerned and thoughtful style of parenting, she will as she matures learn to govern her behaviour better.

And by the way I think saying "there's this pool....etc" rather than "we're going swimming" is far better, far nicer - why wouldn't you engage and get her on side with you - no one likes to be ordered about whether they are 6 or 56!

marykat2004 Thu 30-Dec-10 23:03:07

thank you for your kind comments. I have been away for a few days. And poor DD got to be on the receiving end of some other children's bad behaviour.

Life has many lessons to be learned, and even adults don't have all the answers or behave in exactly the correct way all the time. We can only do our best to guide our young ones.

perfectstorm Fri 31-Dec-10 11:27:42

Aww, I'm sorry. That must have been really hard for you, as well as her.

I hope you all have a lovely New Year. (And yep - nobody has the answers. My big theory is: any non-academic subject that requires a large shelf or 10 in a bookshop, and nobody really knows the answers. Diets, relationships, children's sleep, children's behaviour...)

perfectstorm Fri 31-Dec-10 11:28:43

Oops, that should have been "DH" as famously contrary, now a very calm adult! DS is rather small for that jury to be back, yet. grin

dittany Fri 31-Dec-10 11:34:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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