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My daughter is annoying

(36 Posts)
Mobby Mon 27-Dec-10 19:58:29

She's coming up for 10. She's always been annoying. Or attention seeking. I'm not sure which - possibly both.

It's almost like a nervous tic, she can't help herself.

For example, if things are quiet she'll do a ridiculous fake sneeze. If I'm concentrating on something she'll come up and tickle me. If I'm talking on the phone she'll start waving around to get my attention.

I know these examples are nothing out of the ordinary - but it's constant such behaviour - she just can't help herself, and cannot empathise as to how it feels to be on the constant receiving end.

She doesn't just do it to me. It's to everyone or in front of anyone. Over Christmas we had lots of guests and one of them asked me how I put up with her sad, which has prompted me to discuss it here.

She's doing well at school - no behavioural problems ever flagged by the teachers - and she has lots of friends.

What should I think about this? She can't go through life annoying people.

My attempts to correct her / explain to her / punish her for such behaviour over the years only seems to result in me showing how disappointed I am in her - and I don't want that. As soon as disappointment is shown from myself or DH, we see her face fall and she's upset but still carries on and does not learn. As I say, she can't seem to help herself.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

MadamDeathstare Mon 27-Dec-10 20:02:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ragged Mon 27-Dec-10 20:04:20

Is she an only child? Else I guess she just likes you?

DH took the other 3 DC away for 2 days, leaving me with 6yo DS who wouldn't stop TALKING. Refused to watch TV (just so I could have a break), could not remember how to take turns in conversation, just went on and on interrupting and insisting on attention all the time. It's better now that his siblings are back... so now 2yo DS has velcro'd himself to my lap. (sigh)

SantosLHalper Mon 27-Dec-10 20:04:35

I am less concerned by your dd behaviour than I am by you thinking "she has always been annoying".

blinks Mon 27-Dec-10 20:06:18

she sounds insecure and probably needs reassurance rather than criticism.

Adair Mon 27-Dec-10 20:13:03

Agree. I'm afraid I kinda think that children who seek attention NEED attention. You just need to teach her how to seek it appropriately.

As practical advice, try to focus on what she should/could do rather than what she shouldn't. So 'dd, why don't you ask me to play a jigsaw with you?' if she is trying to make funny noises. Or try smiling at her when she approaches if you are on the phone and whispering/gesturing 'dd, come and give me a cuddle' ...

Mobby Mon 27-Dec-10 20:16:15

Thanks everyone.

Santos - yes I find it concerning too that I think she's always been annoying. That doesn't mean I don't love her as much as my other children, but it disturbs me that my view of her isn't one of perfection.

I can't fathom why she would be insecure and needing reassurance - but this is something I've considered at length. She's a confident child with a very happy disposition and comes from a stable home. But a feeling of insecurity could explain it.

Earlybird Mon 27-Dec-10 20:17:27

I think it is telling that she doesn't seem to be attention seeking at school - which infers that she is able to control it based on where she is/who she is with.

Not saying it is your 'fault', but wonder if she is so anxious to be noticed that she'd rather have negative attention than be ignored?

SixtyFootDoll Mon 27-Dec-10 20:18:50

maybe she knows your 'view of her isnt one of perfection'?

Maybe thats why she feels insecure?

Mobby Mon 27-Dec-10 20:35:21

She gets plenty of attention including weekly 1-2-1 with both myself and DH. But, potentially, it's not enough attention for her individual needs.

I also have learned over the years to praise her good behaviour, ignore her bad behaviour, give her lots of hugs and kisses (which we both love) and tell her how much I love her, and am proud of her.

Potentially, though, I've got the balance incorrect for her individual needs.

bloomingnora Mon 27-Dec-10 20:45:07

She is a child not an employee. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but it sounds like you have done a performance appraisal and found her wanting. She WILL pick up on what you are thinking. Hope you find a way to get through this. Some useful advice in 'Beyond Toddlerhood'. Can't remember who it's by but it lists different behaviours and gives advice. Can be good if it is a specific problem which this seems to be. Good luck.

allyfe Mon 27-Dec-10 20:47:46

All children/adults are insecure. That is just a fact of life.

Children are So sensitive about picking up on how their parents feel, so these is a big chance that she is aware that you feel negatively about her. So she tries everything she can to get your attention and approval and love. Personally I think you need to work on managing your negative feelings towards her. I'd suggest that if you can became more tolerant of her negative behavior, and try to give her lots of attention and reassurance before the behaviour starts, then she,may begin to build her confidence in how you feel and the negative behaviours may reduce. There are some good ideas about teaching your daughter how to ask to have her needs met more positively.

Ormirian Mon 27-Dec-10 20:49:22

"one of them asked me how I put up with her " the correct response to which was 'She's my child and I love her so fuck off'.

Adair Mon 27-Dec-10 20:49:51

Only in these particular instances though. I'm sure OVERALL she is a very sweet and happy little girl - which is down to you smile.

She only needs some redirection, I think - just some help to ask for attention without falling into the 'annoying' habit that you have maybe both got into... She might need help articulating how she feels too - and that it's ok to feel a bit miffed if you are on the phone but she can write down what she wants and then you'll listen later.

It's hard being a parent, isn't it? Every time they look dejected or downcast we feel responsible, but we can't be all the time. 'They fuck you up, your mum and dad...' so they say... confused. We all grow up with our little issues remember anyway, all we can do is try to do our best to raise them happy and healthy overall (and save for the therapy...!)

allyfe Mon 27-Dec-10 20:50:14

Just to add, I'm not saying you don't love her hugely.

allyfe Mon 27-Dec-10 20:50:53

Just to add, I'm not saying you don't love her hugely.

dittany Mon 27-Dec-10 20:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mobby Mon 27-Dec-10 20:54:00

allyfe - yes you are right. I actually made a decision about 3 years ago to be very accepting and not show disappointment. I really see it as a quirk of her personality. But it is potentially deeper than that.

Ormirian - spot on, that was more or less my answer. I was quite shocked someone would say that!

Thanks Adair. She really is first and foremost a happy, popular, amusing, fun to be with girl.
It's just this one thing.
And the comment at Christmas prompted me to churn it all over in my head again.

natandchris10 Mon 27-Dec-10 20:58:18

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

RoadCraftGuru Mon 27-Dec-10 21:02:43

Fucking Hell. Some people seem to be reading a totally different thread to me. I see an articulate and honest mother who clearly loves her daughter and is asking for some advice on dealing with some of her DDs more challenging quirks.

allyfe Mon 27-Dec-10 21:04:19

Mobby perhaps it is just an incompatibility between your personality and hers. That is nobody's fault. But if it is the case and you have always found her ways of asking for more attention irritating, it is not surprising she feels insecure. IT sounds a bit like you think she has a flaw in her personality. But if it is just a difference perhaps you can work on teaching her more appropriate ways to express her needs, which might make it easier for you not to react negatively to them?

Adair Mon 27-Dec-10 21:04:44


Though, hopefully, this thread will make you see that the majority of people DON'T see that kind of behaviour as hugely annoying.
It;s horrible when people say twatty things about your kids though. My annoying 19yo sil tells dd 'off' for things that are really not her being naughty. It irritates me, but also I find myself getting slightly irritated with dd - even though objectively it's not her fault. (eg she asked sil if she could open her presents - that she could see in the bag, she is 4, it's christmas, we had explained that we all give each other presents. Sil told her that was Very Rude to ask for presents. So I tried to explain to sil that dd didn't really understand the social convention of 'pretending' you might not get a present, while also trying to explain said social convention to dd. Argh.)

Anyway, re-reading your post. I think as I said before you could try a bit of redirecting and teaching new ways of seeking atttention. But that it's not as big a problem as you think. Good luck.

CarGirl Mon 27-Dec-10 21:09:54

RoadCraft I'm with you. If other people have commented on it, it is clearly a very noticable/wearing/challenging quirk and her Mum is asking for some ideas/thoughts on how to deal with as the positive praise she has been doing for 3 years doesn't seem to be enough............

Can you ask her to write something down?

Could you try a card system, so one says 5 one says 10 so if you are in the middle of something you show her a card and she has to leave you along for that long and then you will spend 10 minutes with her giving her undivided attention?

Pantofino Mon 27-Dec-10 21:12:28

I'm with RoadCraftGuru. If my dd CONSTANTLY irrated ne and others with odd behaviour, I would be telling her that is not the way to do things. I would give her attention, yes, but at age 10 she is NOT a baby who needs it constantly. A child of this age is not far off secondary school and needs to learn how to brush along easily with the family and others.

Adair Mon 27-Dec-10 21:13:54

(PS 'annoying' sil is only really annoying becuase she is being a normal 19yo too grin)

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