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Dd1 behaving badly. I'm not dealing with it v well. Becoming a negative spiral.

(15 Posts)
Bumperlicioso Sat 04-Jun-11 18:44:59

Dd1 is 4 next month. Over the last few weeks her behaviour has been pretty trying. She's been wetting herself and not telling me, being deliberately disobedient, engineering reasons to have a tantrum, she has also been waking in the night crying, maybe once a week or more and often not lucid.

Don't know if all these things are linked. I'm sure dh and I aren't helping matters. We are both knackered, dd2 has been waking several times a night. Dh is spending all hours trying to build a business website. Dd1, while generally self-sufficient, talks non-stop, morning till night and is very wearing. We are low on patience and feel like we are constantly nagging her to leave dd2 along, stop doing this and that etc. Dh has more patience than me. I am often more focused on dd2 who is 8mo and bfed. I also generally have less tolerance for tantrums over minutitiae, 'I wanted to go first, I wanted a different cup, I don't want to tidy up', and prolonging bed time in various ways, inevitably leading to a tantrum. I don't think she is anxious about anything. She loves her sister, is very chatty and outgoing. She starts school in sept but is v excited about it.

Anyone gone through a similar phase and any tips or at least reassurance I'm not doing a shit job?!

SaltNSauce Sat 04-Jun-11 18:52:10

DD3 is nearly 5 and I am marking my place.

youarekidding Sat 04-Jun-11 18:53:08

Of course not doing a shit job but I mean this in a helpful way - shes getting a reaction isn't she.

We all hit the tired stage and patience becomes less but I found my way to cope was not engaging.

For example - the cup one. Asks for drink in x cup; drink is made in x cup; tantrum because they want y cup. Calmly say you asked for x cup if you want different you need to ask nicely; if they continue put x cup down and walk away.

If you aren't willing to change cups just say you asked for x cup, here it is have a drink and then we'll play x or watch TV etc and walk away.

I just found ignoring and distracting to something positive worked.

MegBusset Sat 04-Jun-11 18:56:18

The night waking sounds like night terrors, DS1 has gone through phases of them. It seems to be a developmental stage so should pass soon.

The other stuff sounds like standard 4yo stuff to me! Can you get any one-on-one time with her at the weekend, leave baby with DH for an hour and take her to the park? This often works wonders when I'm sick to the back teeth of DS1's behaviour.

Bumperlicioso Sat 04-Jun-11 18:57:27

Thanks for the advice. I am actually quite good at walking away, I do snap sometimes but I often just leave her. Dh is less good and tries to keep the peace a bit more. But, man, she's tenacious. She can keep up a low level cry for a long time!

Bumperlicioso Sat 04-Jun-11 19:01:32

I know I should spend more 1 on 1 time with her. But when she is behaving badly I just don't want to. It's so frustrating when you do a nice thing for her the whole morning then she ends up having a tantrum anyway. I know I just need to be the bigger person here, but I just hate giving into her once she's started moaning. I know all the theory behind explaining to them, giving choices etc. But sometimes I want her to bloody well just do as she is asked because I've asked her to without having to negotiate or plead!

justaboutWILLfinishherthesis Sat 04-Jun-11 19:04:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bumperlicioso Sat 04-Jun-11 19:18:42

Thanks justa smile

youarekidding Sat 04-Jun-11 19:41:15

" I know I just need to be the bigger person here, but I just hate giving into her once she's started moaning." You sound just like me. grin

The only way I'm the bigger person sometimes with DS (whos 6 now btw and starting boundary pushing/ answering back again) is physically grin. Sometimes I can hear myself saying subconsiously 'just stop arguing your older than him'. wink

olivo Sat 04-Jun-11 20:14:49

OMG, this could be me, right down to the night wakings, interfering with DD2 and everything! D1 is 4 1/2 but is really hard work, and it is exhausting with DD2 not sleeping too. I think it is normal...

Remember the mantra....this too shall pass........

good luck!

doozle Sat 04-Jun-11 20:21:23

It all sounds totally normal stuff to me.

It's so hard when you're knackered but I'd just stand your ground on the important stuff and let other lesser stuff go. Cuddles as much as you possibly can.

Found the Beyond Toddlerdom book really useful.

FlubbaBubba Sat 04-Jun-11 20:33:31

Are you actually me?
DD1 has just turned 4 and is starting to infuriate both of us beyond belief and we're struggling to deal with it.

We also have two others who demand our time and attention, so hopefully this is just DD1's way of trying to get our attention confused. DH and I keep saying "we must be more positive with DD1 and ignore the naughtiness" but by God it's hard to do in practice when she screams like a banshee because some mayonnaise is on her sandwich or her sister has something she would now like to play with.

Delaying tactics at bedtime are getting ridiculous. DH is less able to go up and put them back to bed without entering into a conversation, and when I do I feel like I'm The Mean Parent. We've just started a sticker system for a couple of things for her (not wetting the bed for one, and going straight to sleep in the evening) - making some headway, so I'll let you know how that goes.

You are Not Alone! grin

naturalbaby Sat 04-Jun-11 22:46:37

gah! ds is just 3 and starting this phase! i've got a baby going through 4month sleep regression and a nearly 2yr old so feel really guilty ignoring ds1 pushing boundries - and pushing ds2!

Bumperlicioso Mon 06-Jun-11 21:28:00

Glad Sorry to hear people are going through the same thing. It's reassuring to know it's not just Dd1 though. She bit dd2 today sad. Extremely unlike her. Never known her to knowingly hurt her before, she adores her.

Again Mon 06-Jun-11 21:51:13

My DS is 4 at the end of the month and we have a 6 month. This is all sounding very familiar to me. He adores DD but is jealous and this is usually taken out on me. He doesn't have that many melt-downs, but when he does it is with me and it is completely engineered. I think though that he engineers it to release anxiety and so I think it's important to give lots of hugs and spend even more time with him. There are some days where I say to myself 'just push through the pain barrier. He needs me'. Again it's not meant as a criticism and I find it difficult to do.

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