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Is it possible to have an arrogant child of only 5?

(50 Posts)
WhoseGotMyEyebrows Wed 31-Aug-11 09:13:27

My DD is only 5 but has always been difficult. She comes across as quite arrogant, thinks she knows the answer to everything, knows how I should be driving my car, which way we should walk down the road if we are going out even if she doesn't know where we are going. She asks questions and tells us we are wrong (just says "no!") when we tell her the answer. She is like this with her sibling as well. It's hard to handle her frankly as it's exhausting. She is also controlling and very contrary!

This is not a stage! She has been like this since birth and for that reason I don't expect that she's going to grow out of it!

I think deep down she is insecure. She finds it hard to deal with things not panning out how she expected.

Any one else have one like this?

captainbarnacle Wed 31-Aug-11 09:18:58

I have a 5yr old son who is exactly the same smile It is exhausting trying to limit his bossiness.

I put it down to him copying me - so it's a vicious circle!!

CrosswordAddict Wed 31-Aug-11 09:24:14

It is one of two things: inherited trait or learned behaviour.
Either way it means one of the parents gets the blame/credit blush

festi Wed 31-Aug-11 09:31:11

I have a 5 yr old dd very similar, but I would say in my dds case it is more over confidence and familiarity that is the reason and not insecurity. She occassionly l;ets this side of her slip out at school with her teachers but other wise she is very bright and pretty much been top of class in class R, but I think she will get a shock as her new class is a y1 and 2 mixed so she will be no means the brighter.

I do punish my dd for back chatting, she is like a dog with a bone for the last word so I will send her to her room if she does not allow me to finish talking and will do this repeadidly untill she realises I am talking and she must listen. I have even got her to sit with her finger over her lip untill I can finish what Im saying.

I think just ensuring she understands that being argumentative and cheeky is not acceptable. That she can think in her head what she likes but it is not always noice or appropriate for a 5 yr old to voice thier oppinions.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Wed 31-Aug-11 09:39:54

Jesus CHRIST!!!!!

Just had to tell my DD off for arguing with her brother. Conversation went like this . . .

DD: BlaBlaBlurgh (being weird)
DS: BluBlu (trying to copy or just making his own weird noises)
DD: NO! NO you're wrong. Like this BlaBlaBlurgh!
DS: No I'm saying BluBlu
DD: No say BlaBlaBlurgh!!!!!!!
DS: I want to say BluBlu
DD: NOOO!!!!! You are wrong say it like this . . .

This went on for ages. DS was upset because he just wnted to say what he wanted to say. I shouted at her in the end to stop arguing about NOTHING! She started crying. We had a chat about how she doesn't have to argue about nothing and explained what argumentative means. She will do exactly the same in about 5 minutes though. She corrects her brother so much that I worry he will have no confidence. I end up saying JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE!

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Wed 31-Aug-11 10:37:28

CrosswordAddict Well my DH and his dad have a very competetive relationship and are constantly correcting each other and trying to out do each other with their knowledge! They didn't even know they did it until I pointed it out. I think mostly inherited seeing as she's been like it since birth. I did find though that my DH seemed to always want to "win" with the dcs and have the last word and I have had to show him how to let go off that stuff without handing over control.

festi Mine likes the last word to. I've actually had to teach her that she needs to close her mouth to stop the words coming out, it's like she actually can't stop herself! I've always thought mine was overconfident as well but I see signs of anxiety in her and she cries easily which is why I think deap down there may be insecurity issues, perhaps even fueling the need for control.

CrosswordAddict Wed 31-Aug-11 11:12:19

Sounds like an inherited trait reinforced by parental influence. In other words a double dose of arrogance. Condolences sad You will be like a peace-keeping force from United Nations wink
Seriously though, this needs nipping in the bud as it will turn other kids off. Nobody likes a smartarse, including the teachers imho smile

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Wed 31-Aug-11 12:18:34

CrosswordAddict I know!!!!!!!!! She comes home from school shocked and upset because the other kids won't do exactly as she tells them during games and things. She doesn't expect it or understand it. She says if they don't do her (complicated, millions of rules) games then they means they don't like her and are not her friends. I explain that you can be friends with someone without doing everything they say! I tell her that other children won't like her if she is so bossy.

Earlier my DS wanted to watch his favourite film but she didn't. I said he could watch it unless she came up with one he wanted to watch more and so they could both be happy with it. They chose another one together and both watched it.

Now he wants his favourite one still so I said yes. He told her that I was putting it on and she just said "No".

Not shouting, or anything. Just said in a way which makes it sound like she thinks she have final judgment.

Where they fuck did she get this idea?!

I told her that I had said he could watch it and it was none of her business. She started crying (partly because I shouted and partly fake crying I think) and for my own sanity and to allow calming down time she is on the step.

It's making me mental! I honestly don't know what to do about her attitude. Sometime I wonder if I gave birth to a narcissist!

CrosswordAddict Wed 31-Aug-11 12:25:07

Stating the obvious but she needs to be away from her brother as much as possible (for his sake as well as hers)
Time for school(thank goodness) grin
Seriously, can she go to play with older friends where she won't be topdog?

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Wed 31-Aug-11 12:33:03

They do also get on really well and he's starting to stand up to her, cue loads of screaming!

She does have an older friend. We saw them at the weekend and my DD was setting the games rules and things. The older girl was just going along with it as she's very laid back. At school my DD mostly plays with the children in the year above at playtime.

captainbarnacle Wed 31-Aug-11 14:01:18

Oh My God. We have the same child. DS1 also has a little brother (seeing SALT who reckon his mild speech delay is due to an overpowering elder sibling!) and that conversation has happened right in this very room today.

Exhausting is the word isn't it. They are so full of energy and compulsion that they are RIGHT and dominate everything.

I have also spoken with him about his bossiness with his friends and resulting in people not playing with him. It can get so embarrassing at parties too.

Doesn't help that both OH and I are stubborn and argumentative (I am the quieter one FFS!). DS1 doesn't have a hope. But DS2 seems a lot more easygoing... until this summer holidays when we've started with the SCREAMING at each other.

Only 7 more days until year1....

CrosswordAddict Wed 31-Aug-11 14:57:04

Bossiness in children and adults doesn't always get good results. Think about people you've known who tried to dominate in the office or workplace.
Shouting others down and trying to have the last word are quite childish traits imho. Think about people on MN who are in that category smile
Maybe a few tips on negotiation and winning friends might not go amiss?
Brownies/Beavers or something similar might help wink

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 01-Sep-11 11:15:59

Something else that just popped to mind.

If we are out, for eg. at a park and me, dh and ds want to go to the paddling pool area, we'll say "lets go over to the paddling pool dd" and she will say "no!" So I will say "we're going to the paddling pool as we all want to" and she will say "no, I don't want to".

We'll explain that we have promised ds he can go there so she has to come (as obviously she can't be left behind) but it's like she doesn't get it. She actually seems to think that as she doesn't want to go that the decision is final.

What the FUCK do I DO about this??!!!

I am blue in the face from explaining things to her over the years. It's just not going in! I sit and explain it gently or I might even be a bit harsh and tell her that the world doesn't revolve around her, that not everything is about her.

Is she just incredibly selfish or is this at least partly normal? She only ever thinks about her needs and wants.

This morning I was ill and told her 20 odd times to leave me alone on the toilet. 10 seconds after the last time I told her, she came in and asked for cellotape, like I carry sellotape around with me! I explained again that I WAS ILL AND ON THE TOILET and she said "yeah but I just need cellotape for . . . "

AARRRGGHHGHGHHHHHHHHHH!

hermionestranger Thu 01-Sep-11 11:24:14

Do you all have my DS1. He's just the same. The attitude as well! Oh MY GOD! It's worse than exhausting.

Yesterday he screamed at me for asking him to pack up his track as we were going to have tea before he left for his Grandma's for a sleepover and day out today. Long story short, he yelled and screamed and then did some door kicking and screaming because I wouldn't back down and let him leave it literally all over the floor, so now he didn't get his day out. He just won't let anything go, always has to have the last word.

PerryCombover Thu 01-Sep-11 11:28:37

This is normal behaviour imo

festi Thu 01-Sep-11 11:35:16

Op I would try to work on empathy with her, maybe when situations like the pool and what happened this mornimng when you where unwell. I would take an oppertunity to talk to her to try and guage how well she empathises. Is this something that can be taught or is it wholy instinctive I dont know? but soemtimes my dd forgets to impliment empathy. she is able to show empathy and understands it. But just needs a little reminder and discussion after about how her behaviour was unkind and what she could do to show a bit more kindness and thought for others. She often knows the answers but just needs a reminder to impliment it.

I would also stop the tellings off etc and turn it on its head now and begin a bit of praise and reward for when she does the right thing. My dd often responds well with this as it is hard when you feel like they are constantly pushing it and you are constantly getting at them. I feel it my self very often and when I get to this stage I often sit dd down and tell her that she getting out of line lately and I feel that im finding it hard to manage sometimes in a way that helps her rather than getting shouty all the time, and so before we get to an unpleasent stage of battling we need to make some ground rules and we always shake on them and thumbs up each other when we stick to them.

festi Thu 01-Sep-11 11:37:30

also Op I think its very normal behaviour and you should not be worried about it in the slightest.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 01-Sep-11 11:39:12

festi I do really praise her when she does nice things for her brother or is kind. I don't think that is lacking in any way. The empathy thing has made me think.

Greensleeves Thu 01-Sep-11 11:42:11

I know this is a very risky and unwise thing to do on the internet, and PLEASE don't be offended or take me too seriously

but have you considered that she may be on the autistic spectrum? I ask because I have a ds with Aspergers who was very similar at 5 to the way you describe your dd (he is almost 9 now)

the uncompromising attitude, the unshakeable conviction that he is right, the inability to trust or recognise anyone's judgement other than his own, the dismissiveness of other people's views

he used to come home from school in reception saying "nobody would play with me so I just played on my own" sad

but really what he meant was "nobody wanted to play MY game and stand where I wanted to put them and say what I wanted them to say... so I just played the game by myself"

He's also very clever academically and a bit dense when it comes to social situations, non-verbal cues from other people etc

I do hope I don't upset you by posting this - it is just a thought to throw into the mix, because your OP resonated with me a bit x

Georgimama Thu 01-Sep-11 11:43:03

ds (4.5) has become like this over the summer. I cannot wait for Monday.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 01-Sep-11 11:57:08

Greensleeves Well yes it does upset me but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have mentioned it.

There is (I believe) undiagnosed SN in adults in my family who I have posted about before. My brother I have always thought of as "different" has, I suspect, Autism, my dad I suspect has Dyspraxia and ADD. There have never been assessed so have made these guesses from research on the internet.

It is something that has always concerned me, that I might have a child like my brother (he is extremely difficult, violent, quick temper, low IQ but doesn't realise it so gets very frustrated and angry, social issues, walks on balls of feet, eye contact issues etc)

So I have always been worried about my children and particularly my DD who has always been difficult.

Nothing has been mentioned by the school but I know that Aspergers in particular often isn't diagnosed until later.

"the uncompromising attitude, the unshakeable conviction that he is right, the inability to trust or recognise anyone's judgement other than his own, the dismissiveness of other people's views

he used to come home from school in reception saying "nobody would play with me so I just played on my own" sad

but really what he meant was "nobody wanted to play MY game and stand where I wanted to put them and say what I wanted them to say... so I just played the game by myself"

Completely sounds like my child. She has said that exact same thing.

Greensleeves Thu 01-Sep-11 12:34:17

We are pretty sure we have undiagnosed autism in our family too, on my side and dh's - in some cases quite glaringly obvious

If it is something that chimes with you, then I would advise having a talk to the SENCo at your dd's school and possibly your GP too - she can be referred for assessment. We saw a consultant paed quite quickly and an educational psychologist came into school to observe ds in situ

It may be that she is NOT on the spectrum at all - in which case there is zero chance of her being diagnosed with anything. I know from my own experience and others' that the process is rigorous, it's actually quite hard to get a diagnosis even if your child is quite clearly fulfilling all the criteria, so please don't worry that she will end up slapped with an incorrect label

I really hope I am not speaking out of turn here, it is of course impossible to draw real conclusions from one MN thread and I don't want to make you more worried for nothing. I couldn't say nothing though - I was on MN for years agonising about ds' problems (asking the mums of children with ASD for advice and insights, because I wasn't sure and didn't want him labelled unnecessarily) and when he did eventually get the diagnosis it was a relief.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 01-Sep-11 12:47:18

Greensleeves I really am not sure if I am just paranoid though. It's something that I suppose I look for as it's in the family and I guess you can find anything if you look hard enough.

I have mentioned it to my DH before but he just says not to be silly and she's normal, just bloody awkward sometimes.

Greensleeves Thu 01-Sep-11 12:51:52

It's really hard to know what to say, as I don't want to be the irresponsible idiot who labels people over the internet on scanty evidence

but... my and everybody else told me I was seeing things that weren't there as well. I had a gut instinct from when he was really tiny which I squashed down and told myself was silly. Only you know whether you have that nagging feeling - if so, and it bothers you, you have nothing to lose by going for assessment IMO.

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Thu 01-Sep-11 13:20:34

hmmm [ponders]

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