Please help me to get on with DD, I've sent her to her room again...(5 Posts)
...and it saddens me. She's 10. It follows a pattern, and I just can't seem to change it.
Here's what's just happened; she's playing with her Sylvanian families, getting increasingly frustrated because she can't find bits, things won't stand upright, that kind of thing. She asks me to help. I try to help but all of my suggestions are immediately met with a deeply sarcastic "well that's really going to work, isn't it?" or similar. I try to stay patient, I know she's frustrated, but nothing I do or say is right. So I say "I'll leave you to it, I don't want to be spoken to like that". She starts to wail, with a bit of screaming thrown in, accusing me of turning my back on her. I haul her to her room and come back down listening to her sobbing in the background.
It's awful and it happens all the time. I just cannot get it right.
An approach I learned about in the "How to Talk so Kids will Listen.." book. Instead of suggesting ways which might fix the problem, just say something like "hmm, you're right, they just don't seem to want to stand up do they, I wonder what we could try" and wait for her to figure something out? It sounds like she needs you to just understand her frustration, rather than try and fix it. Hope that helps.
It sounds like the suggestions are irritating her because she's already tried them or thought them through - I used to get annoyed about this a lot. I think at the time I just wanted to be listened to and have my feelings validated rather than given a load of suggestions, though I probably didn't realise that was what I wanted at the time, if that makes sense. (This is half looking back at me at that age or a bit older and some things from "How To Talk")
If she asks for help could you ask what kind of help she needs, or what kind of problems she is having, and then say something like "Oh DD, that sounds really frustrating." and get her to tell you what she's already done
Remember as well if she's on the cusp of puberty it might be that she's getting more easily frustrated or more worked up by frustration due to hormones, so like a toddler, she can't necessarily help getting worked up and it might be that she feels she's asked for help, and you've come and tried to help, but it wasn't what she was wanting, so she is frustrated and then when that frustration spills over you are walking away and so she still doesn't know how to ask for what it is that she really wants. This is a total guess of course and I could be really off the mark but I remember feeling a lot that things were massively unfair and that nobody ever listened - but my mum is a great listener now I am an adult, so I've come to think that probably when I was a teenager I was just crap at expressing what it was I actually wanted and probably expected people to mind read a bit. It could be worth talking to her about these situations when you are both calm to see what she thinks is happening and why it happens again and again.
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