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What are you supposed to do with a 5 year old who whinges and throws strops?

(6 Posts)
mumblechum1 Fri 28-Sep-12 16:36:45

OK, so I volunteer as a Family Support worker, and have a new family at the moment. This is what happened yesterday afternoon, and as mine is an adult now I can't remember what the response is supposed to be (and he was pretty well behaved):

picked her, her mum and baby brother up, agreed we were going to go to the library.

Strop No. 1, her other brother couldn't come as he had a cold. Whinged on for ages, got to library, she'd cheered up by then.

Strop No. 2, her mum wanted to buy her some new clothes. She'd barely walked into the shop and started stropping again because she didn't want new clothes.

Strop No. 3, we go to the swings. All's well for a while, but she insists on getting all my attention (I wanted to chat to the mum to get to know her). It starts raining, I'm trying to get her to run across a playing field to the car. I make a game of it, racing, etc but again, major stropping, standing in the rain with arms folded etc.

Strop No 4, we get back in the car, she says she never wants to come out with me again <<good, I think>>, has a row with her mum about something or other, she's just repeating at the top of her voice, NO, NO, NO. I make a joke of it, saying she must have very strong lungs, she could go deep sea diving and play with the mermaids etc.

Strop No 5, back at their house, she won't get out of the car. I end up picking her up and depositing her in the house.

All the time this is going on her mum's pretty much trying to keep the peace, but asked me what she should do. I said I always just used to make a joke of these situs when ds was that age, but I'd heard about the How To Talk So Children Will Listen technique & told her about that.

Frankly, though, I don't think I'm in a position to advise her, as I wouldn't have tolerated that behaviour from ds & he knew it. I was quite old school, not into ignoring bad behaviour but I know these days it's the done thing.

So, thanks for getting this far; next time I'm asked by the mum for advice, what do you think I should say? What's worked for you?

lljkk Fri 28-Sep-12 16:41:18

What was the old school response? I would have thought old school was slapping him,but knowing that's out, what was your idea of old school with your child?

Firawla Fri 28-Sep-12 16:53:42

Give warnings and follow through with consequences? (could be any consequence that will make an impact) - I don't think ignoring it will help will it?
Tbh i agree with you that she shouldn't tolerate it, it's probably not good for either the mum or the dd to let her get away with that as it will stress them both out and the family dynamic will not be too nice?
Also what about setting out expectations clearly before going out, and in general, praising good behaviour and the 'how to talk' type stuff - all to help try and prevent this behaviour in the first place but if she does behave like this then the mum needs to disapline her for it otherwise she will continue

MistressIggi Fri 28-Sep-12 16:57:55

I think you should be asking your supervisor at work and not us. I'm at bit hmm that you are talking this way about a family you're supposed to be supporting.

lljkk Fri 28-Sep-12 16:59:14

Sounds like she's A) desperate for attention, B) used to getting attention for bad behaviour. So threatening consequences etc. just encourages more such behaviour. I suggest you praise her when she can ask nicely, wait nicely, not carry on, thinks of others first, etc.

ppeatfruit Sat 29-Sep-12 13:05:33

IIjkk is right. Also she doesn't know you from Adam it takes time to make a proper relationship with a 5yr old (my GD takes time to get to know me after not seeing me for a while and I'm her GM FFS.) I find giving the right attention and making things into games is very effective (find out what she likes to do\play with etc.).

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