Struggling With 5 Year Old's Behaviour - Please Help(15 Posts)
I?m looking for some advice as DH and I are struggling with our DD?s behaviour.
DD is 5 and half years old and an only child. She started school in August, which she seems to have settled into well and is enjoying apart from being tired and not liking not having much time to play after school due to home work, other activities.
The real problem we are having is with her behaviour as she has become a very huffy, stroppy, crying over the slightest thing and being very bossy especially with DH and I.
She wants to play with us but it turns into a disaster as she spends about an hour setting up whatever we have to play with i.e. dolls and then spends the whole time telling us how to play, what we can and can?t do while we are playing. If she can?t set the dolls up the way she wants she starts crying and then will say you think I?m stupid something we have never ever said to her.
Most days when I pick her up form school she goes in the huff about something. Friday it was because I had not brought her a snack as she has a half day and we go home for lunch. She goes in the huff if she is playing with a friend at the park and they then have to go away. She then goes from being huffy to being angry and takes it out on me. I feel every day is a battle and the little girl that we once had who was happy is now a very unhappy little girl.
We have tried speaking to her to ask if anything is wrong at school but she says no and that she is happy and have lots of friends to play with.
The one thing I would say is she is not a very confident little girl even although she is very bossy with us. She is also very sensitive and gets upset easily and even when other children are crying she will get upset because they are upset she also seems to worry about silly things like if people are laughing near her she gets angry as she thinks they are laughing at her.
Feeling out of control of so many things, I imagine.
I wonder if you could play along, give her the message she's a complete boss in a game.
Surely giving her the message that it's ok to boss is wrong?
Does she need more sleep? My DS was getting very grumpy often. He was getting out of bed too early and insisting that he felt fine. I now make him go back to bed for another 45 mins, his body clock is slowly changing and he is soooo much happier. It was all tiredness.
no good advice just reassurance its quite normal. my ds is simalar age and went exactly the same. i had a look of some threads on here and realised it is quite a common phase. sorry havnt been able to help.
No expert here, but when you say 'giving her the message that she is boss is wrong'... well, yes and no, surely. She is not the boss in most areas of her life and will know that (from when she gets up, what she wears (if uniform), having to do teeth, going to school, what she does at school.....you get the idea) that maybe she DOES need to be allowed to be the boss of something, even if just playtime with you. YOu could just capitulate and even encourage her, build up her confidence, providing it is within acceptable boundaries (so playtime with you, providing is at time you can do). Or perhaps take turns- let her be the boss for an hour, then have a buzzer and you be boss (for a shorter time perhaps), then buzzer again. Can you build her confidence in her decisions in other ways, helping choose dinner for example, if doesn't already.
Not trying to oversimplify this as such behaviour can be exasperating, just trying to offer a few ideas.
What other after school activities is she doing? I would drop the homework completely and just do reading if it is sent home. I would stop any after school clubs etc. She sounds very tired.
Thanks for replies. She already has about 12 13 hours sleep a night so I dont think she needs more as if we put her down any early she just gets up earlier.
I guess I should have explained that she not only wants to boss us when we are playing but basically at everything. She demands we get her things, put things away, corrects us if she thinks we are in the wrong the list goes on and it is just getting so wearing.
She does do a few activities as she goes to Rainbows on a Monday from 5.45pm 6.45pm, a little club on a Wednesday from 4pm 4.45pm, Friday 2pm 3pm and does dancing and swimming at the weekend.
She has phonic sounds to practice during the week and she gets a phonic letter sheet to colour in and write out the letter two days a week.
I have asked her if she wants to stop going to some of her activities but she says she does not. She went to them before she started school. However, I wonder if I should just make the decision to stop some of them for her? I have discussed it with friends and they say not to stop the activities and most of their kids do more than DD. She does complain that she does not have time to play like when she was at nursery but when I explain about giving up some of the clubs she says no.
She probably doesn't know how tired she is. I would stop them and reinstate when her behaviour is better. I don't think it is a decision your 5 year old should be making and it doesn't matter how busy your friends' children are - yours sounds frazzled. Lots of children are too tired in the first term or so of school for anything else, or maybe just something at the weekend.
Thank you TheProvincialLady I guess I needed someone to tell me what I hadbeen thinking that she was doing too much but felt my friends were making me feel guilty that it was wrong for me to think about stopping them.
She just sounds like she is trying to process lots in her mind. School is such a change! She is probably working hard at holding everything together during school hours and you are simply getting the fall out. Give her time and firm but fair boundaries. Expect her to ask things in a polite way and if she doesn't speak for her 'please can you pass xxx' or you can challenge her 'how can you say that in a nicer way?'
I expect in her mind she is being 'bossed around' all day at school, there isn't nearly so much free reign in P1 as there is in nursery. Her bossing you around is either emulating what happens to her at school, or, as another poster mentioned, trying to take back some form of control.
Wait until nearer Christmas - I bet a lot of your friends change their tune by then! Even the ones who don't do much after school are exhausted and wretched by mid December. You know your daughter best, don't ever feel guilty for following your instincts
I'd also adopt the 'play therapy' strategy with her. Get a box of toys - puppets, dolls, paints, play doh etc. With these toys she is in total charge; decides the rules, games etc. She can invite you to play too and she does get to make all the rules. Listen - really listen - to how she plays and reflect back what she is saying (i.e. if she says 'the teacher is really cross' you basically say 'I can see the teacher is really mad'.) This will give her the control she needs and show her you are hearing her anxieties These toys are separate from the normal toys and you do need to stress that she can be in charge and play with them any way she wants (except breaking them). It worked wonders with my DD1 at various stressful times in her life. Take them out once or twice a week for her to play with. It really does work.
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