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Almost 5 year old's appalling weekend behaviour

(32 Posts)
pamelat Sat 10-Nov-12 10:44:18

i love our daughter to bits

She's beautiful, bright, loving, sensitive and funny

Shes also incredibly strong willed, stubborn and defiant

She's been that way since she was born, never slept, always cried etc

When she was 2 I had our son. She found that hard but it was ok whilst he was a baby and didn't have his own mind

They squabble terribly now and he's now 2 so is whining, defiant etc also

Shes now at school and has settled well but I'm told they also find her strong willed and assertive, which aren't always bad things I guess.

Weekends, especially mornings in the house, are HORRIFIC at the moment

Dh has been away with work all week and came back in the early hours this am and got up with them this morning.

Ds always wakes first and we get a calm hour with just him. Although to be fair dd would be calm by herself too

Dd wakes (usually 11 to 12 hour solid sleep) and once she's eaten breakfast, or sometimes before, is awful

She is incredibly confrontational with ds and dh, less so with me.

She shouts. Squabbles. Whines. Cries (a lot) lies (about ds or herself) and its just unpleasant until we go out at 10ish

We always have to go out as it's too awful to stay in

She's better once we are out

I feelfor her as she is so sensitive and we do end up having to tell her off a lot and I shout too easily as she drives me insane

She doesn't listen, she breaks "rules", she's silly (chasing the cat around each morning instead of doing as she's told)

I know other girls her age can be similar but I expect more with asking her to be calm and let ds or the cat just be

She wants to be good but just can't seem to behave?

Every weekend morning is awful and it's really affecting the quality of our lives

I've tried sticker charts, time out,and none of it works for more than 15 mins

colditz Sat 10-Nov-12 10:52:39

What is the consequence for lying, whining and taunting her brother, and disobeying you?

pamelat Sat 10-Nov-12 11:05:16

Being told off :-(

It's not stopping her though is it.

We occasionally revert to time out but she screams and screams. I was told a minute for each year but 5 minutes is a lot of screaming. We did it once and had to hold the door handle to stop her from getting out. It felt terrible

After she cries, hugs, promises to be "good" and then as soon as ds around squabbles again

We don't expect as much from him as he's 2 but we try to be fair. He can't grab/push either but he calms down more easily

colditz Sat 10-Nov-12 11:08:15

In this house, time out STARTS when the screaming STOPS. It is a lot of screaming, but screaming is a way small children express their displeasure, and you have to admit that whatever y do to curb her behaviour, she's not going to like it. So put her into time out, inform her that when she has been quiet and still for five minutes, the timeout will be over.

I feel y have to crack this one fairly hard, because she's ruling you.

colditz Sat 10-Nov-12 11:10:37

To give you context, ds2 used to scream and shout and throw himself at the door when he was five and in time out, but it did calm down when he realised he was just giving himself more time on the step. Now he will stomp all the way there, and sit muttering to himself about how unfair his life is, but the screaming stopped fairly quickly once I stopped letting him off are five minutes of screaming.

pictish Sat 10-Nov-12 11:13:16

Yes...I agree with the others. You are caving in to her bullying. Basically.

Time out - let her scream. You'll have to. Keep putting her back time and time and time again, and let her scream, but do not crumble. She does 5 minutes, then says sorry.

When, and only when she can apologise and behave, does she return to the comapany. If she starts up again - another time out. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

She is playing you.

pamelat Sat 10-Nov-12 11:16:00

Ill give it a go but honestly she's so stubborn that I'm not sure shed stop screaming

The 5 minture screaming time last time was awful and she kept shouting about needing to wee. I'm sure she'd just wee if we left her too long but we'll see

She's a lot berthed in the afternoons but I know tmrw am will be tough

We try to separate them but they each want "mummy" so it doesn't quite work :-(

AppleAndBlackberry Sat 10-Nov-12 11:18:28

We get a lot of testing and attention seeking behaviour from our oldest too (she's a bit younger than yours but the behaviour sounds very similar). I've recently found that she's better if I give her more physical affection - hugs, kisses etc. I almost had to force myself because I was feeling like she was such hard work but things have improved since doing that more regularly. I think the thing about attention seeking is that they are doing it because they want more attention and I know sometimes I'm guilty of not giving enough.

I do also use the naughty step and my DD does scream too, but I do feel that some kind of punishment or the threat of one is necessary.

She probably is tired at the weekend too, I wouldn't feel too guilty about a bit of TV in the mornings or whatever makes your day easier.

Also can you set her up with a toy on the dining table or in her room where her brother can't disturb her?

orangeandlemons Sat 10-Nov-12 11:27:36

CanI just say my dd was like this. Every single thing was a battle. Stubborn, awkward, defiant ALL THE TIME. Sanctions worked a bit, but it seemed all day evey day was about sanctions which started to destroy our relationship in the end.

She turned 6 in July. It was like a switch was flipped. Suddenlybecame much more co-operative, pleasant, less demanding or argumentataive. Just grown up really. I'm notsure it was anything we did, I think it was just a developmental thing tbh.

In my darkest hours I used to try and think what a strong, independent and assertive adult she would become. I learnt that it is very veryhard to discipline a child like this ALL the time, some things I just had to let ride, and I focused on the worse stuff.


TheInvisiblePoster Sat 10-Nov-12 11:30:21

I totally sympathize pamelat My DD will be 5 in March and her behaviour at home is awful, I have described her in the past as verruca salt because of her "I want it NOW" attitude, However in school she is pleasant and well behaved.

She has also been challenging since birth, she wouldn't nap in the day till she was 9mths old she screamed if I left the room and I had 2yr old DS at the time so was completely frazzled.

I have been guilty of backing down just to have peace but obviously that makes matters worse because she thinks if she screams long enough and loud enough I will give in.

She creates a fuss every morning before school and starts again as soon as she comes in and it's exhaustingsad

She went into meltdown this morning because she demanded a lolly for breakfast to which I obviously said no. She doesn't like to be told no so then cried and whined about that. I tell her now that I am not going to speak to her until she decides to be nice and if she screams and shouts I make her go to her room until she stops.

I feel horrible because most nights she comes in from school she starts about something before we get in the front door so I send her straight to her room so that we can both calm down.

She is beautiful, lovable bright and funny and it makes me so sad that she is constantly being told of for her behavioursad

pamelat Sat 10-Nov-12 12:59:12

Everyone, thank you

Roll on age 6 ;)

I thought school would help but if anything it's worse

Invisible poster, yours sounds like mine. Sometimes I see a glint in her eyes though and I know that she knows that she is being unreasonable. Other times, with ds, she's just out of control

It's like having two 2 year olds at times ...

It's put a huge strain on our relationship

tigersmummy Sat 10-Nov-12 13:38:29

This is so my life at the moment! DS is 4.10, just started school and according to teachers seems to enjoy being there. However every single morning he kicks off about not wanting his school uniform on, not wanting to go to school etc but once he's in car and in playground he's fine. (Doesn't concentrate or listen at school also at home so no surprise but that's another story). Weekends he's very testing. Has a rabbit clock and knows he has to stay in bed until it goes off but his baby sister was born 5 weeks ago and he wants to lie in bed with us before it gone off. Each time he's told to lie quietly but doesn't, tries to jump on bed which we tell him off about as he could fall on Dd, then a battle ensues to get him out of our bedroom, back to his own, all the while he is screaming his head off. It is then a downward spiral for most of the day - sometimes he snaps out of it and sometimes not. Always seems to be on a Saturday! DH finding his behaviour an absolute struggle at the moment, as am I, and is convinced he has ADHD (due to lack of listening, concentration etc reported by school, ed psych observing him this week) whereas although he has aspects of it, as do many children of his age, I think he's had so much on (moving house in June, leaving nursery August, starting school Sept and baby sister October) and his behaviour has got worse since starting school. Luckily the aggression he shows occasionally at home is not displayed at school.

liveinazoo Sat 10-Nov-12 13:48:31

oranges and lemons you give me some sense of hope!
dd2 is 9 in april and has always been a handful
for her, time just the two of us every day is the only way we can all live under the same roof
she can scream for hours and trashes things now she older<broke the curtail pole in her room in time out during the queens jubilee>
she cries adn says she will be good after she has calmed down,til she starts picking a fight/winding up the others again 10 mins later!

being outside is good for us too just to have abreak from the fighting in a confined space!

i hope you can find a solution<and share it if you do!>

ivykaty44 Sat 10-Nov-12 14:03:15

I would let your dh take out your ds and explain to your dd that she can go to her room for 5 minutes and then you will be spending the next hour doing nothing whilst your ds and dh go and enjoy themselves.

When they come back if she has behaed you will all go and do something nice - but at the first sign of her starting up with being naughty then you two will be coming home and ds and dh going out again.

I can assure you she will learnt quick to behave if she doesn't want to miss out.

Oh I remember those days - dd was stubborn, she is delightful now at 14 smile after missing out a couple of times she worked out that she was the one suffering

Goldmandra Sat 10-Nov-12 14:13:45

The purpose of time out should be to take the child out of a situation which is causing conflict and give them time and space to calm down and think.

You can use time out in any part of the room you are in by just telling the child where you would like them to sit and refusing to allow any play to continue until they have done it. Just keep calmly repeating the instruction in simple language, refusing to engage in any negotiations until they have complied.

Holding a door handle while the child screams and tries to open a door isn't time out because the child hasn't been removed from the conflict.

A child can mentally remove themselves from a situation and be ready to return in a more reasonable frame of mind in less time than the recommended maximum of 'one minute per year of age'. You don't need to wait for a particular length of time before letting them return.

When she does something wrong does she have to be 'told off'? You could use time out to calm and focus her for a very short time and then have a conversation with her about what happened, how her actions have affected others and how she could respond differently next time. That is a much more constructive way to use the conversation and it may help her to learn to change her behaviour.

You need to be very calm and consistent about what you expect of her. If she is doing something good, however tiny, let her know it has been noticed and appreciated. When you see the beginning of unwanted behaviour give a warning of a natural consequence. "Pushing your brother is dangerous. If you do it again I will have to do X to keep him safe." X could be getting her down from a joint activity at the table. If she repeats the behaviour follow through calmly and give her something else to do.

If she starts to scream/cry/try to go back don't allow her to do so until she has sat down quietly for a moment, calmed down and listened to you explaining why you had to remove her. Then that issue is dealt with and you can allow her to return to the table.

Repeat calmly as many times as it takes for her to get the message that you won't get riled or give in and that if she wants to do the activity she needs to behave appropriately.

It takes an enormous amount of energy and commitment to follow through with consequences over and over again until the child gets the message. It is much easier to sit here and write about it than to be where you are and do it but it is worth it in the end. A child who believes that you will follow through with consequences every single time tests the boundaries less often.

racingheart Sat 10-Nov-12 14:14:59

Would it help to start the day by discussing with her what to do and when. You can angle it so it's win win for you, but she thinks she's in charge. EG Shall we put the laundry in now so it's washing while we go to the park, or shall we go to the park after breakfast then you can read quietly while I do laundry?'

That gives her a bit of control and you can play up her being the mature older sister. You can also discuss something fun to do together during DS's nap time. If she winds him up, you could whisper conspiratorially, 'Let's try to calm him down, we want him to be calm so he can nap later and we can do xyz.'

Not saying that'll solve everything but my DC's headstrong tantrums disappeared overnight when I tried the positive discipline techniques of chatting with, agreeing with and listening to the child, rather than being the big boss. These techniques work best with very strong willed children like yours and mine. You're still in total control, it's just a different way of talking to them, that's all. Worth a look.

orangeandlemons Sat 10-Nov-12 14:31:04

Also I found removal of priviledges was much much more effective than time out, AND rewarding good behaviour and ignoring bad were the most effective of all. Time out never worked, she just wouldn't stay in it.Totally agree with th positive discipline thing, asking them why they are misbehaving is quite interestingand informative, and often deflected or arrested bad behaviour

I totally sympathise with stubborness, it was exhausting all the time, some times it is easier just to ignore or give in to get a break. I think that is something only people who have one of these children can understand

orangeandlemons Sat 10-Nov-12 14:34:22

Also (sorry I will shut up in a minute!) I found any sort of shouting blew her off the scale. I try not to shout now(don't always suceed!)as it makes any contfrontation less exhausting

ivykaty44 Sat 10-Nov-12 14:37:11

Oranges, this was where my stubborn dd would tell me she didn't care if I took away priviledges, defiantly would stand there and say go on then I don't care. Thing was she didn't care as she was so stubborn, but when she thought she was missing out on and outing she did care so we went home if out or stayed home instead. DD caught on quickly, then if she started I would ask gently did she want to go home, she would stop as she knew that she would miss out.

orangeandlemons Sat 10-Nov-12 14:46:08

No mine didn't care much either angry but eventually she did. However she cottoned on to rewardinging much muchfaster!

nenehooo Sat 10-Nov-12 15:14:10

I can't talk from first hand experience as my dd is only 3 weeks old but I'm a ks1 primary teacher and I've had so lots of parents coming to me when their children are being difficult at home - usually these children are like your dd and perfectly behaved at school so it's always a shock to hear how they behave at home! Usually the child is mortified when I find out that they're not listening to mum and dad and I explain to them how important it is to listen to all adults etc etc and by keeping in contact with the parents the behaviour usually improves... Don't know if this is something you could try?

judeb69 Sat 10-Nov-12 15:18:52

While I can't offer the solution, I can also confirm that you're not the only one since I also came on here driven to a bit of desperation with 5 year old tantrums!! It's making me feel better just reading this thread so hope you feel less alone too.

I'm interested that you dd's seem to be morning related, do you do food or anything differently at the weekend (eg breakfast later or not do mid morning snack?) that could mean she's playing up because she's hungry or thirsty for example? Just a thought.

ivykaty44 Sat 10-Nov-12 16:20:07

I would offer mine a sweet or an ice cream and - she would refuse me flat...confused strange child.

I must say her stubborness is still there but often creeps out as sheer determination.

If they like the outdoors then I would also suggest some sports activity at the weekend that is outside, let her blow of some steam so to speak

cloudhands Sat 10-Nov-12 16:45:06

Hi Pamelat, good on your for being able to see the good in your daughter even though she's driving you nuts! She sounds like a feisty little girl.
you obviously have a good understanding of how your daughter works, that she's sensitive, and that she wants to be good.
And also that time out just doesn't work.

I started understanding bad behaviour much better when I realised like you that our children don't really want to be 'bad'. It's just that sometimes they feel upset and disconnected, and are calling out for attention. It's hard, I know, but maybe get someone to talk to about your daughter drives you crazy, let out all the strong feelings that you've got about her to an adult listener, so that when the weekend comes around you are feeling calm and prepared.

Maybe on a saturday morning, offer your daughter some special time, -- where she chooses something to do, spend some time just enjoying each other's company. maybe at some point, perhaps when the time ends, she might get upset, and cry about something small and petty, move in as close as you can, and try to stay calm, as she cries. If she does anything 'naughty' like pull the cats tail, then physically stop her. Offer her as much support and love as you can when she's crying and upset.

Don't try and explain and give long verbal reasonings to your daughter, -- when she's upset and in a highly emotional state, she can't think clearly enough to be discouraged by punishments like time out, the best thing you can give her is your physical presense, to show her that you are there to weather the storm with her, let her have her tantrum, and get all her feelings out, you may find that if you can sit with her through these strong feelings, rather than trying to persuade her out of it, or ignore them, then at the end of it she'll feel much better, and be full of all the good qualities that you admire in her.
good luck!

theworldiknow Sun 11-Nov-12 11:20:08

When a child is pushing us away its the time we need to do the oppersite more than any other time in their lives. My ds5 is also amazingly strong willed and very challenging while being the sweetest, kindest most beautiful soul I have ever met, anyway I digress, what i want to share is this:

These books changes my parenting life:
"how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" by Faber and ?
"Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves" by N Aldort
& "Playful Parenting" by L Cohen (i think)


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