5 year old permanently dissatisfied(6 Posts)
I am posting this from holiday as I am having a very hard time dealing with my 5 year old dd1. She is a lovely intelligent girl who has lots of friend and really enjoys doing stuff and attention. She has two younger sisters so does have a hard time getting undivided attention. She has always had a tendency towards dissatisfaction, but it had got worse over the last three months. Basically nothing is ever fun enough, includes enough people or lasts long enough. In planning anything she criticises all the negative aspects of the plans and when something has finished she focuses on how it wasn't good enough. We are in California on holiday and are doing some amazing things, today she went horse riding in a ranch. She complained that she had to do it outside, then enjoyed her lesson, then when it was over sulked because her sister's lesson was slightly different from hers and because it was a one off.
I had assumed for a while this was normal for her age. Then I found out a through talking to other mums that their kids don't demand a detailed itinerary for several days ahead so they can criticise. I am dreading the summer holidays and am looking forward to her starting school so some of the pressure is taken off me.
It is not all negative. She is great company and when she chills out can be great fun. When adults aren't involved she has lots of fun (she is currently running around with dd2 playing schools having fun).
My husband is worried because he has those tendencies but worse. His sense of dissatisfaction with life have propelled him to professional success but makes him unhappy in his personal life.
Anyhow, the reason I am posting is I don't know how to deal with it. It is really really annoying and I am very tired a lot of the time and end up giving off to her and telling her what an ungrateful shite she is, which obviously isn't helpful. I am a very upbeat person and find it hard to empathise with. So any advice and strategies for dealing with this are hugely appreciated.
Have you looked at the way you approach activities with her? Are you a little too expectant with regards to her responses when you tell her "We're going horse riding" or whatever?
Could she feel pressured into being thrilled with everything?
I'd stop consulting her and start telling her the way it's going to be. She's 5! If she doesn't like it then she doesn't have to do it but she will have to wait about while the rest of the family have fun!
My ds is 5 and has a tendency of being more ungrateful the more he gets or has a say in things. He can be overly spoilt but other family members and we live with the consequences which is a whiny ungrateful demanding child.
I hope you don't think me rude but you sound like you may be trying too hard to 'keep her happy'. Tell her how it is, if she's nicely behaved she will get to chose an activity of her choice if not then shes going to have a very miserable holiday.
The trick to this is to make sure the rest of you have a 'great time' regardless of how hard she tries!
it sounds like its just her personality. My son (now 13) can't cope with unexpected changes to plans. He likes to know what he is doing and when its going to happen or he gets anxious. He NEVER wants to go out but usually admits enjoying whatever we did (sometimes only next day mind).
Tell her the day before what is planned, what she is expected to do and any details.
My db was like this.
It was actually very attention seeking and had dm running round trying to get some enthusiasm out of him.
She'd take him out for the day (excluding me and dsis) go out for lunch (something we almost never did) come back, and start doing dinner and he'd come through and say "<sigh> as I put up with doing X all day for you, take me to do Y". She'd drop everything and go and do Y, then get back and he'd be saying "I only did Y because I knew you'd want to do it. Now I want Z" And followed by complaints about Z.
One summer holiday (I was 18, he was 15, dsis had left home) was like that all the way through. Dparents were convinced he was so miserable and they had to cheer him up.
Towards the end an opportunity came up for a day out that I'd always wanted to do. Dm offered it to db, having always refused to take me. He said "I suppose if you want to do it, I'll have to then I won't enjoy it." And he continued saying that sort of thing whenever it was mentioned.
When the day came, he came out of his room at about 10:00 saying "when are we leaving?"
Dm said that she'd decided not to go because something else had come up, and he didn't seem to want to go anyway. He had an absolutely major tantrum, saying how he'd been looking forward to it. But it was too late as they didn't have tickets.
After that dm realised that the "didn't enjoy it" was very much an act, and stopped rushing round after him. Then he began to learn to say thank you and show some appreciation of things done for him.
Thanks for your responses, we are going out for the day so this is just a quickie. I am pretty realistic about gratitude and don't expect much, it is just the constant complaining that gets me down. As kiwigirl says I think some of it is just her personality and it is made worse by us being on holiday as she doesn't cope too well out of routine.
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