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Struggling with 4 year old DD

(9 Posts)
ChasingStaplers Sun 26-May-13 07:24:00

I'm really struggling with my 4 year old DD's behaviour and it's affecting our relationship.

She has two younger brothers (2 and 4 months) and she is constantly in their faces or being aggressive to them.

This morning I have had to remove her from the 2 year old as she punched him really hard in the face for no reason (we've only been up 20 minutes!)
She is also subtly aggressive to her baby brother - poking him, sticking her fingers in his mouth, even when I've asked her not to do it.
I've tried giving her more attention, more cuddles etc. yesterday she had some special one to one time with her dad which she enjoyed but when she came back she was 50 times worse to her brothers.
She's also really possessive about things, which is something I've always discouraged.
I've recently taken her (and ds1) out of the nursery they're in because i wasn't happy with the care they were receiving there and they don't start the new nursery until next week. On top of this we've all been ill for a week but its been going on longer than this.

Her dad and I don't really get on - he is lazy, rude and controlling - and I try not to let his behaviour affect me but suppose it could be contributing to things.

In really at a loss what to do and I'm struggling to like her at the moment, which I'm scared is going to damage out relationship further. I love her to bits and when she is being nice she is wonderful and can be thoughtful and caring but I'm seeing less and less of it sad
How do I get things back on track?

TVTonight Sun 26-May-13 07:31:11

Well kids model the behavior they see, so if she sees her father being rude and aggressive to you- that makes it Ok for her to be aggressive to you too (in her little head)

From what tou've written is she getting most of the reprimands/punishments in the house? In terms of no.2 could you physically separate them if trouble is brewing and just give her lots of cuddles to reassure her that you love her just as she is. Then ask her and no.2 "can you two play nicely together for a few minutes please?"

LaTrucha Sun 26-May-13 07:39:35

I don't have a solution for you really but I have found my DD harder to deal with as she gets older, not easier as I had expected. Yesterday I was questioning whether I actually needed to take her to a psychologist because she had a 20 minute screaming fit because I asked her to put her shoes on to go for a walk she wanted to go on. In the end we worked out that she couldn't put her shoe on because there was a sock in it. I hdn't been around for her to explain and she had got so wound up in about 5 seconds that she couldn't then tell me.

We managed to laugh about it afterwards but I was honestly despairing five minutes before.

Your dd has a lot on with the two little ones and possibly the sitation with your partner, but honestly my hunch is she might be more difficult anyway.

The best thing I have found is to ignore as much as possible, not to carry out sanctions like room as that just makes it worse, to calmly deal with her while she is upset, explain what is not acceptable and what is, then accept when she can return to normal.

All my efforts to fix her behaviour in some way like the naughty step make it worse. It's not that she gets away with everything, I just try not to give it too much importance and not get cross. I don't always succeed.

If I feel she is getting to me, I walk away.

no solutions, just my experience.

ChasingStaplers Sun 26-May-13 20:16:14

Thanks for your replies.

Probably should've made it clearer that me and their dad aren't together. He comes round to see them (as Ds2 is EBF) but is largely indifferent to me when he's here)

Strangely she doesn't get the majority of reprimands in the house, I'd say that honour goes to her 2 year old brother but you're right about picking my battles. She really does want to please me a lot of the time, it's the aggression that's hard to stomach. She also sulks which I find a lot harder to deal with than a full blown kicking and screaming tantrum.

I think you're right, latrucha, and she's just more difficult. How old is your Dd?

Think I'm going to try the hugging thing and see how it goes.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 26-May-13 20:48:07

I have 2 DDs. They are 8 and 5 and girls can be as violent as boys which is awful but a fact which many people don't really know...is DD getting enough air and excersise? I know how hard it is to get them outside when there's a baby to see to aswell....but it does help.

Also, how is her diet? I worked out that younger DD had far more meltdowns and agressive behaviour when she'd had ANY processed foods...and I'm talking a bowl of Cheerios or a packet of crisps...I try to give them no sugary foods now unless it's a special day...it helps a lot.

ChasingStaplers Sun 26-May-13 20:58:01

Thanks for that neomaxi - we've all been ill for about a week and haven't been out as much (apart from necessary supermarket trips) and she's probably been eating more crap because I have been lazy letting them have what they fancy until they feel better.

I'll cut out all the processed stuff again (even though she's a total pain to feed) and see if that helps.
Luckily they've been out in the garden today so hopefully that will have helped a little bit.

LaTrucha Sun 26-May-13 21:32:32

My DD is 5. Tiredness really plays a big part, for both of us, in being able to handle any situations that come up so if we have both been ill it is very hard. Also, my DD isn't a big eater and I think that plays a part. After she didn't eat half her lunch today, I told her she would be screaming at me in the afternoon (although she did have a good snack). when she WAS in fact screaming at me, I reminded her and she did seem to understand.

I think it's awful, as I call myself a feminist, but I do react differently to her aggression. With DS I leave him to it or jolly it away. IT doesn't get to me. With DD I usually find it a bit shocking. I have started to try and make her laugh or not take it so seriously and it does help.

ChasingStaplers Sun 26-May-13 22:05:13

Everything you're saying is ringing a bell, latrucha. DD absolutely cannot cope with being tired and also eats like a bird (she's always been like it) and then complains about being hungry all the time. I've started to remind her about why we eat and what happens when we don't have enough energy to do something etc. and it seems to be sinking in. She cried a couple of times in her dance class because she'd refused to eat beforehand and I was able to use that as an example with her.
The other tough part is, I'm sure she would like more one to one time with me but I just don't have the time to spare. I am with them all 24/7 and BFing DS2.
I try and get DS1 to nap sometimes so we can have time together but I know she misses me. (She told me the other day she doesn't like me going anywhere without her as she 'misses me' sad )

It's a shame about the gender thing- I consider myself to be a feminist too but wonder if this might subconsciously be part of it. DS1 does seem to have a far easier going nature though. I can cajole him out of a tantrum quite easily and if I say 'no' to something he tends to say 'awww', look down sadly and ask why. When I give him a reason he's ok with it. If I give DD a reason, she sees that as an opportunity to challenge something else.
She's always been quite independent of me and I wonder if this has had an impact too as DS1 is a total mummy's boy - no one else will do so again, this makes him feel easier to deal with.
Feel quite guilty writing all this down as she's not the monster I've painted her to be, she's actually a lovely little girl who wants to please and be liked and when she's relaxed and cuddly and we get all close it's wonderful.

LaTrucha Sun 26-May-13 22:12:52

It's odd what can affect you. DD looks really mature. She always has and I really have to remind myself how little she is.

I'm quite happy with the way I've dealt with things in the last couple of days: pressure off, trying to make her laugh rather than giving a sanction, only giving a sanction for something like hitting, and then after a warning. Personally, I think I have felt a pressure to fix her behaviour, and it hasn't worked. She's a good girl. She does know what's what. She's just very young and can't always handle things and cope with them herself.

It is difficult to give them one to one. My husband is often away and she rarely gets any time with just me. I just make a big fuss when we even get a minute together. I must say it helps a lot since DS is going to nursery: she's much less jealous.

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