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Help, at end of tether with 8 year old DD.

(24 Posts)
wangle99 Sun 04-Jun-06 19:53:31

DD is 8, 9 in 9 days time.

She is honestly becoming the most horrid child ever, rude, cheeky, answering back, has no respect for anything or anyone and really just doesn't care.

DH and I really don't know how to deal with it.

Any ideas? if you want any more info please ask...

Thanks

tegan Sun 04-Jun-06 20:39:02

I have an 8 yr old dd too and she is exactly the same. I sometimes feel like I am living with a teenager already, but when she is with my parents she is an absolute angel and they can't understand why I say she is so bad.

I'm hoping it's a phase.

EmmyLou Sun 04-Jun-06 21:07:19

DD1 is now nearly 11 and we still have this problem - sorry ladies! I think its a part of growing up and aserting themselves. They also seem to value the company of their peers much more now. Don't go anywhere without taking a friend along too - it pacifies dd1 enough to enable me to help dd2 and dd3 have a good time when out.

I sat in book shop recently and read parts of a book on adolesence but neglected to buy it - wrong move. I'm off onto Amazon now to buy one and read up. She starts secondary school in September so things can only get worse

Hopefully someone will post with lots of good advice for us...soon please!

wangle99 Sun 04-Jun-06 21:14:34

oh my goodness please don't tell me this is normal .

What about respect for money? DD has no respect for anything bought, she has just lost a £30 ballet character skirt which she needs for an exam in 5 weeks time, she just shrugs her shoulders with the attitude of 'oh well'. This is one of many things!

Like I said it is her birthday in 9 days time, she wanted a Nintendo DS badly, DH and I decided that as she was doing so well in school we'd buy it for her (credit card unfortunately not enough spare cash!) but now feel it was a big mistake and she won't appreciate it (can't return it either grrr). She's been asking for one for ages and we said we didn't have the money, she turned around the other day and said 'you can't buy me a DS but you bought a car' if I'd have said that (it was said with very sarcastic voice) to my mother I'd have had a hiding!!! (Incidentally the car is a business vehicle and was bought by extending the mortgage).

Arghghg DH and I are so worn down with today..

glassofwine Sun 04-Jun-06 21:27:48

Wangle - have you tried pocket money. We give DD age 6 £2 per week, but absolutely do not buy any treats for her unless she's done well at school or similar. She has to buy any sweets, comic etc. Now she's really learning the value of money and works out how many weeks it would take to buy whatever it is. So when we bought her a Bratz (yuk) for getting a great school report, she really appreciated it. Also told me that Santa must bring the presents at Xmas because mum and dad couldn't possibly afford them all !!!so true.

EmmyLou Sun 04-Jun-06 21:33:18

Make her think she's not getting the Nintendo - or maybe save it for Christmas instead? Its hard as birthdays and bedtimes I feel should be a truce time but as they get older they have to realise that they jeopardise priviledges by behaving badly. Must say my dd1's behavior deterioated once we bought her computer games etc and we held out until she was 10. You get loads of cross responses when asking them to come off computer/gameboy and delay tactica etc. We have to be VERY strict - actually, nintendo might work out to be a good sanction - behave babdlt/disrespectfully and it will be taken away for a week etc.

wangle99 Sun 04-Jun-06 21:52:13

We don't currently give pocket money, we live next door to my inlaws and father-in-law gives DD £2 a week, I really don't want to add to that. Currently I make her put it straight in her money box, perhaps we will continue that but I will give £2 a week for her to spend on treats.

We have a strict 2 hour per day on computer/tv etc and she knows that. One thing she is very good with. I did think the Nintendo would be good to take away as punishment (I feel awful thinking that). I am desperate for her to realise that she cannot behave like this.

bramblina Sun 04-Jun-06 22:03:43

So she does react well to rules then, which is good. Does she enjoy ballet? Would she fail if she didn't wear the skirt? Could you comntemplate this happening so she sees all her hard work go out the window? By her reaction it doesn't seem she's that bothered by it.

wangle99 Sun 04-Jun-06 22:08:22

She says she loves dancing, she had a tap exam today which she worked hard for. She cannot take the exam without the skirt - simple as that. I don't think she has thought of the consequences, she just presumes either a) it will turn up (which it may do) or b) we'll just buy her another one (which we won't). I'm hoping tomorrow when she goes for her lesson she realises the consequences.

EmmyLou Sun 04-Jun-06 22:33:15

Please post tomorrow re: realising consequences. This is currently Work In Progress in our house.

sparklemagic Sun 04-Jun-06 22:50:55

I think maybe time to negotiate a bit more with her, talk to her in a more adult way rather than as a child to be 'told off'...which of course she is, but there really is a time when you value being treated differently. Do you think you do this already?

I think £2 a week pocket money to go straight in a money box is a little on the boring side for a girl of her age...I think it's a really good idea for you to keep with this but give her pocket money yourselves to spend as she wishes...the little bits of independence really mean alot at this age...

I think also, try to keep your sanity by realising that it is human nature to answer back! When she says things like she did about your car, (maddening, I agree!) I think you need to be calm with her and talk to her as if she is on a level with you, and explain why and how you got the car. She is growing up and working things out and it won't harm to treat what she says as the start of a conversation rather than as behaviour to be controlled. My mum was great with me, I remember she ALWAYS spoke to me with respect, politely, and as a friend and it made me treat her the same way. I think keeping calm and counting to ten before you reply will help!

and you are right about letting her realise the consequences of her actions. Save yourself some sanity by letting things like the skirt go until SHE is panicking about them. Until she experiences that feeling it won't mean anything to her and I think whatever you say to her about it is simply wasted breath!

Sorry to ramble but I've worked with kids this age alot and I think the most success can be had by trying to negotiate much more, turn them into a friend by being really positive in your dealings with them and dropping in little additions to her independence from now on, like the pocket money. Also, one to one time with you is good bonding time when some of the scratchiness and conflict can disappear, do you get any time together?

sorry for long ramble...

girrafey Mon 05-Jun-06 08:07:05

hi. sorry dont have much advice about how to help with the attitude etc. though the suggestions made i think are great and will be keeping them in mind for when my dd gets to that age.

however on the character skirt front. £30 is an enormous amount. i am a dance teacher and also have a dance shop so know about these. you will proberly find if you spoke to her teacher then she will have a spare for these types or emergencys or for parents who cannot afford them ontop of fees and exam prices. or another alternative is to borrow one off of another little girl, who has an exam the same day but not time etc. sorry its not much help, but if your dd sees what effort you now have to do to see she is ok in the exam she may start thinking with more thought to losing it in the first place. hth

wangle99 Mon 05-Jun-06 08:34:05

sparklemagic - not a ramble at all, thank you.

I'm finding it difficult to decide what should be adult like and what should be child like, I agree perhaps speaking in a more adult way would be better and will definately try it.

We don't have much time together (have DS 2.8 as well) usually when DS is in bed. The extent we usually do is visiting Tesco together!

Also tidyness is an issue, she wants to keep her bedroom however she likes but of course we would like it tidy. Is it better to let her get on with it until she realises it's disgusting?

This may seem such a simple decision but we've had so much to deal with recently nothing is easy to decide on!

batters Mon 05-Jun-06 08:47:26

wangle99, first of all, don't worry! The majority of 7 and 8 year girls I know (including my own!) can be incredibly badly behaved. I think there is a hormone surge at around the age of 8, which can't help.

I think consequences is the way to go also. Explain to your dd calmly and clearly what will happen if she carries on being rude to you. And then let her choose whether she wants to do it or not. But you need to follow this through. A few weeks ago my little girl was being ill mannered and rude, I told her that if she carried on doing this she wouldn't go to Brownies that evening. She carried on, I stopped telling her off, she went upstairs to get ready for Brownies and then I told her she wasn't going. She had an immediate punishment - it worked too. But it is all so tiring isn't it?

I would also dock pocket money - I take 2p off my dd when she leaves her clothes on the floor for instance. It is surprising how well this has worked!

You also need to remain calm and not get drawn into long extended verbal battles (only saying this because this is what I tend to do). I am no longer willing to spend 15 mins discussing with my dd the appropriate way to behave and listening to her sneer and snigger and ignore me. I save my time and energy by telling her something once, then reinforcing it and then leaving her to get on with it. I try not to react to small issues, but save my strength for the bigger battles which we have .

HTH.

batters Mon 05-Jun-06 08:48:23

ooh and do try and spend some special one-to-one time with her as well, difficult I know, but I think this might help also.

glassofwine Mon 05-Jun-06 17:06:33

I also find it hard to spend time with DD1 as have two others, who are smaller. DH and I sometimes divide and conquer as we call it, at the weekends - split them up so you all get some one to one time. Even only an hour makes a big difference. I often find that they are more grown up then I realised because I'm dealing with them as a group . I did a parenting course a few months ago and they talked about children needing to feel that they have some control over their lives otherwise then tend to rebel. I realised that I controlled everything from what they wear to who they see, so try now to give them some choices - the pocket money for the oldest was one of these ideas. In fact now I'm writing this I think I've slipped back into old ways a bit, so writing this has reminded me to let them choose more. Hope this helps.

sparklemagic Mon 05-Jun-06 18:17:22

wangle, glad some of it is helpful...I agree with glassofwine about giving the child some control. It's so hard isn't it, you spend all your time protecting them and thinking ahead for them and would feel a bad mum if you didn't do this - but maybe your dd has got to the stage where you need to let go a little bit. It is all to easy to control every single little aspect of their lives and it is human nature to rebel if there is something to rebel against; a child of this age is developing normally if they do begin to want to control some things themselves! So don't beat yourself up, there's nothing you can do to stop this and your dd is perfectly normal.

I think there are two approaches to things actually; it's a mixture of applying consequences as batters says, not wasting your breath or getting drawn into battles; you simply decide on the consequence and see it through; and the other way is letting things go if they really aren't important.

Not everyone could do this but my mum let our rooms go. me and bro were very untidy and my mum is practically monica from friends in her cleanliness so she must have taken a deep breath, but she just decided that they were our space and would be largely in our control, though I do remember a stern instruction to bring down a mouldering plate or two

I think maybe with your DD it will be a case of perhaps deciding on two or three areas where you can let some things go (like her room?) and spend some guaranteed girly time together each week and I think you'll be on to a different tack from now....hope so anyway, good luck!

Cadmum Mon 05-Jun-06 18:27:16

Take a deep breath.

Please, please DO not give up on her. All children (perhaps especially girls) go through these phases. Remember that you are her biggest ally unless she feels that she cannot rely on you in which case she will turn elsewhere.

You need to be her soft place to land when she falls.

Being the bigger person means being the bigger person. Most important thing is that she not see how close to the end of your tether you actually are.

Be consistent and say what you mean and do what you say. What did you tell her about her skirt? Can she borrow one from another girl in her class? Can she earn the money to buy a new one?

(I have a 9 year old ds who left his coat in the park recently and he just shrugged and made it sound as if it was my fault for not reminding him to grab it. Guess who was mighty cold and wet the last time it rained?) Natural consequences work so much better with an older child than imposed ones.

wangle99 Mon 05-Jun-06 19:38:10

Well, the skirt appeared - she had left it behind at dancing, first words to me were 'NOW I don't have to spend my pocket money' now I know that is pretty obvious but it's the way she says it (I'm sure you know what I mean!). Anyway, ballet exam can happen now which is a relief.

I have decided I will leave the room go but unless tidy I will not change bed or hoover (she will have to do it herself, I will not fight over stuff to do it!).

Batters, I am also one for long drawn out verbal battles (unfortunately a habit from my own childhood with my mother). It's very hard to take a deep breath but will be making a huge effort from now on.

glassofwine, I also have one younger one (DS 2.8y), DH isn't as supportive as he could be and I almost feel he thinks children should be seen not heard (another story lol!), I will try and spend more time with DD - doing what I'm not sure, although our local theatre booklet dropped through the door this morning and there is a nice show DD would like. I will perhaps take her on my own.

cadmum, I certainly don't want to give up on her, I had an awful upbringing and feel I don't want my relationship with DD to end up like the relationship I had with my Mum. I'm relieved to know I'm not the only Mum who expects their child of this age to be capable of picking up a coat!!!

s'magic, I find it really hard to decide how much DD should be allowed to do at age 8, I think of myself at that age and I didn't have half the control she has at the moment! I know times change and I know I need to.

Thank you, I really feel as if I have an idea where I'm going now. This parenting lark is sooooo hard sometimes, now when's that MN parenting course going to happen!!!

glassofwine Mon 05-Jun-06 21:30:09

Yup, it does help to have a supportive DH, maybe he'll change if he's been left with one of the children on his own for a while. Hopefully he'll see the good and the hard work involved. A year ago I got a viral thing that had me bedridden for 3 weeks, DH had to take time off and be me - it was a great learning curve for him and he's been soooo much more supportive since. Perhaps you could be suddenly ill?

batters Tue 06-Jun-06 08:24:42

good luck, wangle99. Glad the skirt made a reappearance .

Tortington Tue 06-Jun-06 08:44:52

i have long ....long ....long drawn out verbal battles with my daughter - before she slams the door and stomps off. but then she is 13

i didn't do verbal battles at aged 8.

i realised i might be unreasonable over - not lettin them do something - then had a conversation.

or something needed doing - ie washing up, cleaning kitchen sides, bed room etc. and it was done - any backchat recieved ( in low posh voice sounding every syllable)
"How very dare you answer me back. i have asked you to tidy your mess in your room that you have created. and i expect it done before 2pm. for every 15 minutes after that you lose a treat. This is only going to end one way. my way."

a treat being ballet lessons, fav tv programme etc.


when room is done - lots of praise and oh isnt it wonderful - how did you ever clean that etc.

AUBINA Tue 06-Jun-06 13:17:32

I've got a 8 year old DD, and a 6 year old too. The former can be very stroppy and defiant. I feel I can't let it go or what will she be like as a teenager? I can be sarcastic sometimes but this is being done back to me so I'm having to get my act together. We sometimes divide and conquer at the weekends which can work well although in some situations they miss each other! I find you don't have to do big exciting things with them all the time. She loves to help me cook dinner and it is a good opportunity for conversation. I placate DD2 by letting her help me the next night. Regarding bedrooms how about cleaning it together, let her choose whether she hoovers or dusts, another chance for one-to-one time. I also praising the good behaviour, still works well. When she behaves in a mature way I mention it and tell her Dad about it when he comes home from work, in her hearing. I'm also letting her have small bits of independence too. For example on Fridays instead of going in the sweet shop with her, I give her the money and she goes in with her sister. I think its a case of constantly re-evaluating what you do.

wangle99 Tue 06-Jun-06 20:45:04

Told DD this evening that she will be able to keep her room exactly how she liked (eyes lit up!) but I did say the following that if it was untidy I would not change the bed, hoover or put her clothes away that would be up to her.

Also explained we would be giving pocket money weekly and that would be for treats and she is already calculating how much she can get in a month.

It's going to be a long haul I think but hopefully this will be the start of change...

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