DD says she hates me(12 Posts)
She turns 6 next month, I thought this stage comes in the teens!
We relocated from UK to overseas last month. DH came over earlier and is very happy in new job and new life but DD and I are struggling a bit to fit in and make new friends, especially as I am a SAHM. DD started new school mid year and according to her teacher is settling in fine. We both desperately miss our old life and friends though I take care not to bring it up in her presence. She often says "I miss my old friends", I just say "I know, I miss them too" and then change the subject.
DD has always been rather headstrong but of late it's gone from bad to worse. Anything I have to ask her to do, I have to ask again and again and again (not unusual, I know). Plus we have answering back, shouting at me, not listening, ignoring instructions, tantrums, slamming doors etc. In these instances I often turn into ShoutyMom especially if we are going to be late for the school bus or something.
DD says I am mean and even though I say I love her, she knows I don't. Apparently I look at her 'in a mean way', 'as if I don't really like her', 'crossly'. One day she tried to lock me on to the balcony. I've told her it's bad behaviour that I don't like, I always love her no matter what but apparently 'I am just saying it but I don't mean it'.
We are both under an awful lot of stress and I am probably not handling this right. Today she told me she wished I would die. I know she's just 6 and it was said in a fit of temper but it's hard not to take it personally. Other times she is snuggly and cuddly and my usual little girl.
Tell me what to do (and what not to do!) please. I am at my wits end.
Just read the thread lower down (I am sick sore and tired of hearing "i dont want to...")...facing all of that too!
It's not unusual for a child that age to say such things. You are both very stressed and she is acting that stress out at home. Can you arrange play dates, have her join some clubs, join the gym together etc? Anything that gets you out of the house and into contact with more people. It sounds as if perhaps you spend too much time in each other's company.
Yes been trying to get her into clubs etc, the school ones are all full as we joined mid year. Plus she refuses point blank to go to any activities, 'I don't want to go to a new ballet teacher, I don't want new classmates'...I am dragging her off to some trial classes but from past experience I know that if she doesn't want to go then she will not even enter the classroom, and it will be money down the drain for me.
You are absolutely right, we are too much together. She comes home at 3.20 from school, and goes to bed only at 8-8.30. DH arrives by 7. So it's just the two of us for 3-4 hours (well not including tv/laptop/mobile time!)
It sounds like a difficult situation you're in. What sort of things do you do together? Does she help you cook supper? I find that it helps a lot with my dd's behaviour if I create situations in which we can do something together in harmony.
Perhaps let her talk about missing her friends rather than changing the subject. Her entire life has just changed, she probably has just realised that all the things that she thought were certainties are not - and she's had too change so much so recently. She wants to push you and test you because she's feeling vulnerable and doesn't know if her whole world could change again at any minute. She's experiencing doubt and she's just that bit old enough to start trying to make sense of things but not quite old enough to do it 'correctly'.
Let her talk about her friends - her emotions and sadnesses are valid and very real. She is reaching out to you to help her and letting you know she feels sad, which she is entitled to. She wants to know you're listening and that her feelings are important. If you change the subject then she's going to get the impression that you're not listening, and maybe extend that questioning to whether her worries and sadnesses are unimportant to you.
Lasting, that's a good idea. I occasionally buy some art and craft kit but that tides us over for max half hour (attention span not too long!).
Mean, I don't disagree but we have tried going down that path. Obviously she can't express all she's feeling in words. All I get is a repeating mantra of I don't like it here, I miss my friends, let's go back. I have no answer to any of them. The usual responses of 'You'll make new friends' etc are just platitudes as far as she is concerned. I don't know how to have that discussion without inviting more negativity 'But I don't WANT new friends, I want my old ones!'
Clearly I am floundering.
You really have to build up where you are now and plan exciting things you can do as a family. What does she like to do? Don't let her see that you are not happy/settled, say it is ok to miss friends but we are here now and going to meet lots of new ones so we shall have twice as many friends. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Can't you do things after school (not classes which might equal pressure), what about a visit to the library once a week (we have fun ones here in Canada with computers/play areas etc), or swimming or an indoor playground?
I think it is hard to join half-way through the school year and she will probably improve a lot come Sept. There must be camps, fun summer stuff that you can talk about/look forward to?
Can she get into cooking/preping dinner with you or baking?
Sounds like she is using you to vent her frustrations so try not to take it personally.
We have started using a reward/responsibility chart with my 5 year old it is a mixture of behaviours and also chores, it is the melissa and doug one . We find it is working really well. We also introduced pocket money and she gets 5cents for every 'badge on her chart. This might help with your DDs behaviour?
Thank you, I think you gave me some very good advice. And breathe.
I really feel for you, it sounds like a really tough situation.
One thing that's suggested in 'How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk' (an amazing book) is to give your kids what they want in fantasy. So when she says "I miss my old friends", you can say something along the lines of "I do too. I wish we could bring them all over here, and have them camping in our garden.." Let her build on it, saying the stuff she wishes, and keep making a picture of what you wish together. I'm not sure what you can do if she wishes she was at home and it makes her sad - maybe just say something like "But then we wouldn't be with Daddy.", and bring in something else which still gives her what she want like "I wish we could invent a magic transporter so that we could go back and forth whenever we like!" I think the key is to keep it playful, but for her to feel you're on her side and understand her.
I've never tried it (my DD is much younger), but it might be worth a try. The book is really good - it's not really about the issues you're having, but might still help since it's about interacting in a way that makes your children feel cooperative, with lots of practical techniques.
I really hope you settle in your new home soon, and that things get better for both you and your daughter.
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