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DD is driving me insane

(24 Posts)
fatedtopretend Sat 12-Apr-14 19:46:09

She is almost 4 and an angel personified when she's with anyone but me.

I honestly thing she may be possessed when she's with me though and I've had enough. It is a constant cycle of tantrums, neediness and stroppy teenage behaviour.

I am at the end of my tether and do not know what to do.

MrsMopps Sat 12-Apr-14 20:34:15

I don't have any advice but just wanted to say my DD who has just turned 4 is the same.
people have said it's because she's with me most of the time so she knows how far she can push me and feels safe doing so.
It's very frustrating though that she behaves better with everyone except me sad
she is slowly getting better since starting nursery so I'm hoping it's something she'll grow out of.

fatedtopretend Sat 12-Apr-14 20:38:45

I have worked full time for 2 years and p/t since coming off mat leave when she was 9m/o. Because of this she is in nursery f/t and has been there p/t since 9 months.

People tell me it is because she knows she can push me but I am just so, so fed up of it now. I do not know what to do. I don't even enjoy 50% of the little time we do have together, I know how awful that makes me sound sad

WhoAteAllTheCremeEggs Sat 12-Apr-14 20:48:56

No you dont sound awful. You are a human being.
A friend of mine has very similar problems with her dd and I love her and her child but if im honest I find it depressing to witness how 1 child can crush the spirit of a household their dogs are scared of the outbursts and the older dd doesnt get a look in.
She says if she were in a relationship with someone treating her like this she would recognize it as emotional abuse and leave.

fatedtopretend Sat 12-Apr-14 20:53:35

I'm on my own with her and have been since finding out I was pregnant. I've got to the point of regretting having her sad

I don't know what to do, she can be so wonderful and lovely and then she flips a switch and makes me want to leave her which I know I can't ever do.

WhoAteAllTheCremeEggs Sat 12-Apr-14 20:56:49

Is anyone able to give you a break?
I dont know if this helps, obvs I've never met your child but this helped another friend of mine with mass tantruming.

MrsMopps Sat 12-Apr-14 20:58:59

One thing I found that worked with my DD was a sticker chart. If she was good and did what she was told she got a sticker. If she was naughty a sticker got taken away. when she got 10 stickers she got a treat (a magazine/kinder egg/small toy).

fatedtopretend Sat 12-Apr-14 21:37:42

Thank you cremeeggs, I will try to be forceful with my ignoring-I try bit do cave occasionally just to get sleep.

Mrsmopps, no style of reward chart had worked, I have tried them all sad

I just want to enjoy my daughter.

RandomMess Sat 12-Apr-14 21:43:04

Have you tried 123 Magic? I haven't but know it is approach that works very well for some dc.

I also recommend reading "How to talk so kids will listen, and listen so kids will talk"

Do you think you are in a vicious circle that is now incredibly hard to change? It is incredibly hard parenting when this sort of thing is going on.

fatedtopretend Sat 12-Apr-14 21:59:48

I'll look at the links tomorrow-thank you for them.

It is a vicious circle, I do not know what I can do.

She has pretty much destroyed my relationship with dp (we have only been together a year and a half), with my parents, and with my siblings.

I just want a break.

RandomMess Sat 12-Apr-14 22:18:08

Could you get a babysitter and see if there are any parenting courses around? They are very good for moral support and to be able to take your examples of issues with you and get other peoples perspectives of what may have worked better and why.

RandomMess Sat 12-Apr-14 22:22:02

Do you offer her lots of limited choices (either x or y) will she usually choose or does that create issues?

Do you let her make as many decisions as possible for her age, like what to wear, which cereal to eat etc?

Curious to see what triggers it.

WhoAteAllTheCremeEggs Sat 12-Apr-14 22:24:14

How has she destroyed your relationships? do parents/ partner disagree with you about her?

Paq Sat 12-Apr-14 22:30:00

Oh God I barely tolerated my DD as a toddler, and she was a positive angel blush it's really hard when you work full time to have the energy they need.

Honestly, OP, it's likely to just be a phase in her childhood that you're not suited to, you'll come out the other side and find her an amazing, fascinating 5/6/7 yo.

Sparklyboots Sat 12-Apr-14 22:49:31

She sounds normal, which doesn't mean it isn't tough! Someone once said to me that every child has an age where you have to really put the leg work in - some are dreadful tots but relatively mellow teens. I'm hoping so because my 3yr old is wild!

Seconding "How to Talk..." and also really like the website aha parenting. I'm really trying t move beyond shouty mummy and a technique that really works for us is separating the child from the problem, so basically when something happens that would usually kick start a row, instead of saying, "You've spilt the juice!" you say, "we've got juice all over the floor, pass a towel!" I find it especially useful at keeping me calm and solution focused. It works in all sorts of situations, I even use it to get him ready to go when he's fussing "we've got a problem, x starts in half an hour and we aren't ready to leave!" For us, it works because when we get into a negative interaction, where I'm telling him off or nagging, it usually escalates into a row and tantrum.

Perhaps you could start to look specifically at behaviours or interactions you want to change, and work through each. MN is great for actual strategies for individual behaviours or problems, books can be useful and you could ask nursery what is going well for them.

One thing though OP, you have to drop the thought that she has the power to wreck your relationships. Only you and your DP have the power to break up or stay together, if he couldn't handle her, or you two could not work out how to relate to her and each other peacefully then that's your and your DP' s business, not hers. She's just being a four year old, she's behaving how tiny, irrational people do, she is not the keeper of your relationships, and you not she has the power to mend or break them. Do not make her a scapegoat, it is unfair to her and will also not in any way help you either mend your relationship to her or give you the ability to maintain your other relationships.

fatedtopretend Sat 12-Apr-14 23:03:58

Sparkly, thanks for saying that about relationships, to be honest it's the first time I've said it and since then I've calmed down, me and dp are fine, I have issues with the rest in general but today has pushed me into wrongly blaming her.

MrsCosmopilite Sat 12-Apr-14 23:09:00

Keeping an eye on this thread as DD (3) is doing quite a lot of this of late. She's been attending nursery from a young age and loves it. She's very well-behaved there, and is, I know, a very good child. BUT of late she has been doing the teen strop and the tantrumming. The latest thing is screaming and spitting.

Tonight I tried a different approach and when she started acting up I gave her a big hug. Got deafened by the screaming but she calmed down quicker.

She tends to kick off when she's tired or hungry. But sometimes not, IYSWIM. I am definitely going to try the 'blameless' approach, if only to help me keep calm!

Sparklyboots Sat 12-Apr-14 23:16:41

Well, sometimes we have to voice our thoughts to get the full measure of them, glad you know that one isn't true.

You do sound exhausted, OP, hope you can start to turn it around. We just had a really tough phase and had to really up our game but actually all the effort is way less draining than constant fights. Nowt like an action plan to make you feel positive even when your DC is behaving exactly as horribly as when you didn't have an action plan...

VisualiseAHorse Sat 12-Apr-14 23:24:29

I am just heading into the toddler-hood phase, and came across this article earlier and plan to use some of these tactics.

AllDirections Sat 12-Apr-14 23:51:27

My DD3 was exactly the same and she's only just calming down now at 7 sad No strategy ever worked or seemed to work but I'm playing the long game. She has absolutely crushed me!

CremeEggs I can really identify with your friend and I'm really glad that she has you to recognise what she's going through.

On the plus side OP, the fact that your DD is well behaved for everyone else means that she knows how to behave well and that's down to your parenting. I told DD3's teacher that I want the child that she gets!

wiltingfast Sun 13-Apr-14 00:18:07

It sounds like the two of you are falling into an awful cycle of interaction.

Have you considered a parenting course? I did one of these becuase we were struggling to manage our ds who is now almost 5. Huge psycho berserker tantrums, unpredictable, incredibly prickly, difficult to please, utterly stubborn and implacable, we were worried he had deeper problems than it just being a bit of a phase.

I did the incredible years course and it has helped hugely. Google it and see what you think. Essentially it was about focusing on your child, rebuilding a positive relationship, and making sure you had your own outlets for anger resentment, recognising your own negative thought patterns and behaviours etc as well as giving you strategies for encouraging the behaviour you want and discipline.

I'd really recommend it. Our ds still has his moments but overall he's like a different child. Much calmer, gentler, more confident.

tadamsmar Sun 13-Apr-14 15:18:00

The Incredible Years course is great.

Also, you could use the methods in the book Kazdin Method.

MexicanSpringtime Mon 14-Apr-14 05:40:54

Mmm, it's a long time since I had a child of that age, but I can recommend two things

Vitamin B complex for you. I starting taking vitamin B one time when my daughter was five, and three weeks later was laughing at things that had annoyed me before.

And the other is to pick your fights. If she is doing lots of things that annoy you, choose one and work on it and let all the others go. Then when she has corrected that behaviour, start on the next one.

fatedtopretend Mon 14-Apr-14 19:46:24

Thank you everyone for your replies, I'll have a look into the courses and into vit b for me too!

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