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Challenging 5 year old girl

(11 Posts)
Tryhardmum76 Fri 26-Jun-15 10:04:28

I'm finding I'm coming to the end of my tether with my nearly 6 year old daughter. I have just been in tears in the school playground after dropping her off and pouring my heart out to another mum!

This morning's crazy emotional outburst began when I said 'come on DD1 let's do your hair'. 3 yr old sister runs up- 'do mine first mummy!' I could see DD1 bristling at this so I said 'No, I said I'd do *DD1's hair first so that 's what I'm going to do', at which point DD1 runs away screaming, so I say 'Oh well, I'll do (DD2's) hair first as has run away.' She then runs back 'No,no, do mine, don't do hers, stop, do mine!!'. At this point I think, no, I'm not pandering to this ridiculousness so I carry on doing D2's hair and say calmly 'You'll have to wait now'. After this she becomes particularly vile... I hate you, you hate me, you love ** more than me! you're so horrible, you're never doing my hair again, I'm not going to school, I'm leaving, etc etc. I remained calm and ignored as much as I could. Eventually we left for school but she was snarling at me and was horrible to her sister in the car- 'this is all your fault horrible little sister' at which point I did get cross and raised my voice- 'your actions are your choice, no one has made you behave in this way. We'll be talking about this after school'.

She cried, very pointedly, louder and louder, all the way to school, whilst DD2 sat quietly.

She only stopped crying when we got out of the car and other people were around, so she is not out of control. She doesn't want other people to see her behaving this way. I am riddled with guilt after dropping DD2 off at nursery. I feel like these emotional outbursts must be upsetting for her to watch and listen to.

DD1 clung into me in the playground and knows she has done wrong but I don't think she understands what exactly. She does believe in these situations that she has been hard done by and everyone has upset her and she's been treated badly. I did try to explain that we were all upset by her behaviour, we just weren't crying as loudly.

I would say she has always been challenging in this way- not naughty in the sense that she she does wrong acts, just highly emotional and unreasonable. I think that she is extreme and unusually over emotional and unable to see reason but friends try to convince me that she's a normal 5 year old and it's just her feisty personality. She is so different to her sister. At 3 yrs old, her sister seems to understand the links between behaviour and consequences more.

My husband and I are both in agreement that she is challenging and we try to remain calm but sometimes I do flip and I want her to realise that she can't carry on like this then still get to do nice things.

When we've said 'no story tonight after the way you behaved' this has led to hours of crying and tantrums- we've tried to explain- this is the consequence- after today it will be forgotten, but not if you don't accept this consequence. After so many times it just doesn't seem to sink in. I feel like there's a missing link and that no one apart from me and my husband understands.

If you have read this far thank you, you are very patient!

Cedar03 Fri 26-Jun-15 11:31:15

To be honest it does sound pretty normal behaviour. A bit of sibling rivalry, bit of poor behaviour and you pulled her up on it. She didn't get her way so she reacts by getting upset. She may be more emotional than some of her peers but it still sounds like normal behaviour to me.

She is saying these things to you because she can - she feels secure enough to say them. My daughter has said similar things to me when she has been pulled up for horrid behaviour.

She is only a little girl - she won't remember the consequences of her behaviour every time when she's in the middle of the tantrum. You are the adult and have to remember that. You have to keep reinforcing it - every single time. Which is tedious for you but is necessary.

Personally I make punishments immediate whenever I can and follow through with the threat.

I have also had a lot of success with talking to my daughter when she is calm and telling her that we like it when she is the nice girl who answers us properly, not the whiney silly one. I point out that we don't talk to her like that so don't want her to do it to us.

And I try to praise her both at the time and later on - so if it was my children I would say things like 'I noticed you helping [younger sister] earlier, well done'. You may have to find very small things to praise sometimes but try to make the effort to do it. I think its easy to miss the good behaviour sometimes - we take it for granted.

Tryhardmum76 Fri 26-Jun-15 12:38:08

Thank you Cedar03, I am feeling calmer and less upset after the event!

I get what you are saying about punishments being immediate- what she didn't understand the other evening was that she was being punished for something that happened earlier even though she had tried to be good in between. In my eyes she hadn't been given a chance to earn her story back as she had behaved badly and should have a consequence. It's quite hard at the time to think of something immediate to have impact- she quite likes being sent to her room, or at least pretends she does!!

After school we are going to a summer fair where there will be lots of nice things to do. I don't feel like she deserves it but I want to support a friend who organised it, and I don't want me and my other daughter to suffer! Plus the whole school day has passed in between so I don't want to bring it up and start the afternoon on a negative note. I guess we will go to the fair, have a nice time and discuss it later?!

Typically these things often happen as we are about to leave for school!

Cedar03 Fri 26-Jun-15 14:36:23

Take her to the fair and have fun. Then you can say something later about having a nice time together and wasn't it much more fun than when you were both cross with each other.

pause4thought Fri 07-Aug-15 00:23:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BettyCatKitten Fri 07-Aug-15 01:23:19

Fuck off pause. Tout your business elsewhere.

happyhighlander Fri 07-Aug-15 20:36:23

Sorry this is an old thread but OP you could be me - I came on to post about my 5 yo DD who is driving us mad with her silly tantrums. It all seems to be about control and reacting to not getting her own way. Tonight was just awful and I ended up totally losing it with her and shouting.

I really struggle to stay calm when she is screaming at me and it often happens in the morning (tantrum because I ask her to get dressed/brush teeth so we can go out and have a fun day) so I'm stressed about getting out of the door.

I am exhausted, it feels like the summer holidays have been one long drama and I am counting the days til she goes back. I feel such a failure as a parent and her tantrums are affecting mine and DH's relationship and DS.

peppapigonaloop Sat 08-Aug-15 21:41:21

Happy highlander i am the same here.. My nearly 6 year old has been a constant challenge this week..back chat to everything, screaming, shouting when she doesn't get her own way, lots of I don't care and I hate's exhausting :0( I have two younger DS's and am finding the whole thing draining at the moment! No great answers though I'm afraid..

HopefulHamster Sat 08-Aug-15 22:13:31

I have a terrible five year old here! Lovely boy most of the time but once a month or so he'll have a week of pushing every boundary there is, plus toddler style tantrums. We had one today because we 'didn't let him play in the bath enough'. In reality he got annoyed by something he couldn't change, and we couldn't fix it, and he just hulked out. Nothing could fix it other than giving him time to let it fizzle out. Sigh.

fishfacedcow Sat 08-Aug-15 22:23:08

Now she is 6 but she is behaving much younger. I think that some children grow up but dont know how to 'be' the new age. they know what you dont want them to do, but dont know what to do instead.

Find a quiet time and tell her you want a chat. Explain to her that she is your first born and you will always love her, but it upsets you when she is mean to you and her little sister.

Tell her exactly what you expect from her. 'you are six now, i expect you to come when i ask to do your hair or wait patiently, or seeing as how you are six you could do your own hair. do you want me to show you how?'

Tell her she is always going to be the bigger sister, that she will always be bigger than her little sister and that makes her very special indeed. All the things she did she learned how to do herself. she didn't have anyone to show her... But little sister, well, she looks to you to help her learn, and to show her how to do things that she cant do.

This establishes her self-worth, her position in the family AND makes her feel special.

Then whenever you catch her doing something you approve of say... I saw you being kind to your sister today when you helped her. That was really kind of you.

this gives positive reinforcement

Donthackmenow Sun 09-Aug-15 23:53:06

Can I join the club? My 5 year old is awful at the moment. I have been crying for the last half hour or so about her behaviour. She is so controlling/ irrational/ emotional it is exhausting. I feel like I need to go on a parenting course because I can't cope with her and I end up shouting. In the moment I can never come up with a strategy and I feel like a shit parent. She absolutely pushes me to the limit and I can be shaking with how frustrated she makes me. I get exasperated with it all and can't do anything right- all food is disgusting (even if she ate it yesterday), she hates walking anywhere cos her legs hurt, it is always our fault that she is upset because we were 'rude' etc.

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