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I'm still failing at this - DD almost 6

(14 Posts)
Asleeponasunbeam Sun 19-Jul-15 14:02:44

I'm really not getting things right with DD and want to improve it as much as I can. Any ideas anyone?

Her early years were very 'attachment parenting' focused and was happy with that. DS was born when DD was 3 and again I'm happy enough with the way I treat him.

But as DD has got older, I find myself increasingly frustrated by her. She is so lovely a lot of the time - imaginative, funny, plays really nicely with her brother and friends. She's happy at school and doing fine there. But she's so often very sulky, whiny and cross. Answers back a lot, argumentative, rude. Oh it just sounds so normal when I write it down and I KNOW it's not really about her but how I react to her that's the problem. Yesterday I said she was being a nasty little girl and I know how unkind that was of me. She's sulked half the morning because we didn't have any plans for the afternoon (we've been camping since Friday - this afternoon is just home and pottering). She never seems happy about anything.

And the reason I'm so desperately worried about this is that she is exactly like I was as a child. I was always disappointed in things, to the extent that for years and years I hated and dreaded birthdays holidays and Christmases because I couldn't bear any disappointment related to them.

I don't know how to help her, how to stop getting annoyed with her. I feel like she's going to remember me as a permanently cross mum.

We do lots of nice things I suppose - always have stories together before bed and a nice bedtime routine. The school and working week is busy and there's not much down time, but I'm a teacher so we have all our holidays together.

Any ideas? I feel like I've lost my way sad

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 19-Jul-15 14:40:21

She's been asleep for the last hour - tiredness is a factor but they both wake so early in the mornings.

She has her birthday party this week. I can feel her disappointment already. She has planned it herself - it appears I only have to turn up and provide the refreshments! I always try to manage her expectations but she has such high hopes and fantasies! Last year she wanted to give all guests a 'real fairy to keep in their rooms' but a viewing of Tinkerbell and chat about how it's cruel to keep fairies in captivity fixed that. This year she's inviting imaginary cats (and real children)...

chocolatespiders Sun 19-Jul-15 14:51:35

Why do you think she will be disappointed at her birthday party?

Does she always like to be doing things. My DD now 11 can be out for the whole day, I am shattered want to get home and have a cuppa and as soon as we get in the door she can say right what are we doing now!!!! So we often end up going to the park and playing badminton or football for an hours to get out. Hard work though.
She also loves getting presents but then rarely plays with them.

Asleeponasunbeam Sun 19-Jul-15 14:58:56

Thanks for the reply. Yes, she always seems to need something planned, lots of 'what are we doing?'. We are always busy - maybe she hasn't learned to occupy herself well. She has everything - paints, crafts, books, playmobil, dolls, a garden, a dog, a brother! I don't expect her to always play without me, but she seems to need me more than ever now!

I'm holding out for her being able to read independently! She loves stories so perhaps she'll enjoy curling up and reading to herself.

The birthday party - she just gets so 'involved' and plans things to the letter and they just can't go as planned. She hasn't been disappointed yet, and we don't go in for big parties or anything. It's not even her birthday! That's in August but we found some of friends were away last year so thought we'd do term time.

chocolatespiders Sun 19-Jul-15 19:11:28

My daughter is an August baby as well. We struggle to get people to come to her parties in the holidays so we did it on Friday. She invited 6 to bowling and pizza express but only 3 came.
The only thing my daughter seems to be able to play on her own is with dolls and she loves to play teachers with her white board. Even if she is on the trampoline she wants me to watch her.

Asleeponasunbeam Mon 20-Jul-15 06:30:39

She slept for 3 hours yesterday afternoon in the end, and then went to bed as normal in the evening.

Maybe tiredness is the main problem. And being nearly six! I re read '1,2,3 Magic' while she slept and am going to try doing that properly again. It's good as it takes the emotion and unpredictability (from the adult) out of the situation and stops me talking too much.

chocolatespiders Mon 20-Jul-15 16:05:47

Hope you are having a good day... My daughter slept for an hour this afternoon (it was a nice break for me!!)
Have not heard of the book - I will look it up.
I have heard good things about one called raising girls.

Cedar03 Mon 20-Jul-15 19:39:42

I think that when they have had a busy time you have to remember this and make allowances for the deterioration in behaviour.

My daughter - who is 8 - loves to plan. She loves writing out lists and working out what will happen. So we went camping recently - she wrote her first list months ago. I think all you can do is manage expectations. But she will have to learn to deal with disappointment - I think the key is to acknowledge it at the time.
To be honest she could be stroppy and difficult at 6 and demand my attention and the same at 8. I find asking her to help with chores normally results in her finding something else to do!

Asleeponasunbeam Mon 20-Jul-15 22:31:14

Thanks. Today's been good. Well, we only had 3 hours together after school/ work, but I stuck to the '1,2,3 Magic' plan and only got cross once (millionth bedtime demand... Need a strategy to cope with that! She gets me at my most exhausted and hungry, when I know I still have lots to do before I can relax!

Little brother was devilish!

CharlotteCollins Mon 20-Jul-15 22:40:04

Have you read "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk"? That has a lot of good advice.

MistyValleyHigh Mon 20-Jul-15 22:42:19

It sounds like the disappointment is a side effect of anxiety/excitement about the upcoming event (birthday party, holiday, whatever it might be) rather than anything to do with the event itself and how it went. So at least you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that the disappointment/come-down part of it would be there whatever happened!

ime whiny and cross behaviour can be due to tiredness or anxiety (or both) - the fact that she's planning stuff may be good as planning can help to reduce anxiety as long as it's realistic (as you know). If you feel that the behaviour is the result of worry rather than deliberate bad behaviour then it may help to deal with it.

Cedar03 Tue 21-Jul-15 10:13:24

I think as well that you have to try not to project your feelings when you were growing up onto her. So that you assume that she will behave and feel the same just because that is how you felt at the time.

In reality you won't be able to fill in every single one of her dreams and ideas about how birthdays/Christmas should be and you shouldn't be trying to either. She obviously has a highly imaginative mind (the real fairies thing is a lovely idea but you could never have fulfilled that with something real that would have come close to the fantasy) and you will just have to guide her gently (as you did with the fairies) to understand the difference between the two. This will become easier anyway as she gets a little bit older.

And everyone feels short tempered when they are tired themselves. And we don't have endless patience for the endless demands - which can be a deliberate way of prolonging bedtime routines. I use races quite a lot at bedtime in way of getting my daughter into her pjs and bed. We race up the stairs. We race to see if she can get changed in a certain about of time, etc.

But also children have to learn that sometimes adults will be snappy and cross with them - but the fact that you aren't like it all the time will mean that she will learn the difference. So you're not really failing - we all have our off days. If we are never snappy and cross with our children how will they cope with other adults or children who are like that?

Once the holidays start you will feel more relaxed yourself as the pressure of the school term will be off.

Asleeponasunbeam Tue 21-Jul-15 20:10:06

Cedar, what a thoughtful response. It really helps me. You have clarified what I do believe in and try to do most of the time, while making me realise I'm bloody exhausted and desperate for a rest! Thank you x

pause4thought Fri 07-Aug-15 00:14:20

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

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