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Defiant, strong willed 8 yr old

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gointothewoods Thu 06-Aug-15 16:58:07

My daughter is 8. She has always been very stubborn and strong willed, but recently it’s turning into a nightmare at times.

Just wondered if anyone had any tips regarding a recent scenario and how to deal with it. It’s a lot easier to deal with her defiance in a home situation or in a friend or family members house (e.g. by removing privileges or toys or taking her home from a fun time), but last weekend we had a situation where I was unsure how exactly to respond.

We were out for a drive and running some errands last weekend.
We decided to stop for lunch. She didn’t want to go, but we told her she had no choice, she could look at the menu and see if there was anything she might like. She came into the restaurant, sat down, took a cursory look at menu and then ran off.
I went after her, she had run to the car (parked at side of busy road, not visible from the restaurant).
She hid behind the car and shouted that she was not coming back, that she wanted to stay in the car.
This went on for maybe ten minutes with me insisting that she come back, calmly and repeatedly. I didn’t care if she didn’t eat but I was not leaving her on the street or in the car for an hour while we sat and had lunch.
I tried to grab her to talk to her face to face, at which stage she kicked me in the ankle and then pinched my arm so hard that it created an immediate welt (still have the bruises). She stopped when i shouted out in pain at the pinch/ kick, I suppose realising that she had gone too far.
I then walked her back to the restaurant and she sat down. I showed her and my DS/ DH the mark on my arm, she was stunned into silence and I told her quietly and firmly that this was unacceptable behaviour, that she was not going to the playground after our lunch and that I would remove her Monster High dolls from her room for a week. She then apologised, seemed genuine, said she would order from the menu, sat and ate quietly etc.
We went home (not via playground) and I removed her dolls, which generated a large amount of screaming and crying, which I ignored. She then tried to beg for them back by offering to do various chores and ended up out weeding the garden for about 10 minutes in the vain hope of getting them back.

DH felt that we should have just left the restaurant when she refused to sit - however I felt that this would be allowing her to win as she didn’t want to stay in the place. So any tips for dealing with scenarios like this in a public situation without penalising everyone in the group by giving up on the lunch/ shopping trip/ movie or whatever situation she is refusing to participate in?

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