8 yo dd destroying family life(17 Posts)
After another screaming battle over homework (in which time she could have actually done a lot of it) I have reached the end of my tether with dd1.
Over the past few months her behaviour at home has deteriorated to the point I just don't want to speak to her sometimes. She's rude, obnoxious, argumentative, loud, tells lies and is not much fun to be around.
She's had friendship issues at school but frankly if she speaks to children the way she speaks to us at home I am not at all surprised.
She won't to anything she's asked to. Her bedroom is a disgrace. She's even lost all her money as she decided to empty it out of her piggy bank, stuffed it into a sock and now cannot find it She mithers constantly for food. She strops and shouts if she's not getting her own way.
I just don't know what to do. She's very bright, does hobbies she enjoys and excels at but is being a complete horror at home.
Kids go through some awful phases - uncomfortable with themselves and everything around them. But I think important to try and pull things back a bit. How is she doing on eating/drinking/sleeping? What does she say about all this in more chilled out moments?
This will sound harsh but how is she ruining family life when she is a child? She is 8?
I would suggest having a think about how you can help her to behave better - she hasn't finished learning how to behave and that is your job to teach her.
If she has friendship issues, I feel sad that you basically blame her. Is she being bullied? Does she know how to interact or stand up for herself in a polite way? What is the school doing to help?
Were you screaming at her? If so, that's not really ideal behaviour on your side. You are the adult and need to control your reactions to show her how she should behave. Have you heard the phrase "monkey see, monkey do"?
No, I very seldom raise my voice. I'm not blaming her at all but she's so rude I do wonder how she's talking to friends.
She eats well, sleeps well (always has done) and oddly seldom misbehaves at bedtime. When she's more chilled she says she doesn't know why she's rude. Her attitude is terrible though and family trips out are more or less a non-starter as she whines continuously.
I'll ask her to put clothes away for example. A simple request results in her screaming at me.
I'm just wondering where she has learnt this?
My ds is 6 and gets a screamy with me but I am terrible for occasionally shouting. So we talk about the best way to express feelings and talk to people and keep doing it. He is gradually working out the best way to talk to his sister (So instead of telling him not to do something, I say "how would you feel if I said that to you, why don't you try saying X")
I would also ignore the screaming (tell her you know she is cross, to acknowledge her feelings, but that you're leaving until she is polite)
I wouldn't stop family trips. Just tell her to keep her moaning in her head unless she wants to talk nicely about something. It is ok for her to express her disapproval but not to whine.
You sound negative in your language and there's a danger of a vicious circle. Is there any way to mix things up a bit - eg tidy her room and she gets to choose a film for a cinema trip?
She might be at one of those boundary stages where they crave a bit more control but also aren't quite ready for it
I have teens and they're still going through all this!
I'd have a chat with her about bodies and hormones. 8yr old dniece is the same and doesn't know why she's so horrible. Breast buds and the beginning of pubic hair signalled the onset of puberty. My standard line is 'I know this isn't you, I know your hormones are out of control, I know you're both terribly angry and terribly upset, I can either give you a cuddle now or you can go to your room and deal with the anger then rejoin us'. I have DC age 4&6 yrs so she needs to learn that shouting at them isn't appropriate.
They don't learn it, its inate!
My 9yo does it, and it ruins family life because its terrifying for younger siblings, and wearing for parents (not to mention destroys your hearing).
You sound like your describing my 7 year old son. Bedtime seem to be the easiest time. Sleeping is his holy grail!
He annoys his siblings constantly, refuses any chores and gets so angry very quickly. During a quiet moment after he has been very naughty he tells me his head can't stop being angry.
I've learned to just roll with it. I treat him exactly the same as his siblings, when he crosses the line he knows there are consequences but doesn't seem to care.
Sorry no advice but I feel your pain!
I sympathise OP and I can relate to the phrase 'ruining family life' ........ my DS can be difficult (and he is 14 ) - today I had arranged a lovely activity for him - which he wanted to do, and all he had to do was pack his sports bag ............. he was rude, shouting at me, not bothering to get his stuff ready, spending all morning on his PS, could have taken ten minutes to tidy his room, put his washing in the basket, check his homework - but no, he shouts and yells and I honestly felt I would rather be at work than engaging in 'family life'.
No idea what the answer is ........... I've tried all the suggestions about choosing a film, going out for a meal etc etc etc.
It's hard not to shout back when they are being horrible, I know I am the adult and should remain calm, but it is so easy to state that when I am calmly thinking about the situation later in the day - in the heat of the moment it is all too easy to shout back.
I think it's partially negative attitude but mostly just these awful phases they go through.
DS is v challenging. We get to a coping level with it but then things unwind for a week or so randomly.
I think it's all very well other posters saying you're being negative yada yada but I can honestly say we try and remain consistent and these blips happen anyway.
In a month or so I'm sure she'll settled down. X
I often claim that children don't really WANT to be like this, incurring disapproval from everyone, whether at home, or at school.
But something in their head just triggers these unfortunate reactions and behaviours.
Try to IGNORE as much of it as you possibly can, and give her support and love: that is what ALL children want, really.
My ds was like this. Went on for ages. Ignore ignore nothing worked. Stopped him doing three things he loves (a panto visit etc). Stopped his magazine. No screens at all in the week. Now he is much much less rude. Strict worked for us. It's just miserable living like that.
To those of you saying its there hormones or it's a phase just ignore them, do you act terribly to your boss or neighbours all the time? Not just a bit rude but like they are a piece of dirt. Our number one job as parents is to teach them how to survive in the real work when they are 18+. How long do you think they will survive talking to people like they are scum?
I don't have a silver bullet of what will work. But we shouldn't just treat it like it's fine.
Like the above post too. Yes they DO need to know how to behave.
This could be me writing about my 8yo DS. Tonight ended the same as most nights, cross words because of homework and for attitude towards me and my DH. It drives me insane. I am not known for having patience and we fight constantly. At times its almost like he is trying to impress somebody and thinks it is funny and clever to speak the way he does.
I literally feel like I could scream at times BUT we do always end the day with I love you's regardless of what has happened, and have a talk about how tomorrow will be different and we will be better with each other - it just never happens!!
Thanks for the insights. It's certainly very hard to ignore I find. She can be utterly lovely of course and I offer tons of praise when she is.
I used 123 Magic - which is a great book - when dd was like this. It takes the emotion and the ranting out of the equation. you just tell kids that you are going to give them a one, then a two, then a three for bad behaviour. Three means time out or some withdrawal of privileges. But read the book as when and how you do this matters.
Also I realised that we were getting into a negative spiral and that most of what dd did was for attention. I started snuggling up on the sofa or on my bed and reading for 10 mins as soon as she got home. That really worked. It took me less time than the arguments did and helped us reconnect. Also banned or severely restricted TV as it makes my kids bad-tempered.
Had a crappy day with her yesterday so think I will take my own advice and do all this today!
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