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Please help, really struggling with 5yr old DD

(4 Posts)
confuseddotcom82 Fri 13-May-16 22:10:57

I am in serious need of some help/guidance/ideas/anything at all regarding my August born 5yr old DD.

She has always been my side kick, we had a wonderful relationship. I didn't return to work so we have been together until she did 15 hours per week at preschool at age 3. She started in reception in September 2014 and immediately her behaviour changed, she was tired, irritable, obstructive, and belligerent. She also started to steal items of make up and jewellery from my bedroom. School advised us that her behaviour there was absolutely fine and that she was doing ok. Her behaviour at home continued in much the same vein.

Fast forward to August 2015 and her baby brother, our third child was born. DD seems unfazed by it and her behaviour if anything had improved from being at home and having more time to relax.

She then started in YR1, immediately she complained about disliking the work, the amount of writing and concentrating she had to do. From then on her behaviour has deteriorated significantly. She has become occasionally violent (pinches or kicks her 4 year old sister) everything is wrong, if I say it's hot she says it's cold. If she is hurt she screams at the top of her voice like she has been scalded even if it's a minor thing, grazed knee etc. She is incredibly rude to me, she does not listen to anything I say, I have to repeatedly ask for her to do anything. She has a tendency to sneak off and do things she knows she shouldn't e.g emptying out hand soap bottles. If she is punished (I.e removal of toys for the night) she turns into a Tasmanian devil, screaming, rolling on the floor, kicking out at me, telling me she will get them back. Her self care has always been poor but has gone out of the window, she barely wipes her bottom, often has poo smeared all over her pants and has recently had accidents, she leaves going to the toilet to the last minute and ends up weeing on the way to the toilet. She tells me she wants to leave our family and to my shame I have started telling her told her she can go. I am sorry to say I have also really shouted at her and have grabbed her by the arms and shouted at her to try and get her to listen to me. She has no understanding of consequences and always answers I don't know when asked why she has done something.

I just don't know what to do, I feel like our relationship has seriously deteriorated and it's having a massive impact on our family life and my mental health. I wake in the night and spend hours trawling Google for ideas on how I can work with her to improve her behaviour. I know I haven't covered myself in glory through this, but I had been trying all the techniques I had read about and nothing was working and I was at the end of my tether. I fantasise about leaving, just walking out the door. But I won't, I could never leave my children it would break my heart to have them suffer, but this is almost breaking me too. We have been so happy and now we are broken. I feel like the first 9 months of my sons life have been ruined by this.

School have said she is ok, then I start to get problems dropping her off, she becomes clingy and tearful. I tell her teacher that her behaviour at home is terrible and they have recommended the thrive approach. Then they say her behaviour is ok and now this week they are recommending thrive again. I don't want anything on her school record if it is something we can deal with, if it isn't should we go private so that the school is unaware until we get any answers?

Thanks for reading all of this. A bit of an essay I know.

confuseddotcom82 Sat 14-May-16 09:07:59


outputgap Sat 14-May-16 09:25:05

I've got no expertise, but I'll bump for you, and suggest reading How to Talk So Kids Listen and Listen So Kids Talk (I may have slightly scrambled the title) rather than arsing around on Google. I am trying to read the Explosive Child, and this is often recommended here, so you might give that a try too?

It sounds like school is really hard for her and she's finding it really difficult to transition to Year 1. It's understandable, given that she is one of the youngest in the year. I think school should be helping you more, because that seems to be a big component here. Is there an educational psychologist linked to school?

How does your dh/dp perceive it? It seems to be hitting you very hard. Does he find it overwhelming? Is he backing you up in the techniques you are using?

They do all misbehave. I rejoice when I see other 5 year olds having tantrums.

Thingirlstuckinfatsuit Sat 14-May-16 09:26:53

Hi Confused, not really sure I can be of much help, but I will try. I have a Sept born DD, so one school year behind yours. We have had some of these issues (not as severe) due mainly to tiredness, could this be a factor?

We have also had a disruption to our family life (bereavement) which, understandably, has also led to some undesirable behaviour. We have just found time and lots of reassurance are starting to help.

You sound tired, and reaching the end of your tether which is totally understandable. Would it help to change strategies? Use a reward chart so she has to achieve things like better personal hygiene. Use positive reinforcement instead of taking toys away at night - this could unintentionally reinforce her insecurity.

Finally the gap between reception and Y1 is a big leap from a lot of play to a lot more structured learning, so a lot of kids will also struggle with this, you will not be alone. Someone will be along soon with lots of great advice, have a hug in the meantime, sometimes parenthood is just a big slog.

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