Aggressive 4 year old girl(14 Posts)
I'm embarrassed to post this, but here goes. My daughter is 4 years 8 months. She goes to nursery where she used to have issues socialising with the other children. Her behaviour at nursery has improved over the last year, but her behaviour at home over the last year has declined. She doesn't seem to care about being told off, having time out, having toys being taken away. It's almost as though underneath it all her shouting and screaming, she likes the bad attention. She hits me, pinches me, pushes and kicks me. She isn't afraid to scream in my face and quite frankly she thinks she is boss. I have tried positive reinforcement when she has been well behaved. If she has been good, I will let her have a small toy, or go for a day out, or do painting or whatever she chooses that day. But as it goes, the minute she has gotten what she wants she will turn and start being naughty again.
It doesnt seem to matter how I go about the issue of her aggression, it doesn't make a difference. I ask her why she feels the way she does and she just tells me "I want to do it" she even looks happy when she is hurting me. I don't know what to do next, she starts school in September and I'm worried. She goes to her dad's at the weekend and she isn't badly behaved with him. And my gran has her while I work and she is well behaved there too. I'm beginning to think she doesn't like me. She will stay awake shouting and screaming till midnight because she doesn't want to sleep and wake up at 5 or 6 demanding one thing or another. While at her dads, she is asleep by 8 and up at 7.
We could be having a lovely conversation, when she would hit me in the face or pinch me. She funds it funny. She finds me telling her off, funny. I don't know what to do anymore. I cry everyday when she is finally asleep. I'm exhausted.
If anybody has any helpful advice, I would appreciate it!
Do you show her that you are upset, when she hurts you? I don't mean cross, but hurt and upset. When she has hurt you, or is screaming in your face, maybe try complete silence, walk out of the room and go and make yourself a cup of tea, rather than engage with her. She may gradually cotton on that the only attention she gets is when she is behaving well.
How you get to the bottom of why she is aggressive, I'm not sure. How long ago did you part from her Dad? Sometimes children take time to be reconciled to new situations, especially when they can't verbalise how they are feeling, and it's always likely to be the constant parent who bears the brunt of any expressions of anger.
I have told her I am upset and in that moment she has seemed to care but once we have stopped talking about it, it's like it's forgotten and she continues. If I give her no attention at all, she screams and screams so loud. The trouble is, that if it is late in the evening I am worried that she will wake the neighbours children so I do often have to talk to her. Although it isn't straight away. She doesn't give up. Me and her dad parted 3 years ago and she has been okay with it, I don't know if as she has gotten older, it has affected her more, she obviously doesn't say so its difficult to know. I have a partner now of 2 years who she has always liked but has started saying she hates but I know her dad has expressed his dislike for the fact mummy has a boyfriend in front of her. Which I'm not saying is the cause but it certainly doesn't help!
My Dd was a bit like this. She never cared about sanctions, and any telling off would make her go into meltdown.
She's 10 now, and suffers a lot from anxiety, looking back, l think some of her behaviour was driven by a desire to control her environment.
Reading the Explosive Child also helped.
What was the relationship with her Dad like?
Between me and her dad? I left him because of his physical and mental abuse towards me. So I guess that doesn't help her at all, I'm not sure if she remembers it because she was so young but if she does, I guess that really won't help.
It's not that she remembers it but it's possible that you're using the same responses to her as you did to your exh.
So when a baby pinches a woman who hasn't experienced DV, mum says or squeals ow! Maybe you froze or teared up- whatever it was she's not learned what normally happens.
Posting quickly because I'm about to run août of battery but there's lots of practical and effective help. I'll be straight back.
I guess when I think about it. It's very rare that I actually say ow or squeal. I usually do freeze and then I try and punish her. And she will do it more and more. She knows she shouldn't do it because she tells me an hour or so later that it was naughty. Thank you
Ok here's a very general link
It's not exactly what I was looking I for and I'm not an expert on parent children relationships but I do recognise what you're describing and I can find some more links via my work email.
Are you ok? I was really shaken when I learned about this dynamic. I hope I haven't shocked you- there is definitely a way to 'reprogramme' the relationship.
^^ the link is about bossy children btw, but it's quite relevant. I'm still trying to find the relevant links...
The programme is called 'who's in charge'
I can't find any materials online but if you want to PM me I'll give you the facilitators details. She can point you in the right direction. I might contact her anyway as the thumbnail description- basically what I described up thread- was so impressive and rang so true I'd like to find out more.
I have read the link and will probably read it a few times before I fully get to grips with it. She's very bossy too and had been known to shout "don't you dare do that" to me. Trouble is, there are people that find it funny which does not help!
I suffer with anxiety and depression and I just hope that it isn't actually affecting my Dd!
Thank you very much for the link
I've PMed you
Here's some sources of support
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.