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At wits' end with DD8's never satisfied-itis

(23 Posts)
Ragusa Tue 19-Jul-16 17:34:20

Just that really. Can anyone advise how best to cope with a child who is never satisfied or happy with what they are doing/ have been bought/ given/ nice treats you've planned for them? DD has lots of good qualities and attributes but being happy with her lot is not one of them.

To give an example, if i've offered to buy her one thing from smiggle, she'll pester for thing two and thing three. No matter how many times I say no, it's either this or nothing, it does not stop her trying. every. single. time.

She is generally very demanding in terms of attention as well. You can never do enough with her/ spend enough time with her - it's kind of all-consuming and slightly suffocating.

I feel really bad writing this, disloyal to DD but argh I am just at a loss and need some advice!

I have another (younger) child who has a totally different attitude and is immensely happy with anything anyone does for him. Which makes it even harder as I feel I'm always reining her in , and not generally him (because I don't really need to).

Can anyone give me any ideas? Please?!

ivykaty44 Tue 19-Jul-16 17:41:24

I would suggest she has to work for thing two and three. A particular job like hoovering each week for four weeks and then she can have thing two. If she then completes the task she gets thing two.

If of course she forgets a week - then she did want it that much.

She is using the broken record techniques on you and it's working.

So stop conversing with her when she starts, don't engage, don't get drawn in.

2nds Tue 19-Jul-16 17:44:21


jellymaker Tue 19-Jul-16 17:44:23

I suppose it depends if you have a track record of giving into her. You have to make a decision and stick to it. If you have repeatedly given into her in the past, then she is always going to try it on. I would be withdrawing the one thing if she complained about it only being the one.
If you never give into her, then maybe it is more complicated but you could try and explain it to her. That she is growing up and that you are expecting her to entertain herself a bit more. Model / explain what that looks like, and then reward her when she is able to show that she can do that.

DoreenLethal Tue 19-Jul-16 17:47:27

if i've offered to buy her one thing from smiggle, she'll pester for thing two and thing three.

Erm, you say 'it's this or nothing love. You have 10 seconds to decide or I will put it back. 10, 9...'

skatesection Tue 19-Jul-16 17:53:04

Does she give you any sign at the planning stage of a treat that she's not into the idea or does she suddenly have a change of heart on the day?
Trying to work out what's going on...

What if you gave her some sort of scrapbook with magazines and catalogues and you could dream-board her favourite ideas of fun together? (Like pinterest but in the olden days, IYKWIM?)

Ragusa Tue 19-Jul-16 19:09:32

Thanks for all these responses.

Working for things sounds like a good idea and in all likelihood she will forget all about them.

I have no problem saying no to her when she asks for extra things- the "it's this or nothing" line comes out and she knows I mean it. i don't give in and never have done, that's what's frustrating. I think it's just her personality, she is very persistent and can be extremely single-minded and intense about things. What I really need is some way of dealing with it, I can't change her.

DD who is 8, not DD8, eek, the thought.

She has plenty of ideas about things to do at the planning stage - we do listen to both kids and plan things taking into account what they've said they really want to do. Sometimes she changes her mind when we get there and will announce after 20 minutes she's had enough. It's slightly odd. It's like she gets really excited about things and then they just don't live up to her over-the-top expectations.

She also is very, very ungratious about doing stuff that other people want to do e.g., she will moan if we're doing something her brother wanted, and I find this particularly hard to deal with without coming down on her like a ton of bricks ...

DoreenLethal Tue 19-Jul-16 20:47:54

she will moan if we're doing something her brother wanted

'If you don't want to do it dear, you can always stay home and do the cleaning. Here, let me get the polish and some dusters out. No, well stop moaning then'.

Ragusa Tue 19-Jul-16 22:22:36

mmm, good idea Doreen except she would just answer back "well, you could hardly leave me at home alone, could you" :D :D We are firmly into the sulky pre-teen phase smile I'm going to try "if you carry on moaning you will go home with MrRagusa and will miss out on the trip we had planned for you.

We do cut her off short when she starts complaining about things she has to do. Doesn't stop her doing it on future trips, mind...

I think I just have a bit of a personality clash - I cannot abide entitlement and seeing it in my child makes me really uncomfortable... argh.

DoreenLethal Wed 20-Jul-16 06:13:24

You have to be more cleverer than her.

'You can hardly leave me home alone'
'We wont be, one of us is staying with you. Now, take your shoes off, you are not going because you were moaning and then backchatting.

skatesection Wed 20-Jul-16 12:47:24

I liked the suggestion uplist that she needs to work for second treats. What if she had a job at your house and then could spend her wages as she wished? Then it's caveat emptor and if she's not happy, it was her choice.

(I'm just thinking of a psychology experiment where people preferred Ikea furniture they had assembled because it was their personal handiwork. )

The throwing a s-fit when her brother is having fun is annoying too but I think just being patient and giving closed choices "stay home and be bored / come out with us and watch your brother have fun" will work eventually.

Do you ask her where all this is coming from? Sometimes kids give really stupid answers (because they don't understand it themselves) but every so often they let you know what's REALLY up.

Witchend Wed 20-Jul-16 14:32:51

Is it that she's never happy or that she is trying it on?

Dd2 will always see if she can push for more. She has an ice cream, she'll ask if she can have another. She goes to Smiggle with £5 to spend, she'll find something worth £6.00 and ask if she can have a little bit more. She's happy though. Just her motto is "if you don't ask, you don't get". She rarely gets the extra, but it hasn't put her off asking.

Otoh dbro used to never be happy. We had days that went along the lines of:
Dm: Get ready to go, we're off to <insert place he liked>
Dbro: Why are we going there, it's boring. I hate going.
Dm: Come on.

Dm: Did you enjoy yourself?
Dbro: It was boring, I only went for you.
Dm: Well in that case would you like <insert food he loves for dinner>
Dbro: I suppose so.

Dm: Nice dinner.
Dbro: It was alright, I suppose. If that's all you had to make.
Dm: Shall we play <insert game he likes>
Dbro: I suppose I have to if you want to.....


Very frustrating as a big dsis because dm spent days trying to get him happy and enthusiastic. He was taken to/done things with me and dsis longed to do to try and make him enthusiastic.
One day dm, when he was about 13/14yo, had suggested they would go somewhere and he'd done his usual "well, I suppose I have to if you want to."
Something else had come up, and dm assumed he wasn't that bothered and they didn't go. About half way through the day dbro came to her and asked when they were leaving. Dm said she'd decided not to go after all as he didn't seem to want to and he threw the most enormous hissy fit.
She realised that actually he did want to do these things but he'd discovered if he pretended that he had only done it because he had to then dm would do something else. which was what dsis and me had been saying for years.

Ragusa Wed 27-Jul-16 23:08:21

Witchend, thanks for your response and sorry it's taken me a long time to acknowledge and respond - school holidays and all that grin

There is very definitely an element of "if you don't ask, you don't get".

I was brought up to never ask, never go on about own needs, generally be unassuming, and to be honest this hasn't always served me well. My adult life has been spent trying to unlearn my modus operandi, so I made a conscious decision to raise my kids to ask for what they need, say when they're not happy, etc etc etc. Guess this is the quid pro quo of that, clearly it's worked, maybe just a bit too much smile

bingisthebest Fri 29-Jul-16 22:28:59

This could be my dd who is 7yo. I often feel so sad that she struggles so much against everything. And also has a natural greediness that I suppose is just her.
The smiggle example is exactly my dd and she loves smiggle! I too am firm in the no and don't give in. Maybe I'm too tough. It's hard to say.
My dd has even taken to huffing at the moment when she doesn't get her own way.
I empathise with you and I will be following this thread in the hope of helping me manage my lovely at heart Dd.

VioletBam Sat 30-Jul-16 07:11:26

My DD also 8 has a friend like this OP and I'm shocked at it I have to say. She moans ALL the time! She wants what the older DC have or she wishes she'd got something else at the shop...or she doesn't like the game all the others want to play.

I think it's more about getting attention than anything else. As an outsider I mean. I can see she prefers to be in the limelight.

Could it be that with DD?

youarenotkiddingme Sat 30-Jul-16 07:19:28

One of the best pierces of advice I was given re dealing with situations like this is to say your piece and walk away! A child can only argue, demand and moan at you if you are there!

SummerSazz Sat 30-Jul-16 07:19:43

I have a similar pre teen stroppy ungrateful 9 year old.

She would very happily stay home with one of us so that's no threat here <sigh>

No words of wisdom just feel for you and also not liking the entitled dc.....

DinosaursRoar Sat 30-Jul-16 07:23:27

Ds has s touch of this and this summer I've taken to bring firmer, so whinging that "this is boring/for babies/rubbish" - at something for younger dd has been met with "if you complain once more or try to ruin it for dd, then we won't do X" (thing he wants to do another day). If he complains he wants y as well as X in a shop he's told he's getting neither. If he pesters about pudding as soon as we sit down for dinner, he'll be served pudding last.

It's beginning to work...

screamingeels Sat 30-Jul-16 11:52:13

Ooh I just rocked up to start a thread about my 8 yo's behaviour. We have a touch of this too but in DDs case it's clearly don't ask/ don't get and a bit of boundary pushing. But 8 yo are hard aren't they? Given the amount of eye rolling and stroppines currently going on I am not looking forward to the teenage years!

gracielooloo Sun 31-Jul-16 16:19:38

I've found my home!
DD also 8 is a stroppy nightmare, I am also not looking forward to the teen years Screamingeels.

Ragusa Tue 02-Aug-16 22:05:29

Me neither, not looking forward to teendom... and that's partly why I want it sorted now as far as it can be. Otherwise, uggghhhhh. I remember what I was like. Oh for the love of God, let it be better than that....

Ragusa Tue 02-Aug-16 22:10:22

VioletBam, yes, I definitely think there is an element of attention-seeking behaviour with DD. She loves being the centre of attention, and unfortunately for her people tend to immediately focus their gaze on her angelic-looking and good natured little brother smile I don't think she's ever truly got over being (as she sees it...) supplanted.

lifeofdino Thu 04-Aug-16 21:18:15

DD9 ( in age 9) sounds very similar, we can be in s shop choosing 1 item and she'll want 3. Being firm and saying no (which works with her younger brothers) won't stop the tantrums and the rest of the day being spent in a sulk.

Now I very rarely take her to the shops, we shop on line or I pop into places like Smiggle and pick up an item and bring it back as a present, she seems to appreciate and enjoy this a lot more. I do wonder if choosing is too overwhelming. If we do head to the shops I have to prep her before hand (slightly less so no that she is older), we discuss what I will be buying for her, doing the 'telling' before hand works better for us, if she can't accept it then we don't go.

Working for those extra items (i.e your items 2 and 3) backfired massively for us, she became adept at being very 'nice' until she had earned what she was wanted, then she would stop. Later if she wanted us to buy something she would start being a very false kind of 'nice', it was all very unpleasant and we stopped it. Pocket money works slightly better because if the maths works she can buy it, if the maths doesn't work she can't.

The only think that I can't get her to do is enjoy the moment or what she has right now, the only thing that I console myself with is that a lot of adults have trouble doing that and I am asking a 9 year old to do it.

I do find it incredibly difficult taking her and the younger DC's out as they seem so delighted an happy with what we are doing and DD huffs, puffs and says it's rubbish sad.

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