Have I gone too far?(14 Posts)
I am at my wits end with DD (6.5)
Her behaviour is truly appalling. She is rude, obnoxious and very defiant. She can be be lovely but this seems to be the exception as opposed to the norm.
Today she has done nothing but complain and whinge apart from an hour or so when she had already been in trouble.
I have just told her that unless she can talk nicely to people with respect then I won't be doing anything nice with her or for her. I am terrified I have just done the wrong thing.
I've been in tears twice today and I honestly don't know what I've done wrong in the past.
I have already severely limited her screen time and what she is watching, am practising naughty step and being consistent with discipline.
She will readily apologise but has worked out that this is what she thinks will get her out of trouble.
She is bright and can be very funny and loving but it's like she's been possessed in the last couple of months.
I have read and tried How to talk to children and tried the techniques but I don't seem to be able to get through to her. Apparently she is not like this at school or with her dad.
For background, she is an only child and I am divorced from her father. My partner lives with us and he backs me up with discipline. I work full time and some long hours. School says there are no problems with her behaviour and she is happy and well adjusted. She just seems to save it all for me.
I am really struggling to relate to her. Trying to keep my temper is becoming tougher and tougher.
I want to be able to enjoy time together without it being a battlefield. It's getting to the point where I don't want to take her anywhere in case she plays up.
If any one has any similar experiences or light at the end of the tunnel I would love to hear them! I am desperate! I just want to give her the upbringing she deserves and the skills she needs to be a rounded human being.
Thanks in advance. Now off to pour the gin....
Hope you're managing to enjoy your gin! Please don't blame yourself for this. Children go through many emotions and often can't articulate the way we can so how they feel comes out in unpleasant behaviour if that makes sense? It sounds like you're doing a fantastic, totally knackering, job. The fact she plays up with you may simply be because she's more relaxed with you, so she feels she can get out her bottled up emotions - lucky you! I have no experience with a 6 year old, hopefully someone who does will come along, but have you tried "reversing" it a bit. By that, I mean rather than getting her to apologise ask her why she thinks her behaviour has upset you? It could open the lines of communication. Keep telling her you love her and want to help her. I really hope you both get some common ground soon 💐
I can offer no advice, only commiseration! 😉 Hang in there. Same boat over here.
Thanks all, it's a new day and we are keeping everything crossed!
Try some 1 on 1 time
Read up on love bombing
Pretend you like her!
Take photos when she's being good / happy /smiley and print them out and display
Pretend you are on TV
And the best of luck!
The saving it for you is probably a good thing (albeit awful for you) as it shows she knows how to behave! She most likely feels her most comfortable around you so just lets go! My son does this too. One thing I find works well is withdrawing emotion and attention from the negative behaviours - telling off, getting drawn in etc is what they want. I say, "I'm not going to talk to you until you calm down, be nice etc" physically turn away or go to a different room. If there is no attention given, they learn there is no point. Don't take it personally either. Easier said than done I know.
I completely sympathise.
Dd1 was awful between 6 and 8. Now 15 and is not perfect but has turned into a lovely girl who I enjoy spending time with.
She really knew how to push my buttons.
I remember almost all of my sentences started with I love you very much but that behaviour is not acceptable.
You really have to stand firm. When I had had enough she got told to go to her room and think about her behaviour and come down when ready to be civil.
A few times she was made to write lines.
After 100 lines of "I will not .... " she was usually better behaved for a while.
When she was in trouble, having to write limes or in her room I would make a point of telling her I was getting me time and would have a coffee and read the paper or a book.
I also used to take pocket money off for bad behaviour. Saying with a smile " Carry on - you are going to save me a fortune" worked as well.
You lot are great. Feeling positive today. It's sounds like I have the right ideas in place and just need to stay strong and keep following through. I just worried that by withdrawing affection I may be damaging her but if it's going to help her understand then I will persevere.
You don't withdraw affection but you stick to clear boundaries backed up with rewarding positives. Finding good is as important as acting against bad. Carrot and stick approach. No use her being good if there is no clear benefit to her so plan in lots of lovely mummy time too - not as a reward but as part of normal activity. It doesn't have to be expensive or high excitement- going for a walk and finishing up with an indulgent hot chocolate with marshmallows, or doing a peel off face pack together so you giggle.
you sound like a lovely Mum. Someone mentioned Aha parenting on a thread last week, which I looked at and found quite interesting.
Just wanted to say I feel your pain
My youngest is 6.5 and can also ramp up the rudeness answering back ignoring us when being asked to do something and in general whinge and demand attention a lot.
It was getting to us a couple of months ago so we stepped up the routine at home and reminded her that that sort of behaviour and rudeness would only get her sent to her room.
We would also make her apologise and ask her why she was apologising if she was rude etc etc. That worked. She would stomp off in a temper and we would get on with what we were doing and completely ignore it.
It settled down again but started again just before xmas so am putting it down to the gift giving and general entitled attitude they all seem to display at times.
We have had a few bad nights where she just won't stay in bed and comes up and down throughout the evening. Last night was def the worst no matter how I tell her that bed time is bed time and no need for getting up and down once she's settled.
So today it's a long family walk with the dogs,car washing and lots of tiring things ready for a bath and early night to bed for her in the hope she will settle down once back in a normal routine again.
Fingers crossed for all of us with these little bullets of emotions
Sorry crumbs - I didn't mean affection but more the stuff she wants to do if you see what I mean. I need cuddles too!
But yes, I guess patience will help and I've never been good at that!
I think it may also have to do with her age- children are learning societal roles and emotion management, which means she knows how to behave but can't always contain her emotions, and certainly can't contain them forever.
Because she feels safe that you won't abandon her no matter what she does, she can unleash all of her frustration and upset on you. And now she's having to learn that that's not appropriate either.
Time, patience, and learning how to calm down will help. Teaching her to keep trying through disappointment, and that the world doesn't end if she doesn't get her wants immediately will teach her distress tolerance. But talking to her, asking what the matter is and how she is, will teach her that her feelings count and she is cared for. And rewarding her for good behaviour and punishing for bad will teach her that how she acts does have an effect on the world, so she can set up a positive situation for herself by acting positively.
I know it is so hard to do but your loving response will give her very important life skills.
We've had a great day today culminating in extra chapters at bedtime!
I managed to head a couple of potential incidents off at the pass which was great.
She's spending the day with Nanny tomorrow so fingers crossed for nanny's sake....
It's been good to get it out and hear from others
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