Dont know where Im going wrong with 6yr old DD(24 Posts)
Sorry.. this is super long. I am at breaking point with 6yr old DD. I will literally try anything. In short, she is a nightmare.
We have 4 DC, DD1 is 10, DD2 is 6, DS is 2.5 and DD3 is 10months.. Im not sure if thats relevant but just thought I would include it.
These are just some examples of DDs behaviour over the last few weeks.
- She is over excited with both younger siblings and has hurt them both when playing.
- She has forcefully pushed DS away from her when she doesnt feel like playing and has also put her face right infront of his and shouted in his face.
- She constantly annoys her older sister by knocking on her door or shoving papers under her bedroom doors and making whining noises at her and sometimes hitting or calling names
- I discovered a sealed tupperware box in her bedroom that she had peed in and hid under her bed.. when I questioned her she said she didnt know why she did it.
- Her big sister bought her make up for Christmas which I discovered this weekend all over barbies, books and other toys. Its all gone already
- She draws in books, on walls, her toys and furniture. She has also completely wrecked 3 different family games by taking them in her room without permission and losing, ripping or drawing on bits of the game.
- She still has toddler like strops.. if she is told she cant have a snack or something she will throw herself down on the couch wailing.
- Last week she put water all over the bathroom floor with a toy saucepan from her kitchen. When questioned she said she had one saucepan full and her big sister scared her so she dropped it the whole bathroom floor was soaked
- She lies about things a lot. She told me this week someone punched her at school till I said I would call the school then she backtracked. She lies about her sister hitting her when she thinks Im not looking etc.
Basically she is at the root of all arguments in our house and all the bad behaviour. I just dont know how to deal with her.
I have tried time outs, taking things away from her, shouting, reasoning, no treats and then the other extreme of love bombing.. nothing bothers her.
I am sad to say that when she is at a sleepover with grandparents our household is so much calmer and happier.. I really do not want us all wishing her away, I would love us to all enjoy our time together.
The final straw has come when I just went up to her room. She is extremely messy and last year I was going into her room once a month and helping her sort it all out and get it back to tidy. I did this last just before Christmas and filled two bin bags of stuff from her room. I told her I expect her to keep it tidy herself.. she has labelled boxes for lego, playmobil etc and the floor of her warbrobe and a set of shelves to keep stuff. The boxes that I had filled have been emptied over the floor. She hasnt bothered putting her last pile of clean clothes away and they are now all over the floor mixed up with toys, papers and sticky wrappers (she is not allowed food in her room but she sneaks it up anyway)
I honestly felt like shaking her hard and smacking her.. really hard
I have come downstairs to calm down. I dont want to feel like this but I am so mad at her.. I just cant get through to her. I have tried so many times to sit down with her and talk to her about her behaviour but she just says she doesnt know why she does it.
Lastly, she does know how to behave because her teacher made a point about how bloody angelic she is in class and so tidy and responsible and was visibly shocked when I said I have problems with her behaviour at home.
Has anyone got any suggestions? I never had anything like this with 10yr old DD and it is seriously making me worried that the younger two could end up like this too. Thanks for getting through the essay
It sounds like you're expecting too much of her tbh.
She seems grown-up because you've got two babies, but she isn't. She's little.
I've never met a 6 year old who could keep their room tidy by themselves. Obviously, they should help and be learning how to keep it tidy, but to do it all apart from a once a month visit with a black sack is too much. Go in every evening and help her tidy it up. You don't have to actually do it, but sit on her bed and chat to her/instruct her in how to do it.
She seems to be unsupervised a lot of the time. A lot of these things could have been prevented had she been being more closely watched. You shouldn't have to watch a six year old all the time, but it does indicate that your attention is elsewhere. Is she getting pushed aside because you're busy with the younger two?
A lot of the behaviour is just normal 6 year old stuff. Being messy, being overexcited, lying, fighting with siblings. I'm not saying it should go unnoticed or unpunished, but she's not a monster, she's just 6!
I think you need to start by looking at yourself. You want to shake and smack her because she can't keep her room tidy all by herself?! What were you doing on all these occasions that she was drawing on the walls/flooding the bathroom/annoying her sister/drawing on books/destroying board games/peeing in tupperware? How often does she try and engage with you and you tell her your busy/don't respond? I think if you take a really good look at how you're parenting her and your feelings towards her you might find the root of the problem.
How long did you give the Love Bombing before finding it didn't work?
I agree with the PP. Your DD seems to be unsupervised a lot of the time. The messiness, the drawing, the tupperware box - none of them would have happened if she was supervised or if you were engaged with her.
You need to work on your attitude towards her. You're painting her as the bad child who upsets your happy home. She will be picking up on that.
Could it be something to do with attention seeking and making her presence in the family felt? What stuck out to me in your post is that your othe dcs have a 'special' status as the oldest, youngest and only boy, and she doesn't. That's hard - I'm the middle of 3 girls and my dreadful behaviour growing up was me shouting to be heard.
Hope things improve
That sounds like you are all having a tough time!
If it helps, I didn't let mine have things like make up, felt pens in their room, even when they were 10. My boy drew on wall with pencil anyway. My girl put stickers on things that won't come off. Children can be really messy and destructive in odd moments of boredom.
How long has this been a struggle?
A lot of that I would say is fairly normal for a 6 year old even if not the easiest to deal with!
I do also think your expectations are a bit high - keeping her room tidy all the time, putting washing away..... mine are expected to help tidy and other chores but I always help and encourage, I wouldn't expect them to do it entirely on their own at that age. 6 year olds don't really care about mess either!
How much one on one time do you get with her? I can imagine with 2 younger ones you're really busy but maybe some of this is her wanting your attention? And even if is negative at least she gets that?
Some of what you mention is normalish 6 yr old behaviour I think, not tidying her room etc, my 6 yr old needs help to keep hers tidy, we need to do a blitz every week and I have to ask her every night to spend 20 mins just picking up toys etc, I get eye rolling and a little sulking but she's got a kindle fire with time limits on it as an incentive. As for the other stuff it might be slightly more extreme but I agree with lots of other demands on your time and attention it's probably acting out. I find with a 2 yr old too I have to make sure she gets time just with me and also I make sure we have a story each night etc or aso much as I can manage of her brother is being a pain about going to sleep.
As for behaviour I find distraction, talking to her about being a big girl helps, but sometimes she does act out and can be a bit overy the top, but she's 6! Crying and tantrums I ignore or just explain why she can't have the thing (biscuit, it's always a bloody biscuit)
Mine responds well to lists, routine, like knowing there's things she has to do every evening, positive consequences of good behaviour etc. Would this work?
Either you expect a lot of your six year old or I don't expect enough of mine (or both!). I agree with previous posters, she sounds like she wants to spend some time with you/ her big sister and a lot of that poor behaviour is because she is bored. Have her downstairs with you and do things with her even if it is tedious and boring and time consuming... Saying that, I can't imagine coping with four kids, so my hat goes off to you!
Age-wise she is very inbetween grown-up big sister and the little ones. How much age-appropriate / age specific attention does she get? Listening to reading? A bedtime story at her age level, etc? It does sound like attention seeking.
And high expectations on a six year old.
I think your expectations are too high. Poor girl is only 6. She doesn't understand how to keep her own room tidy. I agree with PPs who say she lacks supervision. She also seems to have become the family scapegoat. Why is she being sent to her grandparents alone? That singles her out further.
Please can I recommend the book Calmer Happier Easier Parenting, it was recommended here to me and I've found the techniques really effective.
To reassure you, all that you described sounds just like what my nearly 6 year old does (including the wee, what is it with 6 year olds and wee?). I find the less attention I am able to give him the worse it is. It's the hitting his brother that makes me the crossest. And he's an angel at school! So in the nicest possible way I agree with others, lower expectations and try (must be hard with 4) to supervise and give attention. I had a terrible weekend as I had a cold and my lack of ability to do much made ds play up, I lost my temper and now feel bad. So ur not alone!
My not quite 6yr old DS does nearly all those things.
No way he could keep his room tidy. The max I expect is to pick things up when I ask him.
He has occasionally weed in odd places and recently smeared snot on his bedroom wall (boak). I was cross about that but nowhere near hitting him. I made him clean it off.
He bugs his 10yr old sister sometimes and other times they play happily. He gets frustrated sometimes shouts, hits her, cries. He gets sent away to calm down but I make allowances that he's not as in control of himself as 10yr old.
I too think you should cut her some slack and give her some 1:1 attention. Reward chart works for my DS and going to his room to think if behaving badly. Apology and move on.
Totally agree with all the above posts.
I have a nearly 6 year old who would do alll the above.
She's the youngest of 5 so I guess our expectations are pretty low but she's no trouble at all, a happy little thing really.
Her position in the family is difficult.
Dd1-the eldest ds-the boy and dd3-the baby. Where does she fit in because most of what she is doing sounds like a massive cry for your attention.
I am also in possession of a 6 year old firecracker who can be quite trying at home but is angelic at school. Her room is also a complete tip despite me sorting out storage and stuff. Yes, she likes to annoy her older sister too. I childmind and she's great with the babies but definitely finds the 2 year old I look after harder to deal with. Mine seems to need a massive amount of my time and attention, she gravitates towards me constantly. And that's relatively easy for me because she is the youngest so once the childminded kids are gone I can sit with her and give her my full attention for a while.
Your dd does sound particularly destructive, could she be bored? Could you treat her more like the 2 year old in respect of keeping things like make up/pens/ board games stashed away?
I totally agree with others in that I think you are expecting way too much of her. I think you are totally unrealistic in your expectations of a 6 year old being expected to keep their bedroom tidy on their own, put their washing away etc, etc.
To blame all the problems in the household on her and say you feel like hitting/smacking her really hard is dreadful and sounds to me as if she's being scapegoated as the cause of all problems. She probably behaves at school because she's not made to feel like that in the school environment.
Thanks for all the responses. Some were a little harsh but maybe I needed that.
I honestly hadnt thought my expectations of her were high but you are all saying that so maybe they are. Literally her only two jobs are keeping her room tidy and putting her washing away (she just puts it in one drawer and I sort it into outfits in the evening).
She does spend some time unsupervised.. unfortunately I cant spend every minute with her because of the younger ones. We do always have some one on one time though. She 'helps' with making dinner every night and that is our chatting time. She always gets a bedtime story of her choosing and behaviour dependant she is allowed to stay up after the younger ones go to bed and we play a game together before she goes to bed.
Her favourite things to play with are Lego and Playmobil and they are the only things that arent allowed downstairs because of the small pieces. Honestly as well I dont enjoy playing with that stuff with her but will do crafts/play board games etc with her.
The drawing on furniture/flooding bathroom/pee in tupperware all has happened at night. She is superhuman and seems to need barely any sleep so gets up after bedtime and potters around in her room. I usually just let her get on with that instead of engaging her and let her wear herself out. I know that doesnt sound ideal written down but by the time they are all in bed (8.30) and I have cleared up a bit I really value the hour I get to myself before bed.. it is literally the only time I have to myself all day.
A PP said that the other kids have special status.. I just want to say that is absolutely not true, they all have their faults.. DD1 is like a teenager and has a bad attitude a lot including how she treats DD2, DS is going through a lovely tantrum stage and quite rough and tumble and DD3 is still up several times a night, but I find them easier to deal with. Thats not to say they are better behaved than DD2 just I have found what they respond to.
I will try and lower my expectations of her behaviour then and try to spend more time with her. I am spreading myself a little thin these days but I guess that is just what happens with 4 kids when they are all quite young.
Thanks for taking the time to respond
Oh and just a post that just appeared here while I was typing that.. DD is absolutely not sent to her grandparents alone. Grandparents wont have the younger ones until they sleep through consistently and they prefer to take the elder ones one at a time to give them some one on one attention.
Why not build in time to tidy her room in that time she stays awake? Eg dd it's nearly bed time, let's spend 5 mins together putting your toys in the right boxes. Then it's tidied daily, she gets shown how to tidy and gradually will do more herself.
Re the grandparents I can now see that this isn't a punishment, we aware of how it might come across. Also watch what you say to her / others when she's away or afterwards. Sometimes things like "oh it was so quiet without you" translate into mummy doesn't like it when I'm at home.
Can you involve her with the little ones? Is she mature enough to help with feeding or nappy changes? Help her feel like a big girl and means you can keep an eye on her.
Thanks Nora, I will try and build 5-10mins into tidying at bedtime, hadnt thought about that. Usually bedroom tidying is left till the weekend but I can see how its getting on top of her.
I can maybe try to give her some more responsibilty with the younger ones. She can wipe hands and faces after meals, and she helps count the formula scoops when making milk for DD3. I will see if there is anything else she thinks she could do.
I didn't mean 'special status' in the way you treat them, op, I meant in their positions as oldest, boy, baby. Maybe dd doesn't know what her place is.
Sounds like a lot of the 6 year olds I know. My DD can't do things like tidy room unless we are in there with her, breaking down the task into smaller bits. The room is chaos I tackle it with her every few days but I only have one child. Tantrums over snacks, cartoons happen a lot. 6 is still quite young it must be easy to forget that if you have younger ones.
A couple of really practical suggestions:
Only let her have either Lego or playmobil in her room at a time. 'Is it Lego this week, or playmobil?' That will immediately make life easier.
No messy stuff (moon sand, felt tips, nail varnish) or games with little pieces in her room.
I don't think you are doing it wrong OP, just that there are some things you could do to make it easier. We've all had similar behaviours from our children at this age, it's about limiting their ability to cause chaos! Maybe you were lucky with your eldest and got a placid one!
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