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Why is my child so difficult?

(11 Posts)
user1573354 Thu 12-Sep-19 00:47:38

I'm at the end of my tether. I just need to work out what I/we are doing wrong with dd6. I know her behaviour is awful for her age and I feel so embarrassed but I can't get through to her. We've had a good first week back at school until today where she bit another child. She said they hit her in the face first but that is no justification and I don't even know what really happened. I know that now her behaviour will just unravel at school after this.

I think consistency is really important and I always follow through on my threats and do my best to point out and praise good behaviour regularly.

Some examples of behaviour I really struggle with:
Refusing to leave the school playground at the end of the day. Running off and sticking her tongue out at me. I have a younger DC in a pram so can't pick her up and carry her.

Not accepting no for an answer even when what she wants is impossible (say, a second apple when I don't have one with me and we are in the middle of nowhere) and even when I've sympathised, explained, been firm, warned her there will be a consequence if she asks for the 590th time. This is constant extreme whining, repetitive, she will call me names, hit me etc

Constantly ignoring instructions and smirking the whole time.

She desperately craves friendship, and asks all the time if she can go to other people's houses or they can come to us and will kick off hugely when this is not possible. Lying down in the street for eg on the way home from school because she wanted to go to so and so's house. But when we do have friends round she hates to share, often refuses to let her friend sit next to her at the table, ALL play ends in tears.

She sucks her thumb and plays with her ears a lot, but even more than that she uses our (mum and dad and sometimes other relatives) bodies obsessively as a security blanket. She plays with our ears in a specific way, pinches the crease on our elbows, presses her face against our skin, strokes the tops of our arms and smacks my chest. She will try to do this often in public. Something that seemed cute at 2 but not so much at 6.

She doesn't display any anxiety but she completely lacks emotional resilience. If she hurts herself she WAILS. Lots of comments from others about how she is a screamer/dramatic. I dread party games etc

She can not sit still at the table, will have to be asked not to stand on, or get up from her chair every 10 seconds for every single meal and it still won't sink in. Knocks and spills things over several times a day.

She has an older and younger sibling but gets plenty of one to one time, sensory play, affection, read to daily, lots of nice days out and time in nature but plenty of down time.

All in all, she is more like a typical 2 or 3 year old. Not a 6 year old. There is no reasoning with her and I am exhausted. Does anyone please have any suggestions?

OP’s posts: |
user1573354 Thu 12-Sep-19 08:27:44

Morning bump

OP’s posts: |
JollyRocker Thu 12-Sep-19 17:21:40

Hi - sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time with your DD. Have you tried expressing concerns to your GP, who might suggest some kind of assessment? I’m absolutely no expert but sometimes only a medical professional can come close to figuring out what’s happening and how best to move forward. Has the school expressed any serious concerns - or does she generally behave well in class apart from the biting incident today? For what it’s worth, my DD5 also had a terrible biting habit, throughout nursery, pre-school and then again at the start of reception. It was usually when he was in a new/unfamiliar situation with new people he didn’t know. Thankfully we were patient with him during reception, knowing it was a huge transition for him and the biting and poor behaviour in general stopped once he became more comfortable. I genuinely thought he had behaviour problems at one point but with a lot of love and patience he seemed to just grow out of them. He’s gone into Year 1 now and is doing really well. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things, following through with discipline, play dates, lots of 121 attention. See if her teachers can suggest anything else perhaps? Sorry to not be more helpful! Best of luck x

Chitarra Thu 12-Sep-19 19:09:39

OP, I would be concerned about this too and I would be seeking a professional opinion. The sensory / social bits suggest ASD maybe?

JollyRocker Thu 12-Sep-19 21:45:58

Sorry in my post I obviously meant DS5 not DD

ekalwe1 Fri 13-Sep-19 17:12:34

I'm so sorry you're struggling with your DD. We have a lot of similar issues with our DS, also 6. It sounds like she is sensory-seeking and I would really encourage you to speak to your GP and the school about it. If you want to get a few ideas to try in the meantime, try reading this book:
And also look into deep pressure touch, it really really helps with our DS. Good luck, I know it's so hard but it sounds like you're doing a great job! Don't give up hope!

NerdyBird Sat 14-Sep-19 00:45:48

A lot of that sounds like my dd, who is 5. We don't have all those issues but it is similar. I tried a weighted blanket to help with settling but she found it too hot in the summer and now refuses it. I'm going to try it again now and see what happens. I'm also going to see someone about it, possibly privately at first.
I do sympathise.

Notodontidae Mon 16-Sep-19 20:02:47

I would have thought any sensory issues would have shown up before now. The most likely cause is the new addition to the family, your DC in the pram gets attention acting like a baby, so why shouldn't your 6YO.
Your disadvantaged now by having DC in the pram, cannot give chase, dd will get you flustered quicker, and has got you like a puppet on a string. nothing wrong with taking her to the GP, nothing wrong with a good old fashioned smack on the bottom, at least if it works you will know that you wont need to spend time with Doctors and Child Psychologists. As for thumb sucking, did she use a dummy?

user1573354 Mon 16-Sep-19 22:39:16

Thank you for the replies. She has been referred not by me but by school for various things. They have suggested ADHD, DCD (what used to be called dyspraxia and SPD, they also had me sign some social observations and a questionnaire which looked to me like an ASD assesment though they didn't specifically say it. I purposely omitted that as I didn't want it to cloud any advice. Besides we've been waiting 6 months already and heard nothing back. She is August born and I do think most of it is her starting school and doing formal learning before she was/is ready, and now she has a reputation she plays along to.

@Notodontidae sibling in pram is 2.8 so not a new addition as such, the difficult behaviours started a while before he was born. I can see how that seems like the obvious cause but I really don't think it is. She didn't have a dummy, she was breastfed until 2 though and the thumb sucking started right after I stopped. I have actually tried smacking. It doesn't help, just makes her more agressive/smacks back.

OP’s posts: |
Notodontidae Tue 17-Sep-19 00:57:45

Thank you for your candid reply, a little more clarity at the begining may have led to different advice. DD has had problems for over 2,8 years, while I agree with you to some extent about starting formal learning, doing what she is told, comes well before that. What ever method of discipline you use, it has to work. I have seen mums use time out, and the child does not obey the rule, by the same token if you smack a child half-hearted that wont work either. If you confiscate a toy and they're not bothered about it, that wont work either. You must understand your child and use a method which will work. You have not mentioned DF if he is not on the scene, this will also effect DDs behaviour.

diddlediddle Tue 17-Sep-19 17:47:35

ASD in girls who do not have a learning disability is often missed, or mis-diagnosed as a variety of things like adhd, dyspraxia/DCD, sensory processing problems etc. Especially at your daughters age.

If school are suggesting those I would be alert to the fact they may be missing signs of asd. Many of the issues you've mentioned could potentially be signs of autism.

It's important she is assessed by someone properly trained who is able to tell the difference between these different neurodevelopmental conditions - the earlier she is diagnosed the better for her and you in terms of support - or to have things ruled out of course.

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