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Please help, we are getting desperate!!!!!!!!!!!!

(18 Posts)
Lovemyshoes Sat 31-Jan-09 11:57:07

DD1's (9yrs 8mths)attitude is getting unbearable, to the point where I cry every day and DH and I are nearly arguing because of her.

DH was just sitting waiting for her to get her homework so he can help her and she came storming in shouting 'well, are you gonna get off your arse and help me with homework or what then instead of sitting there doing nothing'.

She is constantly slamming, banging the doors and picking on her younger sister and talks to dh and me like crap all the time.

It is really getting unbearable, I've tried sending her to her room etc and she comes down worse, she is not like this at school and according to her teacher a model pupil. I've tried asking her why she is like this and she shrugs her shoulders and says 'she doesn't know', when I try and tell her off for doing something she sits and smirks and mimics me.

I just don't know where to turn and sometimes don't want to come home from work.

Lovemyshoes Sat 31-Jan-09 12:17:08


cory Sat 31-Jan-09 12:17:28

She is almost certainly hormonal, but that doesn't mean you can let her get away with it.

I would maybe try modelling her teacher's behaviour, or rather the behaviour of the best teacher/headteacher you can imagine.

What would this person do if cheeked by a pupil? Well, almost certainly not burst into tears. Probably not shout either if they are really good. One would imagine a very firm look, raised eyebrows, looking the child straight in the face and a calm firm authorative voice. I would say something like: 'That wasn't really a good idea, speaking to me like that. You might want to start again.' I would not give in or offer any help until she speaks to me in a decent manner.

Punishments can work, but IME it is the calm authorative manner that really does it: the firm conviction that you cannot be spoken to like this. (Practise in front of the mirror).

Incidentally, it is not a given that she has to have help with her homework. Ds who is 8 and frankly not terribly academic still takes responsibility for his own homework: knowing that he will get detention if it's not done helps to focus his mind wink.

I would expect a certain number of temper tantrums/door slammings at this age, but I would pick up on it every time she speaks disrespectfully to you or dh (or indeed her sister). NEver let her get away with it. This is a dreadful habit that can become so ingrained that she will have difficulty in breaking out of it later. And it is also a habit that a parent (particularly a mum) can get into- accepting that people treat you without respect. Don't let yourself get into this habit. Keep insisting that 'we do not speak to each other like that in this house'. (and obviously, you and dh have to watch your own manner of speaking to each other, even when quarrelling).

cory Sat 31-Jan-09 12:18:17

sorry, can't spell: authoritative

CarGirl Sat 31-Jan-09 12:21:30

I would work out what motivates her - money, spending time with friends, DS, hobbies. Ensure the loss of x will matter to her when implemented as a consequence to her behaviour.

I would get tough, ensure I implemented the consequence I had told her and although she may smirk shrug it off at first I don't think it will last........

Lovemyshoes Sat 31-Jan-09 12:24:45

Thank you for your replies, i'll let dh read this thread later, then we are a united front.

Cargirl, her motives are earning money at the min, she doesn't spend time with friends much at present due to weather etc. She loves playing on her laptop and gameboy etc, so they will be taken away, as will her dvd at bedtime.

I really am at wits end so will implement these straight away.

cory Sat 31-Jan-09 12:29:51

Try not to make punishments too longterm though. A set month of punishments means a month when she has little incentive to be nice and friendly. Punishments only work as threats (though she has to know you mean them and will implement them); while they are being implemented, they will necessarily mean more anger.

CarGirl Sat 31-Jan-09 12:40:01

I think you need to think through the rules first.

So say she has a daily allowance of 1.5 hours to play on laptop & gameboy then she looses x amount each time she is rude etc. How about daily pocket money and a fine or somthing like that.

YOu need to be very calm explaining the new system and when she speaks to you in a disrepectful manner the first time I would say "that was disrepectful because of "the tone of voice" "words you use" etc etc, are you ready to apologise and rephrase it? If she doesn't then you implement the penalty.

I agree start each day afresh. You may find some of it has become habit. Also think speaking in that way is quite "fashionable" amongst her peer group. What TV is she into, a lot of things glamourise this kind of disrepectful attitude.

Lovemyshoes Sat 31-Jan-09 12:41:49

She loves watching, suite life of zack and cody, wizards of waverley place, so raven, cheetah girls and doctor who etc.

Thank you so much for your ideas

CarGirl Sat 31-Jan-09 12:48:40

I have no idea about most of those programmes!!! My younger dds ages 5 & 6 love tracy beaker but I banned it due to her attitude on it, once they are older or have read the books then I'll let them watch it again. My 6 year old tries it on with the attitude already, I've always been zero tolerance will have to as my 12 year old why she doesn't talk to me like that (perhaps it's all saved up for friends?)

cory Sat 31-Jan-09 12:54:07

My dd has always had a fiery temperament and I will make allowance for that, but that is different from a habit of disrespectful speech. Stamping her feet and shouting- understandable, telling me to get off my arse- not acceptable.

I too dock pocket money for persistent misbehaviour.

BlueBumedFly Sat 31-Jan-09 13:47:45

We thought at 9 step-DD2 would be too old for a 'good girl' chart but how wrong we were. She worked with it really well, at the top was something really special like a cinema trip or a DVD it was a long way up but within reach. At the bottom was 'miss x' dependent on what was planned that month be it a Brownie trip or a Birthday Party - she did NOT want to go there more than once that was for sure. We always followed though even if it was detrimental to the family after she once screamed 'you never make good on your threats anyway!' Mwhaa haaa haaa, did she regret ever saying that! We had stepping stones on the chart like 'fave pudding' vs. miss pudding, 'pocket money' vs. 'miss pocket money', 'watch a film of your choice with Daddy' vs. spend time alone in your room' and it did work.

We also worked out DD was stressed about the new school routing, homework etc and could not express it. Suddenly she was being exposed to too much responsibility and she did not know how to take it. We got a big wall chart and mapped out her week so she could easily see what was expected each week. After school time had homework, reading and TV clearly labeled.

It did seem to help, if she decided to make an entry into the 'eye rolling' world championships when I was asking/telling her what to do I would stop immediately, say Time Out, come back when you can be civil. If this was in the middle of dessert I would take it away with me and go to another room and sit and read. If it was in TV time I would turn the TV off and walk away with the controls. So, she either had to come and apologise or go without.

We also banned Nickolodeon and all rubbish US sitcoms like the Suite Life, Jake and Josh etc etc. Complete ban which is still in place, those programmes were just teaching her that bad behaviour is funny.

It was a long hard year but we do seem to be making progress. Now, if things look like they are going pear shaped I stop the converation immediately and walk away inviting her to come back when calm.

I spend days counting to 100, standing on the doorstep with a cup of coffee and my teeth chattering but the less we shout the less she shouts... naturally I know but bloody hard to carry out when they are being little mares.

Step-DD1 just shouted at her Mum, never me or DH so SDD2 had to live up to her 'angelic' older sister and then I had a baby! She is anaphylactic to nuts and struggles with her weight making her a target at school.

Poor child, it is hardly a wonder she does not cope sometimes!

BlueBumedFly Sat 31-Jan-09 13:49:59

Sorry that was really long!! Hope some of it helps!

CarGirl Sat 31-Jan-09 13:52:44

BBF that is great, perhaps I will try some of that on my oversensitive dd2, she's having friend issues at school and don't I know it!

BlueBumedFly Sat 31-Jan-09 13:58:24

Friend issues are the worst. If they are having trouble at school and feel 'out of control' they seem to need to take control at home, attack being the best form of defense and all that.

We also have a book that the girls can write in with a problem or question that they just don't want to talk about but need to resolve. WE promise not to get angry or harp on and on, just read the comment and take action as best we can. That is how we found out DD was being bullied about her weight. Bless her.

Sometimes they just cannot say it out loud so writing it down for you to read can help. We arrange a 'secret place' to leave the book like on my or DHs pillow. I bought nice notepads and special pens. DD1 is almost 13 and better and talking now but DD2 still needs to use the book. Might help?

sweetcat Sat 31-Jan-09 14:14:13

We had similar problems with DD, 8, and found that like BBF, a complete ban on Disney channel i.e. the suite life, so raven etc helped a lot. The attitude of the kids on there stink and she mimicked them a lot.

I love the idea of a book to write in. DD has trouble articulating her feelings but I have found songs written by her that explain her feelings well. I think I will try leaving a book for her somewhere private. Thanks for the idea!

Countingthegreyhairs Sat 31-Jan-09 14:14:41

Wow, there is really brilliant advice contained in this thread ...

I am going to book-mark it for later (dd 5 yrs but already quite "fiesty"!!

tootyflooty Sat 31-Jan-09 14:40:33

so glad to hear it's not just me, my dd (10) can be an absoulute beast. she screams stamps and totally loses it at the drop of a hat.She is having alot of problems at school friendship wise, and when my ds spoke to her, she said she couldn't stop herself, where she has to stay even tempered at school all day she just lets rip at the slightest thing when she gets home, but she is such a lovely kid, she always apologises afterwards,and is generally much calmer at the weekends, but I do tend to have no patience with her, as she loses it so often.It's important to be consistent with the punishments as well, as she has pointed out when we are arguing that i never follow through with them anyway!!( i dish out so many i forget what I have said)so just settled on deducting pocket money.and not allowing her on the computer.

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