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Endless back-talk .... how to deal with it

(18 Posts)
joburg Mon 02-Nov-09 11:07:18

DD 6 1/2 has started to be unbarable lately. She has something to say agins the smallest request from us. Everything is an endless battle and ends up in 'but...but' refusing to comply, refusing to listen. I tried reasoning with her but it doesn't seem to work. I tried setting consequences, she just gets angrier. What is the best way to deal with it? She just doesn't seem to understand that she is still a child and she needs guidance. She wouldn't ask for help and she would get angry whenever we try to teach her a different way then hers. What more can we do?????????

FernieB Mon 02-Nov-09 12:00:42

No idea! As far as I can tell, this is how some girls are. I have twin DD's (9) and one is like your DD, the other is very sensitive. I did have some success for a while with reverse psychology but she got wise to that. She is oppositional and quite stubborn at times. I've just learnt to live with it and pick my battles. As she's got older she's more able to see reason if I explain things logically.

Sorry can't really help but I think there are many DD's like this at this age. Hopefully someone else will come along with advice.

Housemum Mon 02-Nov-09 12:25:16

Posting on here in the hope of some advice too! DD2 is the same age as yours, we never had as much attitude and back chat from DD1 (now 16)

claw3 Mon 02-Nov-09 12:38:56

How about a reward chart, when my ds's were younger i did something along the lines of tidying your room = an hour on games console etc?

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 12:39:18

My 5and a half yr old ds has started backchatting since starying Y1 at school - he battles with anything we ask him to do and then when we remain firm we get a sulky "If I HAVE to..." !! We've managed to keep a lid on it a bit before it gets out of hand by simply remaining firm and sticking to our guns calmly and without getting too cross (sometimes really hard not to just holler and bare our teeth!) but we've found if he's objecting to things because he feels it's making him do stuff he doesn't want to do, when we give him a choice and say it's up to him what he does, it seems to work - either do what we're asking or don't do what you want to do later, your choice, we'll leave it to you - and he sees that as him making an independent decision and invariably goes along with things so he can do his own thing later! Sorry no other pearls of wisdom -wait til he's a year older and I'll be asking the same probably!

Earlybird Mon 02-Nov-09 12:40:49

Can you employ some of the following phrases:
- Just do what I've asked please
- Don't speak to an adult that way

There comes a point where reasoning is the wrong strategy. You are the adult, and you are the authority in the house. You can be more tolerant when she is being more reasonable. Don't ask her to do things - tell her in a calm but firm way. Do not have a discussion when she is being difficult. I repeat myself: do not engage! It opens the door to being dictated to by a child, and also undermines your authority.

In a calm moment, you might say that you don't like it when she is rude, argumentative etc, and that it is not OK. Ask what she thinks should be a logical consequence when she behaves in that way. If you agree with her suggestion, perhaps put that in place so she is aware, and then enforce (after a 'if you don't stop with this behaviour, then X will happen next' warning). And then follow through with enforcement if necessary.

Make sure you praise profusely and sincerely when she gives behaviour/attitude you want from her.

claw3 Mon 02-Nov-09 12:42:58

Sorry should have added cuts down on arguing, once you get into punishment mode, its hard to get out again!

Just stuck up a list of what needed to be done and what they could have if they did it. I never reminded them, just if they didnt do it, they didnt get the reward.

joburg Mon 02-Nov-09 12:43:51

Thank you FernieB, i guess the no-no attitude is not a rare thing . Still, i do worry when i fail to explain things to DD just because she gets so damn angry and closes her ears ... later on the explanatations will not have effect since she forgets about the damn thing. so what to do? appart from the fact that it kills our brains, day after day after day.
How do you learn to live with it, by the way? Just ignorring things? Doesn't it make it worse?

Fennel Mon 02-Nov-09 12:45:47

Can you pick times to sit down and negotiate? I have 3 dds and one in particular is very "spirited", but we negotiate on rules and decisions and it does mean the dds feel they have had a say in what goes on. We write down the "rules" - house rules, TV rules, etc, and grown ups are supposed to stick to them too.

And then we don't tolerate rudeness or ignoring us or deliberate disobedience, but I don't use the "don't talk to an adult in that way" card, I say "I try and talk to you politely, and I expect you to do the same to me". Making it mutual respect for other people rather than compliance to adults.

I think it's key to have times to negotiate/discuss/argue, and at other times to say something like "no, we won't discuss this now, but we can talk about it later if you like". So they are heard, and they do have a voice, but not every time they want to delay doing something.

joburg Mon 02-Nov-09 13:04:37

EarlyBird, everything sounds so clear when you put it this way, and I must say this is the way we usually try to deal with DD's 'personality crysis'. The problem is that once those start, nothing can stop them. There is no end to them, she would go to bed still grumpy, even if she doesn't really remeber what triggered it. once she gets uppset, there is no logical reason, disscusion, nothing that would put her back on the logical track, she keeps advancing from one bad mood to the other, from one bad scene triggering the other .... until bed time.
How to stop her being so damn unreasonable?! How to bring her down to earth? It's like a snowball effect ... if it starts, i know it won't stop that day!

joburg Mon 02-Nov-09 13:14:03

.. oh and on top of that, most of the time when i mention the 'we don't talk like this' or similar things, she just gets MAD! She would go to her room and start protesting by hitting herself (mildly, she is smart enough not to hurt herself, but just trying to let us know she is not gonna comply). We tried talking about it with her .... her anger is still there. Don't know what to do anymore ...

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 13:17:14

As long as you remain firm and stick to your guns, it won't do your dd any harm to be grumpy if that's how she chooses to be!
It's the parents who end up giving in to their child's grumpiness or upset that have the problems!
I think I was probably very like your dd when I ws little! Seem to remember being very agitated and crying a lot and then not being able to stop even when I couldn't remember why I'd started!!!
She'll soon begin to calm down I think, as long as you remain constant in the way you respond to her crises!

joburg Mon 02-Nov-09 13:49:31

displayuntilbestbefore ... ouch, what a long name .... anyway, we do remain firm for some years but the grumpy days are outnumbering the good ones... until then???? I feel bad, every single day, waiting for the time my DD is coming from school, fearing for those worse moments

displayuntilbestbefore Mon 02-Nov-09 13:55:43

oh dear, that sounds tough, Sorry I don't have any useful advice - and sorry my name is too long! grin

Earlybird Mon 02-Nov-09 16:47:26

I find that dd is the most demanding/grumpy/difficult when I have been unclear about the boundaries. It is often when I waver or am sending mixed signals (sometimes think I'm being 'tolerant' or 'patient' or somehow give her the impression that things are negotiable), that she pushes me hardest.

Fennel - I like the mutual respect approach you describe. I think it is better than what I've been doing....

mrshibbins Mon 02-Nov-09 18:27:58

Fennel - I am sitting here in front my my laptop before going down to dinner and practising:

"I try and talk to you politely, and I expect you to do the same to me."


"no, we won't discuss this now, but we can talk about it later if you like."

Will try it at next opportunity DD8 starts with the cheeky clever answers. I don't think I'll have to wait very long sad

Fennel Tue 03-Nov-09 09:48:00

Let us know how it goes grin

I don't think things like this change overnight but I do know that my argumentative 8yo in particular does really appreciate feeling that her views and opinions are heard. It doesn't mean she never gets angry or rude, she can be horrendous in her worse moods, but it's not all the time; in the longer run I think these strategies work.

FernieB Thu 05-Nov-09 09:04:29

Was talking to a TA at my kids school earlier this year. She had just completed a year with 8-9 year olds and had been told she was moving to 6-7 year olds - she was relieved. She'd canvassed a few teachers who'd told her that 8-10 year olds were the worst to deal with - far too cocky and cheeky in general. Sadly for the TA, there was a change of plan and she got landed with 9-10 year olds (she looks tired at the end of the day).

Think it is a normal stage they go through. They do come through it and then we have the teens to look forward to!

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