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8 year old angst?

(12 Posts)
emsiewill Wed 06-Jul-05 21:14:23

I am writing this fresh from another argument with dd1. She is 8 years old, and just sooooo stroppy and rude it makes me feel like a total failure as a parent.

Tonight's example: I'd asked her to go and clean her teeth and get ready for bed.
Her:"in a minute".
Gave her a minute and asked again.
Answer: "I'm going, I'm going, so just keep your mouth closed" (I'm to write this). (She wasn't going by the way)
Me:"go now, or I will take your gameboy from you".
Her:"For god's sake I'm just finishing my game".
Me:"right, you've been warned" and take the game from her. I have to physically wrest it from her hand, she gets extremely angry and hits me and screams at me. I take the gameboy dowmstairs and tell her to do as I'd asked.

She comes downstairs: "I just want to tell you something"
Me: "I don't want to talk to you, go to your room and get in bed"
Her: "I just want to get something"
Me: "No, go to your room"

This goes on for a while with me just saying "no" until I say "If you don't go now, then you will have no TV tomorrow"
She doesn't go, I write it down so dh will know (he's not here right now).

She is crying and sobbing by this point. I leave her for a bit, to see to dd2, and then go and talk to dd1. She accepts that she needs to learn to control her temper, but says she just gets annoyed and can't stop herself. We've had these conversations before, but I can't get to the bottom of why she is soooo stroppy.

She gets extremely annoyed with her sister at times, and uses violence to express her anger. I've told her and told her this is not acceptable, send her to her room, remove treats etc, but it always seems to come back to her not being able to control her temper.

She's always been a "challenging" child with me (look back over the threads I've written about her in the past 4 years)- but gets exemplary reports from school, friend's parents etc. This only happens at home.

What strategies can we use to help her control her mouth and her temper? I know sanctions are necessary for rudeness and violence, but I think she needs more than just punishment, she needs help, and I don't know how to give it her.

WideWebWitch Wed 06-Jul-05 21:18:24

It's to get prolonged contact with you, I bet. I have had some shockingly awful behaviour from ds in the last 6 months, I didn't even post here, I just cried and cried but a friend said 'it's to continue contact wtih you' and she was right, although I argued with her for a good 20 minutes that actually, he needed to learn that behaviour like that led to me losing it. But hey, I'm reading Get out of my life but first take me and Alex into town and they say similar, although I've only just started it. Sorry, prob not much help, but sympathy. Teenager ish behaviour does seem to start early these days <sigh>

KatyMac Wed 06-Jul-05 21:22:59

I don't know what to say to help but my 7yo is so similar.

I wonder if WWW is right 'cos I just end up rejecting her totally as I feel so frustrated by her nehaviour

Good Luck (and if you find a solution...TELL ME TOO...PLEASE)

charliecat Wed 06-Jul-05 21:28:11

I could have posted that about my 7 year old dd too. Dont know, dont know...
And she looks right at me with a smirk on her face when she has left visable marks on her 4 YO sister. The only punishment I have found that makes her cry(hopefully making her think the next time) is asking her to go upstairs and put her favorite teddy on her sisters bed for the night. Oh she HHOOOOOOOWWWWWLLLLLSSSSSSSS and I just say, well dont do it next time. Any other punishment is met with Well I didnt want to anyway or similar

emsiewill Wed 06-Jul-05 21:46:11

Thanks for the sympathy, and it's good to know that there's people out there who aren't shocked by this behaviour, but who recognise it.

I do think it's probably to do with wanting more time with me, when we talk she sort of subconsciously hints at that.

It's the eternal problems of a)not enough time to do everything that needs doing and b)not wanting dd2 to feel as though she's being left out and passed over for treats.

Of course when we do spend time together, arguments inevitably happen.

The book sounds great www - I feel physically sick when I think about dd1 being a teenager, so it would be good to read it to be prepared.

Oh it's all just so hard.

hi5 Thu 07-Jul-05 11:51:32

I don't know the answers but I feel for you, it's so difficult when you don't know what to do for the best, I've just noted down some thoughts based on some of our experiences.
With DS, I took the play station away and said it would not come out again until there was an improvement in behaviour and attitude - this was also related to homework.
Perhaps when you have some quiet time with her you can agree on a 20mins slot on the game boy,or whatever activity she wants to involve herself in. I set the timer on the oven so that they know when it beeps, their time is up. Discuss beforehand what you want her to do and how you expect her to behave when she is asked to finish,tidy up etc. If she can manage to behave in a reasonable manner, then perhaps your lever could be that you will give her an extra 2 mins on each subsequent day building up to a maximum of 30 mins.
This is also about respect, how does she want to be treated, discuss again in a quiet time that when she has these temper moments that the best place for her to be is out of the way of her sister and you - emotional swings are completely normal and part of growing up is learning to control them (heavens, I'm still trying). Find a code word or phrase that you agree on, which you can say when you or she is close to boiling point or her behaviour is unacceptable and you both need time out - she must go to a set place - bedroom, dining room wherever you agree,have some calming down time, before you discuss whatever has happened.
The phrase could be something unrelated to temper - 'Your sock drawer needs tidying', and a warning as a precursor to this could be 'Do you want to go and tidy your sock drawer, or is your sock drawer a bitt messy?' It takes the focus of the temper itself but warns her that her behaviour may be out of order.
I don't know if this is at all helpful, but I do understand how completely inept it makes you feel at times. I used to ring up a few friends and say 'is that the nspcc???'
She'll be okay, you're being supportive, you are giving her boundaries and she is testing them. Stand firm,keep plugging away and maintain your respect for yourself as a person and a parent.

pabla Thu 07-Jul-05 12:00:50

My 8 yr old dd has been like this a lot lately. Maybe it's an age-related thing? I must admit I haven't had to time to work out a strategy to deal with it yet and I'm kind of dreading the holidays. One of the issues in my family is the age gap between dd and the ds's - when ds1 (4) annoys her she tends to react in a physical way too....She doesn't mind being sent to her room as she just reads there which she loves!

emsiewill Sun 10-Jul-05 22:32:23

Thanks all for your sympathy and advice. (Been busy for the last few days, this is the first time I've managed to get back). hi5, I like your idea of a code word, and will try to put some time aside to suggest this strategy to her.

We've had a couple of strops since I last posted, one where dh eventually intervened and physically removed her to her bedroom, as she was refusing to go, and I am only just strong enough to get her there. He held the doorhandle while she screamed on the other side of the door "when I come out of here you are going to be in so much trouble" etc etc. Then tonight, she was complaining and moaning on and on about needing a mobile phone, how I'm mean cos I won't let her have one, she will pay for the calls etc etc. I just find it soooo tiring, she is very articulate, and can tie me up in knots with her arguments. I've decided (not for the first time) to - try and - ignore the moaning and nagging, and not to get drawn into arguments. All so easy to say, really difficult to do.

I do take comfort from the fact that her and dd2 still fight over who gets to sit next to me at the dinner table, and who gets to sleep in my bed when dh is away, so I'm obviously not such an awful mum.

It really is hard work though.

tappy Fri 15-Jul-05 23:51:34

i am feeling the same with my 8 year old it is difficult to know what to do, mines is also only like it at home.she driving me mad.let me know any tips

hi5 Sat 16-Jul-05 23:02:07

Don't let them watch crappy tv programmes where people/children/parents are always arguing. Why is that the norm? We banned Tracey Beaker - it's not real for us and we felt behaviour was directly affected and mirrored as a result of exposure to such programs.
Work out why you are saying no or yes to situations/questions. if you are saying no because you strongly believe , as a parent, that it is the correct thing to do , then stick to your point of view and be consistent whilst explaining to your child the reasons why.
If you are giving in for an easy life, assess the situation again.

Tinker Sat 16-Jul-05 23:47:18

Blimey emsiewill, didn't see this thread at the time but see my similar thread - might help/give consolation. Stroppy 8 year olds

Skribble Sun 17-Jul-05 22:47:49

My DS8 has been doing the stroppy teenager routine since 6.5yr.

I caught him in a good mood and had a long chat about it and asked how he felt about it all his main problem was getting in to horrible rages. He would throw chairs and other heavy things and wrestle with me which is not so great as he is tall and very strong. I've never used the naughty chair/room with him as he sobs uncontrolably and starts to gag.

I used to argue or hold him when he was violent when we had our chat we decide on a safe word (cuddly teddy). That meant we had to both stop and just cuddle till we both felt better.

After the chat we never used it more than once and it has got a lot better. I renfored that I was his friend and would always look after him. We have strict rules about brother sister fights, things like not making a fool of each other and always having to help and stick up for each other.

Maybe sitting down and deciding on house rules and actually putting them on paper. Include a few for yourself too like giving a five minute warning to allow time to finish level on a game for example. Putting the consiquencies down as well will make it look fair when you have to punish.

Can you tell I am a fan of the nanny programmes .

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