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Five Year Old Girl

(8 Posts)
Mistee Mon 25-Jul-05 15:24:24

Dear all

I've just joined as am looking for some advice. I have a five year old who behaves like a teenager. She is basically very bratty! I was a single parent living in England, and moved to Spain because I couldn't afford to live in London. This is where i think the problem has come from, because the culture is different. She doesn’t have to say please and thank you as much in Spanish and Catalan as she does in English? And when I "tell her off" for misbehaviour in public, people around me say things like, "ahhh, leave her alone, she's only a baby" and my daughter hears this.

She tells me things like "I’ll do it when I want to" when I've asked her to do something. And she cries a lot when she doesn’t get her own way. And her step-dad gives in. He'll watch her behave bratty and tell her off, and when she strops to her room, will call her back and ask her what she wants. (and he complained to me the other day that she's spoilt)

Now not wanting to contradict myself, i know it's because she's bored, no amount of swimming (we live in a community area that has two pools), playing games, reading, TV, cbeebies online, ice poles and days out with her friends, will keep her occupied. The more activities I come up for her, the more she wants.

But, today she broke my camera. She did this by having a "huff" which meant she knocked it out of my hands. I was extremely annoyed (and that's putting it mildly) my camera is more important to us since we moved here as it's the only way for my family to "see" us and it's expensive.

I locked myself in my room because I was so angry I didn’t want to smack her or say hurtful things to her. When I'd calmed down, I sent her to her room and told her no ice poles, no swimming and no TV.

So she now thinks I should be "over" my anger...and I am, but I really want her to learn the value of respect. Understanding that she has got to do as she's told, that I love her, but I am the mummy and what I says goes.

I find her attitude unacceptable for a five year old and if i met a child like her, I wouldn't be interested in spending lots of time with her. I know this may sound harsh, but I want to have a child that I like, whose company I enjoy.

My daughter is generally a sweet girl, and I have fun with her when she is well behaved, she is very funny and quite bright. The one thing I have in my favour is that I can reason with her. She will compute what you say and try to make sense of it. And I think a lot of her behaviour is learnt (from kids at school, from me, from her step-dad, watching other people) so she sometimes gets confused when she gets told off certain behavioural characteristics.

Well, we are now going to cook together as I've calmed down sufficiently. Thanks for listening and thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.



SenoraPostrophe Mon 25-Jul-05 15:32:59

mistee, I don't have a 5 yr old yet - my dd is 3 - but I think I know what you mean, and I don't think the problem is Spanish culture. Spanish people are more likely to say things like "leave her alone", I agree, but this sort of behaviour is not unusual with a parent.

I think it helps if you keep the telling off part simple, and try to offer an explanation where possible - "no - you'll hurt him" etc. where the explanation is complex, you need to wait for her to calm down first.

dd still has paddies and phases of bad behaviour though - don't know if there's a solution to that.

oh yes - and don't worry about trying to fill all her time - she needs to learn to entertain herself.

SenoraPostrophe Mon 25-Jul-05 15:33:22

we live in spain too btw.

Mistee Mon 25-Jul-05 15:38:55

thanks for your advice.

It drives me crazy when they tell me off for telling of such a beautiful child, and I think this makes her worse!

We live in Barcelona and the loooonnngg school holidays are a nightmare. But I'm hoping this is just a phase!


sweetheart Mon 25-Jul-05 15:43:49


Sounds like quite normaly behaviour to me - well at least my dd (also 5) is quite similar.

I don't think it helps that people butt in when you are trying to control the situation - perhaps you could think of a comment to say back such as "please don't make the situation worse" or something along those lines.

We have recently tried to establish a routein of punishment with our dd and have explained to her why she has to be punished. We have also spoken to her at length about saying "I'm sorry" which seems to have helped matters.

I'm sure it's something they grown out of. I think in my dd's case she is simply trying to assert her authority and seeing how far she can push us. I also think starting school has contributed to her new found stroppyness!!!!!!

Kelly1978 Mon 25-Jul-05 15:45:19

I don't know if your dd has started school yet? My dd can be very bratty, moody and cocky sometimes - she picks it up from school. She had a huge paddy the other day and screamed at me cos I sent her to her roomfor trying to get her brother into trouble.

madmarchhare Mon 25-Jul-05 15:59:05

As you said, her behaviour is learned. It is up to you to teach her what is and is not acceptable.

You need to agree beforehand with her step dad on how you are going to tackle bad behaviour and stick to it.

Stand your ground when telling her that something is not acceptabble, DO NOT give in, this is a green light for a repeat performance.

If she doesnt get the idea, which is likely in the beginning, remove toys/fun/swimming/whatever she likes to do as a punishment.

If shes as bright as you say, it shouldnt take her long to work out the new regime. Reward her after a weeks worth of good behaviour.

Mistee Tue 26-Jul-05 15:31:27

Thanks to everyone who replied, I emailed these posts to my cousin and she kept saying, yes, yes, yes!!

So it appears I don't stand my ground, and my partner and I may be canceling out each others efforts to deal with her stropiness.

Anyway, day two...let's see how it goes


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