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Disliking childrens behaviour.

(32 Posts)
PrettyMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 08:48:14

Does anyone else really, really dislike their childs behaviour sometimes? Not just the obvious things like hitting, but pulling sulky faces if you won't instantly stop playing with their sibling and instead play the game with them.

My daughter is so pushy, everything is about her and I so dislike it!

I can't stand the sulky faces
the winging
the whining
the demanding a present every time she comes out of school
the elbowing in on everything I do with her sibling (and elbowing sibling out)
the complaining about everything
the trying to control everything
comstantly demanding things and making out I am really mean if she doesn't get them

God when I read this I think she sounds so spoilt! I honestly haven't spoilt her! I have always tried to consider her feeling etc and tried to be balanced but if I give an inch she takes a mile.

Do you think her behaviour is manipulative (as Jo Frost was saying about some of it last night)? What do you do about that? A lot of the time I just want to tell her to FUCK OFF! But obviously can't do that sad

Pagwatch Thu 07-Jul-11 08:56:57

Awww pretty - that is difficult.

I don't know if this helps but I went through a stage of finding dd massively irritating.
I tried really hard to pin down what was going on and I realised we were stuck in a repeating circle of her being whiny, me not liking her much and feeling irritated and her being really whiney again.
I had no magic wand.
But I changed the only thing I could which was me. I arranged an afternoon out where I talked about the things I was looking forward to and made them all to do with " we can go down to the river and have a walk then go for a drink at that cafe. It is going to be so nice having a ghat -you can tell me all about school. I love it when we talk because you are so lovely when you are talking about the things you enjoy. Then we can go and get your brother some biscuits and you can chose some for him and some for you"

I just told her all the time the things that were nice about our time together rather than making it all about being tense waiting for the first time she would wind me up.

Constantly talking about the nice behaviour you enjoy and why made a huge difference to our relationship.

And then she finally worked through the annoying whiney stage. And I hadn't killed her grin

PrettyMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 09:04:22

Thanks for your reply Paywatch, unfortunately it's not a stage! She has always been difficult and if it's not one thing it's the next. I honestly don't know what to do. I so want us to be close and I worry that if we're not close now we never will be, but it's so hard for us to have nice time together.

We are going away together for a night this weekend (which we've never done) and I am really hoping it will all be fine. I am thinking that if it is just the two of us in a situation where she is happy and excited then things will be ok.

It's just that when she is demanding from me, like earlier when she was trying to elbow in on the little game with her brother, I don't know how to handle it. I can understand her wanting to join in but she wants to take over and just take her siblings place. He hardly gets an attention as it is so I can't let that happen.

There is a part of me that when she starts the crying and sulking wants to just put her on the naughty step as I can't stand it and it ruins my time with my son. I worry that this woud be like a huge rejection for her though . . . what do you think?

Pagwatch Thu 07-Jul-11 09:17:20

It is difficult when children are fighting for the same attention.
I think dd was whiney because she knew I treated ds2 differently but wasn't able to rationalize why. I think she saw it as me choosing him over her iyswim.
And I think behaviour gets to ve a habit.
If she has been like this a while then on some level it is what she knows how to do.

Do you think it is to do with her brother? How old is she?

PrettyMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 09:30:22

She has just turned 5. She has always been like it, since birth, and her brother cam along with she was nearly 3.

PrettyMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 09:37:29

I don't know how to sort of reprogram her behaviour. Do you think it would be mean to send her to the naughtly step when she shows behaviour I don't like? I know people always say ignore but I just can't do it, I'll lose my temper, which will get her attention for it which probably means she'll carry on doing it.

Pagwatch Thu 07-Jul-11 09:43:40

Let's be rational now (we can wail and kick things and drink later)

You have not suggested or intimated any kind of special need and by that I mean anything that would suggest she needs professional or medical help so I am assuming that that is not relevant.

That being the case, do you think she just came out of your womb whiney? I suspect it is possible but is it not more likely that her behaviours have been inadvertently encouraged.
Unless she actually enjoys being miserable it seems unlikely she is doing all of this for fun.

So could you look at how you react to each behaviour?

For example, the whining about presents after school - what is that all about? Dd never asks for anything at the end of school because she never gets a present after school.
Did she get a lot of stuff when she was little. Or did you say no, and then if she nagged/whined/complained, give in.

She honestly would not bother whining unless it occasionally worked.

Would it be worth setting a fixed occasion when she gets a treat if she is being generally good?

I used to take dd out for a cupcake on Saturday morning if she was generally trying to be well behaved during the week. But got nothing the rest of the time.
Do you say no and give in.

The other thing I do (which an Ed psych advised for ds2 and it worked brilliantly ) was to just completely ignore. Not punish or tell of - just say " I am not interested in whining " and walk away.

Anything in any if that?

activate Thu 07-Jul-11 09:53:06

does she remind you of you?

activate Thu 07-Jul-11 09:54:09

that sounded harsh - I have 3 sons and 1 daughter - DD is the youngest (now 7) and I think I treat her more harshly because I see myself in her or I think of her like I think of me in my life

I try hard not to though

Bonsoir Thu 07-Jul-11 09:55:49

You need to stamp down on whining, sulking, whinging, demanding, complaining, controlling behaviour from the outset. You have to tell your DC to (a) stop (b) ask politely with a smile if they want something (c) make them understand you may well say no, and that they must accept it for now.

Pagwatch Thu 07-Jul-11 09:59:09

grin I was just about to post [ouch]

I see what you mean.
With my dd I got very frustrated because my image of how our time would be together was being scuppered by the reality of her being whiney.
I then realised that it was, of course, contributing to it.

So I reframed how I dealt with her.

I thing prettymeerkat, it would be really helpful to examine ^ why^ you can't just ignore and why it makes you so angry.
Anger is to do with things like guilt and frustration.
If you could pull that back and treat it like her making her room messy or some other change worthy behaviour instead of feeling like it is an affront to you iyswim

PrettyMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 10:12:28

Pagwatch She did come out of the womb whiney! She really did! I was bereaved when pregnant and was very ill with depression and anxiety, which I suspect had an effect on her before she was even born. When she came out she was very angry and would scream bloody murder every time I changed her clothes/nappy/bathed her etc. It was extremely stressfull expecially as I remained ill for a further 2/3 years. I found every single second of every single day a struggle and my daughters demanding behaviour didn't help. I would imagine she was in part reacting to me as well, but it's in her nature to complain/demand and try to control everything. For eg, at 7 months she would scream at me in a very angry way if I was a few seconds later with her food then she would like. She has tried to control everything since.

The present thing at school is because once a month I meet her from school with a little treat, nothing much, just a biscuit or something. She's extremely difficult when she comes out of school so it's not an easy time. She insists on asking every day and says "what did you get me today when I was at school?" despite me telling her every time not to ask, as I don't go shopping every day/she's not going to get a present or treat every day/and DO NOT ASK etc. She STILL carries on asking EVERY DAY and I hardly get her anything anymore. It's the expectation that I don't like. She must sound like a really spoilt little girl to the other mums in the playgroud! She will then cry all the way home, about that and what ever else pops to mind.

activate she reminds me of my aunt, who my DH says is like me so I guess we must be similar in some ways. We both have NO patience!

Bonsoir Thu 07-Jul-11 10:18:53

PrettyMeerkat - I know that some children "come out of the womb whiny". It's not easy at all sad. But I do think that all it means is that they are harder to teach to be nice. Some children put on weight easily, others whine easily, some hate the outdoors... they aren't all easy to parent, sadly, even when they have no SN.

Selks Thu 07-Jul-11 10:19:19

Read 'The Incredible Years, A Trouble Shooting Guide for Parents of Children Aged 2 - 8 Years' By Carolyn Webster Stratton. Here

I guarantee it will help you get to grips with this behaviour and also help you handle how you feel about it.

activate Thu 07-Jul-11 10:21:16

turn it round on her and ask her what she's got for you and have a laugh at her

I think you see yourself in her and may react badly to it

pretend for a while that everything she does is amazing - joke her out of her whines - or walk away

focus on the bits you love and ignore the annoyances

give her positive attention and she may not whine so much for the negative stuff

PrettyMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 10:21:20

it would be really helpful to examine ^ why^ you can't just ignore and why it makes you so angry. Anger is to do with things like guilt and frustration.

That rings a bell. I think I need therapy or something to deal with things about my own childhood that I think affect what sort of a mum I am now (sexual abuse/no one protecting me etc). And yes I am very frustrated, I can't get a second of head space, it feels like I am being attacked a lot of the time.

My parents are not able to help me, the only people we have had is my ILs and they have gone out of their way to make things difficult, such as offering me help then changing their mind so that I lost my temp job! Or making unrealistic demands such as we had to be back from my friends babys christening which was a 6 hour drive away, 2 hours after the christening finished. So that should have been a break but in the end was a disaster (they actually looked pleased they had ruined it). When I have told them I am not coping they just look smug and say "well I'm way to busy to help. This may sounds strange but it's because we had an argument with my DHs brother and they were punishing us for it.

I know this is a bit off subject but just trying to show the lack of support. My DH doesn't stick up to his family at all so I have spent the last few years being angry and frustrated about that. I am also permanently angry about the bereavement despite counselling for it. It was just such a cruel thing to happen, so unfair! sad

ok feeling sorry for myself now.

activate Thu 07-Jul-11 10:23:01

does DH pamper her and adore her?

every child needs at least one parent who thinks she's amazing - doesn't have to be the same one all the time but does have to be one of you at any one time

PrettyMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 10:23:06

Thanks guys. Selks I will look at that book.

mummyosaurus Thu 07-Jul-11 10:27:48

Both my DC have had whiny phases, and DS (4.6) is still in his. I have instigated a whineing ban.

Whenever he whines I just say I cannot understand you when you whine; talk in your normal voice. I don't reply until has calmed down and can talk to me in a normal 4 year old voice.

You have to keep it up (occasionally I find myself forgetting, but I go straight back to whining ban) but it is working.

Pagwatch Thu 07-Jul-11 10:27:49

To be clear, you know I am not criticising don't you?

I am just asking, questioning around the things that helped me deal with my three.
Ds2 was lovely until he was 18 months and then became deeply challenging because of his sn. Dd echoed some of his behaviours because she thought it worked.

It sounds like she finds it hard to understand that her expectation does not mean she will get what she wants. And she isn't learning when things change.

But she is only 5 so it is perfectly possible to reframe it. But it will require you doing things differently and trying not to get frustrated.
I guess I am just a bit worried about your seeing her as whiney because it annoys you (which would me) and focussing on it too much.

Pagwatch Thu 07-Jul-11 10:30:42

Oooh pretty - that is interesting. I got very anxious with dd when she was 2 because that was when my abuse started. I found it difficult to deal with her in a relaxed way whereas when she was a baby I was fine.

And the lack of support is immensely difficult to deal with. No wonder you are stressed and finding this added pressure difficult

PrettyMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 10:42:05

It sounds like she finds it hard to understand that her expectation does not mean she will get what she wants. And she isn't learning when things change.

I think that is so right! I don't understand why though. I've always felt that she refuses to accept it rather then she is not understanding it, but maybe you are right. She's a smart girl though so I don't get why she doesn't understand it.

For example at dinner time she isn't allowed to loudly announce that she's finished (which she loves to do!) as it stops her little brother from eating as he copies. We just ask her to sit nicely when she has finished rather then announce it and push her plate away.

We have been telling her this every day for months! It's not going in. We even see her about to say it and say "don't!" and she says "I'm . . ." and we say "DON'T!" and she says "finished!".

She knows she is going to get into trouble but does it anyway.

It worries me because nothing you tell my dad ever goes in. I think he has ADD and possibly Dyspraxia as well.So I wonder if there is something amiss that she can't follow such a simple thing!

Her attention span at school wasn't so good a few months ago but seems to have got a bit better.

She is so inquisitive and argumentative and that's why I think she is smart. She can argue and argue and argue and actually comes up with really good arguments! I think she should be on a debating team! She knows lots of "things" and is always asking about stuff/how that works etc. It's really lovely actually when we have one of our talks as I can see all the info going in and she loves learning. The school say though that she doesn't pay attention so well when it is something she's not that interested in.

colditz Thu 07-Jul-11 10:44:58

Ds2 whines a lot. I tell him my ears can't hear whining, only nice talking. It does work (on him)

Pagwatch Thu 07-Jul-11 10:48:26

That is interesting isn't it.
I would leap to add or some such because she is so little. She may just be crap at remembering things.
But do you think if you see that part of her behaviour -the not learning thing - as something she struggles with rather than something 'naughty' - you could cope with it a bit better?
Maybe think about having a tighter routine (so she only ever has something at the school gate on Friday) and find a way to give her reminders. Maybe a note/sign at her place setting to remind her not to say 'i'm finished' and a small reward if she remembers.
Lots of praise for the good stuff teaches ten times faster than telling off the bad.

pleasenap Thu 07-Jul-11 11:05:53

My eldest DC is very similar - would always be looking for the road of most resistance, always expectant of getting what he wants, barking orders, etc. He's also a real character and brilliant with it. But he does make me want to pull my hair out sometimes! I found 1,2,3 Magic pretty good. Also the good old picking battles. And turning a potential scene into a jokey amusing thing.

E.g. he used to pull a stroppy face and fold his arms and sulk if he didn't get his way (and still will!) - but once I just found he looked so funny doing it, I laughed and said he had to see himself in a mirror. I call it his Platypus face and now when he does it, I can usually get him to laugh about it, and want to see what he looks like, rather than stay stroppy about whatever annoying thing it was. Obviously....doesn't work always. And could've gone either way to start with!

For the 'I'm finished' thing, could you get her to say something else ridiculous (I'm a dinosaur!) as a wink-wink sign between you that she's finished and she can say that as loud (within reason!) as she likes? Or get her to spell it like a rhyme - I'm f-i-n-i-s-h! Or whatever. I'm sure she understands but maybe she just thinks I'm finished and I want to (not right obviously and highly irritating) but if its happening every day then its turning into a battle of wills and is like a line in the sand waiting for one of you to cross it. Over something that isn't that big a deal (I know its the discipline and compliance really that is a big deal but just trying to find an easy way round some of the non-dealbreaker battles).

I don't suppose sticker charts would be any good for good behaviour after school? I always have a snack for my DS after school - so its not a treat. My DS used to get sooooo irritable just coming out of school (had to carry him out kicking and screaming once in reception....nightmare!). Snack seemed to solve it (mostly).

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