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Very tired and fed up of the constant battles with 7yo DD on every little thing..

(18 Posts)
Sugarbeach Tue 10-Jul-12 15:27:05

...from eating fruit and veg, to drinking water, to suncream, to homework, to getting ready in the morning.....almost everything. She doesn't do as she is told....if she doesn't do something when I ask her, she'll say later....then later I find that she has not done it, and have to remind her, again and again until she feels like a full time job getting her to do what she is meant to do...It's difficult to have a proper conversation with her, I ask a perfectly straight forward question (mostly at least a few times), she either ignores me (as she is reading) or pretends not to hear me, or doesn't answer for whether reason and mostly gives a silly answer or starts playing games...E.g. "What are you reading?", "Best Friends", "What's it about?", "About two best friends..", "What do the best friends do?", "They do what best friends do..." etc. etc.....When I lay out the rules and explain the actions & consequences she does not accept, and starts arguing and negotiating. Etc.

I'm at the end of my tethers over this, especially as the teacher says she is perfectly behaved at school and does exactly as she is it seems she is capable of good behaviour, just that the bad behaviour is directed towards mummy.

She's not even a tween or a teen yet...

Thanks for reading my random ramble, but is there meant to be some sort of common beheviour pattern for this age group? Anyone have similar experiences they could share, so that I know I am not alone? Any parenting books out there you could recommend please (I'm about to get into the How to Talk so Kids will it any good?)?


sanguinechompa Tue 10-Jul-12 16:39:41

Yes 'How to talk' is really good! Can thoroughly recommend it. Putting it in to practice needs patience and quick-thinking in reality though (both of which I usually lack at the crucial moments when it matters)

Really sympathise as dd went through a horrible phase at 7 of being really hard work, not drinking water, not doing homework, not answering, not getting ready on time - exactly the same list as yours in fact.

She and I had got locked in to a horrible back and forth battle and frankly I didn't handle it very well so I don't think I should be handing out advice. All I can say is that the phase did pass and now she is 8, going on 9, things are much easier and less tense all around. And she is much more pro-active and easy going (still needs basic supervision though with homework, and need to check teeth brushing etc etc).

I did various star chart things which helped at one point - which meant that I could give her more autonomy, let up on the nagging and point to the chart. I also made a conscious effort to try and make the basic things of life (washing/getting ready) a bit more fun (wasn't always successful though).

I think part of it was down to the fact that she is an only child and that can be quite an "intense" situation at times and she possibly felt overly scrutinised/criticised. Also her schooling is quite pressured and intense (the norm in the country where we live) so she possibly felt under pressure from all sides.

Try and take some encouragement from the fact that she is well behaved at school and reserves her most difficult behaviour for you at home. It means she trusts and loves you enough to rebel and show you the worst sides of herself!

A very experienced mother/teacher at dd's school also said to take heart from the fact that when dd's rebel early, and go through early teen-like behaviour, they normally come out of the difficult adolescent years early too!!

Good luck with it all!!

cybbo Tue 10-Jul-12 16:46:46

What are you asking her to do regarding fruit and veg and sun cream?

cybbo Tue 10-Jul-12 16:48:34

And just reading your post...maybe while she is reading isn't the best time to start a question and answer session?

sommewhereelse Tue 10-Jul-12 17:43:20

It's annoying when people try to start an unnecessary conversation while you're reading.
DDs tell me the funny parts of the books they are reading over meals.

And homework, I always ask them what they have to do and when they plan to do it. I then remind them at the time they planned eg after lunch and tell them I won't be reminding them again. It's their responsability.

Scootergrrrl Tue 10-Jul-12 17:52:02

Pick the battles that you have to fight - if she doesn't do her homework, let her get into trouble at school. If she won't put on sun cream, there's no trip to the park. It sounds as if she's just fighting you on every little thing she can, just for the sake of the fight. Perhaps let her accept the consequences of not doing the things she's refusing to do. Ask her once nicely and then once again before she's on her way out of the door with no shoes, or unbrushed hair or whatever.
Just out of interest, what do you do when she starts arguing about the rules that you lay down? Do you change your mind or stick to your guns?
I do feel your pain. My six year old battles so fiercely against sun cream that I'm almost tempted to let him out without it so he knows what the sunburn it's protecting him against feels like (NOT that I would, before the MN Mafia jumps on me from a great height. I'm just saying it's crossed my mind....)

ClaireFromWork Tue 10-Jul-12 17:56:39

OP - is your DD my DD? I could have written that entire post.

Does your head in doesn't it. Add in the clumsiness and disregard for other people's stuff and I'm in a constant state of disbelief and annoyance.

WinkyWinkola Tue 10-Jul-12 18:00:04

Yes. Let her 'fail' at homework etc. you can't be bad cop all the time.

I've taken my ds1 to school in his pyjamas several times because he will not cooperate.

I also got him a big wall clock for his room and told him I expected him to be dressed by 7.30 or whatever. It helps a bit.

It's really hard to deal with someone who actively refuses to cooperate all the time.

BrianCoxhasSmellySox Tue 10-Jul-12 18:02:18

ClaireFromWork OP's DD isn't your DD, she's my DD.


You are not alone, OP (and Claire).

My DD is 8....she is particularly <picks words carefully> challenging at the moment.

Excellent at school, lots of friends, no worries, only child, I'm a single parent, big loving supportive family around us. LITTLE SWINE AT HOME.


Attitude and uncooperative, has to be asked to do something at least 5 times (me being calm, polite, trying not to get into an argument) before finally she throws a hissy fit, other times she does it on the 3rd ask - you just never know which way she's going to blow!

It's hard work.

I like wine.


Perving over fit celebrities.

Oh, and Mumsnet - it's a life saver!


Eglantyne Tue 10-Jul-12 18:45:12

Wow, did I write the original post then forget?! Exactly the same here. 7yr old dd, every single little thing is a battle. And now her little brother is doing it too, turns out he's even more stubborn, and doesn't give a damn about going on the step, having toys confiscated, going to school with no shoes on, etc etc. I'll be reading the responses with great interest x

kim147 Tue 10-Jul-12 20:39:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BrianCoxhasSmellySox Tue 10-Jul-12 20:42:37

<passes wine and brew around the thread>

CockyPants Tue 10-Jul-12 22:01:27

Hahaha. Sob. DD is 6 and exactly the same. Every day I go to bed mentally exhausted. Some days I could kill her, or myself out of sheer fucking frustration! Hoping it will get better. 8 weeks of helliday to go....
I do love her to bits, by the way!

starrychime Wed 11-Jul-12 07:19:12

Me too, me too! Just having a quick MN before going to wake DD 8.5 up and so glad I found this thread! Single parent here too with no family and not much support, although we manage OK - apparently DD is lovely at other folk's houses, fine at school but an absolute nightmare with me sad
I'm usually exhausted by the time I get to work in the mornings with all the flapping about trying to get out on time and exhausted by the time DD is in bed after several arguments, cheek etc.
Well, suppose I will have to go and wake her ladyship up now <hopes for loads of helpful advice when I can get back on later!>

Sugarbeach Sun 05-Aug-12 15:06:53

Thanks for your reply ladies. Good to know that I'm not alone....thanks for passing all the wine and chocolates, I needed that...

I noticed that there seems to be many similar threads about difficult behaviour of 7/8/9 year old dd' there meant to be some behavioural or developmental traits associated with this age which is a 'girl' thing ( from my observation of the mn threads there seems to be a pattern with girls...I could be wrong though).... If so could some one please fill me in?

We all know about the difficult teenage years, but not when they are this age surely.....

TheEnglishWomanInTheAttic Sun 05-Aug-12 16:51:05

My nearly 7 yo DD can be like that - luckily as she has 2 younger brothers, one of whom is a toddler and the other a bit of a wild thing, I don't have time to focus on it and am too sleep deprived to be fighting all the time, so it stresses me out less! grin Homework is a nightmare in term time as it is a huge part of their education where we live (Germany - school finishes at lunch time and homework is not an "extra" but pretty integral and not doing it means it gets carried over to the next day, and the next, so they could potentially end up with unmanageable amounts hanging over them).

Summer holidays are very welcome as there is so much more slack - it matters much less whether she is dressed by 6.30am/ breakfasted immediately/ in bed on the dot of 7.30pm, and best of all there is no homework smile

If she's reading leave her to read, really she doesn't need to be questioned about what she's reading if she clearly doesn't want to be, put a balanced meal on her plate but don't argue about whether she eats it, choose a fairly relaxed rule that you can fairly easily enforce (for example you must try a bit of each thing on the plate or there will be no snacks at all until the next meal time) and stick to it...

I do shout at DD though, mainly for deliberately picking fights with her brother, and she is not allowed to say just "No" to me in reply to an instruction, though she is allowed to explain to me why she doesn't want to do something and I try to listen... If she is being deliberately obstructive or really pointlessly mean she gets sent to her room, but I don't do naughty step as it would still have her in the centre of things, and anyway it's never really worked for her.

Just make sure you tell her you love her at least as often as you tell her off smile

I think it is an age thing, boundary testing and all that - not sure it's hormonal, just about becoming their own people more and more. DD sometimes says "You're not the boss of me!" and I say "Yes I am, it'S my job to be the boss of you and help you grow up properly, til you're 18, then you'll be the boss of yourself - unless you want to stay living with Daddy and me!"

Good luck!

KateME13 Thu 08-Nov-12 22:18:20

This thread has totally cheered me up, in a strange way. Huge blow out today with DD (who has just turned 7), so I came here to find out if I was alone in feeling guilty/frustrated/sad/worried/etc. And of course I'm not. Cannot tell you what a fantastic 'friend' mumsnet can be sometimes...

MissM Fri 09-Nov-12 09:39:32

Am feeling like an utterly shit mum this morning so glad I've found this too. Really shouted at DD (6.5) this morning because I am so exhausted of the battles all the time. She was supposed to dress up for school today, but at 8.00 she decided that the things she'd picked out weren't right, and we needed something else. Then she 'needs help' to get a dress on. Then it takes her 20 minutes to go to the bathroom to brush her teeth. In the end I lost it and now I feel bloody horrible. Thank goodness I've seen this thread and know it's not just me!

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