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Not dealing well with 8 year old DD1

(9 Posts)
soupmaker Fri 19-Feb-16 18:52:31

I'm at a loss as to how to deal with our DD1. She's a lovely girl most of the time. She's doing well at school and had lots of lovely friends.

She's had constipation and bladder issues for years all of which she is seeing HCPs about and has medication. She often has damp dirty pants as she withholds rather than going to the loo. This is for background as its so much part of who she is.

She is well behaved at school and perfectly lovely with her childminder.

Her behaviour at home is truly awful. She seems unable to control her rage whenever she is politely asked to help round the house, tidy up or deal with her dirty damp pants. She never seems to listen to me in particular. I usually have to ask a number of times before she'll brush teeth or get her shoes on if we are going out. She snarls, yells, and tells me she hates me at the slightest suggestion of being asked to do anything she doesn't want to do.

I try to keep calm and just continue to speak politely to her. Often offer her choices, so she has some control, and remind her of consequences, eg, if you don't brush your teeth they will get holes and be sore. We praise and reward good behaviour and try and ignore poor behaviour when she's obviously tired.

Tonight however she has really tested the boundaries. She's had friends over to play and once they left admitted she'd pooed her pants. She was asked to take them off and put them in the bin. All hell broke loose. She screamed, snarled, stomped about and slammed doors, attempted to hit me and declared that she hated her life. I just don't know how to deal with her. I told her she wouldn't her to a party tomorrow if she continued to be so cheeky and badly behaved. She yelled that she didn't care.

She's been sent to bed in disgrace but I'm sitting in tears at a lose as to how to help her deal with her emotions. I adore her but she's such hard work.

WombOfOnesOwn Sun 21-Feb-16 04:16:33

She's perfectly happy to behave in front of others. She's just utterly unembarrassed to act like a fool in front of you.

I'd use it.

Maybe ask her what her friends and childminder would think if they saw her behavior, or videorecord it for her so she can see what she actually looks like in this state. If she was four or five years old, she'd be too young for this to work, but at this point, showing her what an immature brat she looks like -- and asking her what she'd think of someone behaving that way if she saw them in public -- could actually work.

soupmaker Sun 21-Feb-16 11:59:29

Thanks Womb. I have asked her what she thinks her teacher, friends, childminder would say if they heard and saw her behaviour and she is self aware enough to know that they would be horrified. I've asked her why she thinks it's okay to behave like this towards me and the only way she could describe it was that she knew me better. Which I think just means she understands that no matter what I will always be around.

Having had a day to think about Friday's tantrums and drama I think she was spectacularly tired and overwrought. She was exceptionally well behaved yesterday - in as far as spirited 8 year old DDs can be.

I'm keeping the recording trick up my sleeve though.

OurBlanche Sun 21-Feb-16 12:05:57

Please don't record her. That just makes a fleeting temper tantrum, or run of them, a permanent reality. Just keep on talking to her, tell her how her shouty stampiness makes you feel.

A cousin taped her DS having total bogbratty meltdowns, he was about 9 or 10. She played it back to him, so he could see how awful and mean he was when angry. As an adult he still believes she was a crap mother who expected him to be the grown up. All he remembers is she never cuddled him or talked to him about his feelings. She just showed him the video and told him he was horrible.

Buzzardbird Sun 21-Feb-16 12:12:36

Just to try and reassure you, apart from the medical issue, which I am pretty sure make the tension worse, the stroppy attitude and temper tantrums are pretty much what I experience with DD and all her friends of the same age. If I want my DD to do anything I have to tell her that there will be consequences if she doesn't listen/do what she is told.

I think there is a massive testing the boundaries phase that happens before the hormones start kicking in. I'm hoping that keeping strong and disciplined will help.

soupmaker Sun 21-Feb-16 19:26:00

Thanks Buzzard. My instincts are to keep talking with her and giving her space to talk about how she is feeling. I had a chat with some other mums and they reported similar awfulness.

There is always time for a cuddle here. Especially after horrible temper tantrums.

I think it is just a case of continuing to be consistent.

Buzzardbird Sun 21-Feb-16 20:20:29

Just don't let her walk over you. She will feel more secure with boundaries and it might help with the toilet issues. I used to have to hold my DD in a cuddle to make her stay on the loo until she felt relaxed enough to go. I used to hold my hand on her stomach, it did help.

neolara Sun 21-Feb-16 20:32:55

I think I used to be a bit like this as a kids, spectacularly well behaved at school and lots of tantrums at home. I suspect I probably found it quite stressful to keep it together at school and this leaked out at home. I was also rubbish at talking about feelings so didn't know how to find a better way to express the strong emotions I was feeling. You may already do this but if not it might be worth labeling her feelings for her, E. G. I'm guessing you felt embarrassed that you've pooed your pants, I can see you were furious etc. Also, talk about your own feelings so she can see its normal. I wouldnt recommend trying to do this in the middle of a tantrum, but maybe an hour or so after when she is properly calm. The "how to talk book" is good on this approach.

soupmaker Sun 21-Feb-16 20:51:45

Thanks for the advice. I'll try and get a hold of that book to read. We try and use restorative approaches as much as possible but I am also consistently strict about manners, violence and being kind to each other. I know she is really pushing at the boundaries and I suspect if I could see my 8 year old self I'd be much the same.

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