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I know I've over-reacted over this, but it's just not the way I want my dd to turn out

(46 Posts)
Rhubarb Wed 10-Jun-09 14:05:50

I've noticed recently, well I suppose more than recently but perhaps I've been ignoring it, that dd is extremely negative. For instance, if we are to go somewhere, like the zoo, she'll think of one bad thing about going. When she comes home from school she tells me all the bad things first, such as "It's not fair, the green table got 10mins of choosing time and we didn't just because the others weren't ready on time" - everything seems to centre about it not being fair on her.

Now a bit of background you should know. My family are a bunch of depressives, bar myself (at times) and my sister. If they go on holiday, they never have a good time, they always have to moan. Nothing is ever good enough and no matter what you do, they'll only ever see what you don't do. It's been like that ever since I remember and I've tried so so hard to break free from it.

This morning dd comes up to me and I ask her if she's excited about her friend coming for tea tomorrow. She nods and then says "but it's not fair because when ds went to his friends house they had a party and he got to eat party food, whereas I didn't, and now my friend's coming but ds will be here."

I must admit I lost it a bit. I've been ignoring her negativity so far, but this week is a bit of a strain, I'm on my own, and I just lost it.

Now I'm devastated. Because I lost it with her. Because I feel I've failed as a mother. Because I can see the person she'll grow up to be and I don't want her to be that person.

Please please give me some advice on how to deal with it. Please tell me that this is not the way she's going to turn out.

LadyGlencoraPalliser Wed 10-Jun-09 14:09:19

Is she 9? Because my 9 year old does this all the time. The walk home from school is usually a litany of this sort of stuff.
I really don't think it is a long-term personality thing, just one of those lovely phases.
I react by being bright and breezy and not engaging with her complaints.

Lizzylou Wed 10-Jun-09 14:11:29

I can see why you lost it, my DS1 has a bit of a negative attitude, more about not trying becuase he thinks he can't do something, "I can't do it" is his mantra.
I am trying to boost his confidence with praise and also by getting him involved with things he loves and is good at (Football and swimming).
I am scared that he will be like me and not try thing because he'll think he'll fail anyway.
You haven't failed as a MOther, at all.

Rhubarb Wed 10-Jun-09 14:12:08

She's 8. Is it really? So it's normal then? I feel so bloody horrible for blasting her now. I've felt shit about it all day and just wanted to run into her classroom and hug her.

It is quite noticeable now though, the moaning, the going on and on and on about something, the complaining, the always making a negative comment.

Is it just a phase?

listenglisten Wed 10-Jun-09 14:14:00

My ds is sometimes like this too - he is nearly 8.

Pinkjenny Wed 10-Jun-09 14:15:49

My 10 year old cousin is just like this. I picked her up from school on Monday, and before she saw me, she walked out happily, arm in arm with her friend, chatting away.

As soon as she noticed me she ran over, said goodbye to her friend, and went on to complain all the way home about how everyone is mean to her, what an awful day she's had, how the teachers are vile.

Blah, blah, blah.

My aunt took her and her friend to see Ray Quinn hmm a couple of weeks ago in London (we live in the NW). On the way home she asked them what their highlight of the weekend was, and they said there wasn't one. shock

Rhubarb Wed 10-Jun-09 14:16:34

I wish I still received those behaviour development thingies.

I'm so paranoid, because of the way my family are, that she's going to turn out the same way. Or that I've somehow turned her into that person by giving her too much responsibility or not being hands-on enough, or not being a more cheery mother.

IDidntRaiseAThief Wed 10-Jun-09 14:16:36

has she always been this way?

Maybe she is having a tendency to the family trait. I worry for my dd7, becuase i have depression, and it runs in my family.

Yet, stil, the outburst, altho you feel terrible about it, may have some kind of effect. It may justmake her stop and think a bit? I came down hard on my dd about a week ago, and felt like you do, i left her crying in the kitchen, whilst I sat in the living room fuming.

Yet I did notice she seemed to take notice of what I said, in her replies to me later. Is it part of us having to be frimer with them, now they are getting older. you know like we had to when they were 3 or so.

CJCregg Wed 10-Jun-09 14:20:27

My DS is like this, too (he's six). Very negative, very reluctant to have a go at anything new. I know it's not just him, and am relieved when I hear other parents talking about it, but it frustrates me and makes me worry.

DD (4) is pretty outgoing but can also have a negative side. I have to admit I worry partly because XDH, their father, is a depressive.

What to do? Yes, be positive and encouraging ... but it's bloody hard sometimes!

Rhubarb Wed 10-Jun-09 14:24:17

Everytime I respond with a positive, she counter-responds with a negative.

It becomes like a battle almost, until I tell her to shut up.

It puts a downer on things and esp on me. I'm not handling it very well and don't really know what the appropriate reaction is.

But it's comforting to hear that I'm not the only one.

stealthsquiggle Wed 10-Jun-09 14:24:25

Losing it a bit on occsasions is no bad things IMHO. DS is going through a phase of finding things to complain about in his never-ending range of extra-curricular activities. I have started responding by saying "OK, fine, let's not go" and walking away - which usually results in DS coming crawling back 2 minutes later saying that he does really want to go, and please could I take him.

sandyballs Wed 10-Jun-09 14:24:43

Not sure if it is a phase really. I have two 8 year olds girls and they aren't like that, generally speaking, just now and then.

I can understand why you're worried with your family background and you shouldn't feel guilty about coming down hard on her, she needs to know that she is behaving so negatively and have a chance to try and change it, which she won't unless you point it out.

ABetaDad Wed 10-Jun-09 14:26:04

LadyGlencoraPalliser - DS1 is like that and is also aged 9.

We ask him on the way home how his day at school was and instruct him to tell us 3 things that went well or that he liked and 3 he did not like.

Provides some balance and stops him focussing on tiny little inconsequential negatives.

Greensleeves Wed 10-Jun-09 14:27:34

Rhuby your profile is fucking terrifying

My ds2 is a bit like this too, although he is very ebullient and laughs (usually in a dark sort of way) at things he finds funny

every other word is "bored" or "boring"

"what did you do at school today"

"got bored"

"what was the nicest thing that happened today"

"can't think of anything"

it's hard work and drives me mad

Rhubarb Wed 10-Jun-09 14:28:16

Thanks ABetaDad, I have asked dd to tell me one good thing about what she did at school every day.

And every time she says a negative and I point it out, she has to add a positive.

Greensleeves Wed 10-Jun-09 14:28:46

We do that too - we do it at the dinner tale and call it a "round" (ds1 needed a name or he wouldn't join in) grin

we take turns to say one good thing, then one bad, then another good

it's a nice way of staying in touch with each others' lives, but sometimes it is like pulling teeth

Rhubarb Wed 10-Jun-09 14:28:51

Thank you Greeny! smile I worked hard on it!

ABetaDad Wed 10-Jun-09 14:36:14

Rhubabrb - good strategy. DS1 is a bit of an obsessive and a 'glass half empty' person. I used to be like it as a child/teenager and I did 'learn' my way out of doing it.

I do think though that there are also children and adults who put up a facade of being cheerful and positive and yet are really unhappy. It is OK to realistically complain about bad things and not to be eternally and falsely happy but being eternally wallowingly negative is a bad thing.

muffle Wed 10-Jun-09 14:42:45

Rhubarb my DP is a bit like this, he loves to moan, and DS can be too although he's only 4! I can get annoyed but I do a lot of gentle piss-taking I have to admit - laughing at it helps me not to get wound up and makes them laugh too.

With DP I say things like, oh dear it's so hard for you, having to go on holiday next week, and the XXXes have invited us to a BBQ tomorrow, what a pair of c*nts!" (in a laughing way not nasty and sarky - I would stop if he didn't laugh but he usually does)

With DS I do the "how to talk" thing of indulging in a fantasy eg he's moaning about not wanting to come inside etc. so I say would he like to just live in the garden, I will bring him out a pillow and duvet and throw him sandwiches out of the window 3 times a day, but he'll have to be quick and eat them before the bugs do, etc.

Obviously I still am sympathetic about real problems. <she hastily adds>

cocolepew Wed 10-Jun-09 14:47:21

My 11 y o Dd is like this, it's like living with Eeyore.

She recently came back from a week in Scotland with the school. She got of the bus and in response to my 'did you have a good time?' question, proceeded to spend the next hour telling me all the 'bad' points.

She just gets a bored 'that's a shame' from me now.

BroodyChook Wed 10-Jun-09 14:48:18

Haven't read all the replies yet, but my DS1 is 8 and a half, and exactly the same. We think he's practicing for teenagedom grin

Rhubarb Wed 10-Jun-09 14:49:44

Thanks everyone, and ABetaDdab wink I'll give her a big hug when I pick her up in a bit and we'll have a chat.

It does help to think it might be just a phase that other kids go through too. I worry that being depressed could be in her genes. I'm also aware that I tend to over-react at times and make the situation worse than it actually is.

LeninGrad Wed 10-Jun-09 14:59:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HuffwardlyRudge Wed 10-Jun-09 15:07:23

An idea - during your chat you could come up with a 'code word' or 'code sentence', something light hearted, so that when she is being negative you can then say the 'code word' and it will flag up her negativity without having to go in to the ins and outs of it every time. My parents used to do this and the code word was always something that made us laugh. It meant that my parents could keep on the case without us feeling got at. Hope I explained that clearly enough.

Sonnet Wed 10-Jun-09 15:15:13

I have a bit of a negative DD2 and what I have found to work is to ask her a "closed" question. Not "did you have a good day today?" But "what was the best thing that happened today"
It may help....

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