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I am really struggling with my feelings for DD

(18 Posts)
MeanMother Mon 31-Aug-09 10:27:17

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MeanMother Mon 31-Aug-09 10:36:17

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LittlePeanut Mon 31-Aug-09 10:37:31

Sorry to hear you're struggling with this, it sounds like a really difficult situation!

My first thoughts on it are that your DD is resentful of your close relationship wuth your DS. This would explain why she is not like it with DP.

I may be jumping to this conclusion because I had a childhood where i was jealous of my older brother (2 years older). he seemed to be "golden child" and i think I was deliberately naughty sometimes so that I wouldn't be compared to him. Sounds weird, I know.

Don't really have much advice on how to tackle it. Perhaps just concentrate on NOT comparing them, and making DD feel special for things that are individual to her.

LittlePeanut Mon 31-Aug-09 10:39:30

Is DS brighter, more accomplished etc? Could it be jealousy do you think?

slowreadingprogress Mon 31-Aug-09 10:46:02

oh dear poor you. It must be very hard to cope with a challenging child when your first has been much more equable and reasonable....

However I do think that an awful lot (well, most) of her behaviour is completely normal for her age. Just because her brother didn't do it, doesn't mean it isn't normal.

Also i think you need to distinguish between really naughty behaviour and behaviour which annoys you....the saliva thing is an attention seeking thing, clearly, and just warrants a raised eyebrow or something - if ds was doing it I would probably smile, it certainly wouldn't bug me. So is it possible that her 'annoying' behaviours may come to seem nothing to you, if only you can improve your general bond with her and feel that you're 'on top of' her behaviour generally?

So maybe a plan would be to focus solely on the genuinely naughty stuff first and let the petty annoying stuff go for now.

I think you need to have a consequence that works, and then the ability to move on and change the mood - and that's it in a nutshell in my opinion. If she keeps coming out of her room when she's in time out, then hold the door shut. It won't kill her, and it means that you are in control of whether your chosen consequence is applied.

I would save time out for only the very worst behaviour though, don't over use it. Other than that it's consequences which are immediate and related to the offence - eg, drawing on walls, remove all drawing stuff.

Maybe the hardest thing, but you do need the ability to move on once you've applied the consequence. You need to start each part of the day fresh and positive and as if you've forgotten the last thing. As the parent and adult, she looks to you to set the mood etc. She need a fresh start every single time.

A good friend of mine has a similar relationship with her child and has recently gone on a parenting course which I know she would recommend.

One of the things I think is most important is to keep some emotional distance between her naughtiness and you; don't dance to her tune and get drawn right down into it - look at it from outside if that makes sense. A bit more detached from it. If the emotional stakes are lowered then her rewards for doing it may be slightly less?

Also finally just wanted to say don't 'canonise' your son. I always thought my brother was the best child ever made, and I was rather tantrummy and annoying, but he told me recently that one of my worst tantrums was set off by him goading me under his breath! Not saying your son is doing this but I think it's worth you just considering that he may be contributing in some way.

MeanMother Mon 31-Aug-09 10:46:31

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MeanMother Mon 31-Aug-09 10:51:10

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MeanMother Mon 31-Aug-09 10:52:54

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pregnabrain Mon 31-Aug-09 10:54:35


Sounds like a lot of jealousy to me, as others have said. It reminds me of growing up with my younger sister. I was the older, golden child. Adored by my parents. I think my sister was really jealous. She could never compete with me at school or home in any way except by being naughty. It's like she'd found that as her area of excellence - I could never compete with her on that front!

I'm sure you're already onto all these but:

1. Make sure you have one-to-one time with your daughter, even if it is at the expense of time with your son (and even if you'd rather be with him). Find an activity that the two of you can enjoy together - that's your treat

2. Explore her talents and bring them to the fore - is she into dancing? Sport? Art?

3. Reward good behaviour - lots of praise, cuddles and star charts

4. Ignore most of her difficult behaviour, unless it's really, really unacceptable. The spit swilling thing might annoy you but you have to grit your teeth and ignore it - what harm is it really doing? Remember, she WANTS to get a rise out of you because that's attention.

Erm...hope this helps! Am going to try to follow some of my own advice too, as I have another thread going about my difficult relationship with dd1/dd2.

You are not alone!

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Mon 31-Aug-09 10:55:52

I think there is a possibiltiy that she is picking up on something between you and your ds.
but she does in so many ways sound like the descrition from every other mother at dd's school gates.
I also remember my friend going through months of this last year with her dd.

I am struggling at times to deal with dd she pushes and pushes and pushes does the same as your dd will go and get said item that she wants regardless of how many no's she gets.
Will scream and wail and god don't mention bedtime my 3 year ol is better at bedtime than dd.

The on thing i'm trying soo hard to do and I personally feel it is making a difference is that I have learnt more than ever to pick my battles, the saliva thing as much as it would bug me I would learn to ignore it. SHe is doing it for a reaction but in the big sceme of things like tackling bedtime it's not impotant.

I also had at is is sometimes when the situation is ove and dealt with punishment/teling off done I totally ignoe that it ever happened. I'm normal happy cuddly etc with her.
It is too easy to get caught up in the stress of it and seethe away afterwards.

I also never in a million years thought a reward chart would work but I got a packet in pounland and gave her 4 points to work towards in a day and at the bottom what would happen when she reached a certain amount of stars, the first reward being when she reached 3 so that she had some wuick instant reward to prove to her that her trying to behave better DID get rewards.

I wish I had a miracle cure because 5 right now for us is a tough age too. My dd is such a lovely mannered sweet, articulate little girl when she is out and a lot of the time at home but when she goes boy does she go.

LittlePeanut Mon 31-Aug-09 10:56:15

My parents always said that when I was born they were bracing themselves for my brother to be jealous of the new baby. He never was. Instead, i grew up and was always jealous of any attention HE got. This may well be quite a normal thing. Nothing you have caused, so you you shouldn't blame yourself.

However, you should be conscious of it.

My own parents handled it quite badly I think. My dad was ALWAYS telling everyone who would listen how clever my brother was. He passed his 11 plus with a very high score and was the only child from his year to win a place at a grammar school outside of catchment.

My dad made SUCH a big deal of it that I refused to even sit the 11 plus when it was my turn two years later. I told them I wanted to go to the local secondary school with all my friends. But really I was not prepared to compete against my brother. I was convinced I would not be as good as him.

When they praised me it felt like they were just trying to be kind, sort of an after thought. It felt patronising.

i.e. My DB was hailed as some kind of genius, then they'd look at me sympathetically and say "oh, and LittlePeanut has a very good sense of humour".

Do you ever spend any quality time, just you and DD, doing things together? That might be a good idea?

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Mon 31-Aug-09 10:58:16

Also wanted to add I have struggled to find a concequence that worked to any great degree to change the behaviour she still gets her consequence but the rewarding the good has helped.

LittlePeanut Mon 31-Aug-09 11:00:39

It's interesting she is different with your DH. She maybe doesn't feel that she has to compete for his attention in the same way?

I am convinced she must feel very jealous of the bond with you and DS.

Good luck with it all. It must be very hard to deal with this.

MeanMother Mon 31-Aug-09 11:07:44

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IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Mon 31-Aug-09 11:22:29

I personally didn't need to take them away.
What I did was give 3 or 4 rules that she had to stick to and at the end of the day rather than having a million stars going on the chart if she had mostly to start off with stuck to the rules overall she got a star for them.
In the first day she did have more bad than good as she wasn't convinced about the star chart but she did get her first 3 stars which generated a reward (it was just a comic from the shop) but I took her straight to the shop didn't wait until we were going anyway and made a fuss of her getting this because ......
She seen the instant reward which was why I set a comic to 3 stars so had proof that good behaviour and working towards stars did reap rewards and it did make a big difference. I was hoping for this which is why I set the first reward so low.

Not overnight but like I said I tried not to sweat the small stuff ie the things that bugged a bit but weren't a big deal and just worked on the stuff that really needing dealt with.

colditz Mon 31-Aug-09 15:20:03

Right. Take the Little mermaid DVD away. Don't let her win just because it's hard not to. No more dvds or tv for her this afternoon! i'd time her out for hurting her brother too, tbh, but it's probably too late for that.

DuchessOfAvon Mon 31-Aug-09 15:33:45

I've just been rereading Tanya Byron's "Your Child, Your Way" and I really needed the refresher. Although its more toddler-focused I have found a lot of useful stuff in it.

She starts be recommending that you find a way to reconnect with your child and see her for who she is rather than as a sum of all the bad behaviours. You do this by kissing and cuddling them - a lot. Whenever and wherever you can. As much as you can. I was a bit hmm but its working. She really fought me off at first but is now (two weeks in) responding to me more positively and not just when I go for a cuddle. I think we are re-establishing a mutual liking and I can then use that to build from.

Maybe its worth a try - along with trying to get some special time for just the two of you. Even if that's just at the weekend - going to a park or swimming. Upping the good attention and ignoring what is driving you insane. But the kissing thing has reversed my attitude and created a virtuous circle for me.

DuchessOfAvon Mon 31-Aug-09 15:34:48

And its nothing to be ashamed of. You've noticed it in yourself, you're trying to do something about it. Pretty awesome parenting in my book.

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